How much does an on-demand EC2 box cost per month?

It's not really the simplest of questions. The AWS pricing page has a lot of variables, and is priced by the hour. I want a quick ballpark figure table to lookup, so I thought I would make one.

Well. It’s very clearly listed on AWS “Amazon EC2 Pricing” page https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/on-demand/

The problem with these prices is I quite often want to know at-a-glance, how much the box costs to run per month. I know “on-demand” means I can switch it on and off when I feel like it and be billed by the hour, and that reserved instances offer much better value with percentage discounts given for how long of a term I commit to for the box I’m hiring.

I quite often want to know at-a-glance, how much the box costs to run per month

Spot instances can work out even cheaper, but it’s a very specific use-case and most of the apps I write are not suited to be run ad-hoc.

At the start of a new project there are so many unknowns that I just want to know what a trusty bog standard t2 box costs per month, because let's face it; it’s probably going to be left running until it gets replaced or retired. Living in the UK also gives you an extra annoying variable of the exchange rate. Todays exchange rate is 1 USD = 0.79 GBP I am also using 30 days as a monthly calculation figure.

Therefore todays prices prices t2 boxes, left on all month for Ireland and London are:


It’s interesting that a t2.micro in Ireland is £4.53 per month but in London it is £4.75. It’s not only the property prices that are higher in London! Latency isn’t normally a huge concern whilst developing a project. The cost, much more so. This got me thinking if the boxes are much cheaper in other regions. A t2.small is my go to box of choice for both Windows and Linux based projects. So in what region are those the cheapest?


It’s worth noting that Stockholm, Hong Kong and Sau Paulo do not have t2 type boxes available and the nearest thing available is a fancier t3. Stockholm has t3’s available for considerably cheaper than anywhere else.

Stockholm has t3’s available for considerably cheaper than anywhere else

Up until now I have always provisioned dev boxes in Ireland or London depending on where my client is based. In my experience the latency difference between a box provisioned in London for a London based client and one provisioned in North Virginia is minimal. So long as production tools are deployed in the closest region, they are all quite fast. I might even do so mathematical testing of that theory. Each box I provision in London instead of Stockholm is costing me £2.50 more than I need to spend, and I would also get a newer t3 box if provisioned in Stockholm. It’s only £2.50 but with lots of clients …. A free coffee is a free coffee.


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