In this guide we will be highlighting 10 of our favourite Amazon AWS S3 alternatives. This will be focused on identifying cloud storage services which are compatible with the Amazon AWS S3 protocols whilst being provided form companies other than Amazon AWS themselves.
Whilst Amazon S3 cloud storage is without any doubt a great solution for storing data safely in the cloud, there might be times when you require a better value alternative, be this one offering a lower cost per GB stored, better data transfer fees, different geographical areas used for storage, higher levels of data redundancy, security or other provider specific features such as easy integration with products including VPS servers or CDN networks.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to seek alternatives beyond the official Amazon AWS S3 service are, this guide will hopefully both help in solidifying these reasons before showcasing 10 of our favourite S3 alternatives for consideration towards the end of the guide.
As well as S3 compatible cloud storage , if you arelooking for S3 compatible backup software then be sure to check out our guide to the best AWS S3 compatible backup software.
Why Choose S3 Compatible Cloud Storage?
Amazon’s AWS S3 cloud storage service has become very popular across both business and enterprise users over recent years. A big part of this success coming down to the very good levels of security, resiliency and redundancy offered by the product and how easily these features can be accessed without the need to invest in additional hardware as a user of the service.
Not only does Amazon S3 offer a great service to business and enterprise users, but with (virtually) unlimited cloud storage available on-tap and advanced data protection features (including file versioning and file locking functionality), Amazon S3 has also become a popular service for storing backed-up data upon and is now supported by several leading backup solutions right out of the box.
NB – For more information on choosing S3 compatible backup solutions check out our guide to S3 compatible backup software.
Another great reason for considering AWS S3 or S3 compatible cloud storage is that it is often readily available, on demand, for both business and personal users alike. This availability means that anyone looking for cost effective cloud storage which is only billed based upon what is actually being used (alongside the other great benefits already mentioned above) should definitely consider S3 storage as an option.
NB – Although both AWS and many other S3 compatible storage providers support a web-based file manager for accessing and managing storage, addition software supporting the S3 protocols will usually be very useful in taking full advantage of the service.
Why Consider S3 Compatible Alternatives?
So far, we have established that AWS S3 is a leading service which brings many benefits to the cloud storage world for both individual and business users alike. In no particular order here are some of the main reasons you might want to consider an alternative to the official Amazon AWS S3 service:
1) Lower Storage, Egress and Ingress costs
Whilst the official AWS S3 service is very competitive on price (especially so given it is priced on demand and that no additional hardware purchases are required), there are now a number of S3 compatible providers in the market looking to offer a similar service at a much lower cost!
Whilst the cost of the service isn’t everything, if you are happy to use an S3 compatible service which might not have the full range of AWS functionality available, then such storage could be obtained at a much lower cost. For example, our current top S3 compatible choice, Backblaze B2, offers S3 compatible storage at approximately 76% less cost (and with approximately 80% lower egress costs) versus the official AWS S3 service!
2) Ease of Use
Whilst the official AWS service is undoubtedly very powerful, the sheer number of features and configuration options available could make configuring AWS S3 storage a daunting task for many, especially so individual or small business users who don’t have easy access to professional IT support to assist with the set-up of such services.
With this in mind, many S3 compatible services (often by virtue of them offering less functionality than AWS do overall) tend to have easier to understand systems and this can in-turn often make the process of setting up such storage considerably easier as a result. One relative newcomer to the S3 compatible market space, iDrive e2, which I tested earlier this year is particularly impressive not only for its low costs but for how easy and accessible they make S3 compatible storage to obtain.
3) Integration with other services
Whilst AWS is a very comprehensive service in and of itself, it might often be the case that individuals or business users are already making use of another cloud provider yet still require an S3 compatible service. In cases such as these, it might be worth considering S3 compatible services from other cloud providers given the additional integration options they could already provide with any existing cloud providers (as well as the saving in time when only having to deal with a single company for any issues relating to billing and support).
A great example of this integration is via the Spaces S3 compatible storage service from virtual server specialists, DigitalOcean. Not only is the Spaces service a great S3 compatible service in and of itself, but by being integrated into the DigitalOcean ecosystem it naturally becomes a great choice for any individuals or business already making use of DigitalOcean and its cloud services.
Our Favourite S3 Compatible Alternatives
In this section we will be listing 10 of our favourite S3 compatible cloud storage services. Remember, any ratings for the services given here reflect our own opinions and are intended only a guide. Also note that that the services with the highest ratings might not necessarily be the best services for you own personal or business requirements (so be sure to check our several choices and make use of free trials for testing before purchasing wherever possible).
1) Backblaze B2
B2 is the leading S3 compatible cloud storage service form cloud backup specialists, Backblaze!
By offering a fully S3 compatible cloud storage service alongside datacentre choices in both the USA and EU, strong security, command line access tools and bucket versioning policies amongst many other useful cloud related features, B2 becomes a serious competitor to the original AWS S3 service! Furthermore, with storage pricing starting at just $0.005 / GB per month (and with download fees of just $0.001 / GB), B2 provides a solid S3 compatible alternative for approximately 76%+ lower cost than the standard AWS offering!
Backblaze offer all users a free 10GB allocation of B2 compatible storage to try the service out for themselves, more information on the service and its pricing can be found at the official Backblaze website!
2) iDrive e2
The e2 service is the new S3 compatible cloud storage service from the well-known cloud storage and cloud backup providers, iDrive!
iDrive have for a long time offered a solid cloud backup solution which has become well-known for its large allocations of storage and low pricing scheme (as well as being very easy to use). When iDrive launched their new e2 could storage service earlier this year I was, naturally, very eager to have a look and see how it fared as an S3 compatible option (click to read my iDrive e2 review).
With cloud storage costs from just $0.004 / GB per month (up to 80% lower than the standard AWS S3 offering), alongside no fees for data ingress and egress plus the ability to save even more by taking advantage of pre-paid yearly plans, iDrive e2 is already proving itself as one of the lowest cost S3 alternatives in the market right now. Add into the mix some additional features such as multi-factor authentication, advanced user permissions policies, bucket versioning and locking rules and the choice of up to 9 datacentres across the USA and EU and it becomes clear that e2 is a serious S3 alternative!
iDrive offer all users a free 10GB allocation of e2 cloud storage, this is a great way to try the service out for yourself before committing. More details on pricing and the functionality on offer can be found at the official iDrive e2 website.
Providing a 100% S3 compatible cloud storage service with no fees for data egress alongside many other great features such as built-in ransomware protection, Wasabi is understandably becoming well-known as a leading cloud storage provider!
Whilst Wasabi data storage fees are actually slightly higher than both Backblaze B2 and iDrive e2 at $0.0059 / GB per month, they do not charge any data egress fees, have no API request charges and provide customers with the ability to save money by pre-purchasing allocations of storage over longer periods of time. Pricing aside and Wasabi claim to provide S3 compatible storage with “11×9’s” durability, full data centre redundancy and strong anti-ransomware protection amongst many other useful cloud storage features this service has on offer.
Wasabi offer all users a 30-day free trial of the service (with 1TB of storage included). More information on the free trial as well as the cloud storage service and pricing can be found at the official Wasabi website.
4) DigitalOcean Spaces
Spaces is the fully S3 compatible data storage service form cloud experts DigitalOcean, a service which provides highly resilient storage plus a great set of developer related tools for a very reasonable cost!
With pricing starting at just $5 / month for a 250GB allocation (equivalent to $0.02 / GB, per month) and just $0.002 per additional GB stored thereafter (plus transfer fees of $0.01 per GB), Spaces remains a price competitive S3 alternative in its own right. The real value in the Spaces service, however, comes for the many developer-orientated features and tools integrated into the service by default. This includes a built-in CDN, developer API, HTTPS by default, enhanced web-based file explorer and the choice of up to 5 geographical datacentres for storing data within across the USA, EU plus other regions further afield.
DigitalOcean are currently offering all new customers a $100 free account credit (valid over 60 days) in order to test these cloud services out for themselves, this includes the Spaces S3 compatible storage service amongst many others plus their excellent VPS computing offering. More information can be found via the official DigitalOcean website.
5) Vultr (Object Storage)
As a part of their strong, developer-focused cloud offering, Vultr offer a very usable and price competitive S3 compatible cloud storage service!
With pricing starting at just $5 for 250GB and 1TB of bandwidth (equivalent to $0.02 / GB, per month) plus $0.02 per additional GB stored and $10 per additional TB transferred, Vultr is a very reasonably priced S3 alternative. In much the same way as close competitors DigitalOcean and Linode, Vultr also offer additional value given that their S3 compatible service is integrated into their larger developer-focused cloud ecosystem, this includes additional services such as VPS computing, GPU focused computing, managed databases and load balancing services across a choice of up to 27 datacentre locations available across the USA and worldwide.
Vultr S3 compatible cloud storage is priced from just $5 for an initial 250GB allocation, more information on the service can be found at the official Vultr website.
6) Linode (Object Storage)
Linode are a developer-focused cloud solution which, amongst many other services, also offer a strong S3 compatible cloud storage service with a great set of features included!
With pricing starting at just $5 for a 250GB allocation (equivalent to $0.02 / GB, per month), free inbound transfers and just $0.002 per additional GB thereafter (plus $0.01 per additional outbound GB fee after an initial 1TB allowance), the object storage service from Linode is a very price competitive option. In much the same way as with their close competitors DigitalOcean and Vultr, the real value in the Linode S3 compatible service comes from it being a very developer-focused S3 alternative with good integration into the wider Linode platform (and their many other cloud services including VPS computing, Kubernetes and managed databases amongst others).
Linode S3 compatible object storage is priced from just $5 for an initial 250GB allocation, more information can be found via the official Linode website.
7) DreamHost DreamObjects
DreamObjects is a very scalable and reliable S3 compatible object storage service from web hosting experts, DreamHost!
With simple, competitive and easy to understand pricing starting at just $0.025 / GB per month (and $0.05 / GB for downloading data form the service), DreamObjects is a competitive offering when compared to the standard AWS S3 service (with further discounts available when pre-purchasing storage, taking this cost down to as little as just $0.0146 / GB per month). Pricing aside and DreamObjects offers their S3 compatible service with “99.99999” (7×9) durability, free 24/7 help and support, free use of the developer API and is, of course, integrated into the DreamHost ecosystem making it ideal for anyone already making use of DreamHost’s other cloud computing and hosting services.
DreamHost are currently offering all new users a 60-day free trial of their DreamObjects service, more information on this service and its pre-paid pricing options can be found at the official DreamObjects webpage.
8) IONOS Cloud (S3 Object Storage)
IONOS by 1&1 is a leading web hosting and cloud computing provider offering highly durable, scalable and high performance S3 compatible cloud storage!
Widely known as a leading web hosting company for many years, IONOS by 1&1 has in recent years become know for offering a first-rate cloud computing service with their S3 compatible object storage service a key feature within this service. Backing this service up are a choice of 6 separate geographical datacentre locations, ISO certified data security and full compliance with EU GDPR regulations all forming key features of the service.
Pricing-wise and IONOS start their S3 compatible cloud storage from $0.018 / GB per 30-day period for accounts with up to 50TB stored in total (and further discounts bringing this pricing down to $0.016 as more storage is used). Data transfer is free when incoming and priced from $0.036 per TB for the first 10TB of outbound traffic with further discounts available for larger quotas. Various other aspects of the service including API usage and data storage / retrieval are all free to use.
For more information on pricing and the IONOS cloud service in general, remember to check out the official IONOS website. IONOS also offer new customer the chance to try their cloud service out for free, more details available by clicking here.
9) Cloudflare R2
With a generous 10GB free tier, zero data egress fees, very strong data durability, scalability and automatic migration from other S3 compatible services, R2 has positioned itself well as a leading S3 alternative.
With a very generous 10GB free tier, zero data egress fees and pricing of just $0.015 / GB per month thereafter (plus some small charges per certain API operations), Cloudflare R2 sits as a price competitive alternative to the standard AWS S3 service. The S3 compatible service itself provides an impressive 99.999999999% durability figure alongside great scalability, reliability and performance as well.
A very generous 10GB free account is offered by Cloudflare to all new customers, more information on this plus pricing options can be found at the official Cloudflare R2 website.
10) OVH Cloud (Object Storage)
OVHcloud, from well-known web hosting provider OVH, offer a high performance and highly scalable S3 compatible cloud storage alternative as a part of their current cloud offering (Object Storage).
This highly scalable S3 offering from OVHcould brings with it numerous useful features including high resiliency and durability, advanced DNS and temporary URL functionality, convenient ACL and S3 credential management and the ability to make use of automatic MD5 checksums amongst many other useful features. When it comes to pricing, the OVH S3 compatible service remains competitive, at $0.0112 / GB per month for triple redundant storge, $0.011 / GB for outbound transfer and all incoming traffic included at no additional cost.
More information on the OVHcloud service and the S3 compatible object storage can be found at the official OVHcloud website.
S3 Alternatives - FAQs
S3 compatibility simply refers to the cloud storage in question supporting the S3 APIs. Such storage should naturally be compatible with any applications or services already making use of S3 compatible storage via AWS themselves or another S3 compatible storage provider.
Whilst it is important to note that prices are always subject to change and new providers can come and go, two are the best value S3 compatible alternatives we are aware of at time of publishing this guide are iDrive e2 at $0.004 / GB per month and Backblaze B2 at $0.005 / GB per month.
Yes, in-fact if you are willing to forgo some of the niceties found in more traditional cloud backup software then making use of an S3 compatible service can help to prove one of the most cost-effective methods for creating cloud backups. Be sure to check out our guide to S3 compatible backup software for some more information on available backup software products supporting the S3 protocols.
Whilst the official AWS S3 service is without doubt a fantastic service, there have appeared numerous S3 compatible providers in the years since its first appearance, many of which offering the core storage functionality at a much lower cost than AWS do themselves. If you are seeking S3 storage at the lowest possible cost and potentially happy to forgo some of the AWS built-in features, then it could prove very cost effective to look at an alternative S3 compatible cloud storage service instead.