Amazon Web Hosting – Free Tier Basics

Amazon Web Services recently broadcast a free tier for 1 year, where one will not be charged for a year and will get some basic functionalities free of cost. This tutorial describes the basics, what is free and how to start on hosting your web application over amazon cloud.
To begin with, what is available under the ‘free tier’ tag:
As part of AWS’s Free Usage Tier, new AWS customers can get started with Amazon EC2 for free. Upon sign-up, newAWS customers receive the following EC2 services each month for one year:

Free Tier
  • 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) – enough hours to run continuously each month
  • 750 hours of an Elastic Load Balancer plus 15 GB data processing
  • 10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, plus 1 million I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10,000 snapshot Get Requests and 1,000 snapshot Put Requests
  • 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests
  • 30 GB per of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer “in” and 15 GB of data transfer “out” across all services except Amazon CloudFront)
  • 25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB of Storage
  • 100,000 Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service
  • 100,000 Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service

Few Deductions

  • Max hours in one month: 31 * 24 = 744 hours
  • The free package would normally cost around 700 Rs (15$) per month for instance alone and few bucks for other services such as Block storage (approx 0.4$ per month) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (approx 1$ per month, used for storing pictures, videos, etc.)
  • This cost gets minimized to 450 Rs (10$) per month if you reserve your instance for an year


Micro Instance – Hardware configuration that you get from amazon to run your VM.

  1. Small amount of consistent CPU resources and allow you to burst CPU capacity when additional cycles are available. They are well suited for lower throughput applications and web sites that consume significant compute cycles periodically.
  2. Micro Instance 613 MB of memory, up to 2 ECUs (for short periodic bursts), EBS storage only, 32-bit or 64-bit platform.
  3. EC2 Compute Unit (ECU) – One EC2 Compute Unit (ECU) provides the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor.
EBS (Amazon Elastic Block Store) – offers persistent storage for Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes provide off-instance storage that persists independently from the life of an instance. Amazon EBS volumes are highly available, highly reliable volumes that can be leveraged as an Amazon EC2 instance’s boot partition or attached to a running Amazon EC2 instance as a standard block device. When used as a boot partition, Amazon EC2 instances can be stopped and subsequently restarted, enabling you to only pay for the storage resources used while maintaining your instance’s state.

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances. It enables you to achieve even greater fault tolerance in your applications, seamlessly providing the amount of load balancing capacity needed in response to incoming application traffic.

What’s not free?

Amazon EC2 Monitoring: Amazon CloudWatch enables you to monitor your Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon EBS VolumesElastic Load Balancers, and RDS database instances in real-time.
  • $0.015 per instance-hour (or partial hour)
As an example, a developer may want to monitor 10 Amazon EC2 instances 24×7 for a 30-day period. The Amazon CloudWatch cost would be $108 (or $0.015 per Amazon EC2 instance hour x 10 Amazon EC2 instances x 24 hours per day x 30 days).


One thought on “Amazon Web Hosting – Free Tier Basics

  1. Hello,

    What about Amazon RDS in Free Tier basic? Is it available or not? I’m asking this question because this feature is not indicated in Free Tier basic, but also was not indicated in the section “What is not free?”