Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a ‘Free’ Tier account that provides limited access to many common GCP resources free of charge. This is a great opportunity for developers, students, and businesses to explore the capabilities of GCP without incurring any costs. However, there are certain things you should be aware of to avoid unexpected charges. In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up a Google Cloud ‘Free’ Tier account, how to get free credits, and what to watch out for.
- Google Cloud ‘Free’ Tier account provides limited access to many GCP resources free of charge.
- New customers get $300 in free credits to explore GCP.
- The free usage limit does not expire but is subject to change.
- Be careful to stay within the Free Tier limits to avoid charges.
What Google Offers for Free
The Google Cloud ‘Free’ Tier account offers more than 20 popular products and services for free. These include:
- Compute Engine: Scalable, high-performance virtual machines. You get 1 e2-micro instance per month for free.
- Cloud Storage: Best-in-class performance, reliability, and pricing for all your storage needs. You get 5 GB-months of Standard Storage for free.
- BigQuery: Fully managed, petabyte scale, analytics data warehouse. You can run 1 TB of queries per month for free.
- Google Kubernetes Engine: One-click container orchestration via Kubernetes clusters, managed by Google. You get one Autopilot or Zonal cluster per month for free.
- App Engine: Platform for building scalable web applications and mobile back ends. You get 28 instance hours per day for free.
These are just a few examples. There are many more services available for free within specified monthly usage limits.
Catches and Things to Be Careful About
While the ‘Free’ Tier account offers a lot of services for free, there are certain things you should be aware of:
- The free usage limit does not expire but is subject to change. So, you should regularly check the current limits.
- If you exceed the free usage limits, you will be charged for the additional usage.
- To avoid unexpected charges, monitor your usage regularly and set up budget alerts.
- Some services may require you to enable billing. However, you will only be charged if you exceed the free usage limits.
How to Get Free Credits on Google Cloud
New customers get $300 in free credits upon signing up for Google Cloud. These credits can be used to explore and evaluate GCP products and services. Here’s how you can get these free credits:
- Navigate to the GCP Account creation home page.
- Click on the ‘Start free’ button in the top right corner.
- Sign in with your Gmail id.
- After signing in, you will be redirected to the GCP Free-trial page. Select your country from the drop-down, accept the terms of service, and then click on ‘Continue’.
- Complete the signup process. You will need to provide a credit card or other payment method to set up a Cloud Billing account and verify your identity. Don’t worry, setting up a Cloud Billing account does not enable Google to charge you. You are not charged unless you explicitly enable billing by upgrading your Cloud Billing account to a paid account.
Once you complete the signup process, the 90-day, $300 Free Trial period starts automatically. You can use these credits toward one or a combination of products. After you have upgraded, you can still use any remaining credits within the 90-day period.
The Google Cloud ‘Free’ Tier account is a great way to get hands-on experience with GCP products and services without incurring any costs. However, it’s important to monitor your usage and stay within the free usage limits to avoid unexpected charges. With careful usage and monitoring, you can make the most of the ‘Free’ Tier account and explore the full potential of GCP. Happy exploring!