Some Computer Hints

Amazon Web Services vs. Google Cloud Platform

Running An Email Server

You cannot create an outbound TCP connection to port 25 from a GCE instance. This means that, practically, you cannot run a standard email server (like Postfix on Linux) on your Google Compute Engine instance. On the other side, AWS does not have such a restriction for long time customers and also Amazon allows you to configure Reverse DNS records for any of your Elastic (=static) IP addresses, which is a plus for users that want to run their own legitimate email servers in their instances.

Running VPN Server

There are various VPN server software that can run within in an instance. The simplest (but also obsolete, due to its security weaknesses) is the one that uses PPTP. A PPTP tunnel is instantiated by communication to the peer on TCP port 1723. This TCP connection is then used to initiate and manage a second GRE tunnel to the same peer. However, the GRE protocol is not supported by Google, so you cannot use PPTP in a GCE instance. Amazon does not have this restriction in its EC2-VPC.

Free Tiers

Google has an Always Free tier that includes one free “non-preemptible e2-micro” VM instance per month. On the other hand, Amazon’s Always Free Tier does not include a free VM instance.


Amazon has full support for IPv6 on most platforms, including their virtual servers (EC2). Google has no support for IPv6 on all regions yet.

IP Address Pricing

Generally, cloud providers do not charge for the first real (external) IP address assigned and used on a virtual machine. This was true for AWS and GCP until the end of 2019. However, Google announced that IP addresses will be charged roughly 2.90 USD per month starting with 2020.