If you have large amounts of data to load and an Internet connection with limited bandwidth, the time required to prepare and ship a portable storage device to AWS can be a small percentage of the time it would take to transfer your data over the internet. If loading your data over the Internet would take a week or more, you should consider using AWS Import/Export Disk.

The below table provides guidance, assuming some common Internet connection speeds, on (1) how long it takes to transfer a terabyte of data over the Internet at 80% network utilization and (2) the suggested volumes of total data to transfer, at the listed speed, when AWS Import/Export Disk is a faster solution than data transfer over the Internet.

Get Started with AWS for Free

Create a Free Account
Or Sign In to the Console

Receive twelve months of access to the AWS Free Tier and enjoy AWS Basic Support features including, 24x7x365 customer service, support forums, and more.

Please note that AWS Import/Export is not currently available on the AWS Free Tier.

Available Internet Connection Theoretical Min. Number of Days to Transfer 1TB at 80% Network Utilization When to Consider AWS Import/Export Disk?
T1 (1.544Mbps) 82 days 100GB or more
10Mbps 13 days 600GB or more
T3 (44.736Mbps) 3 days 2TB or more
100Mbps 1 to 2 days 5TB or more
1000Mbps Less than 1 day 60TB or more

For more details regarding data loading costs see the AWS Import/Export Calculator.

To load your data through AWS Import/Export Disk, you must use a compatible storage device. The storage device requirements are:

  Item Requirement
Power for External Devices (US)
  • US wall socket plug*
  • 120Volts @ 60Hertz
  • Max Power Consumption 2,000 Watts
  • Bus powered USB devices
Power for External Devices (EU - Ireland)
  • UK/Ireland Plugs: BS1363*
  • Continental Europe Plugs: Schuko (CEE7)*
  • Kettle Lead Plugs: IEC 320/C14*
  • 230Volts @ 50Hertz
  • Max Power Consumption 2,000 Watts
  • Bus powered USB devices
Power for External Devices (APAC - Singapore)
  • 230Volts @50Hertz
  • Max Power Consumption 2,000Watts
  • Bus powered USB devices
Interface Type
  • eSATA
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0(including USB flash drives)
  • 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch internal SATA hard drives
  • The maximum device size is 14 inches/35 centimeters high by 19 inches/48 centimeters wide by 36 inches/91 centimeters deep (8Us in a standard 19 inch/48 centimeter rack).
  • The maximum device weight is 50 pounds/22.5 kilograms.
Device Capacity
  • Up to 16TB
Device Compatibility
  • Device has to be compatible with Red Hat Linux

* An adaptor must be included for plugs other than the ones supported above

For Amazon EBS imports, if your storage device is less than or equal to 1TB, its contents will be loaded directly into an Amazon EBS snapshot. If your storage device’s capacity exceeds 1TB, a device image will be stored in your specified Amazon S3 bucket. You can then create a RAID of EBS volumes using software such as Logical Volume Manager, and copy the image from Amazon S3 to this new logical volume.

For Amazon S3 imports, supported file systems include NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, exFAT, and FAT32. HFSPlus is also supported for import of partitions up to 2TB in size. For Amazon S3 exports NTFS and ext4 are supported while ext2, ext3, exFAT, and FAT32 are not supported.

AWS can often support larger devices upon request. Please contact us with the specifics of your request. Make sure to include your AWS account(s), number of terabytes you intend to load, and the type of device(s) you wish to use.

Each AWS Import/Export station is capable of loading data at over 100MB per second, but in most cases the rate of the data load will be bounded by a combination of the read or write speed of your device and, for Amazon S3 data loads, the average object size. Selecting devices with faster read or write speeds and interfaces can reduce data loading time. For more details regarding data loading performance see the AWS Import/Export Calculator.

AWS does not have a specific device recommendation as AWS Import/Export Disk is designed to work with any storage device with a USB or eSATA connector. Devices from LaCie, MicroNet, Seagate, and Western Digital have generally provided good performance. AWS Import/Export Disk does require storage devices that can be mounted on Red Hat Linux. Please check with the manufacturer of your device to verify if it is Linux compatible.

  • Your use of this feature is subject to the AWS Customer Agreement.
  • Devices shipped to AWS for import into or export from EU (Ireland) Region buckets must originate from and be returned to an address within the European Union.