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DigitalOcean Bandwidth Billing FAQ

UpdatedApril 26, 2018 26.1k views DigitalOcean Product Documentation FAQ Billing

DigitalOcean includes free outbound data transfer for Droplets, starting at 1000GB/month for the $5 plan. Since 2013, each Droplet has been billed at $.02/GB for data transfer beyond its included allowance.

As our user base continues to grow, we want to keep our pricing sustainable, fair, and competitive. As part of that, starting June 1, 2018, we're making the following improvements to our bandwidth billing:

More flexible transfer limits

To reduce the chance that you exceed your free transfer limits, we've pooled the transfer allowance at the account level instead of the Droplet level.

For example, say you have two $5 Droplets (1000GB/month allowance) that run all month. One Droplet transfers 1500GB of outbound data and the other transfers 100GB.

  • Under the old plan, you would pay for 500GB of overage.
  • Under the new plan, you wouldn't be charged at all.

Reduced data transfer prices

We've halved the price of excess data transfer from $.02/GB to $.01/GB.

For example, the cost of 1000GB of overage would be $20 under the old plan and is $10 under the new plan.

Automated bandwidth billing

In the early days, we billed manually for excess transfer — and to be honest, it didn't always happen. Now we can't forget to bill for overage, but based on historical usage patterns, less than 1% of our users will exceed their pooled allowance.

The FAQ below goes into more detail, but if you have a question that isn't answered here, please leave a comment.

Why is DigitalOcean updating bandwidth pricing?

As our product portfolio expands, we are clarifying our billing policies so customers can evaluate and plan their infrastructure with greater confidence. We've always had transfer quotas for outbound data from Droplets. We're introducing a pooled transfer allowance across all Droplets to make it easier to understand consumption and allow customers to use as much of their allowance as they need.

Are there any regional variations on pricing?

No, pricing is the same across all regions.

Why is pooling the data transfer good for developers?

By pooling the data transfer allowance at the account level, we aim to give you the greatest flexibility in how you use it. For example, let's say you have two Droplets with a monthly transfer allowance of 2TB each. At the end of the month, if the first Droplet uses 1TB of data and the second uses 3TB, pooling the allowance means you would have no transfer fees. With a per-Droplet allowance, you would have no transfer fees for the first Droplet, but you would incur a 1TB transfer fee for the second.

When will this pricing change go into effect?

Starting on June 1, 2018 outbound data transfer in excess of the pooled allowance will be tracked. Charges will appear on the July 1 invoice.

How will this change my costs?

Based on our analysis of the historical usage patterns of our customers, less than one percent of users will exceed their pooled allowance.

To help you understand how this change may affect you, we will collect usage data and display projections about your transfer pool starting on April 24 and throughout the month of May on your account's Billing page.

The first bandwidth bill under the new pricing will appear on the invoice for July 1, based on usage during the month of June.

How often is the data updated in the Control Panel?

Outbound data transfer and projected transfer allowance is updated once daily.

What type of data transfer counts towards the total transfer pool?

Only outbound transfer is counted.

This means any transfer sent from a Droplet over a public network interface is deducted from the data transfer pool. In all other situations, transfer is not metered. Uploading data from your computer or the Internet to a Droplet is not metered. Communication among Droplets using private network is not metered.

What is my monthly transfer allowance?

Data transfer allowance is accrued only when Droplets are active, so your monthly transfer allowance depends on your monthly Droplet usage. Droplets are billed per hour up to a maximum of 672 hours per month (28 days multiplied by 24 hours). For every hour the Droplet exists during the month, whether it's powered on or not, it will earn 1/672 of its total allocation up to that limit. Once it's been active for 672 hours, it has reached its full bandwidth allowance.

For example, if a Droplet's maximum monthly data transfer allowance is 1TB, it will accrue 1.5 GB for each hour that the Droplet exists (1TB/672 hours) Fractional usage is rounded to increments of 1GB. 1.49GB of use will be rounded down to 1GB. 1.5GB will be rounded up to 2GB.

Do data transfers between Droplets within the same account count against the allowance?

If data transfer is initiated using a public network interface, yes, it will count against the transfer pool. You can avoid bandwidth charges for transfers between Droplets within the same account by using private networking. See the Private Networks FAQ to learn about how they work.

What about Spaces? How do both allowances come together?

Spaces has its own allowance and its usage does not count towards the total data transfers discussed in this FAQ.

Are outbound data transfers between Droplets across different accounts deducted from the allowance?

Yes. Any data transfer sent by a Droplet using a public network interface will count against the transfer pool for that Droplet's account.

What is the method used to estimate my total monthly usage?

Estimates are based on the assumption that the same daily averages for both the number of active Droplets and bandwidth usage will be maintained through the end of the month.

Is there a way to buy more allowance in bulk to avoid the $0.01/GB additional charges?

We do not offer prepaid services specific to data transfer. However, if you add credit to your account using PayPal, that balance will be automatically used toward data transfer charges as needed.

What happens if I do not use my pooled account allowance? Does it carry over?

No. The allowance is based on Droplet usage each month and is not carried over.

My account is part of the January 2013 Grandfathering announcement? Are you changing this now?

No, all accounts grandfathered will continue to be treated as such.

Will prices change again in the future? How often do you expect to adjust the price per GB?

While we do not have immediate plans to adjust prices, we do plan to continue offering the most cost-effective data transfer in the industry.

Is the data transfer allowance pooled across teams within an account?

No, each individual or team account earns its own transfer pool. That allowance cannot be transferred to another account or team.

I am a reseller and host several different clients within the same account. Is there a way to track bandwidth usage of individual Droplets separately so I can bill my customers accordingly?

We do not provide per-Droplet bandwidth usage metrics yet. In the meantime:

  • Businesses should consult their DigitalOcean account managers with questions or concerns.
  • DigitalOcean Team accounts provide a dedicated invoice for the team's resources and can be used to isolate client infrastructure. The data transfer pool for a team is based specifically on the Droplets in the team account and can be used to isolate clients.
  • Application and infrastructure monitoring services like New Relic and command line tools like vnStat can provide insight on a per-server basis.

Will I receive a notification when it appears I will exceed the transfer amount?

At this time, you can view an estimation of whether you'll exceed your transfer amount on the account Billing page, but you will not receive notification automatically.

If I set a billing alert, how will projected transfer fees figure in?

Billing alerts are triggered on the basis of actual usage, so projections of transfer in excess of the transfer pool will not trigger a billing alert until they are applied to the invoice.


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