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 the instance Supported.

For more information, see Overview.

Not supported.
Release the 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 need 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 the instance type of subscription instances in real time.

Supported.

For more information, see Change the instance type of a pay-as-you-go instance.

Change bandwidth configurations Supported.

For more information, see Upgrade configurations of subscription instances and Downgrade instance configurations during renewal.

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 filings 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 filings. For more information about ICP filings, see Prepare and check the instance and access information.

Not supported.
Create instances through calls to API operations Supported.

Payment by bank card or PayPal is not supported.

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

Billing rule comparison

Billing rules for subscription and pay-as-you-go ECS resources have the following differences:
  • Subscription resources can be used only after they are paid for. You must pay the bills of subscription resources to use them.
  • Pay-as-you-go resources can be activated and used before they are paid for. The system generates a bill in each settlement cycle and deducts the corresponding fee from your account.
To view the payment records of ECS resources, log on to the ECS console. In the top navigation bar, choose Expenses > User Center. Then, go to the Bill Details page to view the payment records within a specific month.