Free Cloud Computing Service Providers

Are you a small business owner, developer or student looking for free cloud computing service providers, some of which requires no credit card? If yes, relax you have come to the right internet room.

Most of us want free, like free and in some case need free for reasons well-founded; I know this, you know this and so does the major cloud computing service providers.

And as such, cloud service providers offer free (however limited) cloud services as a way to draw in potential customers.

This “limited” free services could be what you are looking for to test run your project without spending a dime. And it could mean a lot to you depending on your financial situation.

Nonetheless, have it at the back of your mind that this cloud service providers are not in the charity business and as such, at some point you will need to make financial commitment to continue using this free services.

Not to worry, most of them offer this free services for as long as 12 months and that might be enough to get your angles right.
Now let’s jump into the list (ranked in no particular order).

1. Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is one of the best and cheapest cloud computing service providers (especially for virtual machines).

One of the good thing about GCP is that they offer cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally.
YouTube, Gmail and Google Search all run on the GCP infrastructures. What this means for you, is that you are getting free access to world-class cloud computing services.

Get access to GCP free tier

  • Credit Card: Required
  • Free Period: 12 Months
  • Free Credit Value: $300
  • Auto-Charge: No
  • Accessible Products: All cloud platform products including Firebase and the Google Maps API

Overall, GCP offers the best free cloud computing services relative to any other major cloud computing service provider. They literally give you access to every available product and that I like to call “genuine” free.
Moreover, they have one of the cheapest pricing amongst their pairs, in any case you need to upgrade to a paid access.

Update: I am now running a number of projects on Google Cloud Platform and benefited from their free $300 credit.

2. Microsoft Azure

Azure offers free cloud computing services that are categorized into generally two categories. There is the category that allows access to more than 25 products that are always free and another category that gives access to some major Azure cloud products/services for 12 months.

You can have access to all the free Azure cloud products in each categories all at once. They also give you free credit to use for the first 30 days and try out Azure cloud products that are not listed in their free tier.

One other good thing with Azure free package is that they have a special package for students that gives students who can verify their status access to $100 credit requiring no credit card.

Create a free Azure account

  • Credit Card: Required for general free tier and not required for student account
  • Free Period: Typically 12 Months
  • Free Credit Value: $200 for 30 days and $100 for student accounts
  • Auto-Charge: No
  • Accessible Products: Access to over 25 Azure cloud products including Text Analytics, Anomaly Detector, Computer Vision, 128GB of Managed Disks, 250GB of SQL Database, 750 hours of Azure B1S General Purpose Virtual Machines, Azure Maps, Machine Learning and many more

Check out all free Azure cloud product offer here

3. Amazon Web Service (AWS)

Amazon Web Service (AWS) is the leading cloud computing service provider that offers over 175 fully featured services on-demand, usually metered on pay-as-you-go basis. But they also offer more than 60 products for free to new customers.

Their free tiers gives three types of access to different kinds of AWS cloud products and services.

First, is the always-free type available to all customers (both old and new), next is the access to advanced products free for 12 months and finally, short-term free-trial offers for premium products usually for 30 days.

Gain access to AWS free tier

  • Credit Card: Required
  • Free Period: Always free, 12 Months free and 30 days free trials
  • Free Credit Value: Don’t offer credit value, just sets direct limit to product usage
  • Auto-Charge: Yes
  • Accessible Products:
  • Always Free: 25GB of storage, 1 million push messaging services, 1million free requests per month
  • Free for 12 Months: 750 hours of database usage per month, 5GB of standard storage, 750 hours of resizable compute capacity in the cloud per month (Linux, RHel, Windows, or SLES t2.micro or t3.micro instance)
  • Free Trials: 250 hours of t2.medium notebook usage per month for 2 months, 750 hours VPS 1 month free trial and 30 days free Amazon General Duty

One Last Thing

Almost all major cloud computing service providers offer some sort of free cloud services with caveats. And I can go on and on, with IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud or even Oracle Cloud. But that would be giving you too many options that are almost the same and complicating things for you.

If you ask me from a general standpoint, for most reasons people need or want access to free cloud computing service, the Google Cloud Platform freemium is simply the best.

They give you access to everything and you get to choose how you want to spend the free $300 credit they give. And not like other providers that tie your hands and legs in the name of free cloud services.

You can also check out my next article where I write about my findings on the cheapest cloud computing service providers among the big 3 (GCP, AWS and Azure).

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