Amazon EC2 is free to try. There are multiple ways to pay for Amazon EC2 instances: On-Demand, Savings Plans, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. You can also pay for Dedicated Hosts, which provide EC2 instance capacity on physical servers dedicated for your use. For more information on how to optimize your Amazon EC2 spend, visit the Amazon EC2 Cost and Capacity page.
As part of the AWS Free Tier, you can get started with Amazon EC2 for free. This includes 750 hours of Linux and Windows t2.micro instances (t3.micro for the regions in which t2.micro is unavailable), each month for one year. To stay within the Free Tier, use only EC2 Micro instances.
With On-Demand instances, you pay for compute capacity by the hour or the second depending on which instances you run. No longer-term commitments or upfront payments are needed. You can increase or decrease your compute capacity depending on the demands of your application and only pay the specified per hourly rates for the instance you use.
On-Demand instances are recommended for:
- Users that prefer the low cost and flexibility of Amazon EC2 without any upfront payment or long-term commitment
- Applications with short-term, spiky, or unpredictable workloads that cannot be interrupted
- Applications being developed or tested on Amazon EC2 for the first time
Amazon EC2 Spot instances allow you to request spare Amazon EC2 computing capacity for up to 90% off the On-Demand price. Learn More.
Spot instances are recommended for:
- Applications that have flexible start and end times
- Applications that are feasible only at very low compute prices
- Users with urgent computing needs for large amounts of additional capacity
Savings Plans are a flexible pricing model that offers low prices on EC2 and Fargate usage, in exchange for a commitment to a consistent amount of usage (measured in $/hour) for a one- or three-year term.
A Dedicated Host is a physical EC2 server dedicated for your use. Dedicated Hosts can help you reduce costs by allowing you to use your existing server-bound software licenses, including Windows Server, SQL Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (subject to your license terms), and can also help you meet compliance requirements. Learn more.
- Can be purchased On-Demand (hourly).
- Can be purchased as a Reservation for up to 70% off the On-Demand price.
With per-second billing, you pay only for what you use. EC2 per-second billing removes the cost of unused minutes and seconds from your bill. Focus on improving your applications instead of maximizing hourly usage, especially for instances running over irregular time periods such as dev/testing, data processing, analytics, batch processing, and gaming applications.
EC2 usage is billed in one-second increments, with a minimum of 60 seconds. Similarly, provisioned storage for Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes will be billed per-second increments, with a 60-second minimum. Per-second billing is available for instances launched in:
- On-Demand, Savings Plans, Reserved, and Spot instances
- All regions and Availability Zones
- Amazon Linux, Windows, and Ubuntu
For details on related costs like data transfer, Elastic IP addresses, and EBS Optimized Instances, visit the On-Demand pricing page.
Additional pricing resources
There are several ways to get started with Amazon EC2 for free.
Instantly get access to the AWS Free Tier.
Get started building with Amazon EC2 in the AWS Console.