How Good is Amazon Web Services Hosting?
Our Official Amazon Web Services Hosting Review
Amazon Web Services, more commonly called Amazon S3 for “simple storage solution,” is more of a cloud storage solution and then a hosting solution. Although they don’t have typical packages that you might see in hosting providers, they do have other, sometimes more lucrative, options available.
Best Features of Amazon Web Services
Amazon is a big company. What started off as a simple online bookstore successfully turned into the next Wal-Mart online. For any tangible product that is sold, Amazon probably sells it. Here are the best features of Amazon Web Services.
Automatically Scalable Storage
Amazon offers automatically scalable storage. This means that no matter how busy your website may get or how much space you need, Amazon automatically adjusts your account to fit. This means that you will never get a “bandwidth exceeded” error. This is one of the unique features of Amazon as you do not need to worry about what may happen to your data or your visitors if your usage increases.
Amazon Web Services offers a pay-per-use model. This provides a lower cost model because you only pay for what you use. There is no flat rate or per month model available. Amazon Web Services requires that you put your data into what they call “buckets.” As a user, you’ll be charged at a “per gigabyte” rate and “per request” to rate for transferring data in and out of your bucket.
The good news is Amazon charges these requests by the thousands. They’re not money hungry moguls looking to nickel and dime you every step of the way.
Excellent Support Options
Amazon has raised the bar when it comes to customer support. As you may well know, Amazon sells a lot more than just hosting space. They sell almost every imaginable physical, tangible product in the world. They created a customer service model that others try to mimic. Their employees are empowered to handle a wide variety of customer requests, leaving customers happy without a bunch of bureaucratic red tape in the way. There are four levels of service you can access with Amazon Web Services. These include Basic, Developer, Business and Enterprise. Basic support is included with all accounts. At the basic level, you receive 24/7 year-round support with access to customer service, access to forums, access to tech support for health checks, a self-help resource center and product FAQs.It only gets better from there.
A Free Plan for New Users
Amazon offers a free plan for new users with the following features:
- 5GB of disk space.
- 20,000 GET requests (see “bucket” model above)
- 2000 PUT requests (see “bucket” model above)
- 15GB of outbound data transfers for one year.
A completely free and usable account is a rarity among website hosting providers.
Large Terabyte Files
A really nice feature of Amazon Web Services is the fact that you can transfer files up to 5TB in size. Most hard drives don’t even come close to that size – and they handle all sorts of data. Honestly, I have never seen a file 5TB in size or larger. Perhaps if you created an image of a 5TB hard drive, that limit might be reached. The point is this. Amazon Web Services will handle just about any file you throw at it – even the largest, highest resolution photos and videos.
Downsides of Amazon Web Services
It’s kind of unfair to compare Amazon Web Services to other hosting providers. They are not your typical Web hosting company.
Standard Packages Are Not Available
Comparing Amazon Web Services to other most other hosting providers is like comparing apples to oranges. When you host your website with Amazon Web Services, you are able to run client-side scripts, but server-side scripts aren’t available. They support static websites only. If you intend on running any kind of e-commerce website, Amazon Web Services will not work for you.
Prices Vary by Location
Amazon is a global company. It is fully expected for them to charge different prices in Australia than they do the United States. However, within a country, I would expect to see prices to remain consistent. With Amazon, you won’t always get that. For example, if you live in the North Virginia region of the United States, you can get free outbound services to Amazon, but not anywhere else.
You Must Estimate and Calculate Your Usage
The pay-per-use model has a downside. When you pay a flat fee per month, you know how much you’re paying and what you’re paying for. When you have a pay-per-use model going on, you must estimate and calculate your usage so that you can budget properly.
Amazon Web Services is either one of the best or one of the worst Web hosting providers depending on how you look at it. They are not a good solution for running e-commerce websites. However, if you intend on having a static website used primarily for cloud storage, Amazon Web Services has your back.
- Automatically Scalable Storage
- Offer a Pay-Per-Use model in Low Cost
- Excellent Support Options
- A Free Plan for New Users
- Large Terabyte Files
- Standard Packages Are Not Available
- Prices Vary by Location
- You Must Estimate and Calculate Your Usage
- Support harder to contact
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