This topic compares the features and billing rules of subscription and pay-as-you-go instances.

Feature comparison

Subscription ECS instances and pay-as-you-go ECS instances support different features. The following table lists the differences. For more information about the two billing methods, see Subscription and Pay-as-you-go.

Feature Subscription Pay-as-you-go
Renew Supported.

For more information, see Renewal overview.

Not supported.
Release an instance at any time Not supported.

After an ECS instance expires, it is automatically released if it is not renewed within the specified period of time.

Supported.

Release pay-as-you-go ECS instances that you no longer use as soon as possible. If you do not release them, the ECS resources are continuously charged until the instances are stopped and released due to overdue payments. For more information, see Release an instance.

Change instance types Supported.

For more information, see Upgrade configurations of Subscription instances and Downgrade configurations of Subscription instances.

Supported.

For more information, see Change configurations of Pay-As-You-Go instances.

Change bandwidth configuration Supported.

For more information, see Upgrade configurations of Subscription instances and Renew for configuration downgrade.

Supported.

For more information, see Change Internet bandwidth.

Change billing methods Supported.

For more information, see Switch the billing method from Subscription to Pay-As-You-Go and Upgrade configurations of Subscription instances.

Supported.

For more information, see Switch the billing method from Pay-As-You-Go to Subscription.

Use a subscription image from Alibaba Cloud Marketplace Supported.

For more information, see the "FAQ about subscription Alibaba Cloud Marketplace images" section in Image FAQ.

Not supported.
Apply for ICP filing for websites that are deployed on ECS instances in mainland China Supported.

Only ECS instances that have a subscription period of at least three months can be used for ICP filing. For more information about ICP filing, see Prepare and check the instance or server.

Not supported.
Created by calling API operations Supported.

Payment by bank cards or PayPal is not supported.

Supported.
Use Alibaba Cloud Security, CloudMonitor, and SLB for free Supported. Supported.

Billing rule comparison

Billing rules for subscription ECS resources and pay-as-you-go ECS resources have the following differences:
  • Subscription resources can be used only after payment is made. You need to pay the bill of subscription resources to use them. For more information about the billing rules, see Subscription.
  • You can activate and use pay-as-you-go resources before you pay for them. The system generates a bill in each settlement cycle and deducts the corresponding fee from your account. For more information about the billing rules, see Pay-as-you-go.
To view the payment records of ECS resources, log on to ECS console. In the top navigation bar, choose Billing Management > Billing Management, and then go to the Income/Expense page to view the payment records for a specified month.