I needed a really cheap standalone virtual server to test some stuff, on the internet and not running behind a VDSL router at my office, and got the cheapest RamNode server for $13.50 for a whole year.
I honestly have no idea if RamNode are any good or not (my own websites are hosted at BlueHost – They’re great!), but for what I need this is perfect: it's more or less throw away money, and I get a server with a static IP address I can switch on, test some stuff and switch back off again as and when needed.
I used to have a virtual server from 1and1 which was great but a bit more expensive ($5 per month).
What am I testing?
I'm testing out the free Let's Encrypt secure certificates. These are domain validated certificates: validation is done by a certificate management agent on the web server, which receives requests from the LE servers to prove you manage the domain. I'll talk more about this in a future post, but suffice to say for the moment that I didn't want to run this on a production server (yet).
Get it here
Their cheapest one has 128MB of RAM, 12GB of storage and 500GB of bandwidth, running OpenVZ – for $15 for a year. You can get a 10% discount using the SSD10 coupon code. You can order it here and/or check out the other plans.
Update January 10, 2017
Virtual server from RamNode has been good. No complaints. It’s not as good as the one you can get from 1and1 so if you can spend $5 per month I would recommend 1and1. If you don’t want to spend that much, RamNode is a good choice.
I am not affiliated with RamNode in any way, and the above link is not an affiliate link. I found out about them from the comments in this article at Ars Technica.