DigitalOcean vs. AWS: How Do They Compare?

Cloud computing technology

DigitalOcean vs. AWS: How Do They Compare?

DigitalOcean and AWS have been two of the most popular Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers for quite some time now. In each of their respective markets, both companies are known for providing quality infrastructure at affordable prices.

If you’re currently evaluating either of these services for your business, you might be wondering how they compare in terms of cost, features, performance, and everything in between.

In this DigitalOcean vs. AWS comparison, we will explain the key differences between the two cloud service providers so you can determine which one is best for your specific needs as an organization. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

DigitalOcean vs. AWS: A Side-by-Side Comparison

FoundedJune 24th, 2011March 3rd, 2006
Address01 Avenue of the Americas (Grand St.)
New York, NY 10013
United States
410 Terry Avenue
North Seattle, WA 98109
United States
Data Center Locations        Multiple in U.S. and Europe, 1 in AsiaMultiple in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, plus one in South America
PriceFrom $4 per monthAWS offers you a pay-as-you-go approach for pricing for the vast majority of their cloud services
Uptime Guarantee       99.99%           99.99%           
Key Features   Auto-scaling, reliable, easy management    Simple dashboard, great community, easy configuration
SecurityIntegrated technologies and physical security for serversSeveral security technologies, such as GuardDuty, allow you to detect threats
Operating Systems          Multiple Linux distributionsWindows Server + Multiple Linux distributions   
Website         www.digitalocean.comwww.aws.amazon.com

DigitalOcean vs. AWS: Overview

To successfully start a business, you need an infrastructure that can easily scale. Fortunately, digital engineering means you no longer have to make big investments in on-premises servers. You can opt for cloud hosting with DigitalOcean or Amazon Web Services (AWS) to get the cost advantages of scaling and pay-as-you-go flexibility.

Infographic DigitalOcean vs AWS

What is DigitalOcean?

DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting provider that offers virtual servers with SSD drives and high bandwidth. You can use it to host any application or website and run your private server. The company was founded in 2011 and has quickly grown to become the largest cloud hosting provider by the number of servers.

DigitalOcean has been praised for its user-friendly interface, which makes it simple and easy to use. The company also offers a wide array of features, such as security tools, support for multiple languages, and more. Their main focus is on making it easy for developers to get started with cloud computing, even if they’re not technical experts. They also offer managed services for teams of developers who need more advanced infrastructure.

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing service that allows users to store and process data and run applications on demand. It’s the go-to solution for most businesses looking to create or maintain their server infrastructure. It’s designed to help you build and maintain scalable applications that respond quickly to new demands.

You can use the AWS console to manage the services you need to run your business, including database storage, e-commerce platforms, virtual machines (VMs), networking, and more. AWS Cloud is available in 16 different geographic regions. AWS provides a robust, reliable, fast, and inexpensive way to build and deploy applications.

Using AWS costs much less than setting up an entire data center while allowing companies to scale their infrastructure around their usage patterns. It provides a broad selection of web services from computing power with Amazon EC2 to storage with Amazon S3 and scalable databases like Amazon DynamoDB.

Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services is loved by large enterprises for affordable prices and scalable applications.

DigitalOcean vs. AWS: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • DigitalOcean is cheaper than AWS, which means it’s a better choice for startups and small companies that don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with more expensive services like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • While AWS gives you the choice of SSD or HDD storage, DigitalOcean exclusively offers SSD storage.
  • DigitalOcean is ideal for those who want a MySQL instance, while AWS is ideal for DevOps experts employed by a business and lacks the free time necessary to deploy patches and upgrades.
  • DigitalOcean is an Infrastructure as a Service provider (IaaS). It allows you to handle security, databases, and even the operating system.
  • AWS is Platform as a Service (PaaS) that aids in the support of managed services. Except for applications, it controls everything on its own.
  • DigitalOcean does not work with Microsoft Windows. It only works with pre-configured Linux installations.
  • DigitalOcean is one of the leading IaaS providers in the world, with over 4 million developers.

DigitalOcean vs. AWS: Key Differences

The two cloud computing giants, DigitalOcean and Amazon Web Services (AWS), are known for their features, pricing options, and customer support. Both offer a wide range of services that can help you build your own private server or get started with a virtual machine (VM) on one of their cloud computing platforms.

But, which one is better for your needs? Here’s what you need to know about the differences between these two platforms.

Customer Support

There are now three levels of customer support available through DigitalOcean: Developer, Business, and Premier.

All customers receive free developer assistance, including ticket-based cases available around the clock. Although free, access to the self-help information source might occasionally feel constrained. On its status page, DigitalOcean allows users to monitor the status of all of its servers and products.

Business support, which includes third-party support, infrastructure assistance, and a group of customer success managers, is provided without charge to anyone spending more than $500 per month. Lastly, Premier assistance is offered for an undisclosed monthly charge that is probably based on the size of your firm. This level provides a dedicated account manager, advanced solutions engineering, and a response time of 30 minutes.

AWS offers three levels of support, each with a different price that varies according to how much you use the platform. For instance, 10% of your monthly AWS usage for the first $10,000 and 7% of your usage from $10,000 to $80,000 are required to reach the Business tier. Although it might be pricey, this service offers help with infrastructure upkeep and delivers 60-minute reaction times for mission-critical issues.

With around 75 data centers compared to DigitalOcean’s 13 from a global network perspective, AWS has DigitalOcean beat. If your service requires worldwide connectivity, it is crucial to take into account the fact that AWS gives wider coverage within the same regions. AWS has a global network advantage over DigitalOcean, with around 75 data centers compared to DigitalOcean’s 13. AWS provides more coverage across the same regions, which is critical to consider if your service requires worldwide access.

Scalability and Ease Of Use

Scaling your application on AWS is quite simple, thanks to various complimentary technologies enabling your web application to manage large traffic volumes and serve a global audience. As your traffic rises, you’ll need a CDN to handle image and video content delivery, for example. For this purpose, AWS provides the Amazon CloudFront service.

While operating in a simpler ecosystem, programs hosted on DigitalOcean can grow as effectively as any AWS solution, most likely with more ease. While DigitalOcean strives for simplicity, it remains extremely adaptable, allowing your expert DevOps teams and developers to construct an optimal solution for your apps. The API and CLI tools from DigitalOcean will enable you to dynamically add Droplets to handle your application’s traffic.

 A typical design can have front-end nodes backed up by fewer data storage nodes. The DigitalOcean “Resize” function allows you to add capacity and computational power to your Droplets; however, to truly expand your application elegantly, you will need to add nodes, which you can do through the DigitalOcean “Add Nodes” feature.


DigitalOcean’s price structure is straightforward, transparent, and all-inclusive. Transfer and SSD prices are already included in the pricing, and there are no further charges.

The monthly cost of DigitalOcean is determined by the number of vCPUs (virtual CPUs) chosen by developers. Plans start at $4 per month and increase based on SSD disk capacity, transfer caps, RAM caps, and vCPUs.

Standard Droplets, CPU-Optimized Droplets, General Purpose Droplets, Memory-Optimized Droplets, Managed Databases, and Spaces Object Storage are available to users.

For the great majority of their cloud services, AWS provides you with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. With AWS, there are no lengthy contracts or complicated licensing requirements; you only pay for the specific services you use. Similar to how you pay for utilities like water and electricity, AWS pricing is flexible. There are no hidden fees or additional charges after you stop using the services; you just pay for what you use.

While both AWS and DigitalOcean have clear pricing, AWS prices have historically been opaque and mysterious. As a result, the price has become a common concern for customers considering AWS services. The difference between DigitalOcean and others is that the latter is open and transparent about how much you will end up paying every month, which is ideal for small enterprises’ budgeting and planning needs.

DigitalOcean has highly affordable plans, starting at just $4/month.


AWS is the 800-pound gorilla of the cloud computing sector in terms of service offerings and products. It offers a product range that rivals only Microsoft Azure in the market, but DigitalOcean has been quietly building its own suite of goods. However, because DigitalOcean’s strategy is geared toward developers and small enterprises, they don’t need to provide the whole suite that AWS does.

Although its product options are limited, DigitalOcean covers the necessities for small and medium-sized organizations. Still, almost everything DigitalOcean provides is available on AWS. While DigitalOcean’s product offering has evolved beyond what it offered a few years ago, the income disparity with AWS perfectly contrasts the two. DigitalOcean has grown over $250 million in yearly revenue, whereas AWS currently generates $9 billion per quarter, translating to about $36 billion in annual revenue. That is a significant difference.

Pros and Cons of DigitalOcean

Provides comprehensive FAQs and lessonsHas fewer regions compared to AWS
Easy to use and navigate aroundSSH host keys may cause security problems
Offers great performing serversDigitalOcean does not offer any cloud computing instances that have GPUs. Useful for AI, machine learning, and data sciences training
Affordable and scalable pricingYou can’t install the system by yourself or provide your ISO
Allows you to create multiple server instances using the same account 
Uses a what-you-pay-is-what-you-see business approach 
An excellent resource for tech-savvy startups 

Pros and Cons of AWS

Better DevOps supportThe pricing model is not transparent
Support for business intelligence and analyticsUnreliable deployment with no error description
Broad and deep product and service offeringsExpensive customer support
Simple and transparent licensing methodNot ideal for startups that are not tech-savvy
Allows users to select an operating system, programming language, or database of choiceIt’s a less open private cloud, making it an unpopular storage option for sensitive industries like finance and banking
High network reliability with low latency 
A large number of data centers across the globe 
The transport of information between servers and storage involves very little data loss 

DigitalOcean vs. AWS: Which One Should You Choose?

Both DigitalOcean and Amazon Web Services offer excellent web hosting and cloud computing solutions, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re a fast-growing company trying to use the cloud to compete on a larger scale, AWS is your best option. AWS has a robust global network and many services to serve Fortune 500 enterprises. DigitalOcean is working hard to develop its global network and service offerings, but it is nowhere near the size of AWS.

If you are searching for a low-cost cloud computing solution, DigitalOcean is unquestionably the best choice. DigitalOcean lowers the barrier to entry into the cloud computing industry by reducing its pricing and providing pre-packaged services that are excellent for small enterprises wishing to run a small team, develop an app, or simply store their files.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where are DigitalOcean servers located?

The company has data centers in Amsterdam, Bangalore, Frankfurt, London, Toronto, New York City, San Francisco, and Singapore.

Is AWS or DigitalOcean cheaper?

DigitalOcean is cheaper than AWS for a few reasons. First, DigitalOcean charges by the hour, while AWS charges by the month. This can be a big difference for smaller businesses that need to pay for each month’s usage upfront.

Who is the top cloud provider?

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon.com’s cloud computing service, is the world’s largest cloud service provider. The company offers over 200 fully featured services from its data centres, including cloud computing, storage, and database.

Is DigitalOcean a cloud platform?

DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting company that provides cloud computing and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). DigitalOcean is well-known for its price and scalability, and teams can deploy in seconds with plans starting at $4 per month. This framework can assist anyone in fast getting up and running in the cloud.

Is DigitalOcean safe?

Digital Ocean’s 99.99% uptime makes it one of the most reliable resources available. When added to high levels of security and data protection, it’s no wonder that so many clients use this platform. The easily navigated control panel is a breath of fresh air for developers.

How is DigitalOcean different than AWS?

Basically, DigitalOcean is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), where you have to manage almost everything (like security, operating system, databases, and more). Whereas, AWS offers managed services (Platform as a Service, or PaaS), which manages everything on its own, except applications.

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