Charges for turned off droplets?

Posted February 12, 2015 7.6k views

I just joined and created my first droplet a few days ago. I kept it on for about 3 hours and then turned it off. The next day, I saw that I owed about $0.18, which is what I expected at $0.06/hr. Today, however, I logged in and saw that I owe $1.61 for 27 hours of time. However, my droplet has only been on for those initial 3 hours. I guess my question is obvious:

Are we charged for each hour the droplet exists, or for each hour that it is turned on? It seems to me that it must be the former, but my AWS experience has taught me to expect the latter.

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Submit an Answer
2 answers

You have to create a backup and destroy the droplet if you want to rebuild it later. This is the only way you can “power off” your droplet without getting billed.

You are being charged as long as your droplet exists. “AWS” is a collection of hundreds of different products, and it works the exact same way depending which product you pick.

  • Yes, I was speaking of the EC2 service within AWS. Anyway, thanks for a quick answer!

  • Yeah, so it’s similar to EC2 then. You pay for the machines that exist, not just the ones that run.

    (EC2 just charges a lower rate when they’re off if you use ephemeral storage/static IPs. Also note that EC2 is still 4 different things ;) )

  • For clarity to those who read this in the future, you’re not charged for EC2 instances that are turned off. However, your EC2 instances are typically backed by EBS (disk space). And you’re charged for storing that whether or not your instance is running. That’s the reason why it seems to be a “lower rate” when turned off.

    I see now that AWS is really a per-service pricing model, and DigitalOcean is a much more simplified model, where storage is rolled into the hourly rate. I like it - I just didn’t understand it until these kind folks answered.

  • Yeah, I must’ve edited my comment at least 4-5 times to clarify that, heh. They sell different services so sometimes you’re paying for a bundle of them without noticing (like you mentioned, EBS)