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Amazon Route 53 Pricing: How Does it Work?

In this article, you will learn about:

Typically Route 53 doesn't tend to be a large cost center for the vast majority of businesses operating in the AWS Cloud. But when deciding where you will buy or host your domain name, it can be difficult to understand the final costs of Route 53.

This blog post will introduce the main elements of Amazon Route 53 DNS costs and explain which parts of this AWS service are free and which are paid.

The basics of Amazon Route 53 pricing

First, it’s good to understand the main parts of what you will see on your AWS bill:


  • DNS queries: You pay for every DNS query answered by the Amazon Route 53 service (except for queries to Alias or A records which are routed to Elastic Load Balancers, AWS Elastic Beanstalk environments, CloudFront distributions, VPC endpoints, API Gateways, or Amazon S3 buckets).
  • Hosted zones: You pay a monthly price for each zone hosted with Route 53. A hosted zone holds information about how you want to route traffic for a specific domain, such as, and its subdomains (,
  • Health checks: These help you monitor the health and performance of your endpoints (web servers, and other resources). The first 50 AWS endpoint health checks are free. Health checks against non-AWS endpoints are paid.
  • Health checks with optional features: You will pay extra if you enable special functions for health checks, such as latency monitoring or fast checks (every 10s instead of the standard 30s).

Route 53 free tier

If you check the official AWS website about the free tier, you will find that AWS doesn’t offer a free tier for Route 53. But here is a list of Route 53 functions/features that are, in fact, free. Knowing about these features will help you understand how to avoid Route 53 charges.

  • To allow testing, a Route 53 hosted zone that is deleted within 12 hours of creation is not charged.
  • The first 50 Health Checks of AWS endpoints that are within or linked to their AWS account or billed to the same account as the health check are free of charge.
  • DNS Queries to Alias records of other AWS services are free of charge. This is crucial to know if you connect any hosted zone to AWS services, such as CloudFront CDN or Elastic Load Balancers, queries for this hosted zone will be free.
  • Generally, DNS queries are free when both of the following are true:
  • The domain or subdomain name ( or and the record type (A) in the query match an Alias record.
  • The alias target is an AWS resource other than another Route 53 record.

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A thorough overview on Route 53 pricing

1. AWS domain name pricing in Route 53

You pay an annual charge for each domain name registered via or transferred into Route 53. There is a limit of 20 domain name registrations per AWS account.

The fee to register a domain ranges from $5 to several hundred dollars, depending on the top-level domain, such as *.com or *.org. View a list with current AWS domain registration pricing. You can't use Route 53 to register a domain that has a special or premium price.

For example, for a *.com domain, the most popular, it will cost you around $12 per year within Route 53.


When you register a domain in Route 53, AWS automatically creates a hosted zone that has the same name as the domain. The fee for a hosted zone is $0.50 per month.

2. Hosted Zones

You'll need a hosted zone for each second-level domain (SLD). So, if you have and, you'll need two hosted zones. Subdomains ( are routed in the records of this hosted zone.

A hosted zone is charged at the time it's created (if not deleted within 12 hours of creation) and on the first day of each subsequent month.

  • For the first 25 hosted zones cost $0.50 per month/hosted zone
  • And for additional hosted zones the cost is $0.10 per month/hosted zone

3. DNS Queries

Some of the query types are charged based on the routing policy that you choose when creating a new record for your hosted zone.


a. Alias Queries

Queries for qualifying Alias records are provided at no additional cost to Route 53 customers. You can create Alias records for all of the query types (standard, latency based, geo and geoproximity).

You can create Alias records for AWS resources, such as:

  • Elastic Load Balancers
  • Amazon CloudFront distributions
  • API Gateways
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk environments
  • Amazon S3 buckets that are configured as website endpoints
  • For a complete list, see Alias Target

For other queries, you will be charged based on the query type. If some of the queries do not fall into any of the categories below, they are charged the standard price, such as for a record that doesn't exist (

b. Standard DNS queries (simple, weighted, failover, and multivalue)

  • $0.40 per million queries – 0 to 1 Billion queries/month
  • $0.20 per million queries – over 1 Billion queries/month

c. Geolocation-based queries)

  • $0.70 per million queries – 0 to 1 Billion queries/month
  • $0.35 per million queries -- over 1 Billion queries/month

d. Latency-based queries

  • $0.60 per million queries – 0 to 1 Billion queries/month
  • $0.30 per million queries – over 1 Billion queries/month

4. Traffic Flow policies and records

Traffic Flow offers a visual interface in which users can drag and drop elements of traffic routes into a graphical diagram for easier management. You create a policy record when you associate an Amazon Route 53 Traffic Flow policy with a specific domain name (such as

  • $50.00 per month for a Traffic Flow policy record


5. Health Checks

Route 53 health checks are a function that allows you to monitor the health of selected types of AWS resources or any endpoints that can respond to requests. Learn more...

6. Route 53 resolver pricing

The DNS Resolver service for VPCs integrates easily with DNS on your on-premises network.


Route 53 Resolver endpoints

A Route 53 Resolver endpoint requires two or more IP addresses. Each IP address corresponds with one elastic network interface (ENI).

  • $0.125 per hour for ENI

Recursive DNS queries to and from on-premises networks

Only queries that pass through a Route 53 Resolver Endpoint (either inbound or outbound) will be charged.

  • $0.40 per million queries – 0 to 1 Billion queries/month
  • $0.20 per million queries – over 1 Billion queries/month

Route 53 pricing example

Let’s assume that we have a business website domain that we host in Route 53.

  • We have three domains:,, and .
  • Our website uses one server outside of AWS Cloud and does around 1,000,000 queries to it every month.
  • Our website is hosted on EC2 instances behind Application Load Balancers. This part is queried approximately 4,000,000 times a month to ALBs via an Alias record.
  • We use a health checking feature in Route 53 for our non-AWS server and our ALB, so we can be notified via SNS when there is something wrong. Health checks do not have any special features (latency, fast checking, etc.).


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