Amazon Web Services to start charging for IPv4 addresses

IP addresses have become a scarce resource and are increasingly expensive. Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) is introducing a new charge for public IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses, pushing many to use IPv6 instead.

A single IP address will cost half a cent per hour ($3.6 per month, $43.8 per year), effective February 1st, 2024. IP addresses will be charged regardless of whether they’re attached to a service or not. The change is supposed to cover rising AWS costs.

“As you may know, IPv4 addresses are an increasingly scarce resource and the cost to acquire a single public IPv4 address has risen more than 300% over the past 5 years,” AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr writes on the company news blog.

Until now, in-use Public IPv4 addresses – including Amazon-provided public IPv4 and Elastic IP – assigned to resources in a virtual private cloud (VPC), Amazon Global Accelerator, and AWS site-to-site VPN tunnel, were free of charge.

The change applies to all AWS services in all regions. Additional secondary elastic IP addresses, running or idle, will cost the same 0.5 cents per hour.

The new charge is “intended to encourage you to be a bit more frugal with your use of public IPv4 addresses and to think about accelerating your adoption of IPv6 as a modernization and conservation measure.”

AWS users will be free to bring their own IP addresses to AWS (BYOIP feature). The AWS Free Tier program will include free 750-hour-long (31.25 days) IPv4 address usage for new customers for the first 12 months.

To better understand the usage of IP addresses, AWS will start including statistics in AWS Cost and Usage Reports.

A new feature, Public IP Insights, is supposed to help people to use public IPv4 addresses efficiently and understand user security profiles.

Each device on the internet is assigned a unique IP address for identification. However, rapid expansion has exhausted the existing IPv4 address space.

The most recent IPv6 internet protocol version provides a significantly larger address space. However, the two protocols are not designed to be interoperable. Compatibility concerns, a lack of incentives, and a handier IPv4 address format have slowed the move to IPv6.

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