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What is the difference between Amazon EC2 and Amazon LightSail?


Which sort of Amazon Server/Compute Option should you use for your next project? This is a frequently asked question. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a variety of computing service alternatives. Amazon EC2 and Amazon LightSail are the two prominent computing services. These services are available at various pricing ranges and offer a variety of features. Each has a place for certain usage situations. However, I’ll go through the difference between AWS Lightsail and AWS EC2.

Amazon EC2

Most cloud customers concentrate on scalable computing capacity to simplify cloud computing processes. This leads them to seek out sophisticated online services to create and deploy apps on time without the need to purchase hardware immediately. For this type of need, Amazon EC2 is the best option. Wondering what Amazon EC2 is and how it works? First, it’s a cloud service that provides quantifiable processing power in the Amazon Web Services cloud.

Second, the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, or Amazon EC2, is used by businesses for a variety of reasons. Third, the flexibility to launch virtual servers as needed, storage space management, and networking and security settings are all features of this cloud computing service. Above all, Amazon EC2 helps users better manage traffic predictions by better preparing them to handle fluctuations in their needs.

Amazon Lightsail

LightSail is a virtual private service that lets you pick from various themes. You may select between a blank operating system and one pre-loaded with apps and ready to use with a single click. Simplicity and ease of use are the primary goals of Lightsail. Basically it is a simplified EC2 service. For instance, it has a much simpler user interface with significantly fewer features. Individuals and organizations of all sizes may use Lightsail to get started and offer services immediately. In addition, Amazon Lightsail provides a much more straightforward price structure.

Amazon LightSail might be the solution for you if you need an Amazon server that’s simple to set up and administer and doesn’t require a lot of processing power.  You don’t have many configuration or selection options compared to the EC2 portfolio. LightSail is similar to several hosting companies’ virtual private server (VPS) options. It does not only bundle compute, storage, networking, and DNS. It also has built-in capabilities that include a managed database, load balancer, container support, and a content delivery network (CDN).

The Difference Between AWS Lightsail and AWS EC2

Despite the similarities, there are particular distinctions between the two services. EC2 appears to have more features and functions. The following are some of them:

  • EC2 has its instances; whereas, Lightsail gets its computational power from EC2 instances.
  • Compared to Lightsail, EC2 offers a greater selection of memory, storage, computing power, and data transport options.
  • Amazon EC2 offers a slew of additional functions that Lightsail lacks. Elastic IP addresses, virtual networks, the ability to safeguard login information, a firewall, and numerous physical locations for storing user resources are among these features.

In a nutshell;

Although EC2 and Lightsail are both services of Amazon, it is clear that Amazon EC2 is the larger and better alternative. However, depending on demand, the technology you choose may change. If you’re undecided, the detailed list of similarities and differences below can assist you in making an informed selection.

EC2 vs. LightSail: Detailed Comparison

Amazon LightsailAmazon EC2
UsageUsed for simple web applications and websites, including custom code, and common CMSUsed for starting from small scale to Enterprise applications such as HPC, big data, and analytics workloads
PerformanceUsed for applications with workloads ranging from small to mediumUsed for small scale to higher workloads with complex architecture.
EaseDeploying applications in Lightsail can be done with a few clicks

Provides an all-in-one experience
Deploying application in Amazon EC2 varies due to multiple factors, such as the type of application, the type of components used, and so on.

Each component has its own characteristics and features that can be modified in their respective consoles
Less system admin and system architect efforts are needed in LightsailBased on the type of environment, the administrative effort varies. Most of the services in EC2 require a thorough understanding of the components
NetworkManaged by AWS. Customers can add rules to the Lightsail firewallManaged by the customer using VPC and related components
ScalabilityAutomatic instance scalability isn’t supported in Lightsail

Instances can’t be modified after launch. You must launch a new instance to change your plan
Instances can be scaled automatically using an Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling group

EC2 instances can be modified to a new type or to a new virtualization
Flexibility in
Managing Sources
Minimal flexibility in managing resources such as network, hard disk, load balancer, and so onCustomers can manage all the related components based on the application demands
PricingPrices are low and there is a fixed pricing modelPricing follows the pay-as-you-go model(On-Demand), Reserved, Savings Plan, Spot
MonitoringMonitoring is available, but it has restricted a few optionsDetailed monitoring options are available using Amazon Cloudwatch
Retrieved February 25, 2022, from


When using Amazon Web Services to run servers, an AWS Free Tier account is a great place to start. You have enough free computational power with the free tier to run some test workloads on Amazon EC2 and learn about its features and capabilities. On the other hand, LightSail enables testing apps at a low cost, with monthly expenses beginning at a few dollars per VPS instance.

You can find this and more here. Stay tuned!


Burak Cansizoglu
Burak is working as a freelance Cloud/DevOps consultant. He performed different roles during his professional career track. He has more than 12 years of experience in the finance, telecommunication and government sectors. He likes to learn new technologies and wants to share his knowledge, experiences with the community. He likes all lean, agile initiatives. And he believes that the DevOps mindset and DevOps transformation will bring more agility to the Enterprises as well as employees.

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