Let’s face it; Amazon S3 can be expensive and, frankly, difficult to use – especially for non-developers. Its pricing model is complicated, downloads are costly at $0.9 per GB (or even up to $0.17 per GB if you use Cloudfront!), they charge you for support, and their analytics are a tad overwhelming, especially if you just want to see some basic data.
These drawbacks make it difficult to see what’s ramping up your bandwidth costs and cause many users to seek object storage alternatives to save time, money, and technical headaches.
We understand the frustration (we’ve been there), so we’ve decided to make your decision to switch a little easier by compiling a list of the 10 best Amazon S3 alternatives for 2021. We did the research, ran the numbers, and read plenty of reviews, so you don’t have to dig for information. So, if you’d like to check out the main pros and cons of 10 alternatives (in no particular order) and our 2 cents on each, keep reading.
1. Bucket Blaze
Yes, we may be a bit biased with this one, but Bucket Blaze offers a simple solution to reduce Amazon S3 bandwidth costs by 50% or more (as well as other S3 compatible storage providers) and make downloads up to 10x faster. It uses the Stackpath CDN that securely copies your files to over 45 edge locations for the cheapest and fastest download every time and requires no reuploading of files – keep your files stored on your current network.
Price: the Bucket Blaze platform delivers Amazon S3 files via the Stackpath network at the cost of $0.05 per GB instead of the $0.09 per GB that Amazon charges. You get your first 100GB free and a fully supported free trial.
- Download speeds up to 10x faster than S3.
- Connects to most storage providers like Wasabi.
- Easy to understand analytics for individual files.
- Built-in security – each download link is generated on the fly and can be made expire immediately after generation so they can’t be shared
- Free support with a dedicated slack channel.
- Simple 3 step setup that anyone can do (not just developers).
- No hidden costs and you’re not tied into a contract.
- Can be used in conjunction with other S3 plugins (ie. you can use it for just one product, or all products)
- Designed specifically for WordPress, WooCommerce and Sendowl (but it can also be used with other platforms or we can make a custom solution for you)
- Requires you to use cloud storage software already (though adding the plugin to it is super easy to do and will significantly reduce the cost of your current storage provider.)
Final thoughts: Bucket Blaze is a no-brainer if you’re looking to reduce storage provider’s costs and easily see what files are costing the most. Higher download speeds, reduced bandwidth cost, and simplified analytics – what’s not to love?
2. Azure Blob
Azure Blob is a popular Amazon S3 alternative for storing and streaming large files as it offers cheaper rates per GB than Amazon S3. At the moment, you can get $200 free credit and a free trial.
Price: Azure Blob has a tiered pricing model starting at $0.0184 per GB for ‘hot storage’, decreasing to $0.01 per GB for ‘cool storage’ and $0.002 per GB for ‘archive storage’.
- Flexibility to scale as needed.
- Supports Java, .NET, Python, and Node.js.
- Offers similar features to Amazon S3.
- Cheaper cost per GB than Amazon S3.
- Installation and using their software can be tricky, especially for beginners.
- The tier pricing system can lead to high costs and is relatively complicated.
- Billing and subscription support are free but chat support costs at least $29 a month.
- Azure backup vault doesn’t integrate with Azure Blob.
Final thoughts: Overall, Azure Blob is very comparable to Amazon S3 and has cheaper per GB costs. However, non-developers might struggle with their software and find their pricing model too complicated.
3. Google cloud
When Google Cloud came onto the scene, it made cloud storage accessible to the masses with 15GB of free storage, but is it worth the switch?
Price: Google Cloud Storage prices start at $0.02 per GB, and network pricing up to 1TB starts at $0.12 per GB.
- Connects with duplicity to enable data encryption.
- Files can be shared with others using unique URLs.
- Google Cloud has a data retention feature.
- Great for ample file storage: 5TB VS 5 GB for Amazon S3.
- Very user-friendly.
- Uploads up to 4x faster than Amazon S3
- The optional versioning feature costs extra.
- Has a minimum storage length of 365 days. Early deletion comes at a cost.
- Expensive support fee of $150
- Downloading price expensive
Final thoughts: Great for startups as the 15GB storage is a big bonus, easy to use, and cheaper than Amazon S3 but lacks many Amazon S3 features.
Wasabi is relatively new to the scene, but it certainly stands up to Amazon S3. With Wasabi, you pay for a predefined space in the cloud and can currently get a 1-month free trial. Additionally Bucket Blaze integrates directly with Wasabi if you want to use Wasabi for file hosting, then Bucket Blaze for delivery – particularly useful because Wasabi limits your egress (download bandwidth) usage based on your storage amount. So if you host 50GB of files, you’re only allowed to use 50GB of bandwidth per month.
Price: $3.99 per TB or $0.004 per GB.
- Connects with any Amazon S3 SDK.
- It uses one storage class with no additional charges for the likes of PUT and GET.
- High durability.
- Intuitive ‘drag & drop’ interface. Free data download.
- Major limitation is your monthly bandwidth (“egress”) is limited to your storage amount – you can only use the same level of outgoing bandwidth as your storage number. If you use 100GB of storage, you can only use 100GB of bandwidth per month. Exceeding this can result in your account being terminated. More info here
- Expensive phone support at $300 per month.
- Specializes in cloud storage, meaning it doesn’t offer features like cloud computing.
Final thoughts: Wasabi might save you time as you can reuse Amazon S3 scripts, and it’s handy if you need to download data quite often. The pricing model is uncomplicated but might still be too expensive for small businesses, especially if your monthly egress bandwidth exceeds your overall storage amount.
5. Digital Ocean Spaces
With Digital Ocean Spaces, you can store, serve and access large amounts of data with ease. You pay for packages of resources and not for the amount of space you use. Try before you buy with their 2-month free trial.
Price: $0.020 per GB.
- Built-in CDN feature that helps to reduce latency.
- Great tutorials in the community section.
- Compatible with Amazon S3.
- Straightforward pricing with one storage class.
- No phone support or live chat.
- You spend the same amount even if you haven’t uploaded any data.
- They don’t have as many regions as other providers.
Final thoughts: If you like simplified pricing and don’t mind the lack of support, this could be a good option. The first TB of outbound data each month is included in the price, so this is a nice feature if you download quite frequently.
6. IBM Cloud Storage
IBM Cloud Storage has been around a long time and is a great Amazon S3 alternative. They also offer customers 25BGB for free each month.
Price: $0.0012 per GB.
- Excellent security features.
- Compatible with Amazon S3.
- Easy to use interface.
- Offers metal servers on a subscription base.
- 24/7 customer support via a ticket system.
- The web interface can be slow.
- IBM’s file collaboration system isn’t great.
- Some user manuals aren’t up to date.
- Configuring the server is time-consuming.
Final thoughts: IBM has options for nearly every budget, so it’s fantastic for startups or personal use. However, it’s not the most user-friendly system. Beginners beware.
Zadara is an all-in-one cloud storage system with a fantastic variety of features designed for enterprises, including compute, networking, and storage tools.
Price: $0.15 per GB.
- They provide iSCSI as a service.
- Offer flexible deployment options.
- Excellent data analysis tools, data integration, and security.
- Offer training, webinars, and resources.
- Vast volumes of data are supported.
- Not as feature-rich as some other providers.
- Doesn’t offer enough information on patches and updates.
- Expensive compared to competitors
Final thoughts: Zadara is excellent for startups that need relatively affordable and efficient storage. New features and innovations on the market are often not integrated quickly enough on Zadara for most users. Depending on your needs, this may be an issue.
8. Dream Objects
Dream Objects by Dreamhost is a notable cheap alternative to Amazon S3 if you don’t require all the features of Amazon S3 and want a more straightforward object storage system. Get a 30-day free trial to see how you feel about it before committing.
Price: $0.05 per GB for downloads and $0.025 per GB for storage.
- You can manage buckets and access keys from a single control panel.
- Supports access control levels.
- Compatible with Amazon S3.
- Easily scalable using open-source software.
- 100% uptime.
- No CDN availability.
- Doesn’t support all bucket policies or lifecycles.
- No phone support available.
Final thoughts: A very affordable storage solution for backups and storing large media files. Dream Objects does lack certain features that Amazon S3 offers, however, so this is something to consider. Its custom control panel also might be daunting for non-developers.
9. Alibaba Object Storage
Alibaba Cloud is a strong competitor for Amazon S3, particularly in China where it’s now the leading provider. It’s a highly rated tool for storing, retrieving, and creating a backup of data and offers pay-as-you-go or subscription billing options.
Price: they have a 3 tier pricing model starting at $0.02 per GB.
- Integrates with CDN’s and ECS.
- Scalable storage options with no set limits.
- Slightly more affordable than Amazon S3.
- Make 3 copies of files, so nothing is ever lost.
- Provides global protection against attacks with Anti-DDoS software
- Version control isn’t supported.
- Max bucket quantity is 30 vs 100 for Amazon S3.
- Their online documentation and pricing calculator aren’t the best compared to Amazon S3.
Final thoughts: Almost all of the main features of Alibaba are the same as Amazon S3 but at a lower cost. If you need a full suite of object storage tools for your business, with over 66 locations this is a fantastic option.
10. Rackspace Cloud Files
Rackspace is a well-known cloud storage provider with over 35 data centers worldwide. They boast extremely fast download speeds and a tightly integrated, user-friendly CDN. You can take advantage of their $100 free credit offering at the moment along with a free trial.
Price: $0.10 per GB and CDN bandwidth charge is $0.12 per GB.
- They offer simplified migration services.
- Fantastic live chat support.
- Built-in CDN network for faster downloads.
- Immediate email or phone notifications to alert you to server crashes.
- Files are given a unique URL for easy distribution.
- You can store file containers in different regions.
- Login speed can be slow.
- The automated backup feature is pretty limited.
- The Control panel isn’t super user-friendly.
- The UI isn’t terrific if you’re storing a massive volume of files.
- Support comes at a premium price of $500 a month.
Final thoughts: Though they provide an excellent infrastructure that matches and even surpasses Amazon S3 in some ways, they are among the most expensive object storage providers on this list. Make sure to weigh up their pricing and features with your current provider to see if it’s a good investment.
We hope you’ve been left with more clarity on Amazon S3 alternatives than when you first arrived at this blog and have an idea of what’s out there and how it compares to your current provider.
Ultimately, we want to see people save money and time integrating a new storage system into their business. This is why we’ve developed an incredibly easy to use platform that will save you at least 50% compared to Amazon S3 costs. Bucket Blaze works with any “S3 compatible” storage provider, integrating is simple, it can work in conjunction with your current setup and we’re always available to chat to you so why not give it a try today with a free trial. Get in touch here to get started.