Over the past month or so I have been posting articles on Cloud Servers and how useful they are for just about anyone.  Most people think of these servers as a great resource for developers, especially when it comes to topics like Ruby on Rails or learning how to do Load Balancing.  However cost-effective servers are a great resource for just about anyone.  They are great for creating your own personal file cloud or creating a personal VPN to watch Netflix and Hulu from outside the US.

Just as the need for Cloud Servers may vary, so do the services and offers provided by different hosts.  Developers may want to use servers that are billed Per Hour (PH) or Per Second (PS). Those who want to use the servers for a VPN or Cloud don’t necessarily need to have such short billing periods and can settle for Per Month (PM) billing.  It all depends on your needs.

For this reason I decided to do some research the top Cloud Providers I could find.  I divided them up into 4 “Top 5” categories:

Note: Some sites require a credit card or a Paypal account, even if they have a free predetermined credit amount for sign up. Please be prepared to give payment information, and in some cases a small deposit (usually $5-$10 USD)

For these lists I kept my research to those sites that provided cost-effective cloud servers, that is, servers that cost less than $10/month.  Note, some of these providers (like DigitalOcean) provide several pre-configured images, which is great for developers who want to get up and running really fast.  Other providers only offer the base Operating Systems like FreeBSD, CentOS, Ubuntu, and other Linux Flavours.  Some also include Windows Servers, but these are more costly.  Some also offer WHM and cPanel at a small extra cost.  So for the most part, be prepared to find some tutorials (DigitalOcean offers quite a few) and be ready to get your hands dirty (well, not really).


For this list I picked the top 5 providers that centered on bandwidth.  In these cases other options like Cores, Memory, and Hard Drive space (SSD) don’t really matter.  These servers are best used for those who are looking for a good VPN server.

Site Cost/Mth Billing Cores Memory SSD Bandwidth
1. Vexxhost $5.00 PH 2 512MB 20GB 2TB
2. Atlantic $4.95 PS 1 512MB 20GB 2TB
3. PhotonVPS $5.95 PM 1 512MB 20GB 2TB
4. DigitalOcean $5.00 PH 1 512MB 20GB 1TB
5. Vultr $5.00 PH 1 768MB 15GB 1TB

Per Month (PM) – Per Hour (PH) – Per Second (PS)


Resources are everything to a developer.  A lot of programs that have small footprints (don’t take up much space) take up a lot of resources.  For this list I narrowed down the top 5 that had the best Core and Memory options.

Site Cost/Mth Billing Cores Memory SSD Bandwidth
1. Vexxhost $5.00 PH 2 512MB 20GB 2TB
2. MNX $6.00 PH 1 1GB 25GB 1TB
3. Vultr $5.00 PH 1 768MB 15GB 1TB
4. Atlantic $4.95 PS 1 512MB 20GB 2TB
5. DigitalOcean $5.00 PH 1 512MB 20GB 1TB

Per Month (PM) – Per Hour (PH) – Per Second (PS)

Storage Capacity

For those who are looking to use the cloud servers as a personal file cloud, the low SSD space offered by most providers is heavily lacking.  This list (which is really a top 2 list) lists only those providers that provided low-cost storage solutions.  These are not always SSD Based, as SATA is more cost-effective.

Site $/Mth Billing Cores MB HDD BW
1. Vultr $5.00 PH 1 512MB 125GB SATA 1TB
2. PhotonVPS $5.00 PM 1 512MB 50GB SSD 2TB

Per Month (PM) – Per Hour (PH) – Per Second (PS)


Many of the sites offer sign up offers, some even have greater deals on their site (like a promo code).  The below 3 had offers which allows us users like me to share the wealth and knowledge (Affiliate programs), that you wouldn’t get my normally visiting the site on your own.

Site Offer
1. Vultr $5.00 credit added to account (by using this link)
2. DigitalOcean $10.00 credit added to account (by using this link)
3. Ubiquity $10.00 credit added to account (by using this link)
I Took out Ubiquity, although they seem great and give $25 right off the bat (on top of the $10 you would have gotten from my link). Both times I tried to process my credit card for the account, my credit card got locked. This seems a bit fishy… I mean if a credit card company like Chase freezes your card for trying to purchase something from a company… doesn’t it seem just a bit strange? Yeah… Use the other ones. I refuse to stake my name on a company that not once, but twice, gets flagged as fraud.  They do offer a PayPal option, but I still won’t back it.


The only host to show up on all 4 lists is the host I use for my Cloud and VPN – Vultr. Although I do use the next package up ($8/month) which gives me 2TB traffic and 320+GB of data.  They are my top pick. DigitalOcean showed up on 3, I use them for Development as they offer a large variety of preconfigured images to use.

I have mentioned that a great feature of these is a cost-effective VPN for those outside the US.  However for those in the US wanting to watch Canadian Netflix (We have movies you don’t) You can use Atlantic as they have servers in the US and in Canada.