9 Things to Know About AWS Direct Connect Gateway

In this AWS article, we will be discussing AWS Direct Connect Gateway and will be learning more about related topics to the Direct Connect gateway in AWS, such as:

  • What is the Direct Connect gateway in AWS?
  • How are AWS Direct Connect and VPN different?
  • What are AWS Direct Connect locations?
  • What is AWS Direct Connect pricing?

So let’s get started!

People often don’t understand what the Direct Connect gateway in AWS is and what it is used for. This is the reason why, we have created a complete guide for the Direct Connect gateway in AWS so that you learn more about it and use it to your ultimate advantage.

Let’s dive in and find out more details about the AWS Direct Connect gateway. After this article, you will be able to tell the difference between AWS Direct Connect and VPN and decide if AWS Direct Connect pricing will work for your budget.

What Is Direct Connect Gateway In AWS?

AWS Direct Connect gateway is a private network service used to make the most of AWS cloud services. If you would like to bypass the public internet for making the data transfer more secure between your on-premises infrastructure and AWS then this is the solution for you.

It offers a cloud service to connect on-site servers with AWS cloud services. It also provides for a much better customer experience as it gives users the ability to have low latency and establish a more secure connection than the Internet.

In technical terms, a Direct Connect gateway is a set of virtual private gateways together with private virtual interfaces.

The best part about a Direct Connect gateway is that it provides access to any region once a Direct Connect gateway has been established. It is a resource available to customers all over the world.

Benefits of Using AWS Direct Connect Gateway?

The high pricing of AWS Direct Connect may put off some users from using the incredible and fast service. Using a private network to establish connections has many benefits for the user.

It has a better and increased bandwidth, consistent network connection (which is more important for working with large files on the Internet), and the ability to reduce costs.

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Several AWS services can be used with AWS Direct Connect easily. Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud are a few of them.

You can access the AWS cloud services to deal with your workload without fearing a breach of privacy. This also means that the entire process of working with AWS cloud services has been made faster with quicker access speed.

Is AWS Direct Connect Gateway Secure?

The most common concern with using a private network to connect your server is privacy. Customers want to know if their privacy or the security of their files will be threatened by third-party sources.

The answer to that is Yes. The AWS Direct Connect may not include the Internet’s help to connect to AWS cloud services, but it uses a completely secure network to link your server’s Intranet with the Amazon VPC.

If customers are still not assured about the secure link, they can easily install security controls to encrypt the traffic for direct connections by using known protocols like HTTP, SSH, and SSL.

Do I Need AWS Direct Connect gateway?

AWS Direct Connect gateway offers a variety of services and benefits to its customers. It performs the following functions:

  • The Direct Connect gateway has the ability to give customers access to Virtual Private Clouds anywhere in the AWS region (AWS China not included). This helps clients in connecting to more than a single AWS Region.
  • Private Virtual Interfaces can be easily interfaced with several Virtual Private Clouds (up to 10). This reduces the number of Border Gateway Protocol sessions in your local servers and AWS networks.
  • Direct Connect gateway does support more than one Virtual Private gateway. This can only be possible if the CIDR blocks IP of the Amazon VPC do not coincide or overlap.

How are AWS Direct Connect gateway and VPN Different?

Another service similar to AWS Direct Connect is a VPN. If you want to know which service is the best (AWS Direct Connect Vs. VPN), keep on reading to find out which will suit your needs best.

A VPN or a virtual private network is a secured private network that is extended across a public network between your data center and AWS here. This in turn helps in protecting the data and of course, it’s secure. A VPN hides your online identity by encrypting your internet traffic.

A VPN may sound closely similar to Direct Connect, but there is a significant difference between the two services.

  • A VPN connection will utilize IPsec to create and build an encrypted network over the Internet between your server and the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. Whereas on the other hand, Direct Connect from AWS bypasses the Internet itself.
  • Direct Connect is used to connect your Intranet and the Amazon VPC bypassing the regular public internet. VPN connections can be easily and quickly formed and are perfect for urgent needs.
  • VPN offers a low-cost solution, but the performance of AWS is much superior. AWS is not the most cost-effective option and can prove to be quite expensive but has unmatched stellar performance.
  • The bandwidth throughput of the Direct Connect is greater with little to no fluctuation in the network connection and data transfer.
  • Due to the VPN connection with private as well as public networks, there may be fluctuations in the network, and data transfer may not be as smooth.
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What Are AWS Direct Connect gateway Locations?

AWS Direct Connect can be accessed from several locations around the globe. AWS Direct Connect is accessible on a few campuses using cross-connects from data centers managed by the same operator with the exact campus.

It is recommended for AWS Direct Connect users opt for more than one location for high availability. All AWS Regions can be accessed from multiple AWS Direct Connect access points in the world (China as the exception).

When a user utilizes the Public Virtual Interfaces or AWS Direct Connect gateways, the traffic from the user goes to the destined AWS region from the chosen AWS Direct Connect location without bypassing the linked AWS region.

It is advisable to select the closest AWS Direct Connect location from your on-site server in order to reduce costs. This way will also help you attain the lowest latency. The AWS Direct Connect regions are.

Asia PacificItaly, SingaporeBrazil
South AmericaIndia, Hong KongMiddle East
United KingdomCzech RepublicSwitzerland
BahrainEurope and AfricaSouth Africa
FranceChina, South KoreaIsrael
AustriaCanada, Asia PacificSweden
GermanyAustraliaUnited States
Locations in AWS Direct Connect gateway

These are the AWS Direct Connect locations where the AWS Direct gateway can be accessed. For more information about AWS Direct Connect locations, read the AWS Direct Connect documentation listing details about the locations here.

What Is AWS Direct Connect Pricing?

AWS Direct Connect offers a fast, low latency, and consistent service to connect your server directly to AWS cloud services. The best part about using AWS Direct Connect is that there is no monthly pay or subscription, but you only pay for the services and time you use.

There are three factors used by AWS to determine the pricing of AWS Direct Connect: data transfer-out, port hours, and capacity.

  • Capacity refers to the highest limit rate of data (Megabits per second or Gigabits per second) that can be transferred through the connection.
  • Port hours are the amount of time allotted to use the AWS or the AWS Direct Connect Delivery Partner’s network tools within an AWS Direct Connect location.
  • It is further divided into two types per the kind of connection used: Dedicated port hours and Hosted port hours. Even though you are not using your port to send out data or receive it, you will still be charged for the port hours.
  • The data transfer out term related to total traffic sent over the AWS Direct Connect to locations that are not a part of the AWS. The pricing for data transfer out is according to the gigabytes of transmitted data (unlike capacity measurements which deal with speed).
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The AWS Direct Connect data transfer pricing is based on the location of the AWS Direct Connect and AWS Region. Different locations offer different rates, which can be quite complex. Want to have more details on the pricing then click here.

Few Limitations of AWS direct connect gateway

Let’s check out a few limitations of AWS Direct Connect Gateway:

  1. 200 per account.
  2. 30 Virtual Interfaces per account.
  3. Max 3 transit gateways or 30 virtual private gateways.

AWS direct connect gateway vs transit gateway

FeaturesDirect Connect GatewayTransit Gateway
Global PresenceYesNo
Multiple Account SupportYesYes
Direct ConnectYesYes
Multiple RegionYesNo
Transitive RoutingNoYes

AWS direct connect gateway vs direct connect

Direct Connect Gateway is used to connect multiple VPCs using VPG in different regions.

Direct Connect is in fact used to connect the data centers of customers directly through a dedicated connection to the AWS.

AWS direct connect gateway architecture

Direct Connect Gateway
Direct Connect Gateway – Architecture

AWS direct connect gateway vs virtual private gateway

One way to directly connect the Customer data Centre to VPC is directly through a Virtual Private Gateway.

The other option, as shown in the image above we can get the connection through the Direct Connect Gateway.

So basically Direct Connect Gateway acts as a connector between Customer Data Centre and the Virtual Private Gateway.

Also, read below AWS article.

AWS direct connect gateway faqs

Q: How AWS direct connect transit gateway work?

Transit Gateway works as a connector between AWS VPC and the Direct Connect Location.

Q: What is AWS direct connect gateway association?

Direct Connect gateway associates the Customer data center with the VPCs in the AWS environment.

Q: AWS direct connect gateway transit vif?

Transit Virtual Interface connects the Direct Connect Location to the Transit Gateway.


In this article, you will have developed a deep understanding of AWS Direct Connect gateway and the related topics discussed above:

  • What is the Direct Connect gateway in AWS?
  • How are AWS Direct Connect and VPN different?
  • What are AWS Direct Connect locations?
  • What is AWS Direct Connect pricing?

We hope this article has cleared up any confusion you had in mind regarding AWS Direct gateway, AWS Direct Connect locations, and AWS Direct Connect pricing.

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