What You Need to Know About VPS on AWS

Learn all you need to know about getting a VPS on AWS and get your first 3 months or 1 year free!

Does AWS offer VPS?

First lets answer this question, does AWS offer VPS? Yes! AWS does offer VPS via a service called Lightsail. Amazon Lightsail is a managed VPS service which provides you with an easy interface to deploy a cheap VPS at the click of a button. For more info on pricing see my other post here.

Services to Deploy a VPS on AWS

There are two services you can use to deploy your VPS: Lightsail and EC2. Lightsail is the VPS service AWS provides ready made, giving you over a dozen options for types of software to deploy. EC2 is more barebones.

Using Lightsail as Your VPS

vps on aws with Lightsail

Amazon Lightsail is a managed VPS service which provides easy-to-use VPS instances out of the box, as well as providing an easy to use interface for deploying managed containers, storage, and databases.

Use Cases for Lightsail

  • Deploy a game server, such as a Minecraft server, on AWS
  • Deploy cPanel & WHM
  • Deploy a CMS. such as WordPress or Ghost, on AWS
  • Deploy Plesk
  • Launch a Web App with pre-configued web stacks such as: LAMP, Nginx, MEAN, and Node.js

Pricing for Lightsail

Checkout my article below for more detailed info on Amazon Lightsail pricing.

Getting Started with a VPS on AWS via Lightsail

1: Sign up for your AWS Account

Follow this link to singup for AWS: https://aws.amazon.com/resources/create-account/

2: Use the AWS Console to deploy your instance

Your first 3 months are free, so you may as well give it a go. There will be no hidden fees.

Here is a link to the Lightsail docs describing how to get started with deploying your VPS.

Using EC2 as Your VPS

vps on aws with ec2

AWS EC2 offers a much more advanced experience. EC2 is one of the first services offered by Amazon and is designed to provide virtual machines on-demand. The power of EC2 comes from its flexibility. EC2 is designed to provide servers at scale, billing per second so that you only pay for what you use.

EC2 Free Tier

EC2 offers a 1 year free tier for t2 and t3 micro servers. The t3.micro is a 2 vCPU, 1 GB of memory server.

EC2 Pricing for VPS

You’ll find EC2 pricing for VPS is not very competitive. Excluding the generous free tier, on-demand pricing

Check the EC2 on demand prices yourself here: https://instances.vantage.sh/. This site is much easier to use than the official pricing guide, which can be found here: https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/

Several ways to buy EC2

There are a few billing models for EC2

On Demand:

  • Pay per the second
  • Ideal for servers which you intend to turn off, such as a small game server for friends that won’t be used 24/7


  • For a discount, you can commit to reserve an EC2 instance. There are several ways to reserve, but the essence is the longer you reserve the cheaper it is, and the higher % you pay up front the more you save

Deploy Your VPS on EC2

Follow the “Getting Start with Amazon EC2” guide found here: https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/getting-started/

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