The Truth About Unlimited Bandwidth Offers

When you are searching for a web hosting company, you will undoubtedly find several that advertise unlimited bandwidth or data transfer. However, this is rarely the case. Instead of getting caught paying fees for exceeding your supposedly “unlimited” amounts, take some time to read the fine print.

Bandwidth is, by far, the most expensive component of running a web site, or a web hosting company. Even though a company may say there is no limit to the amount of data you can transfer, they most likely don’t mean it.

Isn’t this unethical? Actually, the majority of web hosting companies are betting on having clients that have a minimal amount of traffic. As such, these clients may never even have to worry about reaching even the smallest limit.

How can you tell what your limit really is? Before handing over any money for a plan that includes unlimited bandwidth, search the hosting company’s site for any fine print or user agreements that mention this bandwidth usage. You should be able to find out just how much bandwidth the particular company feels is “unlimited.”

You should also be aware of any fees that are associated with exceeding this limit before signing an agreement. Many companies charge as much as $1 for each additional megabyte of transfer over your set limit. If you have a busy site, this can quickly add up.

If you are not sure of the exact limit or any fees that are associated with it, don’t be afraid to ask the hosting company to clarify exactly what they mean by unlimited bandwidth. If they will not willingly supply this information, it is time to move on.

How can you estimate if you will need a site that offers more bandwidth? First, you will need to decide what you plan to do with your site, and what you plan to host on it. For example, if you are planning on having an image, sound or video archive, you will definitely need a larger amount of bandwidth than a site that is completely text based.

You will also need to estimate how much traffic you think your site will receive. If you plan on advertising your site, or appealing to a large segment of the population, bandwidth spikes could be a very large problem for you.

However, if you plan on having a very simple site that will only be visited by family and friends, you will most likely do just fine with a smaller amount of data transfer, depending on your content.

There is very little in this world that is truly unlimited and bandwidth is no exception. By taking the time to read through your hosting company’s fine print, you can decide if your definition of unlimited matches theirs. This is an area that can be completely subjective and will vary depending on the hosting company’s abilities and servers.

Related Posts:
Web Hosting Information Podcast
Hosting Industry News Briefing for 04/12/2006
Penguin Webhosting

Posted on 12/14/05 10:39 PM

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