Lightsail will not have IPv4 by default.

Some time ago I wrote a series of posts about the Amazon Lightsail product. I really like Lightsail for simplicity and because for $3.5 I can create a fully functional virtual PC with a static IPv4 address. This way I can add an A record in my DNS server and point you to this virtual PC.

But recently Amazon changed conditions and IPv4 is not free anymore. By default, it will cost $1.5 per month. It is not a big deal by itself but it effectively increases the price from $3.5 to $5 which is more than a 40% increase. Previously it was impossible to compete with Lighsail, but for $5 there are way more offers.

Yes, they still provide a $3.5 price but only with IPv6 connectivity. But there are quite a few catches. The first catch is that IPv6 is still not very common. For example, I found that there is no support for IPv6 at my work. This alone will kill the idea of running any kind of public website in Lighsail using only IPv6.

Second catch, I found that many routers still do not support IPv6 properly out of the box, and as a result, clients will still use IPv4. For example, I found that my OpenWRT router does not support IPv6 fully by default and I had to fix it.

Lastly, Lighsail will create a new IPv6 address every time you create a new virtual PC. And this applies to the case when you restore from a snapshot. Just imagine, your current instance is broken and you would like to restore it from snapshot. Then assign the old IPv6 address to a new instance. And after you restore functionality, you can try to restore data from the old instance.

But this will not work and a new instance will have a new IP address that you cannot change and you have to go to DNS and set a new IPv6 address and wait until it propagates and it can take up to 2 days in extreme cases. And in the meantime, the old address will not work.

I think they clearly see that Lightsail is killing their low-level EC2 instances and I think they want to push Lighsail as something that you will not use for any kind of production use. You must use EC2 instances that will cost you much more. For example, a similar tier t3a.nano with 20 Gb EBS volume will cost you a little bit more than $5.

Also, Lightsail has 1 Tb of traffic for free which is quite a good piece of mind because 1 Tb of traffic for EC2 will cost you around $92 per month of outbound traffic. I think it will be less because the AWS calculator for some reason does not take into account that there is some free allowance (I think it is like 10 Gb) but it is still much less than for Lighsail.

I was thinking of switching one of my sites to Lightsail. I really like the idea of having my own server that I can fully control but this site is hosted on Windows hosting right now and I was afraid that there would be some new issue and decided not to do it. And now I’m glad that I didn’t do it.

It is sad for Lightsail to go this way, but I think it is part of life.


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