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Amazon S3 Pricing Explained

Different users of Amazon S3 can receive different bills for similar data. It can happen because each user works with information in their own way and that results in additional costs.

In this article, we will explain Amazon S3 pricing structure and storage costs estimation. 

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Amazon S3 Regions

Regions are one of the fundamental factors in Amazon S3 pricing, and the cost of one gigabyte depends on data location. For example, you will pay $0.03/GB for standard storage in North Virginia, Oregon and Singapore and more for data located in Sao Paulo.

When estimating Amazon S3 costs, make sure you know average region prices. Below we shared rates for Standard storage class in each AWS region.

Volume Discounts

Amazon Web Services offers six discount tiers applied depending on the total amount of data stored.

Simply speaking, the more data you store in Amazon S3, the less money you pay for each gigabyte. Discount tiers don’t apply to Standard I/A storage class and vary through different AWS regions. We’ve prepared a comparison table to illustrate the impact of volume discounts on Amazon S3 pricing in each region.

N. Virginia, Oregon, Ireland, Ohio N.California Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul Frankfurt Sao Paulo
1 TB – 50 TB $0.023 per GB $0.026 per GB $0.025 per GB $0.0245 per GB $0.0405 per GB
50 TB – 500 TB $0.022 per GB $0.025 per GB $0.024 per GB $0.0235 per GB $0.039 per GB
> 500 TB $0.021 per GB $0.024 per GB $0.023 per GB $0.0225 per GB $0.037 per GB

Note: The presented regions and volume rates are valid on 12/16/2021

If you have to store 52 TB (53248 GB) of data in Standard storage class in N.Virginia region, you will pay the following amount per month:

$0.022 * 53248 = $1 171.46

Remember to consider volume discounts each time you estimate the cost of Amazon S3.

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Requests and Data Transfer Fees

Each time you access the data, you send requests:

  • LIST requests that return the current list of stored objects.
  • PUT requests to upload new objects and other actions.

The number of requests depends on the number of objects you affect. For example, while uploading 12,000 files, you will make 12,000 PUT queries. Amazon S3 pricing per request also varies between different AWS regions.

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N. Virginia N.California Tokyo Seoul Frankfurt Sao Paulo
PUT, COPY, POST, or LIST Requests (per 1000 requests) $0.005 $0.0055 $0.0047 $0.0045 $0.0054 $0.007
GET, SELECT and all other Requests (per 1000 requests) $0.0004 $0.00044 $0.00037 $0.00035 $0.00043 $0.00056

Note: The rates are valid on 12/16/2021

Getting back to the example with 52 TB stored, the cost of your requests will be added to the monthly bill. Let’s imagine we need to upload the same amount of data in 1,240,000 files (or objects) to Standard storage in N. Virginia region. Then we decide to retrieve half of them. It means that we will make 1,240,000 PUT and 620,000 GET requests.

Here are cost calculations:

$0.0220 * 53248 = $1 171.46 (Storage)

$0.005 * (1240000/1000) = $6.2 (PUT requests)

$0.0004 * (620000/10000) = $0.02 (GET requests)

Total: $1 177.68

Standard I/A storage class is distinguished by a specific type of requests: Lifecycle Transition Requests. Bills for this type are separate and usually it is used to configure a corresponding backup retention policy and object lifecycle.

The data transfer fee is charged for each gigabyte transferred inside or outside Amazon S3. Like the volume discount system, this fee has discount tiers from the first gigabyte up to 5 PB of data transferred via the Internet. Additional charges are applied to transfers between AWS regions.

Free Tier

When you sign up to AWS for the first time, you get started with AWS Free Usage Tier. The offer lasts for one year and includes 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage with the following monthly limitations:

  • 20,000 GET Requests
  • 2,000 PUT, COPY, POSTor LIST Requests
  • 100GB of Data Transfer Out

If you stay in this tier, AWS won’t charge anything unless the amount of requests or the storage capacity is exceeded. Free Usage Tier is the best way to test if Amazon S3 meets your requirements.

Amazon S3 Pricing for Storage Classes and Amazon Glacier

AWS has four S3 storage classes: Standard, Standard I/A, Standard One-Zone I/A and Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS). Each one was designed for different purposes.

  • Standard is an example of a “hot” storage class for the highest durability and availability.
  • Standard I/A is “cool” storage for infrequently accessed data with reduced availability.
  • RRS is the same as Standard but has less redundancy. So you may lose one of 10,000 files per year.

There are also three archival storage classes called Amazon S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval, Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval and Amazon Glacier Deep Archive.  They can be considered as a low-cost storage class for “cold” data. Data is stored in archives and the retrieval process can take from milliseconds up to 48 hours, depending on the options, you select. Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval has a separate pricing model.

Further reading Amazon Glacier Pricing Explained

Amazon S3 pricing is unique for each class and only two of them (Standard and RRS) offer volume discounts. It’s very important to understand which storage class is better in each case to estimate future costs.

Backup to Amazon S3 with MSP360

In MSP360, we have developed Amazon S3 backup solutions for managed service providers and standalone users. Both MSP360 Managed Backup and CloudBerry Backup support backup to Amazon S3 and all of its classes.


Backup to any Amazon S3 Class

Cut costs by backup to the lower-cost Amazon S3 IA and Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval storage with MSP360
Transitioning data from S3 into S3 Glacier

Amazon S3 Intelligent Tiering Support

MSP360 Managed Backup provides the ability to back up data directly to the Intelligent-Tiering storage class.

Lifecycle and Retention Management

MSP360 Backup fully supports data versioning in Amazon S3. You can create a flexible and automated retention policy while creating a backup plan.

AWS IAM supportAWS IAM Support

CloudBerry Backup securely works with your access and secret keys. Our SaaS solution - MSP360 Managed Backup - works directly with IAM users to ease management and deployment for multiple users and organizations.


AWS and MSP360: A Powerful Combo for Your Data Protection Strategy
  • How backing up to S3 works in MSP360
  • The advantages of using S3 as a backup destination
  • The benefits you get when you pair MSP360 with S3
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