How To Setup A Free Forex VPS In Just 10 Minutes

One of the annoying costs involved when you become “semi” serious about trading Forex Robot’s (aka expert advisors or EA’s for short) is the cost of your Virtual Private Server (VPS). Ideally, we’d all like to start trading on a free VPS and when we find a profitable EA happily start paying for the VPS. Well, that could now be the case – just keep reading!

 

VPS  costs usually start at around $200 USD per year and can rise sharply if you need more power and want to run more than one or two MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminals simultaneously. I’ve been running my suite of EA’s at SWVPS for some time now and apart from a couple of hiccups here and there it’s been a pleasant experience. It wasn’t until last week I stumbled upon a way to create a free VPS that could accommodate 1-2 (possibly more) MT4 terminals that won’t cost a dime!

 

Not just a free Forex VPS… there’s more!

Today, I’ll explain how you go about creating yourself a free Forex VPS, and what’s more… you can do it in minutes and easily change the server location to be closer to your brokers server which will reduce the latency and hence increase the trade execution speed. Yes, sounds too good to be true… well in this case it isn’t mostly. There is one catch. You only get the first 12 months free, then you have to pay for it… but looking at the pricing for the tier above ($175 per year) it’ll most likely be cheaper than anything you could buy elsewhere.

 

Step 1. Create your Amazon (AWS) account

If you’ve been living under a rock (or you’re just not technically minded)… a few years ago Amazon decided to utilize the redundant space in their server infrastructure by opening it up to the world and providing cloud computing on a pay what you use model – which ultimately gave the user complete flexibility so they could effectively run their own hosting environment ( just like godaddy or host gator).

 

Part of their pricing  model is to offer the least powerful hosting option for free (see where I’m headed?).

 

So, your first step is to open an account with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and follow the steps to activate the account.

 

Step 2. Create an Instance

This step threw me for a long time until a friend walked me through it.

 

If you’re familiar with setting up a standard website on a web host, you’ll find the terminology weird, but it’s essentially the same thing except Amazon have used their own terms instead of terms you and I would understand. An “Instance” for example is effectively another name for a server. We want to create a Window’s Instance so that we can run an MT4 terminal on it and install EA’s.

 

Go to the AWS Console here and click EC2, see below:

 

AWS EC2

 

 

You’ll then be shown plenty of options to bamboozle you. What you want to do is click the “Launch Instance” button shown below:

 

Launch Instance

 

 

A popup will appear. Here you should leave “Classic Wizard” selected and click Continue:

 

Classic Wizard

 

 

Next step is to choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) which is basically a blueprint of a standard server, e.g. Windows 2008 Server. This step is important as it allows you to setup the free VPS option. I recommend scrolling down the list and selecting “Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Base”:

 

Microsoft Windows Server

 

On the next screen, it should default to the Free Tier, i.e. the option you don’t have to pay for. To make sure it is, simply click the drop down next to “Instance Type” and click the “Free tier eligible” option:

 

Free Tier

 

 

Now, keep clicking “Continue” until you get to the “Create Key Pair” screen. Select the “Create a new Key Pair” option, enter any name for your Key Pair, e.g. yournamekey, then click “Create & Download your Key Pair”. This will save the file on your PC.

The Key Pair basically prevents others from guessing/accessing your server password. This step looks like this:

 

Create Key Pair

 

 

Click “Continue” once again and then “Launch” on the next screen. Your Instance has now been created and you can close down the “Classic Wizard”.

 

Step 3. Retrieving your Instance login details

You should then see the Instance going through it’s “Initializing” phase (see below).  Refresh the page to see if it has finished initializing and has started running.

 

Initializing

 

 

When the “State” says “running” with a green circle next to it, Right Click on the Instance row to reveal a drop down menu. Click “Connect” which should be the first option on the menu:

 

Connect

 

 

A popup will appear (see below) showing your Public DNS and Username. The next step is to retrieve your password. To do this click the Retrieve Password link.

 

Console Connect

 

The screen will change (see below) and ask you for the Pair Key you setup earlier. You have two options here. The simplest is to click Choose File and navigate to the Pair Key file you downloaded earlier (it’s file extension will be .pem) then open it.

 

Pair Key

 

 

Doing this will extract the contents of the file into the “Private Key contents” field. Alternatively, you can open the .pem file in Notepad and copy and paste the content into the field. Either way, the end result will look something like this:

 

pair-key2

 

Click “Decrypt Password” and a new screen will be displayed with your password. Now you have enough information to access your server via Remote Desktop Connection (RDC).

 

Step 4. Accessing your Free VPS

If you’re familiar with connecting to a VPS then you should know the steps that follow. If not, I’ll explain them for those that aren’t familiar below.

 

On Windows, click Start and type the word “Remote” into the program search box, here you should see a program called “Remote Desktop Connection”. Open it and paste in your “Public DNS” as shown in the AWS console above. Click “Connect” and you’ll be prompted for your AWS password. Copy and Paste this in from the AWS console as well. The next step will log you into your VPS where you can install your MT4 terminals like you would on your PC (just copy and paste the .exe file from your desktop into the Remote desktop.

 

And that’s it! You now have a free Fx VPS!!

 

Some final considerations…

As this is something I have only been using for a week or so as I write this, I’m unsure of how Amazon will determine their pricing on an ongoing basis. From what I can see so far (with just one MT4 terminal running one chart 24/7) there are no charges being applied to my account for data transfer usage.

 

As mentioned earlier, the free offer is currently set for a 12 month period. After this you’ll be expected to pay for it, but it should be cheaper than most (if not all) of the other options out there. I guess we’ll see in a year! Which leaves this as a great way to get started with a VPS if you don’t want to commit just yet.

35 comments

  1. Cam Forex

    If you got this far, well done!

    Please leave any questions below and I’ll try an help.

    And remember to share this with other traders on any forums or blogs you belong to… I’m sure they’ll appreciate it!

  2. Really a great finding… :) Thanks for that. Just cant clear, is it the after 12 months period a must? Can one cancel it? It is mainly because there are no great data-centers offered and in fact they are close to few brokers only… But anyway it works great for non-time delay critical accounts…

    • Cam Forex

      Hi Miro,

      I just cancelled a duplicate account I had with them, so “Yes” you can cancel after the 12 month period. Although their lowest plan works out at $175 annually which is better than most VPS out there… but may be not as powerful for those running several terminals like myself.

      • :) Great! Really appreciate that share, one would not find it himself…

        • Cam Forex

          My pleasure!

          Make sure you share it with others as it’s a real gem for noobies.

  3. Thanks for this. Fantastic!!

    How do I change the server location from the default US West(Oregon) Region to something closer to home?

    Cheers
    Graeme

    • Cam Forex

      Hi Graeme,

      Click on EC2 from the Console so you can see your Instances running or a place where you create your instance. Then in the top right of the screen there is a drop down… which is probably called Oregon (for you) given your comment above. Here you can select a data center closer to you, but you’ll need to create another instance within that region.

      I’ll update the post to explain this with a picture as well.

      Cheers

      Cam

  4. Followed exactly the instructions, lost I don’t know how many hours creating account with amazon and finally the password provided did not work when tried to connect.
    I repeated the experience, this time I choose a server in Ireland. Same result.
    Waste of time, now I have to waste another time to delete account created with amazon.

    • Cam Forex

      Hi Ovidiu,

      I assure you this works as you can see from Miro’s comment above and the fact that I did a massive post about it ;-)

      Make sure you’re using the Public DNS when setting up RDC and Administrator as the username when connecting to RDC. You have to retrieve the Password as per the instructions. Also, read any popups along the way when connecting to RDC as these may be preventing you from gaining access… possibly a firewall issue on your end or similar.

      Good luck!

  5. Please try to connect to this VPS:
    Public DNS: ec2-54-245-155-234.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com
    Username: Administrator
    Password: 85gWBVSTCKm

    If you are successful, I’ll change later the password

    • Cam Forex

      Those worked fine for me. I left a message in your VPS for you to read if you can connect.

      It’ll be something on your PC that’s preventing it. If you can try it on a different PC you may discover what the issue is.

      Good luck again!

      • Hi,
        “Hello from camforex.com!”
        I succeeded, but from within another VPS, I have another two paid/for.
        I’m using Windows 7 on my laptop, where could be the problem?

        • mirusev

          it is weird, for sure… the connection is on the standard 3389 port.
          How do you do not succeed from your win7? There is no connectivity at all or wrong user/pass it says?

        • Problem solved in a strange way: I had to introduce MANUALLY the password, not working copy/paste.
          Once I was inside, opened Control Panel/User Accounts and changed the password. This time copy/paste worked.
          Thanks for your patience with me and for sharing this jewel of information.

    • mirusev

      I’ve got few more instances :) So, the method works for sure :)

  6. Hi

    Thank you very much for such a great findings.

    Can I run two instances for free one from US and another from EU for 1year free.

    Thanks

    • Cam Forex

      Yes, just change the server location in the top right of the console when in EC2 and you can switch between locations running multiple at the same time. Very easy and handy!

  7. I agree this is a great find. Kind of bootleg, but it works with a little effort.

    how much resources are on the VPS? can someone advise as to the HDD, ram, and CPU processor (speed/cores) allowance?

    I might consider this for testing. already have two VPS which cost appx $150 combined. One quad core with CNS and one dual core with BeeksFx.

    • mirusev

      In fact you cant compare, I have CNS’s too…
      The issue here is the virtual OS, which is Server2008 and dose not matter 32 or 64 bits, it eats the memory just to run…
      Single CPU, with 640 MB RAM are these at amazonaws… Also, we do not know how the reliability is, compared to CNS’s where I can bet my life… :)
      But it should works good for simple EA’s on few MT4 instances. That could be multiplied by N number of instances. :)

  8. mirusev

    http://goo.gl/GofpV

    here are some visual stuffs :)

  9. Hi Cam,

    I have followed all the steps above and have copied and pasted the needed details when trying to connect yet it will not work. Not sure what im doing wrong.

  10. Sorry mate i have continued to try and have finally got it to work. It wouldnt work for me when i was copy/pasting and had to input the information manually. Thanks again for a great find

  11. Hi Cam,
    Thanks very much for such a great share! I followed
    your instructions and set up everything in an hour.
    I installed up to 2 MT4s but since that slowed things
    down a bit I only used one MT4 now. The connection
    speed is super fast!

    • Cam Forex

      Glad to be of assistance James!

      Feel free to pass onto other traders.

    • How much ram is located on each VPS that you setup? Is it possible to upgrade/downgrade the ram allocation?

      How many servers can you setup symultaneously?

      • Cam Forex

        Sorry Jon, missed your comment somehow.

        The RAM is pretty low, hence why you can only run one or two terminals.

        You can upgrade and downgrade your servers to increase RAM but that will come with a cost – approx. $175 per year for the next level up.

        You can setup about 150 free servers (from memory) as long as it’s within your first year.

  12. I stucked at retrieve decrypt password, waited for 15 min and no password. Can you help?

    • Cam Forex

      Hi Nazerul, not too sure where you got up to. Did you load the key in to decrypt the password?

      • yes I did, decrypt password and nothing

        • Cam Forex

          Can you try using a different browser/computer as it may be something on your PC that is preventing it from working. Also, the password shows up in an odd place, i.e. a bit hidden, so make sure you are not just missing it.

  13. Boldtrader

    This worked perfectly.. One additional item I added is a networkmonitor. You can get it free from cnet.com and it resides in task bar. Easy to monitor and view bandwidth.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Cam Forex

      Happy to help Boldtrader!

      Please feel free to pass onto your fellow traders.

  14. After all it seems is not so free. I had two servers, in Oregon and Ireland, and for June I had to pay 22$.
    I don,t know if is possible to upload a picture so everybody can see the details from my account from AmazonWebServices.
    Only for Oregon server I had to pay, not for Ireland, so I think maybe I did something wrong when I made the first setup of the server.

    Regards

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