Using the internet without the Amazon Cloud | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Using the internet without the Amazon Cloud

Amazon servers make up so much of the internet that it can be hard to separate the two. As of last year, Amazon Web Services controlled roughly 40 percent of the cloud market, running the backend for Netflix, Pinterest, Slack and dozens of other services with no visible connection to the company. Because the Amazon partnership is rarely explicit, AWS becomes a kind of invisible infrastructure, like water mains, submarine cables, or any of the other hidden pipes we rely on without seeing.

When AWS starts to fail — like it did in March and again in June — it can seem like the entire internet is collapsing. Unless you know which services in particular are running on AWS servers, you won’t know difference between an cloud failure and a submarine cable break.

But that system doesn’t have to be invisible. Developer Dhruv Mehrotra has made a plug-in that will disconnect you from AWS entirely, using the system’s public IP list to block every connection to an Amazon server. Technically a MacOS port of an earlier tool for Linux, Mehrotra’s program lets you see what the internet would look if Amazon Web Services suddenly ceased to exist.