What is AWS Cognito?
AWS Cognito is a service that provides authentication, authorization, and user management for web and mobile apps. It’s part of the AWS suite of products and can be used easily with their other offerings such as AWS Lambda.
AWS Cognito Pricing
Cognito’s free tier supports up to 50,000 MAUs. Included are the Identity pool features which cover access control through RBAC.
User pools free for up to 50000 MAUs
50 MAUs for SAML / OIDC
Identity pools (Access control, RBAC, etc)
Paid Features: Cognito offers pricing tiers for additional MAUs and users with SAML/OIDC connections. They also offer advanced security features like compromised credential protection, risk-based adaptive authentication, and monitoring..
- Pricing tiers for additional MAUs:
Additional SAML/OIDC users:
- $0.015 per MAU after the first 50 in the free tier
Pricing tiers for advanced security features :
SMS charges for multi-factor:
- Inbound charges:
- Outbound charges:
Should you use Cognito?
Cognito’s free tier and integration with other AWS services position it as a great auth provider, but it does not provide the best developer experience.
As seen in this post, users have complained about the documentation being confusing at times and features, like account linking being underdeveloped or missing in the case of exporting password hashes.
There have also been complaints about Cognito being slow to respond to bugs and feedback. For example, this issue was breaking the flow for many users and was open for 4 years before it was resolved thanks to a community member.
AWS Cognito Alternative: SuperTokens
What is SuperTokens?
SuperTokens is an open-source authentication solution that provides a managed service for hassle-free auth and an on-prem solution so developers can manage their data.
At the time of writing this article, the SuperTokens feature set is completely free. If you decide to use the self-hosted version you can download the core and use it for free for an unlimited number of users.
- Free forever for unlimited users.
- Free for the first 5000 MAUs.
- 2 cents / MAU post the first 5000 MAUs.
Should you use SuperTokens?
SuperToken’s feature set and pricing make it an excellent choice for startups and mid-level businesses, but it may not be the best fit for large organizations that require enterprise features.