Why is AWS Bandwidth so Expensive?

Why is AWS Bandwidth so Expensive?

Amazon Web Server boasts of market leadership in the cloud computing arena. The platform offers us a broad range of cloud-based products such as computing power, storage, analytics, and development tools. So why is it that the world’s most popular cloud service provider costs highly on bandwidth?

AWS bandwidth is expensive because consumers incur high costs to move data both between AWS and the internet as well as between AWS services like EC2. Moving data across multiple availability zones or regions also incurs expenditures thus consumers receive high monthly bills.

The sheer number of data transfer types that occur in the AWS environment creates a challenge in keeping up with all the associated costs. This thus requires AWS users to optimize their cloud infrastructure design to ensure efficient storage and transfer of data. AWS as well as a number of third-party utilities allow us to optimize this through cost controls and thresholds.

How much does AWS charge for bandwidth?

Bandwidth in AWS is charged on a Pay As You Go basis, with your monthly usage being applied to the service provider’s rates. AWS rates are, however, significantly higher than those of similar providers such as Vultr and DigitalOcean. These costs are fair for large organizations utilizing multiple AWS services but high for small and medium entities. Traditional infrastructure proves to be cheaper and with even more performance advantages for us in the latter groups.

Why is AWS so expensive?

Why is AWS Bandwidth so Expensive?

While AWS is a powerhouse in the hosting industry, in reality, there are numerous substantially cheaper alternatives for us to choose from. Some key findings by Happi, a service provider in the same industry show:

  • AWS on-demand instances are about 3 times as expensive as utilizing traditional server infrastructures.
  • Implementing AWS reserved instances is roughly double the cost of contracting physical servers for the same period.
  • AWS dedicated hosts are almost 5 times the cost of simply utilizing dedicated servers.
  • For users that need just one or two small virtual servers like me, there is a significant number of competitors that are cheaper than AWS such as DigitalOcean and Linode.
  • Dedicated servers running MySQL cost about 3 to 6 times cheaper than AWS managed relational databases running the same MySQL processes.
  • AWS is best-suited to organizations whose products and services need multi-region resilience and redundancy but minimal resource requirements, as it minimizes management overhead.

One of the reasons the monthly bill surprises AWS consumers is the fact that consideration is not taken on data transfer pricing when calculating total costs of ownership. It is a cost of cloud computing that we often overlook rather than a “hidden cost” that users fail to see until it runs up the bill. 

Heavy to moderate users of bandwidth incur considerable amounts in bandwidth costs thanks to AWS’s cost structure. Basic dedicated servers prove to be a better option for us both in terms of cost and performance.

When is AWS the best option?

AWS offers proprietary services that benefit developers and reduce the need for large investments in infrastructure. Native applications developed specifically for the platform allow for the benefits of the public cloud to be fully realized. 

The service provider is also a proper choice when a small amount of very complex services that are multi-region and highly resilient are needed. Additionally, since the costs and expertise to design them would be costly, AWS offers a ready product base and expertise to develop the best tools.

How AWS still prospers

Why is AWS Bandwidth so Expensive?

AWS was the first to offer a modern cloud infrastructure service launched in 2006. This first-mover advantage coupled with the fact that it took several years for competitors to respond ensured they accumulated a vast amount of market share.

Secondly, the customer ecosystem is well established and run with AWS striking numerous big partnerships with prestigious entities such as Kellogg’s and Salesforce. This huge system of partners and customers maintains its prosperous position atop our cloud service providers list.

The extensive array of functionality and rate of innovation keeps AWS abreast of important trends. Its constantly growing eco-system prepares it for ever-growing user needs, successfully satisfying and even superseding our requirements. 

The fact that AWS offers a tier free for a year allows us as consumers to learn and grow on the platform in a sandbox setup. This familiarity creates with new users makes it easier for us to transition into paying customers with the knowledge of efficient and effective use of its products and services.

Major AWS Alternatives

With the immense number of services AWS offers, it can get a bit overwhelming trying to find a fitting solution. This tied to a complicated pricing structure easily creates a need for cloud service users to find alternatives to the service provider. The most notable alternatives are:

  1. Google Cloud – The platform’s biggest advantage is its seamless integration with the Android Operating System as well as Google’s numerous services such as Gmail. Its cost-efficient container services also play a hand in making it a worthy contender as an alternative.
  2. IBM Cloud – Offering bare metal service, IBM Cloud provides an edge in security and performance. This is thanks to the fact that servers are not virtualized nor shared, scrapping the need for a hypervisor layer. This ensures more of the server’s processing power is allocated to the application.
  3. Microsoft Azure – users and developers from the Microsoft environment find it an easy transition into the Azure environment thanks to its heritage of working with enterprise platforms. The platform is ideal for businesses and users looking to work in a hybrid cloud system as it provides complete control of cost, security, and performance on different data centers and the cloud, whichever pleases.
  4. Oracle – A relative latecomer in the Iaas marketplace, Oracle attributes much of its growth to a well-designed platform with a well-curated set of features. A recent launch of the Autonomous Database has had early adopters claiming it delivers up to 14 times better performance compared to similar workloads on AWS services.
  5. Vultr – A low-cost alternative to top off the list is one of the cheapest web-hosting providers, which still offers high-quality service thanks to its use of Solid State Drives(SSD’s). Billing can be both hourly or monthly, a pocket-friendly structure for us on a tight budget. Coupled with a user-friendly interface and control panel, this is one of my personal best options.


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.