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Amazon - FREE EC2 Micro Instance (613MB Xen VPS) for 1 Year

Amazon AWS Via Hacker News. Amazon Web Services apparently just released a Free Tier which includes quite a few nice freebies for whole year, including a free 750 hours/month Amazone EC2 Micro Instance (i.e. enough to run for the whole month). It comes with:

  • 613MB memory
  • 10GB storage (via Amazon Elastic Block Storage) with limit of 1 million I/Os.
  • 30GB/month data transfer
  • Xen — 32 bit or 64 bit

Not to mention 5GB of Amazon S3 storage for backups. 1GB of SimpleDB storage, and other free quota for other Amazon Web Services. Did I mention FREE?! No better time for the entrepreneurs amongst us to get started on the next arse-kicking web app (or evil world domination plan, if it is your thing, Bwahahahah!!!) Micro instance is available in either North Virginia, California, Ireland and Singapore.

Another sure thing is — it is not likely you’ll see Amazon.com in Dead Pool within a year. So your FREE VPS are in safe hands!

Now the catch — (1) this is for new customers only. Or maybe you just need a new email address to sign up. (2) a credit card is needed for signing up. Yeah I guess you can’t execute your evil world domination plan without a credit card either.

Latest posts by LEA (see all)


  1. Bhaskar:

    Amazing… Can anybody send me Single use virtual Credit Card with 0 balance..:)

    October 22, 2010 @ 2:58 am | Reply
    • ikr.:

      VCCs are autorejected and your account is flagged as fraud, IIRC

      October 23, 2010 @ 11:24 am | Reply
      • paddy:

        i’m sorry but this is false information. VCCs are not autorejected. You just need to keep adding a new VCC which is a pain. However, you can open a new account with a VCC provided you are not already a AWS customer! (They are pretty clever at discovering duplicate accounts… so don’t bother :P )

        January 11, 2011 @ 6:49 am | Reply
  2. I’m first to ask another time… anybody tried yet? ;) I know, I know… it’s free so it can even suck and anybody should not care but imho there’s a risk (I’m a bit paranoid on that point) they’ll want user’s money after some time…

    October 22, 2010 @ 3:10 am | Reply
  3. rm:

    Be careful with overuse :)

    > You also will be charged AWS’s standard rates for any use that exceeds the free usage amount provided under the Offer.

    October 22, 2010 @ 3:51 am | Reply
  4. flyah:

    “Now the catch — (1) this is for new customers only. Or maybe you just need a new email address to sign up. (2) a credit card is needed for signing up. Yeah I guess you can’t execute your evil world domination plan without a credit card either.”

    LEA, it says on their website:

    ** These free tiers do not expire after 12 months and are available to both existing and new AWS customers indefinitely.

    October 22, 2010 @ 4:12 am | Reply
    • Yes. *Some* services do not expire, like SimpleDB. But the service in question, i.e. EC2 micro instance, does expire after 12 months. See the dot point right above the one you quoted.

      October 22, 2010 @ 4:21 am | Reply
      • flyah:

        What I mean is this is available to existing customers as well :) (RE: (1) this is for new customers only. Or maybe you just need a new email address to sign up.)

        Btw thanks for this post! Can’t wait ’til Nov. 1 to sign up :)

        October 22, 2010 @ 6:09 am | Reply
        • If I read the terms correctly, to get free Amazon EC2 you *need* to be a new customer.

          October 22, 2010 @ 6:21 am | Reply
      • flyah:

        Ah, I misread it lol.

        * These free tiers are only available to new AWS customers and are available for 12 months following your AWS sign-up date. When your free usage expires or if your application use exceeds the free usage tiers, you simply pay standard, pay-as-you-go service rates (see each service page for full pricing details). Restrictions apply; see offer terms for more details.

        October 22, 2010 @ 6:31 am | Reply
  5. flyah:

    Btw, this is really awesome. Now I’ll get a CDN for free. he he

    October 22, 2010 @ 4:14 am | Reply
    • 15GB/month out-bound and the excess would cost — so don’t host your videos on this “free” CDN :)

      October 22, 2010 @ 4:22 am | Reply
    • osc:

      “5 GB of storage in Amazon Simple Storage Solution (Amazon S3) plus 20,000 “get” requests and 2,000 “put” requests for objects stored in Amazon S3”

      You can only put 2000 files (images, pdf, videos…) in one year. Not very good.

      October 22, 2010 @ 6:28 am | Reply
      • Daniel:

        I think they mean as in “API” request, such as HTTP Puts and Gets for your scripts to upload stuff.

        October 22, 2010 @ 8:51 am | Reply
  6. It looks like the 2 different terms are contradictory. We may have to wait and see if they clarify whether you just have to pay the extra fees or if you are completely switched to a paid account if you go over.

    October 22, 2010 @ 6:48 am | Reply
    • ikr.:

      You don’t get switched to a paid account.

      October 22, 2010 @ 3:25 pm | Reply
  7. Anand:

    Anyone tried it so far?

    Is it possible to opt out of this program at any time or after a year ? (Haven’t seen that anywhere or may be has slipped my eye :) )

    October 22, 2010 @ 7:43 am | Reply
    • ikr.:

      Just wipe your amazon storage and power down your ec2 instance.

      October 22, 2010 @ 3:26 pm | Reply
  8. I just finish registing, looks like the service will only be avaible on 1st in Nov

    October 22, 2010 @ 9:31 am | Reply
  9. John:

    Sorry for noob questions, but I came across so many wierd terms on amazon.com. I’d admit I am lazy, but what is this?

    October 22, 2010 @ 9:34 am | Reply
  10. marrco:

    You will become ineligible for the Offer if, during any 3 month period, you do not [..] (b) incur fees for use of the service that exceeds the free usage amount provided under the Offer

    October 22, 2010 @ 9:47 am | Reply
  11. marrco:

    look like they just removed that, it’s just free..

    and it’s worth about 500 usd/year !!

    750 hours EC2 linux micro = $15
    750 hours ELB = $18.75
    15GB ELB data processing = $0.12
    10GB EBS, 1 month = $1.00
    1 million EBS I/Os = $0.10
    5GB S3, 2000 PUT, 20000 GET = $0.79
    30GB transfer ~= $4.20

    Total: about 40 usd per month !

    October 22, 2010 @ 9:51 am | Reply
    • rm:

      > and it’s worth about 500 usd/year !!
      Just because Amazon EC2 is absurdly overpriced compared to other VPSes, it doesn’t mean that it is somehow ‘worth’ it. I can price a loaf of bread at $1000, then offer it to you at a discounted price of $50, will you say “zomg what a good deal, just $50 and it’s worth $1000”? :D

      October 22, 2010 @ 10:03 am | Reply
  12. Nice info LEA.

    But, currently, I am always getting a hacking trial and also port scanning from the amazon , either it’s on aws, or ec2.
    So, maybe I will not go with them.

    And for a VCC (Virtual Credit Card), anyone can create one, by using the Entropay service

    October 22, 2010 @ 10:55 am | Reply
    • Adri:

      Entropay bisa pake kartu atm gk bro? kl bisa bank mana bro? info dungs :)

      October 22, 2010 @ 5:22 pm | Reply
      • Waduh, kalau pakai ATM, belum pernah coba.
        Saya pakai Entropay, tapi reloadnya pakai Kartu Kredit saya, misalnya Citibank.
        Jadi untuk keamanan, kita bisa melakukan transaksi dengan VCC, maupun dipakai untuk verifikasi Paypal.

        October 22, 2010 @ 10:35 pm | Reply
        • Adri:

          Thanks infonya bro, unfortunately I’m still in college :D do you have any recommendation for other good vps for learning? (belajar bhs ingris.. saitik..saitik.. haha)

          October 23, 2010 @ 2:17 pm | Reply
        • You’re welcome. :D
          Currently I’m just using QuickWeb Supa VZ2 ($12.95/month)for hosting my website(s).
          If you want to learn using a VPS, try to buy a VPS with lower prices, maybe you can try the QuickWeb Supa VZ1 (OpenVZ, 512 Mb ram,768MB Burst RAM ,25GB Hardware RAID10,250GB Premium Bandwidth) for $6.9/month.
          But before going with the live server, usually I’m just trying it under my VMWare or Oracle VM Virtual Box.

          October 23, 2010 @ 10:13 pm | Reply
  13. Yet another great offer on LEB :)

    But I find the 30GB transfer, very low, especially for a virtual server.
    But I guess most blogs will be just fine :)

    October 22, 2010 @ 11:21 am | Reply
  14. Tom:

    Hosting something on this is kinda bah, but with 100% uptime it should be awesome for backup hosting.

    October 22, 2010 @ 11:42 am | Reply
  15. marrco:

    @NordicVPS additional traffic is really cheap. And you pay only for what you use. Down to the single cent. I’m using s3 (and cloudfront as a CDN) for a few years. Plus it’s super reliable. You can decide where to store your data and it’s always working. It’s not a cheap VPS, but premium bandwith and storage. Can’t compare a state of the art service with a low-end box. And i use also a few cheap vps, different services!

    October 22, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | Reply
  16. Sidahmed:

    I found this in their TOS :”If you have not used the AWS resources provided under the Offer during the previous 3 months, we may reclaim those AWS resources after giving you 30 days notice. Even if your AWS resources are reclaimed”

    Does this means if in 3 months I haven’t used the resources at all I will not be able to later??
    or it means if I haven’t used ALL the resources in three months I will not be able later to use it??

    October 22, 2010 @ 2:58 pm | Reply
    • ikr.:

      I asked support about this, they basically said to at least use the API/database/etc once (like do a http put API request to upload an image or something to S3) at least once in the first 3 months

      October 22, 2010 @ 3:29 pm | Reply
      • Sidahmed:

        Thanks ikr. very much.
        It is easy, since they are talking about the minimum usage, not maximum.


        October 22, 2010 @ 3:43 pm | Reply
    • InsDel:

      I interpret it as: If you don’t touch any one of the free Amazon services for a 3-month period, they can take it away (with a month’s notice given). Seems pretty reasonable to me.

      October 22, 2010 @ 4:26 pm | Reply
  17. Anonymous coward:

    Disclaimer : I work for a small cloud provider so I must post anonymously for now.

    Hello wake up people this is a very bad move from Amazon. Using predatory pricing to put up barriers to entry for new competition much? I smell a deserved antitrust lawsuit coming and if they loose you are stuck with your data in their cloud and start paying full price!

    October 22, 2010 @ 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Using predatory pricing to put up barriers to entry for new competition much?

      Happens in all sorts of industry. Antitrust lawsuit? Maybe. Gee I hate free markets.

      If they loose you are stuck with your data in their cloud and start paying full price

      Or just move your data to one of the cheap low end box featured here. Oh wait, will there be antitrust lawsuit against those cheap VPS providers because they put up barriers of entry? :)

      October 23, 2010 @ 11:26 am | Reply
  18. Anand:

    Tried EntroPay and failed. Returned an error telling me to change the card. Guess we need to give a real card :)

    Anyone with success using a Virtual Credit Card?

    October 22, 2010 @ 5:50 pm | Reply
    • ikr.:

      You have to give a real card.

      October 22, 2010 @ 8:54 pm | Reply
  19. I hope folks realize that this isn;t standard *nix hosting with php and mysql and all the rest. Granted you can get that on there but ti requires some hacking.

    October 22, 2010 @ 6:21 pm | Reply
    • flapjack:

      can you elaborate on this?

      October 22, 2010 @ 9:04 pm | Reply
    • ikr.:

      you get a fairly standard ec2 linux instance. s3/etc are all api-based and completely not “here’s ftp access”, more the absolute opposite

      October 23, 2010 @ 11:23 am | Reply
      • At the same time there are heaps of tools and programming language bindings written for S3 to make it about as easy to use as FTP.

        October 23, 2010 @ 11:36 am | Reply
        • marrco:

          i’m using S3 (and cloudfront) for a few years. My windows favorite tool is Cloudberry explorer. In linux i use GSUtil (a pyton app based on boto) to access google storage beta from the command line, but it should work fine with s3 too.

          October 23, 2010 @ 4:31 pm | Reply
  20. Nice but this just looks like crap to me.

    October 22, 2010 @ 8:10 pm | Reply
    • rm:

      Indeed, this whole offer looks to be more bother than it’s worth. Jump through hoops of their convoluted system, and as a prize you get to worry to not accidentaly overshoot the resources usage (transfer, especially) and to not get charged heavy fees. Just get a proper VPS, it will be easier to use, provide more resources and generally give more peace of mind.

      October 23, 2010 @ 7:55 pm | Reply
  21. flapjack:

    tried to open new account, but the system somehow detected that I have another account with them and refused the promotion :(

    probably need to try with completely different details (name, address, etc)

    October 22, 2010 @ 9:05 pm | Reply
  22. What does “750 hours/month” mean?, 24 hours a day within every month of one year??. Maybe it is an English expression (I am from Spain) that I do not know. 24 hours x 31 days = 744 hours, less than 750 hours…

    October 22, 2010 @ 10:00 pm | Reply
    • InsDel:

      Amazon’s system is configured to bill by usage, so to make it easier they probably just set it up to give 750 hours’ credit to the user every month, rather than recoding their billing.

      October 22, 2010 @ 11:44 pm | Reply
    • One thing is you can power up multiple micro instances — for example 75 micro instances for 10 hours doing some number crunching — and it would still be within your monthly free allowance.

      October 23, 2010 @ 11:23 am | Reply
  23. WantVPS:

    Started using their service. Really great stuff. Not sure if I want to keep it for 15$ a month though. Going to use free trial and thats it.

    October 23, 2010 @ 8:15 am | Reply
  24. KLIKLI:

    Uh, is free IP address included? If no IP is included, is it possible to access it without an IP? And what will be the total fee for an single IPv4 for a complete month?

    October 23, 2010 @ 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Elastic IP Addresses

      No cost for Elastic IP addresses while in use
      $0.01 per non-attached Elastic IP address per complete hour
      $0.00 per Elastic IP address remap – first 100 remaps / month
      $0.10 per Elastic IP address remap – additional remap / month over 100

      October 23, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | Reply
      • KLIKLI:

        What will be total cost for a complete month? I’m not understanding their pricing structures.

        October 23, 2010 @ 1:32 pm | Reply
        • Sidahmed:

          When you link the IP to an instance (VPS) then it is free, and when you reserve an IP address you have to use it (attached it to an instance), else you pay $0.01/hour if you would like to keep it, after the IP linked to an instance you can change it for free for 100 time each month (remap), over that for each remap you have to pay $0.10.

          I hope this help.

          October 23, 2010 @ 2:42 pm | Reply
        • KLIKLI:

          So, the IP will be free as long as I keep my VPS online right?
          How may IP’s (IPv4) I can get it attached, then?

          October 23, 2010 @ 2:51 pm | Reply
    • You can attach max. 5 IPs

      October 23, 2010 @ 3:47 pm | Reply
  25. Sidahmed:

    Remember it is not free until November, 1st.
    Now I have $0.29 for running ec2 for 8 hrs.

    October 23, 2010 @ 7:44 pm | Reply
  26. WantVPS:

    haha only .29 cents. During the tutorial I accidentally setup a super large extra cluster for 2 hours and it ran me $3.20

    October 24, 2010 @ 3:24 am | Reply
    • WantVPS:

      Easy to let costs go rampant.

      October 24, 2010 @ 3:24 am | Reply
    • Sidahmed:

      :), Lucky I haven’t tried to too many instances.

      October 24, 2010 @ 7:21 am | Reply
  27. WantVPS:

    Had a butt load of trouble getting my ebs volume size to shrink down to 3 GB. Gave me 20 GB and was charging me too much. Now that I have it set up though, it has my favorite linux distro and has 613 mb memory for cheap. Only bad thing I see from here is that it cost 15 cents for each GB out.

    October 24, 2010 @ 11:00 am | Reply
  28. William:

    Any tips on how to reduce the EBS size or is it more hassle than it’s worth? (I’ve created an instance using an Ubuntu 10.10 AMI that defaults to 15gb so ideally would like to get it down to 10gb).

    October 26, 2010 @ 2:38 pm | Reply
  29. WantVPS:

    You need to create an ebs volume of the size you want, format it exactly as how the original was except with a smaller size (with fdisk) change fstab and copy everyhing over to the new partition.

    Volumes get mounted as so: /etc/sdg -> /etc/xvdg

    Amazon gives really really low outwards bandwidth. Only 15 GB is pathetic. Then it gets expensive for 10 cents a GB. I need at least 300 GB more per month so thats $30/month.

    October 27, 2010 @ 12:15 am | Reply
  30. well, it’s not for everyone. I gave up, tried to sign up several times, and every time it gives me “Welcome back!” and not recognizing as a new user

    October 27, 2010 @ 1:01 pm | Reply
  31. WantVPS:

    you need to press the account button and go to the ec2 control panel

    October 29, 2010 @ 6:59 am | Reply
  32. Tried it out and works like a charm. Azure is going to have some serious catching up to do. Although we have a free instance with Azure because of our membership in the BizSpark program, it is not available to everyone. Amazon’s way is much more practical and I hope Microsoft will follow suit.

    November 3, 2010 @ 7:24 pm | Reply
  33. Barry:

    Just found that I was charged with .03x4h=.12 for using Amazon’s Suse Linux running on t.micro. However, my use for Ubuntu for 9 hours on t.micro has no charge. I am going to ask them why I was charged with Suse usage.

    November 13, 2010 @ 5:10 pm | Reply
    • KLIKLI:

      It should be caused by extra (>10GB) EBS.

      November 14, 2010 @ 3:37 am | Reply
      • Actually he paid for using Suse:

        […]This offer does not include EC2 running SUSE Linux or EC2 running IBM. This is a limited time offer.[…]

        February 15, 2011 @ 1:02 am | Reply
  34. Going to mess with this. They didn;t ask for a credit card though. At least I haven’t seen anywhere where they did.

    December 4, 2010 @ 2:07 am | Reply
    • circus:

      It does when you go to the console and about the create the ec2 ;)

      December 4, 2010 @ 5:01 am | Reply
  35. Jorge Munoz:

    The service quality is awesome, however it has a trick, after 3 days of use, I have only setup apache2 and mysql running, the top says I almost use the 640Mb available memory, however I have not many processes up, and no real memory consumption:

    top - 20:42:19 up 2 days, 14:15, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.03, 0.00
    Tasks: 46 total, 2 running, 44 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
    Cpu(s): 0.0%us, 0.0%sy, 0.0%ni,100.0%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si, 0.0%st
    Mem: 636724k total, 585728k used, 50996k free, 159428k buffers
    Swap: 0k total, 0k used, 0k free, 297676k cached

    December 4, 2010 @ 8:44 pm | Reply
  36. I don’t think this is free

    March 11, 2011 @ 5:06 am | Reply
  37. Here’s a trick for the micro instances to keep at low cost even after the trial period end:
    Spot Instances are like the low cost instances, A micro instance costs around .006/h (around $4.46/month). The idea is you dont use this for long term cuz it would shut down if the price is more than what you are willing to pay, but the increases dont last longer than an hour, so you can easily put .50 as max price and you still get around .006/h.
    To make it good for crawlers you can install Varnish with a week or so for grace period, and you would be done.

    May 28, 2012 @ 6:55 pm | Reply
  38. zijo:

    I tried it for few days , couldn’t make it going with centos and kloxo. No help from them or at forum they have. I closed account but they charged me about $60. After complaint they reimbursed charges.

    June 26, 2012 @ 11:00 am | Reply
  39. you guys can visit here to get all working list free vps cloud or vps trial. List update daily.

    April 3, 2014 @ 5:01 am | Reply
  40. dedy:

    Until now, registration aws always reply email Alert, 3 months ago I signed up nearly 100 accounts / day.
    may issue vcc already in use and I register again?
    besides vcc NETELLER, for free vcc easy without deposit nobody knows his website?
    or anyone know a method for registration aws now?

    October 22, 2015 @ 12:27 am | Reply
  41. I’m asking one more time first; has anyone tried yet? I know, I know … it’s free so it can suck and no one should care but IMHO is in danger I’m a little stupid at the moment he user after some time Will wants money It seems that 2 different terms are contradictory. We may have to wait and see if they clarify whether you only have to pay an additional fee or if you have switched to a fully paid account. Is it possible to opt-out of this program at any time or after one year? I haven’t seen it anywhere or maybe my eye has slipped.

    October 17, 2021 @ 11:39 am | Reply

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