Dan Fidler

AWS Introduces Charges for Public IPv4 Use

Dan Fidler

4 min read


It seems there’s now another business case for deploying IPv6. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that from 1 February 2024, they’ll charge USD 0.005, per IP, per hour for all public IPv4 addresses, whether they’re attached to an AWS service or not.

For an always-on service, that’s USD 43.80 yearly for each IP. Depending on market prices and resource requirements, Amazon BYOIP may be a better option (and is excluded from these charges). From early next year, running IPv4 via AWS will become an OpEx versus CapEx decision depending on your resource requirements. Considering how widely used the AWS platform is for users of all sizes, this will become an important factor for most AWS users but even the simplest maths will show that IPv6 will save operating expenses.

Understanding AWS’ public IPv4 address policy

Despite a long-standing and well-understood depletion of the pool of available IPv4 resources, public IPv4 addresses still play a major role in enabling communication over the Internet. Even with its similarities to the much more abundant IPv6, IPv4 has been increasingly commoditized over the years — AWS cited a 300% increase in cost for each public IPv4 address over the past five years.

Going forward, IPv4 ‘costs’ will not be ‘set and forget’ at AWS. The hourly rate for public IPv4 addresses associated with running instances is relatively straightforward (Table 1). However, it could result in unexpected costs if not carefully managed, especially where public IP addresses remain attached to resources that don’t have public access.

Public IP address type Current price/hour (USD) New price/hour (USD) from 1 February 2024

In-use public IPv4 address (including Amazon provided public IPv4 and Elastic IP) assigned to resources in your VPC, Amazon Global Accelerator, and AWS Site-to-Site VPN tunnel

No charge


Additional (secondary) Elastic IP Address on a running EC2 instance



Idle Elastic IP Address in account



Table 1 — AWS IP4 charging from 1 February 2023. Source.

Perhaps to mitigate these surprise charges, AWS has launched a new tool as part of their address manager called Public IP Insights.

AWS Public IP Insights

This tool appears to function as a dashboard that reports a detailed view of users’ public IPv4 address usage and their associated costs, and customers can assess which instances require public IP addresses and which ones can operate solely on private IP addresses.

AWS suggests that these new charges should accelerate the adoption of IPv6, and it’s hard to disagree with that. It’s also hard to imagine other ‘hypergiants’ not following suit with their own charges.

Towards IPv6 only

For advocates of IPv6 adoption, this may be seen as another necessary step along the path to an IPv6-only Internet and follows an earlier call to action from the US National Security Agency (NSA), packaged as advice for operating dual-stack and new IPv6 networks.

In February 2023, the NSA released a comprehensive IPv6 Transition Guidance document. The document’s goals were clearly stated — to encourage the adoption of IPv6 across government agencies and the private sector.

This can all be interpreted optimistically.

The forthcoming AWS charges, the potential for other providers to follow suit, and the NSA guidance are all urging organizations to embrace IPv6 deployment securely. They all highlight the abundance of the IPv6 address space, its improved routing efficiency, reduced need for Network Address Translation and its associated costs, and future-proofing address scale.

And, after all, the main promise of IPv6 is that with its 128-bit address format, IPv6 provides approximately 3.4×1038 unique IP addresses. It’s a value so large that it’s hard to comprehend except perhaps in these terms — it’s large enough that every conceivable device and entity will be able to have its own unique public IP address, immediately nullifying any IPv4 charges from cloud providers.

This article was originally published over on the APNIC blog.


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About the author

Digital Editor and Content Developer at APNIC.

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