Amazon Web Services (called AWS for short) is one of the top three cloud providers available today, the other two being Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Amazon’s cloud platform offers customers a solid selection of tools and services, perfect for all levels of cloud user experience, yet another good reason to learn how to use AWS.

Today we are focusing on AWS Lightsail VPN. This article explores this versatile cloud tool, including what Lightsail is, its prominent features, and its advantages. Finally, we'll also answer the question, "What is AWS Lightsail used for?" We’ll also answer the question, “What is AWS Lightsail used for?”

What is AWS Lightsail VPN?

Amazon Lightsail is an Amazon Web Service product. This cloud service combines the power of cloud computing with memory storage to benefit AWS customers, whether they're beginners or experienced cloud users. In addition, Amazon designed Lightsail to be easy to purchase, understand, and use.

Amazon Lightsail is a VPS, or Virtual Private Server, backed by the Amazon Web Service infrastructure. A VPS is a software representation of a real or physical server. Customers accessing a VPS allocate their resources to run jobs while remaining abstract from the physical server.

You have a choice between two kinds of Virtual Private Servers:

  • Managed VPS
  • Unmanaged VPS

A managed VPS lets clients focus more on what resources they can allocate to users and front-end applications and focus less on how it will get done. Amazon Web Services manages the underlying infrastructure needed for a given application or set of jobs you want to execute on the VPS.

An unmanaged VPS, on the other hand, gives you a no-frills hosting experience. However, you are responsible for installing, configuring, and upgrading software. It all depends on you!

Put another way, a managed VPS is like a full-service restaurant that takes your order, prepares the meal, and brings it to your table. An unmanaged VPS is like a restaurant that dumps a lot of high-quality ingredients on your table and tells you, “Do it yourself!”

Lightsail combines a virtual machine with data transfer, DNS management, remote desktop access, SSD-based storage, and a static IP. Lightsail’s available memory ranges from 512MB to 8GB and offers either 1-core or 2-core processors. Furthermore, Lightsail provides a data transfer allowance ranging from 1 to 5 TB and between 20GB and 80 GB of storage allowance. Lightsail is multi-platform, so it works equally well on different operating systems, although most users probably prefer a Linux distribution like Debian.

So, if you want a fast, easy way to take advantage of a VPS while building a website or application, then you want to go with Amazon Lightsail. Whether you’re just learning how to build an app or you’re an experienced AWS solution architect, Lightsail has all the resources you need.

Speaking of which, let’s check out Lightsail’s features.

AWS Lightsail Features

Here’s a grocery list of AWS Lightsail’s prominent features:

  • It’s a virtual private server.
  • It offers a robust application programming interface (API) that makes it easier to develop your applications or work and integrate with external applications.
  • You can extend Lightsail’s capabilities to access other AWS services such as managed databases, CDNs, etc.
  • Lightsail gives you a cloud-based console option to connect over secure shell access (SSH).
  • It provides you with an easy and secure means of configuring network details. You can access it via IP address, DNS, firewall, and other means.
  • Lightsail offers simplified load balancing.
  • Lightsail provides snapshots to protect your information.
  • Lightsail is easily scalable, perfect for handling heavier workloads and increased traffic.
  • AWS Lightsail pricing depends on how much memory, number of processes, SSD disk space, and transfer capacity you want. Prices also vary by the desired operating system (Linux or Windows). Fees range from $3.50/month to $240/month.

What are the Benefits of AWS Lightsail?

Now that we know what features Amazon Lightsail offers, how does that translate into direct benefits for potential users? Here’s a list of AWS Lightsail advantages.

  • It’s easy to use. Lightsail runs via pre-installed software, so rookies don’t have to study complex concepts and procedures. Instead, it’s more of a plug-and-play model.
  • It’s affordable: AWS Lightsail subscriptions are free for the first month, and as you can see by the price ranges mention earlier, it’s very economical. In addition, there are no expensive surprises. The pricing system is consistent and predictable.
  • It has excellent support. Lightsail benefits from the vast Amazon Web Service ecosystem. There’s also 24x7 support and consolidated billing.
  • It’s accessible. Users can run containerized applications in the cloud via the Lightsail Container Service, then easily access them via the Internet. Lightsail also features a solid user interface.
  • It’s reliable: Since LightSail’s services run through Amazon’s cloud infrastructure and data centers, there’s less of a failure chance or the need for any replacements.
  • It’s familiar. Amazon is a known and trusted name in the digital world. Developers and companies can trust AWS Lightsail for their web hosting and application development needs.
  • It’s upgradable. Users can upgrade to EC2 if they want.

AWS Lightsail vs EC2

Speaking of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), let’s see do a comparison with Lightsail.


AWS Lightsail

AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Design Function

Simple website and apps design

Enterprise-level web application design


Works for websites that involve WordPress, custom sites, and e-commerce.

Works for big data, HPC, and analytics workloads. Best suited for applications that need high CPU performances or a highly configurable environment.

System configuration

It’s a single, configurable VPS.

Works on migrations from on-premises environments, multiple VMs, and allows BYOL (Bring Your Own License)

Development tasks

Used for prototyping and test environments

Used for enterprise app development and deployments.

Virtual server sizes




AWS Lightsail pricing is cheaper than EC2, but you get what you pay for.

More expensive than Lightsail but offers far more processing power.

In summary, Amazon EC2 gives customers a scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud compute capacity. It is designed to make large-scale web computing easier for developers.

Amazon Lightsail is a simple Virtual Private Server hosted on AWS. It gives designers everything they need to jump into their project: compute, networking, and storage, all for a low, predictable price. But, of course, if your business grows too large and too fast, you can always upgrade Lightsail to EC2.

AWS Lightsail Applications

Here are some of Lightsail’s practical applications.

  • Business Software

Lightsail can run commercial and open-source software, such as MySQL. In addition, users can use Lightsail to quickly launch line-of-business software that performs backups, storage and sharing, accounting, and financial tasks.

  • Development/Testing Environments

Developers can use Lightsail to create testing environments and dev sandboxes situated outside of the production environment.

  • Simple Web Applications

Use Lightsail to deploy simple websites and applications. Developers can easily get their web applications online with preconfigured development stacks like LAMP, MEAN, Nginx, and Node.js.

  • Website Creation

Website designers can quickly create attractive and engaging custom websites. Lightsail’s pre configured applications easily integrate with popular website building platforms like Magento, Plesk, Joomla, and WordPress.

What’s the Difference Between a VPN and a VPS?

We’ve talked a lot about how Lightsail is a Virtual Private Server or VPS. But there are also Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to consider. The acronyms seem relatively close, don’t they? So, what’s the difference?

A VPS is a service that lets you host a website on a virtual server, while a VPN is a tool that allows users to browse the Internet securely and safely. Of course, they’re both virtual, but that’s where the similarities end. VPNs create a secure, private network that extends across your whole network connection. The VPN setup enables you to remain anonymous online.

However, you can set up an AWS Lightsail VPN. That way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: anonymous computing while using a virtual server.

So, to Sum It Up…

If you’re interested in casually exploring website or app design, either for your personal use or in the capacity of a small business, then Lightsail is a great resource. It’s inexpensive, very flexible, user-friendly, and has enough versatility to accommodate some of your more creative ideas.

However, if you’re employed by a bigger business, working with or developing software with greater processing needs, and you still want a virtual solution, choose EC2.

Learn about AWS architectural principles and services like IAM, VPC, EC2, EBS, and more with the AWS Solutions Architect Course. Register today.

Are You Interested in Becoming an AWS Solutions Architect?

Since Amazon Web Services is one of the top three most popular cloud hosts, there is a correspondingly greater demand for professionals well versed in AWS processes. Many businesses expect their IT professionals to have some cloud-based experience, and there are plenty of reasons why AWS skills will be in high demand for the foreseeable future.

Simplilearn’s AWS Solutions Architect Certification Training Course is a must for every aspiring AWS certified solutions architect. The course aligns with the latest AWS exam featuring Amazon-designated best practices and will teach you to plan, design, and scale AWS implementations utilizing over 70 cloud computing services. In addition, you will master Amazon Web Services architectural principles and services like IAM, VPC, EC2, and EBS. Choose from self-paced learning, online bootcamp, or corporate training options.

Glassdoor shows AWS Solutions Architects in the United States earning an annual average salary of USD 123,954. In India, AWS Solutions Architects earn a yearly average of ₹ 1,241,614, according to Payscale.

The future of IT lies in the clouds, and AWS is the dominant force. So let Simplilearn help you build a better, more rewarding career in this hot technology. Check out their selection of cloud-related courses today!

Our Cloud Computing Courses Duration and Fees

Cloud Computing Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

Program NameDurationFees
Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing

Cohort Starts: 31 Jul, 2024

8 Months$ 4,500
AWS Cloud Architect11 Months$ 1,299
Cloud Architect11 Months$ 1,449
Microsoft Azure Cloud Architect11 Months$ 1,499
Azure DevOps Solutions Expert6 Months$ 1,649

Learn from Industry Experts with free Masterclasses

  • Supercharge Your 2024 Cloud and DevOps Career Journey with IIT Guwahati

    Cloud Computing

    Supercharge Your 2024 Cloud and DevOps Career Journey with IIT Guwahati

    20th Feb, Tuesday7:00 PM IST
  • Your Gateway to a Cloud and DevOps Career Breakthrough in 2024 with IIT Guwahati (X)

    Cloud Computing

    Your Gateway to a Cloud and DevOps Career Breakthrough in 2024 with IIT Guwahati (X)

    24th Jan, Wednesday7:00 PM IST
  • Your Gateway to a Cloud and DevOps Career Breakthrough in 2024 with IIT Guwahati

    Cloud Computing

    Your Gateway to a Cloud and DevOps Career Breakthrough in 2024 with IIT Guwahati

    24th Jan, Wednesday7:00 PM IST