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You should not be charged for incoming connection as you have no control over who and how often they connect. On the other hand you do have control over what is leaving and I can understand a cost there.
While using the keys for loging will prevent the hackers from gaining access to your system, fail2ban I think would be better to use wiht iptable rules then with the hosts.allow/deny as stated before if for nothing else but to stop them in their tracks.
You want to see if iptables is installed on your server then simply look for iptables. Mine is in /sbin yours could be someplace else. If it is not installed again talk to your provider and ask that they install it for you.
Waht distro are you using?
Please remember what you do is not going to stop the attaks, just prevent them from gaining access to your system.