AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: which free tier is best?

Friday, September 11, 2020

Are you looking for cloud computing services but unsure what company to use?

This article will discuss three of the biggest cloud hosting providers and how their free tier performs compared to the others.

In the last decade businesses have been adopting cloud computing services in their masses. It’s now reached a point where the majority of businesses make use of the cloud in some capacity or another. However there are still companies that aren’t using it, are not getting the best out of it, and are wondering if there is another provider that can do a better job satisfying their business needs.

One of the limiting factors that stops businesses from adopting the cloud is because they are unsure about how pricing works. Cloud providers are fully aware of this and offer free tiers to help businesses enter into the marketplace and understand how the cloud works and can benefit them. 

‘Free’ in this context actually has two meanings. The first version of ‘free’ means free for a limited period of time. The second version of ‘free’ means that it is always free. What you receive on a free package varies between the provider you choose, which is why it’s important to compare their offerings against your requirements. The free packages always come with a reduced amount of resources that probably means you won’t be able to meet all your needs through the free package, but the purpose of the tier is for users to understand how a tier works and if it’s the right fit.

Below, we’ll cover some key aspects of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google Cloud. So read on to find out how their free tiers could help your business move into the cloud. 

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: which free tier is best

All of the free tiers on offer from these three companies has a time restriction. From the time a business first signs up, they will have 12 months until the free tier expires.

Some key considerations:

  • After signing up with both Google Cloud and Azure, they will offer service credit.
  • Azure provides $200 worth of credit on sign-up, which can be used within the first 30 days. Spending this does not finish the free trial.
  • With Google Cloud, you will be given $300 of credit, this can be used for any service within the Google Cloud Platform. Comparatively to Azure though, if these credits are spent before the end of the 12 month free trial, it will be ended early.

Below we’ll cover the key offerings of each provider in their free tier.

Microsoft Azure Free Tier

  • An account can make up to 1 million requests every month. 
  • They also offer 50,000 authentications each month.
  • Up to 5 users can be created. Each of these has unlimited private Git repositories.
  • For zero cost, a maximum of 10 apps can be built, across either web, mobile or API.
  • 500GB of storage and 400 request units per second are available for free each month.
  • 5 GB of outbound data

Google Cloud

  • Up to 1TB of queries and 10GB of storage every month
  • Every day a business has 120 free build minutes.
  • You can have 5 users with 50GB of storage and 50GB of outbound data.
  • 2m background and http invocations, with 5GB of outbound network data
  • Storage available to users is 5GB of regional within the US. 
  • 5,000 Class A, 50,000 Class B operations and 1GB of outbould data, limited per compute engine.


  • 4000 free state transitions every month
  • 10GB of long term data storage
  • 5 users with 50GB of storage and 10,000 Git requests every month
  • One active pipeline every month
  • 100 build minutes on the build.general1.small instance
  • 25GBof storage and 25 read and write units each month.

Finding the right free tier for your business can at first seem like a daunting task, particularly if you have never used a cloud service provider before. But if you take the time to research what your requirements are, and what each of the service providers offer, it becomes much easier. Match what your needs are with what each provider can offer, as well as how easy it is to communicate and navigate through their platform. These are key considerations to finding the perfect fit for your cloud adoption strategy.