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Introduction to Amazon S3

Hands-On Lab


Photo of Christophe Limpalair

Christophe Limpalair

VP of Growth in Marketing





This activity will give you a basic introduction to Amazon S3. Amazon S3 runs on the world’s largest global cloud infrastructure, and is designed from the ground up to deliver 99.999999999% of durability. Data in Amazon S3 Standard, S3 Standard-IA, and Amazon Glacier storage classes is automatically distributed across a minimum of three physical Availability Zones (AZs) that are typically miles apart within an AWS Region.

What are Hands-On Labs?

Hands-On Labs are scenario-based learning environments where learners can practice without consequences. Don't compromise a system or waste money on expensive downloads. Practice real-world skills without the real-world risk, no assembly required.


This lab will provide you with a basic introduction to Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). It's a service that lets you store any amount of data that can be accessed from anywhere on the web at any time you like. It can be used to store things like backup data, images, videos, logs, or even static websites without the need to worry with hardware. As an AWS service, S3 provides guarantees for performance, scalability, and availability. You focus on your data and the way you want to manage it. S3 handles the rest.

This written guide only focuses on the steps required to complete the lab. Watch the video guide for extra information about S3.

Create a new bucket

Begin by navigating to the S3 Management Console on AWS.

  • Click the Create Bucket button.
  • Set the Bucket Name to a unique DNS-compliant name. This name must be unique across all of AWS (i.e. no two AWS users may create a bucket with the same name).
  • Select the Region in which to create this bucket. Usually this will be a location close to your application or close to your users. For this lab, select US East (N. Virginia).
  • Notice the option to copy settings from another bucket, but we won't be using it for this lab.
  • Click the Create button at the bottom left. You have the option of clicking the Next button to configure more settings when necessary.

You will see your new bucket listed.

Upload a new object

Navigate into the bucket you created and upload an object (file) to it. Create a small text file to upload. The format and contents of the file do not matter for this lab.

  • Click the bucket that you just created to open it.
  • Use the Upload button and select a file to upload.
  • Click Upload in the bottom left. You could use the Next button if you had a reason to configure more settings for this upload.

After uploading, you will see the object listed in the bucket.

Add object-level permissions

Click the title of the object you uploaded. You will be presented with an overview of the object's properties. Navigate to the Permissions tab.

Notice the settings under the Manage public permissions header. As is, the object can not be accessed publicly. Let's add an object-level permission to make it publicly viewable.

  • Click on Everyone.
  • Set the Object access to Read.
  • Leave the Permissions access settings unchanged.
  • Save the permissions with the Save button.

Remember that we are currently viewing the properties of the object you uploaded. Click the Overview tab and copy the object's Link at the bottom of the page. Since we have added the proper permissions to allow anyone to view this object, it can be shared with friends or coworkers to view the object.

Try it out: Open a new private tab (so your authenticated AWS session is gone) and navigate to the link you copied. You will be able to see the object.