The hidden culprit of AWS bills: AWS Data Transfer Cost

Amazon Web Services have a complex billing system and this has been one of the biggest issues for the customers. Organizations pay a lot of attention to their EC2 instances, S3 storage and get Reserved Instances and Savings Plans to cut down their AWS bills but one of the things they don’t pay attention to is the AWS Data Transfer Cost. This factor can be a good enough chunk of your AWS bills.

Data transfer is a vital part of the functioning of an organization and when an organization is spread over regions it becomes even more important. AWS took this as an opportunity to charge customers and set some high charges for it. You have to pay attention to this aspect of the AWS billing and in this article, we’re going to show you how to keep a check on the AWS data transfer cost.

How does AWS charge for Data Transfer?

Data Transfer between AWS and the Internet

When you transfer data from the internet to AWS, it is free of charge. AWS services like EC2 instances, S3 storage, or RDS instances, when you transfer data from the Internet into these you don’t have to pay any charge for it. However, if you transfer data using Elastic IPv4 address or peered VPC using an IPv6 address you will be charged $0.01/gb whenever you transfer data into an EC2 instance. The real catch is when you transfer data out of any of the AWS services. This is where AWS charges you money depending on the area you have chosen and the amount of data you are transferring. Some regions have higher charges than others.

Data Transfer amongst AWS services

AWS has two strategies when it comes to transferring data amongst AWS services, the first being within the same AWS region, and the second is outside the AWS region.

When you transfer data between Amazon EC2, Amazon Redshift, Amazon RDS, Amazon Network Interfaces, and Amazon Elasticache, you have to pay zero charges if they are within the same Availability Zone.

Similarly, if you transfer data between Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon SES, Amazon Glacier, Amazon EC2, Amazon SQS, and Amazon Kinesis, then also it would be free within the same Availability Zone.


When you perform operations like load, restore, backup, or unload between Amazon S3 and Amazon Redshift, you are not charged anything if you’re within the same region. However, for any activity besides the one mentioned, AWS charges your data transfer to and fro from Amazon Redshift.

But when you transfer data from one Amazon region to another, AWS charges you for that. It depends on the AWS region you are and this is the real deciding factor. For example, if you are in the US West(Oregon) region, you have to shell out $0.080/GB whereas in Asia Pacific (Seoul) region it bumps up to $0.135/GB.

How can you cut down on these costs?

  • The very first thing you need to consider is what are the regions to which you have to transfer data. After that, you have to figure out a route through which the data transfer costs will be significantly less than randomly transferring data. Also, transferring data across Availability zones within the same region is also a good way to save money.
  • IP addresses can also help you save some money when it comes to the AWS data transfer charge. When you use a private IP address, you are charged less when compared to a public IP address or Elastic IP address. So if you have a private IP address at your disposal, make full use of it to cut your AWS costs.
  • AWS charges differently for data transfer for different AWS services. You have to figure out what are the services that you use and figure out which services are charged higher and figure out a plan to transfer data accordingly.
  • You can use Amazon CloudFront if you provide content to your customers like audio, videos, and images to your customers because you have to pay no charge when you transfer data from Amazon EC2 to Amazon CloudFront. It is a Content Delivery Network that has cheap plans for data transfer to the Internet.

Need more help?

Cloud costs can be a real headache and we at OpsLyft can help you tone that down. Our Cost360 platform optimizes your infrastructure and help you cut down your cloud bills. In addition to that, our team of experts will help you choose services according to your needs while making sure that you are not being charged notoriously for data transferring. We would love to have you on board!

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