Instance billing method comparison

Last Updated: Feb 09, 2018

This article describes the pricing, billing methods, and payment methods of an ECS instance.

Pricing

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 of ECS.

Billing methods

Currently, ECS instances support two billing methods:

  • Subscription: 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 US$/month. Subscription is applicable to fixed 24/7 services, such as Web service. For more information, see Subscription.

  • Pay-As-You-Go: 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$/hour. The minimum charge for the lifecycle of an ECS instance (from creation to release) is 0.01 US$. Pay-As-You-Go is applicable to scenarios with sudden traffic spikes, such as temporary scaling, interim testing, and scientific computing. For more information, see Pay-As-You-Go.

The functions and payment methods of an ECS instance vary depending on billing methods.

Functions

The functions of an ECS instance vary depending on the billing method. The following table lists the differences between the Subscription and Pay-As-You-Go billing methods.

Function Subscription Pay-As-You-Go
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.
Upgrade instance specification Supported. For more information, see Upgrade configurations in the User Guide. Supported.
Upgrade bandwidth Supported. For more information, see Upgrade configurations of Subscription instances in the User Guide. Supported. For more information, see Change configurations of Pay-As-You-Go instances.
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 in the User Guide.
ICP Filing for instances in regions inside mainland China Supported. Not supported.
Use API to create instances Not supported. Supported.

You can also switch your instance from Pay-As-You-Go to subscription.

Payment methods

The payment methods of an ECS instance varies depending on different billing methods.

Currently, you can use credit cards, PayPal account, or coupons to pay for instances. Before you purchase an ECS instance, you must add a credit card or PayPal account to your account.

For more information about the adding procedure, see Configure your account in the Account Management documentation.

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 in the Account Management documentation.

  • The Subscription is a prepaid billing method. Therefore, payment by credit card, PayPal account, or coupons is supported. For more information about the billing rules, see Subscription.

    To view the billing record for each ECS instance of the Subscription billing method, log on to the ECS Console and go to Billing Management > Bills > Subscription.

  • The Pay-As-You-Go billing method allows you to use instances first and pay later. Payment by credit card or coupons is supported. For more information about the billing rules, see Pay-As-You-Go.

    To view the billing record for each ECS instance of the Pay-As-You-Go billing method, log on to the ECS Console and go to Billing Management > Bills > Pay-As-You-Go.

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