The Truth About Unlimited Bandwidth
Hosting is a commodity. The main elements of any web hosting plan are
disk space and bandwidth. Disk space is the space you have allotted on
the web server to store your website. Bandwidth is an amount you have
available to transfer web pages from the web server to the browsers of
visitors to your site. Web pages and graphics consume bandwidth or
capacity on the web. Bandwidth and disk space cost money.
network lines that carry data around the web (optic fiber, cable, copper
wire etc) have a finite capacity. There is a limit to the amount of data
that can be transferred at any point in time. Likewise, the hard drive
of a web server has a limited amount of space determined by the physical
size of the hard drive.
hosting companies claim to offer "unlimited" plans (both disk
space and bandwidth), but be aware that there are physical limitations
to both disk space and bandwidth. Before you buy an
"unlimited" plan, know what you're getting into.
Attraction to Unlimited
When consumers decide they want to place a website on the internet, they
are often unaware of the fact that there are limitations. Unlimited is
attractive because it requires no further thought. If it's unlimited
then I never need to worry about running out right? Although this is
understandable, there are risks with purchasing unlimited plans.
Many web hosting companies offer "unlimited" as a plan
feature. It is impossible for any provider to actually provide an
unlimited amount of bandwidth or disk space. It's just not possible.
Why Do Unlimited Plans Exist?
Most websites only consume a very small amount of bandwidth and disk
space. Web hosting companies that provide unlimited anything as a plan
feature are banking on the fact that you won't use very much. Unlimited
is a marketing trick to get your business. The web hosting market is
very competitive. Although selling plans that pretend to be unlimited
can seem dishonest, it does not mean that the hosting company will not
provide good service. Check in the hosting company's Terms of Service:
there will probably be a note about what "unlimited" really
Are Unlimited Plans Ok?
If you have a small website and know that it will not consume too much
space or bandwidth, then unlimited plans make your choices a bit easier
to understand. Most plans that offer unlimited will have some
restrictions such as no audio or video downloads. The reason audio or
video downloads are typically not allowed in unlimited hosting plans is
because these types of files consume significant bandwidth and disk
space which exposes the host to the risk of having to add more hard
drive space and bandwidth, which costs them more money. If you choose an
unlimited plan and you know your needs won't be very intensive then you
won't run into any problems.
Are Unlimited Plans Not Ok?
If you intend to have a lot of visitors to your site, lots of downloads,
including audio or video files, do not choose an unlimited plan hoping
to get unrestricted bandwidth. You will find yourself with problems.
Your web host is not going to run at a loss for long - they could shut
down your website or even charge you extra (read the terms of service).
What Is The Best Thing To Do?
The best course of action is to plan ahead. Calculate what type of
bandwidth and disk space you will need for your site (you can use the
information and tools on the FindMyHosting site to do this) then
multiply it by 2 just to allow for expansion. Remember, you can always
buy more bandwidth or disk space if you need - often for only a few
dollars a month extra. Look for plans that meet those requirements.
Another FindMyHosting article "Bandwidth
Explained" does a good job explaining the details behind
consider an unlimited hosting plan if you know your disk space and
bandwidth requirements are very low. If, on the other hand, you have an
e-commerce site or a site that you expect to grow in size and bandwidth
in future, avoid any plans that offer unlimited bandwidth or disk space.
written by FindMyHosting