Understanding the AWS Data Transfer

For applications that provide digital content such as streaming applications, web applications with video content …, a large part of the cost of the AWS cloud service is around data transfer. Because AWS defines many different types of data transfers, it is important to understand the information about AWS Data Transfer types. Furthermore, data transfer costs, within Availability Zones, in Regions, between Regions, AWS in and out, and the internet vary considerably depending on deployment options.

If you want to optimize the system design on your AWS prior to deployment, you first need to know exactly how to calculate AWS Data Transfer fees.

AWS Data Transfer Infographic

First, please take a look at the AWS Data Transfer pricing for the ap-southeast-1 area as an infographic, which includes 6 main categories:

(1) Data input / output from Internet

(2) Data transfers between AWS Regions (Inter-Region data transfer)

(3) Data transfers between Edge Locations and AWS Regions

(4) Data transfers between AWS services via Public or Elastic IPs

(5) Data transfers in the same region of Amazon EC2 instance

(6) Data transferred via Elastic Load Balancing

Understanding the Infographic

Regarding AWS Data Transfer, Amazon Web Services will typically charge a cost per GB of transfer (in USD). Transaction charges or hourly charges are not included in calculating data transmission charges but are usually included in Compute, Storage, or Database services.

(1) AWS Data Transfer input/output from Internet

aws data transfer in out internet

  • Data transfer in AWS from Internet (Inbound data transfer):

The AWS cloud is not only the different worldwide regions and Availability Zones, but also Direct Connect links and AWS Edge Locations.

Any data comes from the Internet into AWS is free, whether it is into AWS Regions, into Direct Connect, or into Edge Locations.

  • Data transfer out to the Internet (Outbound data transfer):

Transfers that send data out over the internet are billed at region-specific and tiered data transfer rates

You can see a specific, per-region chart with the tiered rates here. Below, we’ve included the rates for the Asia-Pacific Region (Singapore) as an example:

aws data transfer 1

Although as a general rule data transfer to AWS from the internet (inbound data transfer) is free, there is a fee for transferring data from AWS Regions to Direct Connect locations.

The cost of transferring data from AWS regions to the Direct Connect location depends on the source position of the AWS Region and the destination at the Direct Connect location. For example, transferring data from an Asia-Pacific Region (Singapore) to the Direct Connect location in Chunghwa Telecom, Taipei, Taiwan costs 0,0410 USD per GB. But, when transferring the same data from Asia-Pacific (Sydney) to the same Chunghwa Telecom, it costs 0,1107 USD per GB.

(2) AWS Data Transfer between AWS Regions (Inter-Region data transfer):

aws data transfer between aws regions

Inter-region data transfer charges are based on the price of the AWS Region source location. Apply to most data transfer fee services such as EC2, S3, EKS, etc.

For example: If you have a backup of web content stored in Amazon S3 in an Asia-Pacific (Singapore) Region and wish to expand your service to any other region, you will need the bar The rate is calculated according to the Asia-Pacific (Singapore) Region rate of 0.09 USD per GB transferred. Similar to US East (Ohio) to US West (Los Angeles) is 0.02 USD per GB.

However, for that same data, if you need to switch from S3 buckets to any other AZ (in the same Region), the cost is free. See more under Data Transfer under S3 Pricing.

(3) AWS Data Transfer between Edge Locations and AWS Regions:

aws data transfer between aws regions and edge locations

Edge Locations are AWS datacenter hosting/rentals and are part of the Amazon CloudFront CDN (Content Delivery Network) service. Those locations cache data such as videos, APIs, or applications for low latency access to that frontier traffic. Data transferred from AWS Regions to Edge Locations is free.

Data transferred from Edge Locations back to the Origin is charged accordingly Regional Data Transfer Out to Internet

Regional Data Transfer Out to Internet

…and Data Transfer Out to Origin.

Data Transfer Out to Origin

Learn more about  pricing here.

(4) AWS Data Transfer between AWS services via Public or Elastic IPs

aws data transfer via IP Public or Elastic IP

Whenever you transfer data between Amazon EC2 instances, AWS containers, Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX), Amazon ElastiCache, or Elastic Network Interfaces across different Availability Zones or via VPC peering, and whether this transfer is public, private, or via Elastic IPv4 or IPv6, there will always be an outbound data transfer fee of 0.01 USD per GB and the inbound data transfer fee is 0.01 USD per GB.

For example: When transferring 500 GB of data between a Redshift cluster in VPC-a and an EC2 instance in VPC-b, both are in the same Availability Zone and you will be charged 5 USD / month when exiting from VPC-a and 5 USD / month when entering VPC-b. This calculation also applies similarly when two services are in the same VPC but in different AZs.

(5) AWS Data Transfer in the same region of Amazon EC2 instance

Data transferred between Amazon Classic or Application Load Balancers and EC2 instances in the same region is free.

Any data transfer between EC2 instances, containers, or Elastic Network Interfaces in the same Availability Zone and in the same VPC, whether using an IPv4 Public address or Elastic, comes with the cost for outbound data transfer is 0.01 USD per GB, and the cost for inbound data transfer is 0.01 USD per GB.

(6) AWS Data Transfer via Elastic Load Balancing

Amazon Classic’s pricing is based on USD per GB. Elastic Load Balancing calculates costs based on load balancing capacity unit (LCU) used per hour.

Read more about Elastic Load Balancing costs here.


There are many ways you can move data in the cloud. AWS data transmission costs can skyrocket if not properly modeled. The information we mentioned in the article will help users understand more about AWS charging on many different aspects of data transmission, helping you to build AWS architecture at the most optimal cost!

This table summarizes the data transfer costs you can incur for various AWS services. If there’s a black dot, then you can get charged for that transfer.

Service Data transfer in (1) Data transfer to different AZ in the region (4 & 5) Data transfer out to other regions (2) Data transfer out to the internet (1) Data transfer out to CloudFront (3)
Amazon EC2 (Includes EBS)

Amazon EKS (Based on EC2 clusters)

Amazon S3

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon RDS

Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Glacier

AWS Snowball

Amazon CloudSearch

Amazon SNS

Amazon SQS