Is Azure Free ? Your GoTo Guide to Creating an Azure Free Account


We hear a lot about the benefits of using the cloud and its multiple services. Today, I will tell you a little about Azure, considering it’s a cloud platform with more than 200 products and cloud services made especially to help you find solutions, by building, running, and managing your applications across multiple clouds.

As a beginner, you will more likely search for ways to start with a free trial on this platform to get used to it and why not make an income out of it? That is what I will focus on today, and I will show you how to create your Azure free account.

How to get Azure for free?

What sets Azure differently from its pairs, is how client friendly the platform is. Because they value their users and want them to benefit from their services, they made this free subscription to help them get started and accustomed to the platform.

This offer is for any new users wanting to try out the platform before starting to invest in it. It gives them a $200 credit to spend in the first 30 days after their subscription. And in addition to that, they will have access to more than 55 services for free, and other popular services free for the first 12 months.

It’s pretty easy to use, and I will show you every step to activate the offer in the following sequences.

Who is eligible for Azure free?

As I said before, the Azure free account will give you so many opportunities to explore the platform and use it to your liking, till you decide you are okay to pay the fees.

Normally, there are no requirements to benefit from this, as they won’t ask you if you are a student or a company, so you get the special package. You just have to be a new Azure customer, who hasn’t previously had an Azure free account, and you directly benefit from the free trial.

A complete step-by-step guide to creating an Azure Free subscription

In this part, to give you a more detailed guide, I will provide screenshots to explain everything, so you won’t miss out on anything.

List of Steps

Step

01

The first thing you nee to do is to go to Azure’s official page: Create Your Azure Free Account Today 

From this page, you can register for the free trial. You will have to click on Start Free to start the regsitration process.

Step

02

From there, you can enter your credentials using either use outlook or Gmail or any other similar service.

After providing a normal to high level security password, we will proceed to the next step.

Step

03

The next steps will be about provideing a payment method.

This might be confusing for some, but this piece of payment information is just a guarantee for them that you will continue using the Azure sevices.

So, now that your account is well set up, let’s explore it a little bit, and the best place to start is Azure Cognitive Services.

These services are pre-trained machine-learning algorithms and packaged as APIs that allows you to make calls to your Azure instance. These types of services are usually called AI-as-a-service.

To access it, you should start by going to the Azure portal, clicking on Create a resource button, and then try searching for Cognitive Services to start creating one. This can help you:

  • This brings you to the create blade of Azure Cognitive Services

  • Fill in a Name for the service

  • Select a Location

  • Select the S0 Pricing tier

  • Select a Resource Group (or create a new one)

  • Check the box to indicate that you've read and understood the legal notice

  • Click Create to create the Cognitive Service

I would like to also show you how to view your free usage, because as I said before, once your credit is expired, Azure will directly charge from your card the amount you use, as it will switch from the free trial to the pay-as-you-go method.

So, to look at your subscription details:

  • Go to the Azure portal

  • Search for subscription in the search box at the top of the portal and click on the Subscriptions result.

  • Select the subscription

The page will show you your usage in percentage, and also details about what was used for.

What are the free services on an Azure Free subscription?

Nearly all the services are free with the free subscription, and also +55 other services are free for the whole first 12 months. And because that’s a lot, I will focus solely on the most popular ones and their multiple uses.

  1. 1

    Azure Virtual Machines—Linux & Windows: 

    Create Linux virtual machines with on-demand capacity in seconds. 750 hours B1s burstable virtual machines

  2. 2

    Azure Managed Disks: 

    2 64 GB (P6) solid-state drives SSD storage, plus 1 GB snapshot and 2 million I/O operations. Get high-performance, durable block storage for Azure Virtual Machines with simplified management.

  3. 3

    Azure Blob Storage: 

    5 GB locally redundant storage (LRS) hot block with 20,000 read and 10,000 write operations. Use massively scalable object storage for any type of unstructured data.

  4. 4

    Azure Database for PostgreSQL & MySQL:

    750 hours of Flexible Server – Burstable B1MS Instance, 32 GB storage, and 32 GB backup storage. Build intelligent, scalable apps with a fully managed database for PostgreSQL, and a fully managed, scalable MySQL database in Azure.

What are the advantages of an Azure Free subscription?

Having a free Azure subscription will open so many gates for you. It will first introduce you to the many benefits of having any type of Azure subscription, without paying a penny till you are sure of your choice.

I will try and give the main benefits of the subscription, based on what the users mostly like:

  • Azure Hybrid Benefit: 

    It will help you bring Windows server and SQL server on-premises licenses into Azure.

  • Azure Migration and Modernization Program: 

    This will help you start your migration process with the lowest costs, and accelerate your cloud journey with all the guides and resources.

  • Free Windows and SQL Server security updates: 

    This is a great advantage of having an Azure Free subscription since it will help you stay up to date with the latest Windows and SQL Server security updates.

  • FastTrack for Azure:

    This gives you an easy way to contact Azure engineers to help you develop and deploy your projects.

  • Grow your business:

    By presenting to you new ways to expand your business’s capabilities, and productivity.

  • Optimize your costs

    This one is mostly when switching to the pay-as-you-go method, where you will optimize your expenses by paying for just what you use.

FAQs about Microsoft Azure

Do students get Azure for free?

Yes, Azure has made a special subscription for students, that gives them access to multiple services, and a $100 credit.

Who is eligible for Azure for students?

  • You must affirm that you are age 13 or older if you reside in the United States, and 16 or older if you reside in a country other than the United States.
  • You must verify your academic status through your organization's email address.

How long is Azure free for?

The free Azure subscription can last you up to 30 days with the $200 credit (if you don’t finish it before), and access to +55 services for the first 12 months.

Does Azure charge monthly or hourly?

When Azure starts charging you, it will be counting your usage as you go, once a specific fixed date each month is reached, that’s when you’re going to be charged.

What is the lowest Azure subscription?

Depending on your usage, and the services you want to purchase.

How do I avoid charges on Azure?

The best way to avoid getting charged on Azure is to limit your usage and always keep an eye on your daily usage, so you will know if you reached the end of your credit beforehand.

Conclusion

With everything being said, I would like to remind you of how important it is to use platforms like Azure among others, to make sure that you are up to date, and your data is secured, and all that without paying a fortune.

This article is mostly a guide for you to make the best use of so many great features that Azure presents, and for free.

About the author

Youssef

Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of ITCertificate.org

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