How to get a free windows vps for 1 year
Some of you might know but most of you probably don’t – Amazon offers everybody that wants to test their services a free vps for a year. They make it a little hard to navigate through all their settings and signup pages so here’s a short tutorial on how to do it fast and easy.
Here is what you will need:
- a credit card, it will not be billed and the vps is free but they require you to enter one
- a telephone number – they will call to verify your identity(call is automated not human)
- 5-15 minutes of your time depending on how fast you are filling up forms and following instructions.
Here is what you will get:
- 1Gb of RAM
- 30Gb Hdd ( you’ll have around 11Gb free after the OS is installed)
- 1 virtual processor at 2.49Ghz
- OS: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.
- 1GB monthly free traffic ( if you go over they will charge you $0.12 per 1Gb which is almost free as well 🙂 )
As you can see, it’s not much but it’s pretty decent, it’s a lot better than my first computer ( though that was a while back). What’s most important is that it’s free for a year and it will suffice for any day-to-day post scheduling.
If you want to go ahead and get your own server like the one above, just go over to Amazon at : http://aws.amazon.com/free/. You will see this server being referred to as AWS account( it means Amazon Web Services account).
You can read a lot more information on their page about the free plan, you can go ahead and read that or if you just simply want to continue, click the yellow “Get started today” button that looks like this :
Now you will be taken to the signup page for the AWS service, go ahead and create a new account by selecting “I am a new user” and entering your email like this:
After filing in the above click the yellow “Sign in using our secure server” button and you will be taken to another form to complete the signup process.
Go ahead and fill these too with your name, email as before and select a new password. After you’re done click the “Create account” button. You will then be redirected to another page that will require you to actually sign up to AWS after creating your account:
Click the “sign up for AWS” link and you will be redirected to a page that will ask for your details( the AWS console signup page). You will need to fill this up in order to proceed to the next step.
Fill everything up correctly, don’t make stuff up but fill in your real name and address as you will also have to enter your credit card information later and if they don’t match you might get denied and done all this for nothing. So fill in your Full name, company( if any), select your country, enter address, city, state, postal code, phone number, the security code and finally check the AWS customer agreement. After everything is filled in nicely click the Create Account and Continue button. You will be redirected to the page where you need to enter your credit card details:
Fill in your credit card number and select the expiration date. Enter you name as before, either leave the address that you already entered(as I did) or select a new one, after that press “Continue”. You will be redirected to the Identity verification step:
Now they want to verify that you are who you say you are so you are going to get an automated call from Amazon and will need to enter the provided PIN number in order to proceed. Make sure again that you entered your phone number correctly, have your telephone close by and click the “Call me now” yellow button.
You should immediately receive a call from Amazon, they will also display a PIN number on your computer screen you will need to enter that PIN number on your telephone keypad or just say it loud one digit at a time. If/When successful you will receive a message on your screen stating that your identity verification is complete:
Now just click the “Continue to select your Support Plan” button. You will need to select the support plan for your VPS:
This one should be quite simple, if Basic(Free) is already selected leave it like this, if something else is selected just select Basic(Free) and click Continue and you finally have your Amazon Web Services account:
Congratulations, you have you AWS account, now all you need to do is set up your Windows VPS. In order to do that just click on the yellow “Launch Management Console”
At this point you might be prompted to enter your AWS password again, the one that we created a few steps above when we started. Go ahead and enter that and login again to the AWS management console. Don’t mind all the services amazon is providing here, there are a lot of them and someone that is new to this might feel a little lost, here’s how the management console looks like:
Again, don’t mind them all, just click on EC2(Virtual Servers in the Cloud), should be the second from top to bottom in the left column. You will be taken to another screen that again is full with a lot of information that might be overwhelming ( Amazon did not make this easy at all for beginner.
Just click the blue “Launch Instance” button and you will be redirected to a page where you will need to choose what operating system to install on your VPS:
As you can see there are several choices of operating systems, if you are doing this in order to use it with other software at this point you can choose either linux or windows. As we have created this tutorial to use a Windows VPS with Mass Planner ( as it does not currently work on linux) we’ll be continuing by choosing the last item in this list “Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Base”. In order to proceed click the blue “Select” button to the right of the Windows items:
Now you will be taken through a couple of steps in order to select the specs of your new VPS. In order to keep it free, always select the one that has the green “Free tire eligible” text :
It should already be selected, if not select the first item, General purpose t2 micro which is the only one that is free. Now, you can either go through the rest of the steps and see what each offers you, or just simply click the blue “Review and Launch” and jump to the end:
If you’ve pressed the Review and Launch button you should be at step 7, Review instance launch, they’re just giving you a lot more information about the server, you can skip everything and click the blue “Launch” button in the bottom right corner.
You will be prompted to select a new key pair or create one. This will be useful in case you loose your password and need to login to your VPS, as you have just created a new account you won’t have one already, so select to create a new key pair and enter a name for it.
After entering the name for your key pair click on “download key pair” and your browser should prompt you to download a new file to your computer, it will be named as the name you gave it above, without spaces and with a .pem extension. Save it somewhere on your computer and keep it safe just in case.
Now the blue “Launch instances” button should be usable, so click it and after a little setup wait time you should receive a message that your new instance is launching:
Click on the blue button and you will be taken back to the AWS console where your newly created VPS instance will be listed, it should look something like this :
You will see your VPS with the status of running. Notice the Connect button above it, click that and another window should appear with instructions on how to connect to your VPS. It looks like this:
I know it’s been a long signup but we’re almost there and the good news is you only have to do this once for a whole year of free VPS.
First, click on “Download Remote Desktop File” and save that file somewhere on your computer, it’s what you will use to connect to your VPS. Next, you will need a password so click the Get Password button. You will now need to provide the Key Pair that you created earlier in order to get your password:
Either upload your .pem file or copy its content in the provided field and click decrypt password. As soon as you do you should see your VPS password, write it down somwhere as that’s what you’ll use every time you connect to your VPS.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this and I think you were all waiting for this: You’re done. Now you have your free Windows VPS up and running for a whole year, you have your .rdp file which you will be using to connect to it and you have your password. In case you used a VPS before you should now know how to proceed. In case this is your first time, just read on.
Also I just want to re-iterate, this was a one time setup process, from now on, you have your VPS ready and running at all times, all you need to do is connect to it.