They may be tough to find, but free Windows and ASP web hosting services do exist. But how do they compare to paid services?
slide 1 of 1
Free Windows Hosting
Nowadays, it’s not hard to find free web hosting in general, but most of these services utilize some form of Linux or UNIX. However, there are many reasons why you may prefer a Windows hosting alternative, especially if you’re searching for a place where you can practice constructing ASP (Active Server Page) sites and experiment with Microsoft Access database structures.
Free Windows web hosting services may be a little harder to find, but such options do exist. Most do have limits that are far more restrictive than comparable free Linux hosting solutions, but if you’re just looking for a test site or if you want to test the provider’s tools before making a final decision on a paid hosting plan, then it can’t hurt to give one of these options a try. Here’s a couple to check out.
Brinkster – At Brinkster, there are a number of Linux and Windows web hosting packages to choose from, both free and paid. One of the best deals is the free Windows Developer Package with an account that runs on Windows 2003 Server with IIS 6. Both ASP 3.0 and ASP.NET are supported along with several other key Windows components. Although the account does include 30 MB of web space, you are limited to uploading files no larger than 1 MB in size and are subject to a 16.7 MB daily traffic limit. However, if you do find that you need to expand later down the line, you can upgrade to a paid account.
1 ASP Host – The servers for the free hosting plan at 1 ASP Host run on Windows 2000 Server with IIS 5. Although this option may not seem as current as the one offered by Brinkster, there are a few other perks to the 1 ASP Host plan. Users are allotted 100 MB of web space and 17 MB of bandwidth every 12 hours. As the name of the host implies, ASP is supported along with MS Access databases. For more information, visit the 1 ASP FAQ page.
It’s important to note that since these are free hosting services, you’re not going to get the same level of support and dependability that you would with paid services. So, if you’re planning on using a Windows hosting service for anything other than a testing ground, you’re much better off checking into some of the low-cost plans offered by many providers. As the competition continues to heat up in the Windows hosting world, prices for these services continue to come down. And, while it may not be free, it’s still quite possible to find a good host offering great support and reliability for only a few dollars a month.