AWS, Cloud Computing

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A Guide to Analyzing AWS Data Transfer Charges

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In the ever-evolving landscape of AWS, understanding and managing data transfer charges are paramount for cost-conscious users. In this blog, we will explore the intricacies of AWS data transfer charges, offering practical insights and hands-on analysis to empower users to optimize their costs effectively.


Data transfer charges in AWS encompass the costs of moving data in and out of the AWS network.

Various services contribute to these charges, and it is essential to grasp their nuances to control expenses efficiently.

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Data Transfer Cost Analysis Using Cost Explorer

Amazon S3, a prominent AWS service, facilitates data storage on the internet. When we refer to “data transfer on S3,” it involves data movement in and out of this storage.

  1. Data Transfer In: Involves putting data into Amazon S3, like uploading pictures or files. Typically, this incurs minimal costs, especially for transfers from other Amazon services or the internet.
  2. Data Transfer Out: Taking data from Amazon S3, such as downloading files to your computer or sharing them online. Costs can vary based on the destination and volume of data moved.
  3. Data Transfer Between Regions: Moving data between different AWS regions may incur additional costs.

Data Transfer Cost Analysis Using Cost Explorer

We utilized AWS Cost Explorer to scrutinize data transfer costs and identified external transfers from the Amazon S3 bucket. The following steps outline the process for analyzing Amazon S3 data transfer costs:


Usage type filter settings

Usage types are units each service uses to measure the usage of specific types of resources. For instance, in the context of Amazon S3 buckets, the ‘DataTransfer-Out-Bytes (GB)’ usage type measures the amount of data transferred from an Amazon S3 bucket.

Step 1 – Date Range Selection

  • Open the AWS Management Console.
  • Navigate to the “Cost Explorer” service.
  • Click on the date range dropdown in the “Date Range” section.
  • Select “Custom” and set the start date and end date.


Step 2 – Time Granularity

  • In the “Granularity” section, select “Daily.”

Step 3 – Dimension Selection

  • Click the “Add dimension” button in the “Group by” column.
  • From the list of possible dimensions, select “Usage Type”.

Step 4 – Service Selection

  • In the “Service” section, click the “Add filter” button.
  • Type “S3” in the search box and select “Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)” from the dropdown list.


Step 5 – Usage Filter

  • In the “Usage” section, click the “Add filter” button.
  • In the “Search by usage type or operation” box, type “DataTransfer-Out-Bytes (GB)” and select it from the suggestions.

Step 6 – View Results

  • After setting up all the filters and dimensions, click the “Apply” button or the “Update” button (depending on the AWS Cost Explorer interface) to generate the report.
  • Download the CSV file for further analysis.


This should create a Cost Explorer report with the specified filters, showing the daily usage details for the “DataTransfer-Out-Bytes (GB)” usage type within the Amazon S3 service for July.

API operation filter settings

API operations are like your actions when using a service, such as asking Amazon S3 to get or save files. Monitoring these actions to know what you’re doing and how it affects your AWS usage and costs is important.

Step 1 – Choose Date Range:

  • Go to the AWS Management Console.
  • Navigate to the “Cost Explorer” service.
  • In the Cost Explorer menu on the left, click “Date Range” at the top.
  • Select “Custom” as the date range.
  • Set the start date to July 1st of the desired year and the end date to July 31st of the same year.

Step 2 – Choose Daily Basis:

  • Under the Date Range section, choose “Daily” as the granularity. This will break down the cost data daily for the selected date range.

Step 3 – Choose Dimension – API Operation:

  • Move your cursor down to the “Group by” area.
  • Click on the “Add dimension” button.
  • Select “API Operation” from the dropdown list. This will group the cost data based on different API operations.

Step 4 – Add Service Filter – Amazon S3:

  • Continue to scroll down to the “Filter” section.
  • Click on the “Add filter” button.
  • In the “Services” dropdown, select “Amazon S3“. This will filter the cost data to show only the expenses related to Amazon S3 services.


Step 5 – Add Usage Filter – DataTransfer-Out-Bytes

  • Choose “Add filter“.
  • In the “Usage Types” dropdown, select “DataTransfer-Out-Bytes(GB)“. This will filter the cost data to show only the expenses related to outbound data transfer from Amazon S3.

Step 6 – View Cost Analysis

  • Once you’ve set up all the filters, you’ll see the cost analysis based on your selected parameters.
  • You can explore the data on the Cost Explorer dashboard, and you’ll be able to see the cost breakdown of different API operations for Amazon S3, specifically focusing on outbound data transfer bytes for the chosen date range.
  • Download the CSV file for further analysis.



Understanding and managing AWS data transfer charges are critical for financial prudence. The hands-on analysis showcased here empowers users to take proactive steps in optimizing data transfer costs, ultimately enhancing overall cost-efficiency on the AWS platform.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding AWS data transfer and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. How are AWS data transfer charges calculated?

ANS: – AWS data transfer charges are calculated based on the amount of data transferred in and out of the AWS network. Different services like Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and Amazon CloudFront contribute to these charges.

2. Can I reduce AWS data transfer costs?

ANS: – Yes, optimizing data transfer costs is possible. Strategies include leveraging AWS Direct Connect, using CloudFront effectively, and regularly monitoring and optimizing data transfer patterns.

3. Are data transfer charges different for different AWS regions?

ANS: – Yes, data transfer charges can vary across AWS regions. Knowing the specific pricing for the region where your resources are deployed is essential.

WRITTEN BY Noopur Shrivastava

Noopur Shrivastava works as a Research Associate at CloudThat. She is focused on gaining knowledge of the Cloud environment. Noopur loves learning about new technology and trying out different approaches to problem-solving.



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