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How Much Bandwidth Or Monthly Transfer Do You
Bandwidth is the measurement of the amount of data transmitted over an internet connection in a given time. Most web hosts measure bandwidth by the month and set limits accordingly.
You have to know how many bandwidth you need while choosing
Let me tell you honestly first. This is a
"chicken and egg" problem.
You can't really know the bandwidth or monthly
transfer you need before your web site has been up and running for a
while. But how do you choose a proper hosting plan if you don't
know your bandwidth requirement?
This is a tough situation. There're web hosting
services out there that provide cheap plans for small bandwidth,
say $3 for 1GB. However, once your web site is successful and
there comes the time you need more, they charge you $30 for 5GB.
You either take the trouble to switch to another host or pay them
whatever they ask.
Anyone claiming "Unlimited Bandwidth" is
simply lying. There's no such thing as "Unlimited
In the real world, we've never seen any broadband
company offering an internet connection as "Unlimited
Megabytes Per Second." So, how could a web hosting company,
which normally doesn't even own its own access lines, claims to
customers that it will give them "Unlimited Bandwidth"?
These web hosting companies are lying to the
public to attract customers. Most of the time, high bandwidth
sites on these "Unlimited" plans will be disconnected,
and no refund given. Normally, the web hosting company will say
that the site violated its Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of
Whenever you visit a site promoting
"Unlimited Bandwidth" as one of the account features, be
sure to visit the Acceptable Use Policy, or the Terms of Service.
Read the fine text about the so-called "Unlimited"
disclaimer, you will be surprised! It's solely up to them to
decide whether you violate their policy.
You have two options when you first look for web
First is to choose a hosting plan that provides
enough space and bandwidth for your future expansion
at an affordable price.
Second is to make your best estimation and
watch your usage carefully in the first few months. Before signing
up, make sure the hosting company won't charge your legs if you
Take these factors into consideration while
- How many users will access your web site?
- How many pages to be access?
- How big are the graphic and HTML files?
To estimate bandwidth usage multiply the size of an average HTML page, plus the combined size of images included in the page, by the number of pages in your
web site. Multiply that number by the number of visitors you will
have in a month.
Take this site as an example.
The HTML file of this page (average page) is
12.8k. There're 7 images at the top, 8k total. Currently there're
90 pages in this site, but we expect to add in more contents soon
so lets make it 150. Based on experience, we'll have 6,000
visitors per month. However, nobody except myself will ever read
all the pages. It's rather safe to assume that about 10% of all
the pages will be viewed per visitor. (That depends on the nature
of your site.)
So we need 20.8x150x6000x10%=1.87GB
That sounds reasonable for an information site
with mainly text. As you can see, I seldom use images except the
top logo, because I intend to provide information, not beautiful
graphics or games or music download.
For safety, I'd rather choose a plan with at least
This number is not accurate, to say the least.
It's just a rough estimate. For example, the images on each page
don't have to be reloaded every time the visitor views a new page
because the browser will cache them. I'm also not very sure how
many visitors will come since this site is online for just a
couple of days.
And think of your own situation. If you're going
to set up a forum, the page views will be far more than my number.
You know how sticky a forum can be, don't you;-)?
Large audio/video files, computer programs, and
file downloads require more bandwidth. Flash web sites use tons of bandwidth.
Virtual Reality (VR) and full-length three-dimensional audio/visual presentations require the most bandwidth of all.
Though it is not accurate, but still gives you something to work with until
your site has been online for a while and actual traffic statistics have been generated.
Feel free to use this article in your
publication or web site.
It's pre-licensed to you.
The only requirement is to include this resource box:
Article by Zac Hewlett at
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