Sentinel on AWS is now behind a paywall

Posted by AkuAnakTimur on 3 September 2018 in English (English)

I used to download “True Colour Imageries” (TCI) through the S3 bucket. It’s simple and easy, via a web browser too.

All it takes is go over here, for example; focus on an area of interest. To download a particular scene, a URL to the S3 bucket will be provided. Bob’s your uncle!

Since I don’t have an always-on (and unlimited) connection, one single file (TCI only) is ~150MB tops. That shall be sufficient for a quick and rough edit.

Recently I’ve learned that the access to the L1C S3 bucket is put behind a paywall. Sad news, for me, indeed.

The only alternative left is downloading through the Copernicus Open Access Hub (free signups). However, this means that I will need to download the whole scene (various spectrums) in a compressed archive: ~700MB zipped file. Which is (uh, ahem) a little bit excessive on my side. Well, well.

Comment from imagico on 3 September 2018 at 08:39

That was to be expected. You should expect the possibility that this could happen at any time to any other AWS hosted open data sets from

Anyway your assessment that the Copernicus Open Access Hub is the only way to access the data is wrong - there are plenty of other options meanwhile. Note however if you want a recent image the Open Access Hub will always be the fastest.

You can find a fairly extensive list of alternative access methods on

Comment from AkuAnakTimur on 4 September 2018 at 04:38

Many thanks for your link.

Went through some of the alternatives, and it seems that the only option available is to download data in all spectrums (which may be beneficial for scientific exploitation) in a zip archive.

I guess I have to download the whole archive, apparently just to get that TCI.jp2 file - I’m so lazy. On top of that, additional processing to get better quality imagery is not my priority.

The USGS EarthExplorer did offer to download a particular area (geotiff file), but looks something like this:


Similar to how they process Landsat imagery.

Bah, so fussy and very demanding am I, isn’t it!

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