What is Amazon S3 and How to Get S3 Access Key

Mentioning cloud object storage, Amazon S3, without a doubt, appears as one of the most common solutions. A lot of websites on the internet rely on this storage service to save their data.

But how powerful is Amazon S3 that it can gain so much trust from users? In today’s post, we’ll introduce what Amazon S3 is, its benefits, differences between AS3 and CDN, as well as how to get S3 access key ID and secret access key. Lately, interesting facts about Amazon S3 will wrap up the article.

Let’s jump in!

What Is Amazon S3?

Amazon S3, standing for Amazon Simple Storage Service, provides object storage through a web service interface to save your data, from applications to websites. Apart from saving data, AS3 also helps you block public access to your objects at the bucket.

AS3 serves multiple purposes of users, including backup and recovery, data archives, data lakes, and hybrid cloud storage.

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Benefits of Using Amazon S3

Amazon is loved by millions of users thanks to its effectiveness and advanced capabilities. It makes the process of scaling websites much easier and at the same time protects the files saved in Amazon S3 buckets.

  • Provide much higher data storage via buckets – You’re allowed to create and name your own buckets to put the data there. It’s possible for you to store an unlimited amount of data in a bucket. Your objects’ size can be up to 5TB.
  • Reduced server requests – Since you upload everything to the cloud, your site doesn’t have to deliver media files or any other data when users open it. This helps reduce page loading time which improves user experience and your SEO performance.
  • Cost less than your host’s storage – Your host will charge extra if your data is over the storage limit. And of course, the price is much higher than what you pay for S3 storage.
  • Enhance security – It gives you the right to set access permission for others to upload or download your files anywhere and at any time. You can also block someone from touching your data with ease. This helps keep data secure from unauthorized access.
  • Offer great flexibility – You’re able to export or import entire websites without any hassle. All you need to do is moving PHP files to the cloud. On top of that, Amazon S3 makes it simple for you to scale your site by developing big data, transcoding, or archiving.

Differences between Amazon S3 and CDN

Both Amazon S3 and CDN (Content Delivery Network) share the same function of serving objects (files, videos, documents) to users without loading them from your WordPress site server.

However, there are certain features that differentiate Amazon S3 from CDN. Amazon S3 focuses on storing your files in a physical location with a large capacity.

CDN, meanwhile, helps cache your site then store it in other systems around the world then deliver the content to users based on their locations.

Take a website based in the US as an example, if your UK visitors access the website, you won’t serve their request from the US but from the nearest CDN. By doing this, you can process user requests as quickly as possible.

How to Get Access Key ID and Secret Access Key in AS3

You can follow this guide on how to get the Amazon S3 access key ID.

  1. Open http://aws.amazon.com and click on the My Account/Console option at the top of the page
  2. Select Security Credentials from the dropdown list
    pda-amazon-s3-account
  3. Hit the Continue to Security Credentials button
    pda-continue-securitu-credential
  4. Click on the plus icon to open the Access Keys (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) option. It will then show you all your access keys with their status.
    pda-get-s3-access-key

That’s it! You now can see and copy your access key to do other tasks such as connecting S3 with your WordPress site or signing the requests sent to Amazon S3.

In fact, this list provides you with access keys only. In case you need the secret key, you must create a new one. The instruction below will walk you through the process.

  1. Hit the Create New Access Key button under the access key list
  2. Enter the username
  3. Head to Show Access Key option and you will see the “Access Key IP” as well as the “Secret Access Key”

It’s recommended to download this credential information rather than jotting them down to avoid manual mistakes.

Interesting Facts about AS3

Here are 4 important facts you should know about Amazon S3 before having it stored your site data.

  • Price – Amazon S3 comes with free storage enabling you to save data up to 5GB in the first year. If your data takes up more than the permitted size, you will pay a small amount of money. The price is quite reasonable as well.
  • SSE-S3 – You can use the SSE – server-side encryption key to lock your objects. You will also have an additional Master Key to manage these SSE keys.
  • Access permission – ​​As mentioned, you’re able to restrict access to objects in AS3. On top of that, you can grant users access to your files based on time via pre-signed URLs.
  • Storage classes – You have 2 different storage classes of Standard and Standard-Infrequent Access. Although they provide the same durability, what sets them apart from each other is your frequency of access.

Make Use of AS3 to Store Your Objects – Why not?

Different from CDN, Amazon S3 is powerful storage to save your data on the cloud, especially with really large file sizes. This will help boost your site loading time.

We’ve gone over the main benefits of AS3 as well as how to get access key ID and secret keys. There are also some facts about Amazon S3 you should notice when considering this storage for your site, including the price, SS-S3 keys, access permission, and classes.

If you still have any questions about Amazon S3, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comment section below.