Alex explains
how you are billed
for EC2 instances

alex_ec2_instance_hour_billing

How am I billed for Amazon EC2 instance-hours?

EC2 usage is calculated by either the hour or the second, depending on which AMI you're running. For more information, see Amazon EC2 Pricing. When reviewing your EC2 usage, consider the following:

  • If your instance is billed by the hour, you are billed for a minimum of one hour each time a new instance is started—when it enters the running state.
  • If your instance is billed by the second, you are billed for a minimum of 60 seconds each time a new instance is started—when it enters the running state.
  • Instances that are in any other state—such as stopped, pending, etc.—are not billed.

Note: If you purchase an EC2 Reserved Instance, the terms of your Reserved Instance contract can modify the way you're billed. For more information, see How do EC2 Reserved Instances work?

Here are a few examples of how these considerations work in practice for instances that are billed by the hour:

  • When you run one instance for 30 minutes and then terminate the instance, you are billed for one instance-hour.
  • When you run one instance for 10 minutes, stop the instance, and then start the instance again, you are billed for two instance-hours.
  • When you run two EC2 instances of the same type for 30 minutes each, you are billed for two instance-hours.

For pricing information, see Amazon EC2 Pricing.


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Published: 2016-04-25

Updated: 2017-10-26