How to setup a Free Virtual Private Server (VPS) on Amazon Web Service (AWS) EC2 instance Part 1

Virtual Private Server (VPS) is basically a remote computer with an operating system (OS) of your choice.

A lot of Web Host Providers offer Linux OS servers as a few Linux OS are free. I prefer the Windows servers as I am used to the environment.

The Server is a means to an end. So I didn’t want to spend lots of time learning Linux OS, so I use Windows Servers.

Once the server is up and running it runs continually, so if you have a programme (or web site) that you want to have active for 24/7 then this is the way to do it.( alternative and more simple method is How to Setup a Totally Free Self Hosted WordPress Web Site).

This is a blank computer and you have to upload programmes/web sites to run on it.

Then you need to be able to link to those programmes/web sites remotely from any computer. You will need to access it for Administration purposes (setting up programmes) and generally for users viewing the information.

You have more freedom as to what you want to load up and run on the server, but it takes more effort as you have to download, setup and configure programmes from scratch.

If you are just getting into Web Sites I would recommend you stick to the setup in this post How to Setup a Totally Free Self Hosted WordPress Web Site.

Warning- This is a totally unsecured method. I have been using it as a Test Area for another VPS with a different host. So I come here to play & break things.

Why use this VPS service?

the 750 hours is a months worth of ONE instance running continuously, that you get for FREE. If you start to play with a few instances and forget and leave them running so you go over your 750hrs/month you will be billed for the extra after the end of the month (and that can come as a surprise and can be costly).

I think there is only 1 GIG of RAM so not the fastest.

But, you get to try windows servers without paying $6 a month for their license, and use the service for free for up to a year.

As I mentioned before, I have been using it for a test area for OpenMAINT and the associate setups. I use it for a Demonstration/testing site for the OpenMAINT setup.

Setting Up

First up, you need to have an email account, a phone number and a credit card. The service checks your email and phone by testing them for setup and I think debits a small sum from your visa for testing, to see its valid.

Go to AWS free tier to create an account. I will let you go through that process yourself. I think there are some videos on YouTube showing the steps through the process.

After logging in you come to this page.

Go to Launch a virtual machine, as we are to setup an EC2 instance.


I use the 2012 version of windows as I had a couple of connection issues with the 2016 version.

At this point, you have a windows operating system VPS with remote access from your computer. The only programmes you have are whatever is bundled with the OS. Programmes like Edge Browser & File Explorer etc.

See part 2 for continuation.

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