AWS Direct Connect
User Guide

What is AWS Direct Connect?

AWS Direct Connect links your internal network to an AWS Direct Connect location over a standard 1-gigabit or 10-gigabit Ethernet fiber-optic cable. One end of the cable is connected to your router, the other to an AWS Direct Connect router. With this connection in place, you can create virtual interfaces directly to public AWS services (for example, to Amazon S3) or to Amazon VPC, bypassing Internet service providers in your network path. An AWS Direct Connect location provides access to AWS in the region with which it is associated. You can provision a single connection to any AWS Direct Connect location in North America and use it to access public AWS services in all North America regions and AWS GovCloud (US).

The following diagram shows how AWS Direct Connect interfaces with your network.

				 AWS Direct Connect

AWS Direct Connect Components

The following are the key components that you'll use for AWS Direct Connect.


Create a connection in an AWS Direct Connect location to establish a network connection from your premises to an AWS region. For more information, see Connections.

Virtual Interface

Create a virtual interface to enable access to AWS services. A public virtual interface enables access to public-facing services, such as Amazon S3. A private virtual interface enables access to your VPC. For more information, see Virtual Interfaces and Prerequisites for Virtual Interfaces.

Network Requirements

To use AWS Direct Connect in an AWS Direct Connect location, your network must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Your network is colocated with an existing AWS Direct Connect location. For more information about available AWS Direct Connect locations, see AWS Direct Connect Product Details.

  • You are working with an AWS Direct Connect partner who is a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN). For information, see APN Partners Supporting AWS Direct Connect.

  • You are working with an independent service provider to connect to AWS Direct Connect.

In addition, your network must meet the following conditions:

  • Connections to AWS Direct Connect require single mode fiber, 1000BASE-LX (1310nm) for 1 gigabit Ethernet, or 10GBASE-LR (1310nm) for 10 gigabit Ethernet. Auto Negotiation for the port must be disabled. You must support 802.1Q VLANs across these connections.

  • Your network must support Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and BGP MD5 authentication.

You can optionally configure Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) on your network. Asynchronous BFD is automatically enabled for AWS Direct Connect virtual interfaces, but will not take effect until you configure it on your router.

AWS Direct Connect supports both the IPv4 and IPv6 communication protocols. IPv6 addresses provided by public AWS services are accessible through AWS Direct Connect public virtual interfaces.

AWS Direct Connect supports a maximum transmission unit (MTU) of up to 1522 bytes at the physical connection layer (14 bytes ethernet header + 4 bytes VLAN tag + 1500 bytes IP datagram + 4 bytes FCS).

AWS Direct Connect Limits

The following table lists the limits related to AWS Direct Connect. Unless indicated otherwise, you can request an increase for any of these limits by using the AWS Direct Connect Limits form.

Component Limit Comments

Virtual interfaces per AWS Direct Connect connection


This limit cannot be increased.

Active AWS Direct Connect connections per region per account


This limit can be increased upon request.

Routes per Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) session on a private virtual interface


This limit cannot be increased.

Routes per Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) session on a public virtual interface


This limit cannot be increased.

Number of connections per link aggregation group (LAG)

4 This limit can be increased upon request.

Number of link aggregation groups (LAGs) per region


This limit can be increased upon request.

The following related resources can help you as you work with this service.

Resource Description

AWS Direct Connect product information

General product overview.


Calculate monthly costs.

AWS Developer Tools

Links to developer tools, SDKs, IDE toolkits, and command line tools for developing and managing AWS applications.

AWS Direct Connect FAQ

The top questions asked about this product.

AWS Direct Connect Forum

A community-based forum for discussing technical questions related to AWS Direct Connect.

AWS Support Center

The hub for creating and managing your AWS Support cases. Also includes links to other helpful resources, such as forums, technical FAQs, service health status, and AWS Trusted Advisor.

Contact Us

A central contact point for inquiries concerning AWS billing, account, events, abuse, and other issues.