Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers you a fully-function free Amazon VPS that you can use to host automation software, your website and/or web applications.
The VPS is free for an entire 12 months and presents a great opportunity to fully automate parts of your online business.
Since it’s free and only takes a few minutes to configure, you’re not risking much. Worst case scenario, you learn that you don’t really need a VPS.
What you will learn
- What is a VPS?
- VPS Benefits (Why you should use a VPS!)
- VPS Comparison
- VPS SEO/Automation Tools
- Free Amazon VPS: Sign Up
Continue reading below for step-by-step instructions!
What is a VPS?
This is by no means an accurate technical explanation, but for the purpose of this VPS tutorial …
… let’s imagine a VPS is a desktop computer at a remote location.
You access that remote computer via the Internet and are able to use it much in the same way you’d work on your desktop computer.
Meaning, you can install software, browse the web, etc.
The specific benefits of a VPS are covered below.
Now that you understand what a VPS is, you might be wondering why you should use one.
What are the benefits of a VPS? Excellent question!
Compared to a desktop computer, a VPS offers the following advantages:
Runs 24/7/365 – I use various tools to automate parts of my online business. Among them FollowLiker to build my Instagram account(s). Automation tools can only do their job as long as they are running.
When I first started out, I had all tools on my personal computer and thus was never able to shut it down as I wanted the software to continue doing certain tasks …
The free Amazon VPS that I signed up for (and installed FollowLiker on) solved that issue.
Quickly Scalable – You can upgrade any hardware part of the VPS in just a few clicks. It’s less expensive and much quicker than upgrading the computer which you have in your office/at home.
Cloud-Hosted – No requirements in regards to physical space, regardless of how many VPS you need.
Run Tools/Host Websites – In addition to using a VPS to install automation tools, you can also host websites. This requires some technical expertise which is why I recommend you use the VPS to host software first and at a later point explore more advanced options.
Shared Workspace – IP Address, username & password; that’s all you need to access your VPS via the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
Anyone else (business partner, freelancer) that needs to work on that same VPS can do the same. It’s easy and no additional configuration is required.
Tiny Investment – The Amazon VPS is free; most paid VPS offers start below $10. That’s such a tiny investment compared to the alternative of buying hardware, licences and setting up an actual computer in your office or home.
VPS SEO/Automation Tools
Here are a few suggestions; tools that I am currently using or have used in the past.
As long as you’re not rendering videos or similar, the computing power of the free Amazon VPS will suffice to host most tools.
FollowLiker – If you’re interested in building your Instagram following fully automated, check out my FollowLiker Review & Tutorial. In this article I go into great detail in regards to installing & configuring Follow Liker on your VPS.
Market Samurai – Market Samurai is a desktop SEO tool that I’ve used for keyword research (analyzing which keywords people search for).
You can do much more with it though, such as analyze your competitors’ backlinks and keep track of your website’s rankings for specific keywords on Google.
ScrapeBox – ScrapeBox is often refered to as the Swiss army knife of SEO Tools. You can use it for SEO Keyword Research, to find expired domains, analyze backlinks and scrape website data in bulk.
Online 24/7 – If for whatever reason you need to “appear” online on a certain website, you can simply open that website on your VPS and install a browser extension that will automatically refresh the page every seconds.
That way, “you” would appear to be online all the time. Think forums, membership websites, etc.
Free Amazon VPS: Sign Up
Signing up for the free Amazon VPS is fairly easy and straight-forward. The process takes less than 5 minutes and involves the following steps:
Create Amazon Account
For the sign up process, you will need a credit/debit card (I used prepaid ones) and a valid phone number. A prepaid SIM card can be used here as well.
It’s not allowed to have multiple Amazon accounts (e.g. to create multiple free VPS); should you still decide to take that route, a VPN to mask your IP-address will be required.
If you want to follow along – step-by-step – and see how I sign up and configure my Amazon VPS, watch the video tutorial at the beginning of this article!
Amazon VPS FAQs
How reliable is the Amazon VPS/AWS EC2?
Based on my personal usage experience, there was no noticeable downtime. I’ve been using the server for almost a year now and have had my automation tools (FollowLiker) up and running without interruption.
For that purpose, the AWS free tier works perfectly fine.
I can’t say whether or not you should host your website there. I personally wouldn’t as there’s no customer support included in the plan.
Free Amazon VPS vs. Microsoft Azure? Which one is better?
Unless you have special requirements, the free plan offered by Amazon will be good enough. No need to reinvent the wheel or pay a monthly fee when the free offer covers your bases.
What happens after the 12 months are over? Will the VPS be deleted?
No, but your credit card will be charged based on actual usage. Some of the VPS functions will remain free forever, however.
If possible, I recommend you sign up using a prepaid credit/debit card. That way, even if the free offer expires after 12 months, the costs can never spiral out of control.