How to get a free cloud hosting on AWS, GCP, Azure, and Heroku

Calvin D

In the era of digital innovation, cloud hosting has become the backbone of countless web applications and services. However, for individuals and startups with limited budgets, the prospect of cloud hosting costs can be daunting. The good news is that some of the major cloud providers offer free hosting tiers, allowing you to explore their services without breaking the bank. In this article, we'll walk you through how to get free cloud hosting from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Heroku.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS, the pioneer in cloud computing, offers a generous free tier to help you get started. Here's how to make the most of it:

  1. Sign Up for AWS: Create an AWS account if you don't already have one. During the sign-up process, you'll be prompted to enter payment information, but rest assured, the free tier won't incur charges if you stay within its limits.

  2. Free Tier Services: AWS provides a range of services under its free tier, including Amazon EC2 (virtual servers), Amazon S3 (object storage), and AWS Lambda (serverless compute). Keep an eye on usage and usage limits to avoid unexpected charges.

  3. Monitor Usage: AWS provides a billing dashboard where you can monitor your usage and spending. Set up billing alerts to receive notifications if you approach your free tier limits.

  4. Educational Credit: If you're a student, AWS Educate offers additional credits to explore cloud services beyond the free tier.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

GCP offers a similarly compelling free tier for its cloud services. Here's how to get started:

  1. Create a GCP Account: Sign up for a GCP account. Like AWS, you'll be asked for billing information, but the free tier won't incur charges within its limits.

  2. Free Tier Services: GCP's free tier includes Google Compute Engine (VM instances), Google Cloud Storage (object storage), and Google Cloud Functions (serverless compute).

  3. Usage Tracking: Use the Google Cloud Console to monitor your resource usage and ensure you stay within the free tier's limits.

  4. Always Free Services: GCP offers "Always Free" services that are not subject to time limitations. These services include Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Cloud Functions.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure also provides a free tier for its cloud services. Here's how to leverage it:

  1. Sign Up for Azure: Create an Azure account. Just like AWS and GCP, you'll need to provide payment information, but the free tier comes with usage limits.

  2. Free Tier Offerings: Azure's free tier includes services like Azure App Service (web hosting), Azure Functions (serverless compute), and Azure Cosmos DB (NoSQL database).

  3. Usage Monitoring: Use the Azure Portal to keep tabs on your usage. Azure provides a dashboard with usage metrics and cost estimates.

  4. Azure for Students: If you're a student, consider Azure for Students, which provides free Azure credits for educational purposes.


Heroku offers a unique approach to cloud hosting with its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model. Here's how to get free hosting on Heroku:

  1. Sign Up for Heroku: Create a Heroku account. Unlike the other providers, Heroku doesn't require billing information for its free tier.

  2. Free Dynos: Heroku's free tier includes one or more "dynos," which are lightweight containers that run your web application. You can deploy web apps, databases, and more within these dynos.

  3. Limitations: Be aware of the limitations of the free dynos, such as limited sleep time and responsiveness during startup.

  4. Add-ons: Heroku offers a marketplace of add-ons that may have free tiers as well, allowing you to extend your application's capabilities.

Exploring the cloud doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. AWS, GCP, Azure, and Heroku all offer free hosting tiers that allow you to experiment, develop, and deploy applications without immediate cost concerns. Whether you choose AWS for its extensive services, GCP for its robust infrastructure, Azure for its Microsoft integration, or Heroku for its simplicity, you have the tools to kick-start your cloud journey without breaking the bank. As you grow and your resource needs increase, you can seamlessly transition to paid plans that align with your project's demands.

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