Amazon Route 53

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Amazon Route 53

The process of signing up for Amazon Route 53 and even transferring domain names from other networks is easy and updates quickly.

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Amazon Route 53 is part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and specifically features DNS, domain name registration, and health-checking web services. It launched in 2011 and works closely in conjunction with the other AWS services and platforms to provide developers and businesses a reliable and cost effective way to route and connect to users. The Amazon Route 53 network consists of eleven global regions with two or more datacenters for each region. The process of signing up for Amazon Route 53 and even transferring domain names from other networks is easy and updates quickly—customers can sign up for and begin using Route 53’s network within a few minutes. Domain names can either be registered with Route 53 or existing domains can be transferred, allowing clients to manage their domain names and DNS configuration in one convenient location.  

The Good

  • Pricing
  • Health checks
  • Services
  • Credits

Amazon Route 53 does not have any minimum fees and charges only for usage without any pre-paid packages, creating some of the most competitive pricing in the industry. Each hosted zone is $0.50/month for the first 25 zones and $0.10/month for each additional hosted zone. There are several types of queries with varying features that can be selected, with the prices listed below. For each type of query, the price is per million queries for the first 1 billion queries and per million for over 1 billion queries.

  • Standard queries: $0.40/month and $0.20/month
  • Latency-based routing queries: $0.60/month and $0.30/month
  • Geo DNS queries: $0.70/month and $0.35/month

Amazon Route 53 offers health checks for AWS endpoints, meaning a resource running within AWS that is part of the account, up to 50 endpoints without charge. Beyond that, it is $0.50/health check/month for AWS endpoints and $0.75 for non-AWS endpoints. Because the pricing is so flexible and there are several considerations to account for, AWS provides a free calculator set up to help clients estimate what their monthly bill will be based on their needs and the services they sign up for.

Clients of Route 53 can configure DNS health checks and failover configurations to independently monitor their applications or to reroute traffic as needed. As part of the DNS failover configuration services, Route 53 provides several arrangements using the following resources:

  • latency based routing
  • geolocation DNS routing
  • weighted round robin
  • Amazon Route 53 alias records

Amazon Route 53 provides an official 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA) to their customers, along with a Service Credit program if at any time Route 53 is unavailable or fails to respond to a client's DNS queries. The Service Credits are equal to the client's average daily query charges for the preceding month and are applied to future payments to Amazon Route 53. They are calculated as follows:

  • 5 to 30 minutes of unavailability equals 1 day of Service Credits
  • 31 minutes to 4 hours of unavailability equals 7 days of Service Credits
  • More than 4 hours of unavailability equals 30 days of Service Credits

The Bad

  • Missing features
  • Response time
  • Additional costs

Amazon Route 53 has very low pricing and their monthly use payment system holds a lot of appeal, especially for smaller businesses. However, it means that they many standard features included with other companies' packages have to be selected and paid for separately, and some advanced features are missing altogether. There are no security measures specifically included to protect the DNS network, although all of the securities for Amazon Web Services in general apply to the DNS as well.

Amazon Route 53 has several webpage forms for emailing different departments, but they do not provide a live chat or phone number to customers without first signing up for one of their services. Emails are generally responded to in less than 24 hours, and once emails are responded to, sales representatives can be easily reached by phone.

Advanced customer service is not free, though. Once a customer has signed up all Route 53 clients can take advantage of the AWS basic 24x7x365 customer support system for free. However, additional support packages are available at three levels for an added monthly cost, and the number, quality, and price of included features increases at each level:

Developer: $49/month

  • email access during local business hours to technical support
  • less than a 12-hour response time
  • only one user can create technical support cases

Business: $100/month or percentage of use

  • phone, chat, email, and live screen sharing available 24/7
  • less than 1-hour response time
  • unlimited number of users can create technical support cases
  • plus three additional features beyond the Developer package

Enterprise: $15,000/month or percentage of use

  • phone, chat, email, live screen sharing, and technical account manager 24/7
  • less than 15-minute response time
  • unlimited number of users can create technical support cases
  • plus four additional features beyond the Business package

The Bottom Line

As a part of the larger Amazon Web Services, the Route 53 DNS web services are both reliable and cost effective. Unlike most DNS service providers, all of Route 53's pricing is flexible and based on usage instead of prepaid packages. This makes Amazon Route 53 especially ideal for individuals and small businesses who do not want to pay for services they do not need and will not use. The tradeoff is that Route 53 does not include some of the features other DNS service providers do, such as advanced security measures. AWS has a 100% SLA with a Service Credit system in place to make up for any outages. Amazon Route 53 offers basic customer service to all clients, but customers must pay for support that is more accessible, more thorough, and of higher quality.


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