This article describes the pricing, billing methods, and payment methods of an ECS instance.
The price of an ECS instance varies according to the following:
- Instance type, including the memory capacity and the number of CPU cores.
- Region: The price for the same instance type varies in different regions.
- Image: Windows images are more expensive than Linux or UNIX images for the same instance type in the same region because Microsoft charges an additional license fee for Windows images.
For more information, see Pricing.
Currently, ECS instances support two billing methods:
A prepaid method that allows you to use an instance only after you make the payment for it. Instance usage is billed on a monthly basis, and the billing unit is USD/month. Subscription is applicable to fixed 24/7 services, such as Web services. For more information, see Subscription.
A postpaid method in which you can pay after using the instance. Instance usage is billed on a minute basis, and the billing unit is US$/hour. The minimum charge for the lifecycle of an ECS instance (from creation to release) is USD 0.01. Pay-As-You-Go is applicable to scenarios where sudden traffic spikes occur, such as temporary scaling, interim testing, and scientific computing. For more information, see Pay-As-You-Go.
The functions of an ECS instance vary depending on the billing method. The following table lists the differences between Subscription and Pay-As-You-Go billing.
|Renew||Supported. You can manually renew, activate auto-renewal, or renew for downgrade for your ECS instance.||Not supported.|
|Release instances at any time||Not supported. The instance will be automatically released if it is not timely renewed after the instance expires.||Supported. If you do not need an instance any longer, release it immediately. Otherwise, the instance is still billed even after it is stopped until it is out of service and automatically released because of overdue payment. You can enable the No fees for stopped instances (VPC-Connected) feature.|
|Change instance specification||Supported. For more information, see Overview of configuration changes.||Supported.|
|Upgrade bandwidth||Supported. For more information, see Overview of configuration changes.||Supported.|
|Change billing method||Not supported.||Supported. You can switch from Pay-As-You-Go to Subscription. For more information, see Switch from Pay-As-You-Go to subscription.|
|ICP Filing for instances in regions inside mainland China||Supported.||Not supported.|
|Use API to create instances||Supported.||Supported.|
The payment methods of an ECS instance vary depending on the billing method.
Currently, you can use credit cards, PayPal, or coupons to pay for instances. Before you purchase an ECS instance, you must add a credit card or PayPal account to your Alibaba Cloud account.
For more information about the adding procedure, see Configure your account.
Purchase of ECS instances in regions inside mainland China requires real-name registration. For more information about real-name registration, see Real-name Registration for purchase of China mainland ECS.
Subscription is a prepaid billing method. Therefore, payment by credit card, PayPal account, or coupons is supported. For more information about billing rules, see Subscription.
To view the billing record for a Subscription instance, log on to the ECS Console and go to.
The Pay-As-You-Go billing method allows you to use instances first and then pay for the resources you have used. Payment by credit card or coupons is supported. For more information about billing rules, see Pay-As-You-Go.
To view the billing record for a Pay-As-You-Go instance, log on to the ECS Console and go to.