We think customers deserve to know what they’re buying before they buy it, which is why we offer free hosting to test our services and decide if you want to use it. The 24 hour server is a fully fledged game server just like one you would buy. The CPU is capped at 75%. Users are allowed to deploy as many 24 hour servers as they want, but only one can be active at a time!
The 24 hour trials we offer get quite a lot of demand, and to support that demand actually loses us money. We had to limit the locations to prevent our machines filling up. Luckily around this time, we had a lot of spare capacity in France because our newer UK location absorbed a lot of that locations demand. We used this spare capacity to handle trials for a while first with just Garry’s Mod to see how things go.
We knew we would need something in place to prevent abuse, so we limited the amount of active trials per account to one. The amount of time involved in creating an account and doing the captcha should make it very difficult for people to cause issues. So far we haven’t seen any issues, however I do think there have been some attempts. One thing we learnt was people often wanted to keep their server, but it got deleted before they could upgrade, so we bumped the 24 hour trials to actually last 48 hours – while still advertising 24 hours. This means users have plenty of time to upgrade their service before it expires.
It seems the costs of operating the trial system aren’t outweighing the benefit people have to test our servers before they buy them – so eventually when we saw the opportunity, we expanded our trials to Montreal. The same thing that caused the excess resources in France was happening to Montreal, as we had just launched our US location. This aimed to give US customers a better experience while testing our servers.
Following this we added support for all games, like TF2 & CSGO. Making our game panel more available to different markets is important, and our ability to offer them a no-risk free server is a huge asset that benefits our users and our staff team.
We hope other hosts will catch on and also offer trials, so users can fairly compare the services, and decide which one is right for them.