HostAdvice experts performed an independent study on the Best VPS Hosting providers for all types of users.
In this article, you can discover the best free VPS hosting servers and their offers regarding dedicated resources, enhanced performance, root access, and domain transfers.
Free VPS allows you to check whether VPS hosting will work for you or not risk-free. These services are very convenient for getting a taste of VPS server configuration and management, which is excellent for site owners willing to test new ideas or apps.
Find the top free VPS offers worth your time and learn an extra thing. Or, if you are in a hurry, let’s cut right through the chase!
Short on Time? Check Our Top Free VPS Hosting Providers
What Is Free VPS Hosting, and Who Is It For?
The hosting web sector is extremely competitive, making it difficult for providers to attract new clients. Companies give out a limited number of their free VPS services to draw new clients.
VPS trials are the perfect match for anyone willing to “test the water” before spending money on a VPS hosting plan. A free VPS trial might work out well, whether you are an individual, startup, small business owner, or a large enterprise.
Apart from a VPS trial, you can also select a free VPS service altogether. However, there is no 100% forever-free VPS provider who won’t fail you. With one such service, you risk having your website hacked, having data stolen, or facing a significant upcharge if you choose a free plan.
The Best Free VPS Hosting Services of 2023 (Bought and Tested):
If you ask me, Kamatera undoubtedly takes the lead for free VPS hosting, granting you a 30-day cloud VPS trial with nearly limitless resources at your disposal. You can use up to $100 worth of configurations without any commitment or hidden fees.
- Overall Score: 4.9
- Free Trial: 5.0
- Performance: 5.0
- Features: 4.9
- Ease of Use: 4.8
- Pricing: 4.9
The best part about Kamatera is that you can build your free VPS server, adjusting the dozens of operating system and control panel options, storage configurations, other resources, and add-ons to your needs and preferences. Kamatera’s free VPS solution will only be available to you for 30 days, but you will have access to almost infinite resources – there are no obligations and no additional costs.
Free Trial: With Kamatera’s 30-day free VPS trial, you can use up to $100 credit, scale up or down as you please, and even add optional features, such as load balancers or firewalls. However, beware that the company will charge you for exceeding this limit.
Performance: Kamatera utilizes 13 data centers and thousands of servers spread across four continents, modern solid-state drives, and powerful Intel Xeon Platinum processors, thus delivering impressive speeds and a 99.95% uptime guarantee.
Features: Choose from multiple operating systems (CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD, FreeNAS, Gentoo, OpenSUSE, Windows, CloudLinux, and more), cPanel or Plesk, get root access to your free server, proprietary API, unlimited storage, and more.
Ease of Use: You’ll get access to a designated account manager during the free VPS trial to guide you in configuring your server and answer any questions you might have and the technical support team via phone, email, and tickets.
Pricing: Kamatera’s prices are very affordable even after the trial period. The starting price for the cheapest VPS plan is $4 per month for 1 vCPU, 1024MB RAM, 20GB SSD Storage, and 1 Public IP.
Pros & Cons
- Instant server setup in less than 60 seconds
- A fully customizable cloud environment with dozens of Windows and Linux OS choices
- Access to 24/7 technical support on several channels
- Extra charges if you exceed the $100 credit during your free VPS trial
- Not particularly beginner-friendly (cPanel & Plesk cost extra)
- Not many freebies included (no SSL, no extended backups, no managed support)
Are you looking for the best free VPS hosting designed for Windows professionals? If I were you, I would get Time4VPS plans powered by Windows Server 2012, 2016, and 2019.
- Overall Score: 4.1
- Free Trial: 4.4
- Performance: 4.2
- Features: 3.9
- Ease of Use: 4.1
- Pricing: 4.1
Time4VPS offers self-managed KVM Windows VPS with amazing features, powerful hardware, secure storage, flexible billing, and assistance on demand. Their Windows VPS customers benefit from instant provisioning and a simple, automated server setup.
Free Trial: You can sign up for only a month for a short-term project or test out the code you’ve been working on without committing obligations. And if you’re unhappy with what you got, you can get a refund during the first 30 days of service.
Performance: Time4VPS maintains its Uptime Institute certified TIER III Data Center in Europe and utilizes powerful hardware for continuous 24/7 connectivity with 99.98% availability and the best VPS Windows performance.
Features: You’ll get a free license for your virtual Windows system with each VPS you acquire, administrator access to transform the server to your liking upon the initial setup, one IPv4 address and one primary IPv6 address, secure RAID storage, and more.
Ease of Use: As a Time4VPS customer, you’ll benefit from its Init Scripts, eliminating the need for a manual server setup. After the OS installation, the scripts are executed automatically so that you’ll run your system in just 5 minutes. The provider also offers assistance for the Plesk control panel of your VPS Windows, a broad knowledge base, and an active community forum for self-help.
Pricing: You can choose from eight Windows VPS plans, pay monthly or annually, starting at €5.49 per month for a 1×2.6 GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, 40GB Storage, 4TB Bandwidth, and optional backups. The bigger plans are priced appropriately depending on the offered resources with each package.
Pros & Cons
- Quick and seamless upscaling cheap Windows VPS services
- Fast and simple setup with technical assistance on demand (via live chat and tickets)
- Free license for every Windows Server 2012, 2016, or 2019 OS with each Windows VPS
- Prices almost double on renewal (you can benefit from the initial rates longer by signing up for the annual plan)
- Limited to servers in Europe (might cause latency on other continents)
UltaHost is a US-based hosting provider that has been on the market since 2018. It is popular among customers because of its amazing performance, stable service, 100% uptime guarantee, and excellent features. Among its services, it provides various types of hosting, including VPS, reseller, eCommerce, CRM, and many tools and other products. Additionally, it has affordable prices and offers customers the Hestia and CyberPanel control panels for free.
- Overall score: 4.9
- Features: 4.8
- Support: 4.9
- User Friendly: 4.9
- Pricing: 4.8
- Reliability: 4.9
Features: Among its many free and paid features, UltaHost offers multiple server locations, free domain transfer, free DDoS protection, malware scans, SSD-only servers, Cloudflare CDN, SpamExperts, RocketBooster, free SSL Certificates, Web Application Firewall, built-in cache, unlimited bandwidth, and full root access. We only gave it a 4.8 score because it doesn’t offer a free domain.
Support: UltaHost goes the extra mile when it comes to customer support. It has a Premium customer support program that is available for all customers to use 24/7/365. You can access it via live chat, phone, email, and ticketing system. Additionally, it has a FAQ section, blog, and server support service. We only gave it a 4.9 score due to some minor inconsistencies that customers reported regarding the ticketing system.
User Friendly: UltaHost’s website has a clean, simple, and modern design, making it really easy to navigate for newbies and developers. Additionally, it offers multiple control panel options to its customers, with the Hestia and CyberPanel being free, while the cPanel and Plesk are paid. It also has an extensive knowledge base where customers can find numerous tips and solutions. So, it’s no surprise we gave it a 4.9 score.
Pricing: Aside from the cheap prices that it has across all plans, UltaHost customers can get the Hestia or CyberPanel control panel for free. The cheapest managed VPS plan that this provider offers is its VPS Basic plan, which costs $5.5 per month if you get one of the free control panels. It comes with 1 CPU core, 1 GB RAM, 30 GB NVMe SSD storage, a managed server, and 1 IPv4 Dedicated IP address. We only gave it a 4.8 score because customers need to pay an additional fee for the cPanel or Plesk.
Reliability: All of UltaHost’s servers are powered by 14th-generation Dell servers and configured to offer max redundancy regarding the network, power, and hard drive. Additionally, it has a 100% uptime guarantee, which means that it promises its customers that they will experience virtually no downtime and latency issues. It also uses SSD NVMe storage and offers free Cloudflare CDN. So, it’s safe to say that the 4.9 score is well deserved.
Additional parameter – Server location: 4.8: The location of the server on which your website will be hosted is vital. The closer it is to your or your audience’s location, the smaller the chances are that you will experience latency issues and downtime. In UltaHost’s case, it has data centers in Chicago, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, the US; Toronto, Canada; Frankfurt, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; New Delhi, India; Singapore; Seoul, South Korea; and Finland. Additionally, its servers use the most power-efficient Intel processors and Juniper and Cisco for network switching and routing. So, customers that are operating in locations close to the mentioned regions will receive blazing-fast performance, amazing speeds, and virtually no downtime. However, we gave it a 4.8 score because customers outside of the mentioned regions could have potential latency and connectivity issues.
Pros and Cons
- Instant activation
- Vertical scaling
- SSH and SFTP access
- Malware scans and reports
- A 30-day money-back guarantee
- Integrations with popular apps
- HTTP/2-enabled servers
- A 100% uptime guarantee
- 14th-generation Dell servers
- Built-in cache mechanism
- NVMe SSD storage
- Cloudflare CDN
- DNS Manager
- BitNinja security
- No free domains
- No free domain transfers for monthly plans
As a European cloud alternative, IONOS might not have the best reputation. Still, it’s one of the most powerful and secure free VPS providers, utilizing high-performance, ISO 27001 certified data centers backed by its commitment to provide you with the highest uptime.
- Overall Score: 1.5
- Free Trial: 1.5
- Performance: 1.7
- Features: 1.5
- Ease of Use: 1.3
- Pricing: 1.7
IONOS’ VPS hosting is fully virtualized for more isolation, autonomy, and security. You’ll enjoy fast, reliable VPS hosting featuring SSD storage and dedicated resources. And the best part is that you’ll receive unlimited traffic in all free VPS packages, never reaching a cap or having to pay overage fees.
Free Trial: You can test IONOS’ VPS plans risk-free for 30 days and cancel anytime with a monthly term or after 12 months with an annual term.
Performance: IONOS utilizes secure ISO-certified data centers in the US, UK, and Europe. You’ll benefit from 99.99% uptime to keep your project online, resulting in fewer outages. In addition, the company has a patented technology stack for maximum data security and compliance with legislation such as the CLOUD Act.
Features: You’ll get fully virtualized VPS with full root access and API, unlimited bandwidth, optional Plesk Web Host Edition, unlimited number of mailboxes, optional domain add-on, unlimited external domains, pre-installed apps, and more.
Ease of Use: Since IONOS offers self-managed VPS solutions, you’ll need skills to configure, optimize, and maintain your hosting environment. On the good side, you’ll get a dedicated personal adviser to help answer any queries 24/7 (but they will not help you with server management).
Pricing: You can choose from standard VPS plans with a lower monthly price, starting at $2 per month for a vCore, 512MB RAM and 10GB SSD, or memory-optimized alternatives. In addition, IONOS customers can choose from monthly and annual terms and pre-paid or post-paid billing.
Pros & Cons
- Fully scalable virtual server with flexible and predictable pricing
- VPS hosting designed for maximum security (SSL encryption, firewall management, DDoS protection)
- A range of operating systems and distributions (both Linux and Windows)
- Not particularly beginner-friendly (premium support costs an extra fee)
- Backups come at an additional price (with an industry-leading solution from Acronis)
Seeking full control over your VPS server while also craving affordability in a market dominated by high costs? If the answer is yes, then we suggest you go for Hostens, a powerful unmanaged VPS hosting provider that comes with Linux, Windows, Storage, and Container VPS services.
- Overall Score: 4.4
- Pricing: 4.6
- Features: 4.3
- Performance: 4.4
- Support: 4.4
- User Friendly: 4.5
Pricing: The cheapest VPS hosting plan that you can get from Hostens is its entry-level Container VPS one, which costs $2.50/month on a three-year billing period and includes 20GB of storage, one CPU core, 2GB of RAM, and 2TB of bandwidth. You can try out any Hostens VPS plans risk-free for 30 days.
Features: Hostens offers a vast array of features, including cPanel/Plesk/DirectAdmin, daily or weekly backups, OpenVZ, KVM, CentOS, CloudLinux, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and more.
Performance: No matter which Hostens VPS plan you choose, you’ll get reliable performance powered by high-quality hardware, fast-paced SSD storage, DDR4 ECC REG RAM, and a 99.95% uptime guarantee.
Support: All Hostens VPS plans come with round-the-clock customer support. You can either use its live chat feature to contact its team, its email, or its ticketing system. And if you want to solve your issue yourself, you can look for help in Hostens’ knowledge base.
User Friendly: You’ll get to choose between some of the most popular and easy-to-use control panels on the market with Hostens. Also, you can use the “Installatron” tool to easily download, update, and back up scripts and CMS’.
Pros & Cons
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all VPS plans allowing you to try Hostens risk-free.
- cPanel/Plesk/DirectAdmin and many beginner-friendly features.
- Every VPS plan comes with a free website builder.
- Higher prices on renewal (but not by a lot).
Ranking comparison between the Top Providers
How Do We Rank and What You Should Look for in Your Free VPS Hosting?
- Server Uptime7%
- Server Speed7%
- Long Trial Period8%
- Instant Server Setup3%
- Cloud Infrastructure3%
- Extra Features & Freebies8%
- Ease of Use4%
- Customer Support5%
- The Managed Option3%
- Plans & Pricing5%
- Easy Cancellation8%
- User Reviews30%
The chart represents the criteria and relative importance we’ve used to select the best free VPS hosting providers. At HostAdvice, we perform independent and category-specific testing. We evaluate what makes up the ideal free VPS provider and assign each factor a percentage, representing its contribution to the overall score.
Our professionals purchased free VPS plans, signing up as regular customers to get a fair and unbiased view of the host’s quality. We test the VPS server uptime, speed, security, and support. More importantly, we continually repeat the tests to update you with the newest data. We use the allocated percentages to calculate a single weighted score.
Here’s everything you need to consider when choosing the best free VPS server for your website:
- Server Uptime (7%): Even if it’s free, there’s no point in getting an offline server, and that’s why you need a host with an uptime guarantee of 99.95% or above.
- Server Speed (7%): Similar to downtime, slow loading speeds translate to loss of customers and SEO rankings. It would help get free VPS hosting with SSD storage, multiple data centers, Cloudflare CDN, and caching technologies.
- Long Trial Period (8%): With shared hosting plans, companies offer 30-day, 45-day money-back guarantees or even longer. However, you’ll realize that this period is significantly shorter for VPS hosting, usually lasting a week. The longer the trial period, the better.
- Instant Server Setup (3%): You don’t want to pointlessly spend the precious time waiting for the setup to complete. That’s why it would be best to get a VPS hosting provider with instant provisioning (in a few minutes or hours).
- Flexibility (4%): The best free VPS hosting providers allow you to customize your virtual private server, including operating system, features, and other configurations. Opt for a VPS trial that doesn’t impose too many limits on customization for the ultimate hosting experience.
- Scalability (5%): Consider your future needs. What happens when you exceed the plan’s limits? How straightforward is the scaling process? Can you upgrade your bandwidth and storage hassle-free, using the control panel, and without downtime?
- Cloud Infrastructure (3%): Physical servers are usually cheaper and deliver excellent reliability. However, the drawback is that other sites within the same environment can affect your website. Cloud servers offer maximum insulation, so we’ve given VPS providers that utilize such technology a few extra points.
- Extra Features & Freebies (8%): Dedicate special attention to features such as added security and automatic backups. In addition, opt for free domain name/transfer, free website migration, free SSL certificates, dedicated IP address, DDoS protection, firewalls, professional email services, unlimited bandwidth, and more.
- Ease of Use (4%): It is critical to select a beginner-friendly solution. There’s no point in paying for a service you have no idea how to use. The best option is a VPS solution utilizing the popular cPanel control panel with 1-click installs on Softaculous or similar user-friendly interfaces (Plesk, Webmin, CentOS Web Panel, etc.)
- Customer Support (5%): It’s invaluable to have technical support agents available 24/7 to assist you with figuring out your problems, preferably across several channels, including live chat, email, or phone.
- The Managed Option (3%): With the unmanaged option, you’ll get more control over your server and spend less money on hosting. However, you’ll need more time, skills, and experience. With the managed VPS option, the in-house team will take care of all server and operating system configurations, updates, and maintenance.
- Plans & Pricing (5%): Once your trial period ends, you’ll have to pay for the VPS. It will be very useful if the company offers good deals and discounts. Check the introductory vs. renewal rates, transparency of pricing, hidden fees, and extras cost.
- Easy Cancellation (8%): Some free VPS providers might make it impossible to cancel the service, so you end up paying for a service you don’t like. Top free VPS companies will always enable you to cancel your account with a few clicks.
- User Reviews (30%): If customers have continually received what they were promised, the VPS host will do the same for you. Stay steer of misleading ads and focus on reputable sites, preferably in your niche, to get the most objective representation of the company’s quality.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, beware of programs trying to get you clicking adverts, email signups that don’t take you anywhere, and high data collection levels. They can use you to make money and sell your email or information to advertisers for profits.
When Do You Need to Consider VPS Hosting?
Situations when you need to consider utilizing a VPS:
- Your website uses more resources than what your shared hosting plan allows
- You need to install unique modules or programs
- You opt for root/admin access for better server control
- You need a virtual development environment for testing and developing applications
- For managing sensitive data and conducting financial transactions
- Your website experiences a significant increase in traffic
When it would be best to pass on purchasing a VPS:
- Your website is experiencing low traffic levels
- You’re just starting and want to master the fundamentals, such as FTP, WordPress, & cPanel
- The power of a VPS is insufficient, meaning you need a dedicated server
Why We Don’t Recommend Free VPS Hosting
Nobody voluntarily gives something to a bunch of strangers for free without a motive, including free VPS hosting companies. Here’s why they might offer you forever free services:
- They want your data – you might encounter advertisements from outside sources on the hosting provider’s website. It’s usually a complex plan to obtain your details, credentials, and everything else connected, for various reasons (usually, to sell the information).
- The free VPS might be the “man in the middle” – the operator of the free VPS still has the opportunity to violate security and privacy. Whenever you log into what seems to be a trustworthy website, a man-in-the-middle assault (MITM) happens. The MITM attacker subsequently takes your log-in information, passwords, and other private details using the phony or compromised destination. These frauds typically target financial data.
- Information about your visitors is equally significant – you are not alone at risk. Your users may face a higher risk of cyberattacks; without awareness, their purchases, log-in details, passwords, and more can become vulnerable to theft.
- You bring in more people into the cycle – Most free providers include a referral program. Anytime you share your unique link and a relative subscribes to a paying service, you receive free hosting. However, once people join the service and give bank information as “proof of payment,” the fraud is obvious. The person’s credit card is billed for services the VPS hosting company said were “free of charge.”
- There are vulnerabilities in the VPS – Your VPS setup might be compromised if its setting doesn’t provide modern OS alternatives. These weaknesses might be exploited if mitigation is not in place.
- The VPS is in an area with dubious laws – The address of the VPS server is crucial if you intend to establish a private VPN on a free VPS host. While this might not be your sole privacy worry, you should stay away from VPSs that aren’t registered in secure locations.
If monetizing your data wasn’t terrible, free virtual private servers have fewer resources and storage choices than commercial ones. All these factors can negatively impact your site’s performance and loading times, which may result in decreased revenue.
Completely Free VPS Providers
If you don’t want to join up with one of the hosting companies mentioned, your best option is to hunt for a free VPS trial with a trusted provider.
Even though your server capacity may be somewhat constrained, the unmanaged free VPS will offer you plenty of time to learn the system and acquire a sense of what might be a long-term success for your website or application.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Hosting – Allows you to gain free, hands-on experience with the AWS platform, products, and services and launch your free APP within minutes. Website owners may learn about VPS systems thanks to the free service provided by AWS hosting. The plans also come with instructions to assist you in getting started in addition to a year of free service.
Microsoft Azure – Offers Popular services free for 12 months plus $200 Free Credit to be used within 30 days.
Google Cloud – get free hands-on experience with popular products. Google Cloud offers $300 in free credits for new customers to fully explore and conduct an assessment of Google Cloud
Best Free VPS Hosting Services: Final Recommendations
We all know that “the best things in life are free.” But unfortunately, there is no such thing as free VPS hosting. There’s always a trade-off between price and quality; you’ll have to pay in other ways for a free service, usually by getting a subpar service filled with advertisements or data collecting practices. So, while finding the best free VPS might be alluring, you must keep in mind that every supplier of a top free VPS is trying to make money off of you in some manner.
Free VPS trials, on the other hand, are the opposite different. Reputable companies offer you such services to help you ensure that you get the right product for your business. Still, some VPS trials are better than others. You don’t want to get severely limited capabilities with the free offer nor experience headaches when it comes to cancellation. So, please do thorough research before you commit to a company and entrust them with your data.
Whichever path you take, we recommend that you exercise extra caution while disclosing your personal or financial data. Free VPS hosting is primarily regarded as a scam, despite the fact that you occasionally hit gold.