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Best Amazon S3 alternatives for Static file Hosting

Summary:The most important thing while building any application is to separate static files from the codebase. It makes the application easy to develop and maintain. Here is the list of best amazon S3 object storage alternatives for static files hosting.

During the development of Holycoders, I thought of trying other cloud storage providers and compare them with Amazon S3. The motive was to find straightforward pricing and easy integration with the application.

Amazon S3 is a very good choice for the enterprise but for individual developers, it may be overkill. The complex pricing makes it even worse to predict and estimate a bill.

In this list, I have mentioned all the popular cloud storage providers which are suitable for both individual developers as well as enterprises.

I tried almost all the popular cloud storage providers which are mostly used for static file storage at a cheaper price and noted down their pros and cons. This list is the result of the same.

Google Cloud Storage

google cloud storage
Google cloud storage (GCP) is part of Google Cloud which lets you store files at minimal pricing. Google Cloud storage also integrates well with other Google Cloud products.

With over 24 regions and 144 edge locations, it becomes the best alternative for Amazon S3.

GCP is a bit costlier than Amazon S3. Here are the four pricing tiers in GCP.

Plan NameStorage Pricing
Standard Storage$0.02 per GB per month
Nearline Storage$0.01 per GB per month
Coldline Storage$.004 per GB per month
Archive Storage$.0012 per GB per month

The pricing is not that simple, this is just for storage. You need to pay extra for bandwidth and operations like GET, PUT, DELETE and others. You can find detailed pricing here.

There is also always free usage limits in which you get 5GB storage, 5000 class A operations, 50,000 class B operations and 1 GB of bandwidth.

The standard storage is suitable for frequent uses, and archive for most infrequent usage.

They are easy to integrate into applications by using the libraries for a particular language. The documentation and tutorials are well explained and a good start.

I personally found GCP to be much cleaner and easy to integrate solution, but the pricing was really a headache.

Azure Blob Storage

This is a perfect and popular AWS S3 alternative by Microsoft. It is much more complex in its pricing structure which is well suited for large scale applications.

There are 4 storage classes in Azure Blob storage which are based on the frequency of access.

  • Premium
  • Hot
  • Cool
  • Archive

The storage pricing starts from $0.15/GB for Premium, $0.0184 for Hot, $0.01 for Cool and $0.00099 for archive storage class.

Note that there are other costs also included in real-life scenarios like bandwidth cost and operations costs.

The bandwidth is the data that is moved inside and outside of cloud storage and the operations are LIST, PUT, DELETE and other operations that are performed on cloud.

You can see a detailed list of pricing here or use their pricing calculator.

For developers, it is easy to integrate Azure Blob storage in your application through their SDK. You can get started with extensive documentation on Azure Blob Storage.

I will never recommend Azure storage for normal users/develovers to use it in their small applications. It will be an overkill, like cutting an apple with swiss army knife.

Digitalocean Spaces Object Storage

Digitalocean spaces object storage
The best Amazon S3 alternative with easy pricing and management. If you don’t have a very complex application then this is the option to go for.

I am using Digitalocean from 2 years and I didn’t face a single problem with them.

The pricing of Digitalocean is very simple and straightforward.

  • $5 per month for 250 GB storage and 1TB of outbound transfer

If you need more space then scaling is also easy, additional storage for $0.02/GB per month and transfer for $0.01/GB.

For a development perspective, it is S3 compatible which means we easily integrate our existing code and tools.

Here are a few of the reasons why I prefer Digitalocean Spaces for my applications.

  • Easy and Predictable Pricing
  • CDN Support without any extra cost and setup
  • S3 Compatible
  • Security
  • Beginners Friendly

Note: HolyCoders is currently using Amazon S3 but I have planned to migrate to Digitalocean very soon.

Vultr Object Storage

Vultr object storage
Vultr is another good alternative of Amazon S3. It is very similar to Digitalocean in terms of pricing and features.

The pricing of Vultr is $5 per month for 250 GB storage and 1TB of the outbound transfer. Scaling costs $0.02/GB per month and additional transfer for $0.01/GB.

Vultr Object storage is compatible with S3 which we means we can easily use existing tools and codebase with that.

Choosing between Digitalocean and Vultr is hard as both are very good at what they provide. Both providers give free trail credits for 60 days which you can use to choose best for your needs.

I am using Digitalocean for a long time so I prefer using that but you can choose any of them.

Linode Object Storage

Linode object storage
Linode is yet another popular and good alternative to AWS S3. The pricing structure is similar to Digitalocean and Vultr.

Linode is priced at is $5 per month for 250 GB storage and 1TB of the outbound transfer. Scaling costs $0.02/GB per month and additional transfer for $0.01/GB.

Linode is also S3 compatible which means it is easy to integrate with your existing codebase.

Honestly, I have used Linode for a very short span of time and I didn’t find any difference between Digitalocean, Vultr and Linode except the difference of few locations.

Linode also has free credit for 60 days on new registration which you can use to explore its features and decide to use it or not.

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

Backblaze is the most affordable cloud storage provider and a great alternative to Amazon S3. It is even cheaper than the AWS S3.

Backblaze B2 is almost 3 times cheaper then AWS S3.

Its pricing structure is very simple and predictable. Backblaze B2 costs $0.005/GB per month for data storage and $0.01/GB for bandwidth.

There is no minimum charge. They also provide a free tier forever in which you get 10GB of storage and 1GB/day bandwidth which is good enough to start.

From developers point of view, it is very frustrating to use due to outdated documentation. It is very hard to find any tutorials and integrate Backblaze B2 in our applications.

The only reason why I left Backblaze was lack of documentation or any tutorials. You may end up creating something anti-pattern without any guidelines which can cost additions load on your pocket.

IBM Cloud Storage

IBM Cloud storage
IBM also has its own Cloud Storage which can be a good alternative of AWS S3. The pricing is complex as per clouds tradition.

IBM Cloud storage has four main storage classes.

  • Smart Tier
  • Standard
  • Vault
  • Cold Vault

You can view the complete list of pricing here. The outbound bandwidth is costly as compared to others and will put a load on pocket as usage increases.

Conclusion

These were some of the popular alternatives of Amazon S3. If you know or use something else, feel free to add them in comments. I will add that in the list.

Here is a summary to categorise the AWS S3 alternatives:

  • For Normal Developers/ Small team - Digitalocan, Vultr, Linode, Backblaze
  • For Enterprise/ Very heavy usage applications (thousands of GB of space and hundreds of thousand of transfer) - Google Cloud Storage, Azure Blob Storage, IBM Cloud Storage.

You can share your own personal experiences with these cloud storage providers in the comments.

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