How to setup a Billing Alert for AWS Amazon/CloudFront

Billing alert AWSBilling Alert from S3 Amazon is a fantastic new feature. It gives you the opportunity to be warned by email when your bill reaches an amount you determine upfront. This will help you greatly to control your spending on AWS, since you can take immediate action when necessary. Sometimes, your audios or videos score a hit unexpectedly, and as a result, your AWS bill shoots up.
Although AWS has been lenient in some cases where people got huge unexpected bills, their goal is to make money, so they can’t keep waving huge bills.  Hence the warning system Billing Alerts.

How to setup a Billing Alert account

Below, you find a video tutorial on how to set up a billing alert.  It requires a couple of steps before your alert account is activated.  The tutorial guides you step by step.  Best play full screen:

Billing alert AWS

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How does it work?

You set a maximum amount expressed in USD.  As soon as that level is reached, the system sends an email to tell you that your bill has reached the limit.  It does not mean that there is cap on spending, but it simply warns you, so that you can take action if needed.

For instance, if I set a limit of $200 USD, and  only few days later, I get already an email telling me I’m on that limit, something is going on. What can I do about that?  If I have the funds, I can leave it running, setting a new alert at $500.00 for example. Or, I can unpublish the media that are popular immediately, to curb the cost.
Keeping logs on AWS buckets is therefore a good idea.  It can help you determine which media are being watched mostly.
If a particular video is popular, you may want to put it on YouTube, or you could place it in a paid membership area, or add a donate button on the page displaying the video. The important thing is that you are not left in the dark about your bills any longer, but you need to set this up first.

Each alert uses one Amazon CloudWatch alarm to monitor charges and one Amazon SNS topic to send the alert email, charged at standard rates. You can use up to 10 alarms and 1,000 e-mail notifications free each month as part of the AWS Free Tier, and most customers will be able to use billing alerts at no additional charge.

To learn more about billing alerts, visit:


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