Always-Free Managed Postgres Databases Reviewed

Heroku Postgres

If you’re able to host your project on Heroku, then I would recommend them wholeheartedly. They have amazing performance, are easy to integrate with into your project and have a pleasant UI.

ElephantSQL

Searching for free a free managed Postgres database probably lets you end up at ElephantSQL. Won’t recommend them at all, the performance is terrible, they run an outdated version of Postgres and have a very limited free tier.

AlwaysData

If Heroku isn’t an option and you still want to have slightly better performance than ElephantSQL, then AlwaysData could be an option. Their UI is decent looking and powerful, however getting simple things done takes some exploring before you get what you were looking for.

Conclusion

None of these options are perfect and what you get seems a lot more restrictive and limited compared to serverless compute options. ElephantSQL and AlwaysData seem like relics from the PHP days whose DBaaS service might still be useful in the cloud era. However, both services seem heavily under provisioned, hence performance wise they seem unsuitable for applications where the user needs to wait for database queries. Heroku on the other hand offers a crisp UI and their deployment models is truly cloud native.

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Adriaan Knapen

Adriaan Knapen

Founder at Unveiler.io / ClaimR.tools — DevOps Consultant at Eficode — Living in Helsinki