How To Setup a Free VPS Server

Are you a visual learner? Watch the video below and follow along!



Note: The methods presented here will obtain you a free Virtual Private Server from Amazon Web Services for one year, under their free trial program. If you go beyond the limits enforced by the trial, you may be charged.



Before we begin: you’ll need a couple things.

  • An email previously unaffiliated with AWS
  • A credit/prepaid debit card (ok, this is where it gets controversial. I say its for free, which in fact it is. AWS just needs this for verification in case you do go over the limits. You will also see a $1 debit and credit for such verification. I assure you however that if you don’t surpass the limits you will not be charged. You can get prepaid vanilla cards anywheres. (i.e. Walmart). I always get them as gifts so I’m lucky (you’ll find out later why so)


Alright, with that said, let’s get into it!


Get Your Account!

Head on over to AWS by clicking the logo above and click on “Create a Free Account”. Either sign in/ sign up using your Amazon account.

Go ahead and enter all of the required information (and nothing more).

When you get to the “Payment Information” section, enter your credit card information. Faking the information will more than likely make your account unable to be verified, and therefore not work (Remember it’s Amazon). You will also notice a $1 charge on your card after doing this; don’t worry, it will be refunded. It’s just to make sure “you have money”. But you could easily put $5 on a prepai card and get away with it.

Setup your VPS

Now we get to the fun part! From your dashboard, find and select “EC2”. Then you can select “Launch Instance”. Now you can select the OS of the VPS you want to run.



Almost There!

Go through the rest until you get to the “select key pair” pop-up.

If you haven’t done this before, select “Create a new key pair”.  Name it, download it (KEEP IT IN AN IMPORTANT SPOT, YOU WILL NEED IT IF YOU FORGET THE VPS PASSWORD), then go to “Choose an existing key pair”, select the newly created key pair, then launch!

From instances, select then launch. First you should wait a few minutes for the password to generate (or you’ll get an error saying to wait). When asks for your key, choose your .pem file you downloaded for the key pair, click Decrypt, then download the remote desktop file and connect with the given credentials.



And just like that you’re into your free new VPS! Just remember to stay within the Free Tier Usage (750 hours per month, so no more than 1 VPS 24/7). If you liked this be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube! Chat about tech and gaming stuff in the Mathlete Forums (including the Help Desk for those with issues). If you would also like, then sign up for the Mathlete Insiders newsletter to receive exclusive newsletters from me. Promise, no spam!


Unlimited Trials???

Yes you can! As long as you use a different email and credit/debit card, you can potentially have UNLIMITED free VPS trials! Just remember to back them up before expiration as you have to manually transfer them.