What is AWS S3

The need for data storage is increasing every day. It is a huge challenge to figure out a way to store that data in an effective, efficient, and safe manner. This is when Amazon Simple Storage Service walks in and saves the day. With Amazon S3 we know more need huge data storage places or worry about data security. Now, when we know how crucial Amazon S3 is in the ever-increasing data bank of the world, let’s begin with the introduction of the same.

What is Amazon S3?

Amazon Simple Storage Service or Amazon S3 as the name suggests is an object storage service that provides excellent scalability, amazing data availability, and top-notch data security. Amazon S3 can be used by any segment of the industry that needs a service to store huge amounts of data. 

Once the data is stored using Amazon S3 it is completely secured and can be used in several domains like mobile applications, big data analytics, IoT Devices, organisational applications, etc. The data in S3 can be optimised and managed in several effective ways to just suit the organisation's specific demands.

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Amazon S3 Storage Classes

There are five types of Storage Classes:

Amazon S3 Standard

S3 Standard is for the data that is to be frequently accessed. The data is delivered with high throughput and low latency, which refers to the data that is to be accessed now and then and more importantly must be retrieved quickly.

Amazon S3 Standard - IA

S3 Standard - IA or S3 Standard - Infrequent Access is for data that is not to be accessed frequently. The storage costs are low but the restoration costs, in this case, are more. 

Amazon S3 One Zone - IA

S3 One Zone - IA or S3 One Zone - Infrequent Access is somewhat similar to S3 Standard - IA except it is just available in one zone and not three, which makes it cheaper by 20%.

Amazon S3 Intelligent - Tiering

S3 Intelligent - Tiering is one of the smart AWS features as it automatically converts from Amazon S3 Standard to Amazon S3 Standard - IA if the objects are not used or remain inactive for 30 days.

Amazon S3 Glacier

S3 Glacier is the one in which the data is archived for comparatively long storage as this data is not to be accessed frequently. The cost, in this case, is extremely less than the first two storage classes.

Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive

S3 Glacier Deep Archive is the cheapest of all the storage services provided at 1GB/month starting at $0.00099. Here, the data stored is the one that would be hardly used and you don’t mind if it takes a long time for retrieval. 

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Now, when we know about the different storage classes in Amazon S3, let's have a look at the working of Amazon S3.

Working of Amazon S3

As we know Amazon S3 is an object storage service, so that means it stores data in the form of objects. The objects are stored in buckets. To simplify it, each object is a file and this bucket is a container that contains these files or objects.

The first step to storing data in Amazon Simple Storage Service is to create a bucket and give that bucket a name and AWS Region. Once this is done, the data as objects are uploaded to this bucket. So, every object that is stored has a unique key name, which helps in the unique identification of each object in its respective bucket. 

Also, there’s a feature in S3 and S3 Versioning that can be used to keep multiple versions of a file or an object in the same bucket. This allows the restoration of an object in case it is deleted by mistake. Similarly, there are several features in Amazon S3 to make the work easy and effective. 

It must be noted that Buckets and the objects in them can be accessed only when you have permission to access them. Several things make sure that the objects are safe and secure, for example, AWS IAM (Identity and Access Management) policies or ACLs (Access Control Lists).

Talking with respect to the billing in Amazon S3, it is one of the most incredible parts. You have to pay according to your usage. The bill depends on the amount of data stored, for how long the data is stored, and what are operations performed while accessing the data.

The billing concerning data transfer majorly depends on the regions. When the data is transferred from an S3 bucket to a cluster in the same region, it's completely free. While, when data is downloaded from a bucket located outside the region, the billing is done per megabyte and the same is the case with the data being downloaded from an S3 bucket to any host across the world wide web.

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Now, when we are familiar with the basics of Amazon S3, let's have a look at its features.

Features of Amazon S3

Several features place Amazon Simple Storage Service a step ahead of other storage service providers.


The structure of Amazon S3 (flat and non-hierarchical) makes it widely acceptable by clients of diverse sizes, as now they can organise according to their organisational needs.

Data Transfer:

The transfer of data to S3 is extremely, all you need is an internet connection and AWS S3 API. Also, one doesn’t need to be tech-savvy, it's just so simple and flexible.

Easy Automation:

Developers not just find the transfer of data easy, but also the automation of backups.

Safe and Secure:

The data stored in S3 is safe and secure as it provides a big range of encryption features and access management tools. 


In terms of fees also Amazon S3 proves to be successful, as they just charge for the resources we use. The biggest part is there are no hidden or overhead charges.If you have any doubts on Amazon S3, then get them clarified from Amazon S3 Industry experts on our Amazon S3 Community!

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By now you would be well versed with everything you need to begin with Amazon Simple Storage Service. In the beginning, we learnt the basics of Amazon S3 and continued with the exemplary features of the storage service. Moving forth, we saw the different Storage classes in Amazon S3, where we came across 6 types of S3 Storage Classes. 

Finally, when we had a good amount of knowledge about Amazon Simple Storage Service we went on to check its working and how we can go about storing files or objects in S3 buckets. While at it we saw how S3 is safe and secure, cost-efficient, and how its billing is dependent on the region of download.

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Ishan Gaba
Ishan Gaba
Research Analyst
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.