Alibaba Cloud Free Trial: How to Sign Up and Get Started

As a new user of Alibaba Cloud, you can access a free trial worth up to USD $300 or $1,200. This will allow you to learn about and experience a range of the products and services available across the Alibaba Cloud platform.

If you sign up for a free trial as an individual, you will get $300. If you are a registered company, you may choose Enterprise free trial and submit basic info to pass the enterprise real-name registration verification before starting your free trial to the value of $1,200.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up your account and claim your free trial of $300 as an individual.

About the Free Trial

Before we start this trial, we will assume that you have not used Alibaba Cloud before. You must also comply with the following Terms and Conditions to access your Free Trial. These are:

• Only accounts created after June 1, 2018, 07:00 UTC are eligible for the free trial offers. You may participate in the free trial within one year from the date you register an Alibaba Cloud account.
• With this free trial offer, a user can try each product for free once. If you have multiple accounts, only one account is eligible to participate.

Please note that Alibaba Cloud is billed in US dollars, regardless of where you are based or in what currency you ultimately pay.

Once you have created an Alibaba Cloud account, your free trial can be used to access products from the free trial campaign page at www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial.

Your free trial is valid for 60 days. It will give you access to 15 trial products and more than 20 products, which are always free within your Alibaba Cloud account.

You can get started with your free trial in three simple steps.

First, let’s look at how to sign up to a free account and add a payment method so you can access your free trial – worth up to $300 – and start using our extensive range of products and services.

Part One: Get Signed Up

1. Go to www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial and click the Create a Free Account button.

2. You will then be asked for your email address and to choose a password. Make the password as long and complex as possible. Anyone who manages to access your Alibaba Cloud account will have full access to all of your server resources, web hosting packages, firewall configurations and so on and therefore, choosing a strong password is necessary.

Take care to ensure that you choose the correct country, typically the one in which you are located (and specifically in which your credit card will be billed), otherwise you will have problems when it comes to entering and validating your payment details. If you specify the wrong country, you’ll need to start again and set up a new account, as this setting cannot be changed.

When the code arrives, type it into the box and click Verify. Now that your email account is verified, you need to enter some additional information such as your name, address and postal code. You are also asked for a mobile phone number, which needs to be verified too.

4. When you have entered your phone number, click the Verify button next to it. When you do this, a second window will pop up. Click the Send button on that window and a numeric code will be sent to your phone as a text/SMS message. Again, enter the code into the box once you have received it, and your mobile phone number will be marked as verified.

Your name and address are now on file, as is a verified email address and a verified phone number.

5. Next, you need to enter a payment method. This is to ensure that your Alibaba Cloud services continue to work if or when your free trial expires.

You can specify a credit card number, a PayPal account or both. Some services on Alibaba Cloud require a one-off payment, while some are Pay-As-You-Go. You can’t pay for Pay-As-You-Go services with PayPal. So, for maximum flexibility and to ensure that you can try out all that Alibaba Cloud has to offer, we recommend that you provide credit card details. You can supply PayPal details too, of course, to use when that option is available to you.

When you have entered your credit card details, the card needs to be verified and validated. To do this, Alibaba Cloud will charge a small amount (less than $1) to your card and the transaction record will include a 6-digit code. In order to verify your card, you need to provide either the code or the charged amount. To find this information, you will need to contact your card company (by phone or online) or wait until your next printed statement arrives.

In the meantime, if you are keen to get started, you can always register your PayPal account too. You won’t have access to all of Alibaba Cloud’s features, but you’ll be able to explore the system and use many of the features.

Again, to verify your PayPal account, you might receive a confirmation code on your phone.

Please note you will pay standard service rates for extra usage if you exceed the dollar value or allotted time during the free trial period. A full list of pricing options for all Alibaba Cloud’s products is available at www.alibabacloud.com/pricing.

Once you have completed these forms, you will be taken back to the free trial page at www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial, where you can start to access a range of Alibaba Cloud’s products and services.

Part Two: Accessing Products and Services through the Free Trial

Now that you have set up your new Alibaba Cloud account, let's look at how to begin using our extensive range of products and services.

A total of 15 Alibaba Cloud products are available for you to try, along with more than 20 of our always free products and services, during this free trial.

Firstly, to access the free trial go to the website www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial/. Now let's look at how you can try one of our core products: the Elastic Compute Service (ECS).

ECS is our online computing service that offers elastic and secure virtual cloud servers to cater for all your cloud hosting needs.

ECS has a simpler and more efficient management mode than physical servers. You can create instances, change the operating system, and add or release any number of ECS instances at any time to fit your business needs.

An ECS instance is a virtual computing environment that includes CPU, memory and other basic computing components. An instance is the core component of ECS and is the actual operating entity offered by Alibaba Cloud. Other resources, such as disks, images, and snapshots, can only be used in conjunction with an ECS instance.

The most well-known of our instances is a virtual server, otherwise known as a Burstable Instance (also called a t5 Instance). Burstable Instances provide a baseline level of CPU performance with the ability to burst above the performance baseline. Our current t5 generation is also 10%-48% lower in pricing as compared to the previous generation.

During your free trial, you can try one of four Burstable Type t5 Instances free for one month.

Here's how you can try out this Alibaba Cloud product, for free:

1. Make sure you are logged in to your Alibaba Cloud account and go to www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial.

2. Scroll down to the Free Trial Details area and select your target instance.

3. Click Try Now.

4. The following window will appear where you can set your ECS configuration options:

5. When you are happy with your ECS configuration, click to accept the Terms and Conditions and, then, click Try Now.

6. Your new instance will be set up and available in the Alibaba Console. To view the Console, just click the Console link in the top-right of your screen:

7. On the main Console screen, click Elastic Compute Service in the left-hand menu:

8. This will pull up the ECS Console, where you will see an overview of your current instances. Click on Instances on the left-hand menu.

9. Next, you will see details of your new instance, and any existing instances you may have set up.

You can continue to add products and services from the free trial page at www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial and then view them in your Console.

Next, let’s look at what other Alibaba Cloud products and services are available for you to try out with your free trial.

Part Three: Available Products and Services

ECS is one service that forms part of our range of Elastic Computing products. Two further services are available under the free trial, these are:

Function Compute

Alibaba Cloud Function Compute is an event-driven, serverless computing platform where you can build and deploy your services, without the need to manage any infrastructure.

Under the free trial, you can manage one million calls and 400,000GB-seconds per month for free. This free offer has no expiration date and your free monthly quote updates automatically at the start of each calendar month.

Subsequent fees will be charged at a rate of $0.2/1 million calls or you can use a duration fee that depends on your network location. More details are available here: https://www.alibabacloud.com/product/function-compute

Server Load Balancer

The Server Load Balancer monitors the health of your servers. It then, effectively, forwards each incoming request to your web application to the server that is best capable of handling it at the time.

So, the Server Load Balancer helps you to manage sudden spikes in traffic, minimize response times and maintain a 99.99% availability of your web application.

The Server Load Balancer service uses instances as its basic units and provides metering data for the instance billing cycle. Fees are calculated based on length of time of load balancer rentals and network traffic.

Under the free trial, you can receive a $15 Server Load Balancer credit that can be redeemed for the following:

• 1 public Server Load Balancer instance for 750+ hours
• 50-150GB downstream traffic *

* The actual traffic volume varies depending on the data center used.

Please note, for Pay-As-You-Go products like Server Load Balancer (and OSS and Table Store, which we will look at later), you will receive dedicated product credits, which will be deducted automatically when you use the resources. If your usage exceeds the free trial offer, you will be charged at the standard rate, and you can choose to stop using the resources if you don’t want to get billed.

Let’s look at how to view your product credits for the Server Load Balancer, and other Pay-As-You-Go products:

1. Go to the product information box for the Server Load Balancer and click Try Now.

2. The following window will appear, click OK.

3. To view this credit, go to the Console and click Billing Management in the top right-hand corner.

4. Next, click Coupons in the left-hand menu.

5. Here, you can see the details of the coupons for the Pay-As-You-Go services that are available on your account.

Let’s continue to look at the other products and services that are available as part of your free trial.

Other Available Services

You can also use your $300 balance against a range of product and services on Alibaba Cloud, including databases, storage, application services and more.

Here’s a brief overview of some of your pricing options:

For databases, you can use one instance with the following configurations free for one calendar month under the trial for all three of the available services:

o 1 Core, 2GB
o 20GB storage
o WiredTiger storage engine
o Classic network

Where the following services are available:

ApsaraDB for RDS: this is an on-demand database service, which frees you from the administrative tasks associated with running MySQL, SQL Server and PostgreSQL servers. There are several different pricing options, but a 1 CPU, 1GB instance is available in all regions of China for $22/month.
ApsaraDB for Redis: is an automated and scalable tool to manage data storage shared across multiple processes, applications or servers. This service will charge by the hour with more details available at alibabacloud.com.
ApsaraDB for MongoDB: is a secure, reliable and elastically scalable cloud database service that supports the ReplicaSet and sharding architectures. A 1 Core and 2GB GB service costs $44/month in all regions of China.

Under storage, you can access the following services:

Object Storage Service: you can access 100GB of encrypted and secure cloud storage, 50,000 put/post/delete and 50,000 get/head requests for $5 OSS of your balance.
Table Store: this is a fully managed NoSQL database service. You can use 750 hours and 100GB storage on a capacity instance, or 50GB storage on a high-performance instance and get 50+ GB of downstream traffic for $19.
Network Attached Storage: provides a file storage service for your ECS Instances. You will get $17 Table Store trial, which can be applied towards 100GB storage use for one calendar month.

Two application services are also available under the free trial:

DirectMail: this service sends transactional notifications and batch emails. You can send 50,000 emails in total for free over a six-month period.
API Gateway: this API hosting service lets you deploy and release APIs for your Alibaba Cloud products. For the first year you activate API Gateway, you get one million free calls each month.

Your free trial can also be used towards features such as:

Content Moderation: over a 31-day period, you can scan 3,000 images for inappropriate content for free.
Developer After-Sales Support Plan: supports an unlimited number of technical tickets for free on our basic plan, or $19.99 for our developer plan.
Certification to Operate and Manage ECS: where you can watch an unlimited number of training videos and have two chances to take the certification exam for free.
Enterprise Distributed Application Service: a PaaS platform that supports application life-cycle management. Billing is based on the number of nodes on which the service is deployed. Under the free trial, 20 instances are supported using the standard edition for free for one calendar month.

Finally, you will also get access to more than 20 of Alibaba Cloud’s always-free products and services, which cover elastic computing, network and security, monitoring and management, analytics and big data, application and more software from our marketplace.

That’s it!

Now that you know how to get started, just go to www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/free-trial and sign up today.

We hope you enjoy using Alibaba Cloud and make the most of your $300 balance.