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How To Make The Most Out Of Your AWS WAF Pricing

When it comes to web application firewall (WAF), pricing can seem bewildering and contradictory. As with most services on AWS, WAF costs depend on several different variables, making the cost per WAF endpoint more difficult to understand than with other services like EC2 instances or S3 storage. Pricing for WAF also changes frequently. For example, prices for the service have increased 16% since earlier this year with the launch of AWS WAF V2.0.

With all that being said, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your AWS WAF pricing strategy. Read on to learn more about how to get the most out of your monthly subscription fee and find ways to optimize your costs and make sure you’re not leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of certain features of AWS WAF at no cost or at a reduced cost.

What is AWS WAF?

AWS WAF is a service that protects businesses from web application attacks. It provides an intelligent layer of protection against malicious traffic and allows enterprises to deploy best-in-class security solutions. Unlike traditional solutions, AWS WAF can support the development of your own rules by using machine learning or using a pre-built set of rules.

How to calculate your costs and fees for AWS WAF

To calculate your costs and fees, start by determining what type of workload you have. This will help you to identify the pricing tier that would best fit your needs.

  • If you have a small number of web servers with low monthly traffic, then the most likely option for you is the free tier which allows for two WAF instances per AWS account. 
  • If you have a large number of web servers with high monthly traffic, then the most likely option for you is the Advanced tier which allows for 10 or more instances per AWS account.
  • If your application or web server is not reliant on any particular features of AWS WAF, then the most likely option for you is the Standard tier which allows for one instance per AWS account.

Once you’ve determined your workload requirements, you can use this information to calculate your costs and fees: 

  • For Free Tier: $0/month + $0/hour 
  • For Amazon Web Services BasicWAF: $0/month + $0/hour 
  • For AdvancedWAF: $1.10/month + $2.25/hour 
  • For StandardWAF: $3.00/month + $4.00/hour

Use AWS WAF pricing calculators

A good place to start when it comes to using AWS WAF pricing calculators is the Amazon Web Services official calculator. With this tool, you can input your website’s URL and get a rough estimate of your monthly costs. The great thing about using this pricing calculator is that it takes into account everything from the minimum number of WAF instances required to the maximum number of connections per instance. However, if you don’t have an AWS account or you need more accurate estimates, there are other tools available online that you can use as well.

Look for discounts and other ways to save on your subscription fee

While you’re trying to figure out what your right price for WAF should be, don’t forget to look for discounts and other ways to lower your subscription fee. For example, if you have an annual or multi-year contract with AWS, you might even be offered a discount on your WAF subscription. This is just one way that companies can save money when it comes to managing their subscription fees.

Another way to save is by using features of AWS WAF that are available for free or at discounted rates. For example, AWS WAF offers 10% off of each new instance launched over the course of the year. Of course, there are some limitations such as only being able to use up to 10 instances per month, so keep this in mind before you go too crazy with your AWS WAF instance launches. The same goes for features like multi-tenancy which gives businesses control over how they distribute their security policy among different websites within the same account.

If you decide not to take advantage of certain free or discounted features of AWS WAF, it may end up costing more than it would otherwise have if you had taken advantage of those features. So make sure you’re getting the most value out of your subscription fee and maximizing the benefits that come with it.

Don’t miss out on free options with no-cost tiers of AWS WAF

If you’re a beginner or small-time AWS user, you might have missed out on the free tier of AWS WAF. This tier allows for up to 50 GB of traffic per month, and after that, costs $0.50/GB with no upper limit on traffic. So if you are just starting out, there is no downside to using this tier to test drive AWS WAF and see how it works for your application.

Additionally, if you’re unsure what features your application needs before setting up AWS WAF, the free tier will give you an idea of what your monthly costs will be with or without those features. It’s also worth noting that the free tier maxes out at 10 million requests/month. If your request volume is significantly higher than this number, the full pricing plan may be more cost effective for you than the free tier.

Find out what you’re paying with paid options of AWS WAF

Paid options of AWS WAF offer flexibility and the ability to customize your WAF environment. These features are available with any paid option. On the other hand, free options of AWS WAF only offer a limited configuration of what you can do on your firewall.

Get more value from your subscription fee by optimizing your uses of the service

When it comes to AWS WAF, there are two primary ways to get value out of your subscription fee. First, you can take advantage of features that are included in your subscription fee like support and security monitoring. Second, you can optimize the use of your WAF by taking advantage of WAF features only available for a monthly subscription fee.

For example, if you’re using AWS WAF for basic DDoS protection with a static configuration and it’s working well for you, consider using one of the AWS WAF monitoring services like Amazon CloudWatch or Amazon CloudTrail to track changes in traffic patterns and identify potential malicious activity before it impacts your site. 

If you’re running into performance issues on your site that you want to investigate further, consider setting up an additional service like Amazon CloudWatch Logs or CloudTrail so that you can review logs from multiple sources and find the root cause of problems without having to wait for AWS WAF to identify malicious activity.

Remember – You get what you pay for in terms of features

The first thing to remember is that AWS WAF is a premium product, which means that in order to get the most out of your subscription, you have to pay for the features you need. For example, if you use Amazon CloudWatch logs and you don’t want to pay for a separate log monitoring service, then your WAF could end up logging the logs by default.

If you’re not sure what features are important for your use case, then it’s important to do some research before signing up for a monthly subscription fee. The features of AWS WAF are extensive and there are plenty of options available. For example, there is an option called “SSL encryption with IP whitelisting.” This option will encrypt traffic on your site with SSL but only allow connections from a specific IP address or number of IP addresses entered in the form field. That way, if someone gains access to your site by using a VPN or other tricks, they won’t be able to exploit any vulnerabilities on your site without being blocked by AWS WAF.