When you purchase a plan from a hosting company, you might notice that a very specific amount of bandwidth is included in that package. So what exactly is bandwidth? How does it effect you and your website? How does it relate to web hosting? Here are the keys elements explained.
What is Web Hosting Bandwidth?
- Bandwidth is actually a term containing several components. Not only is it the amount of traffic or data transfer passing through a website, it is also the size of the conduit that this data passes through as well as the speed. There are some technical equations that calculate all of this into a number that really doesn’t mean much to a website owner.
- Bandwidth can be easier to understand if we use an analogy from everyday life that we can all relate to. Think of Bandwidth as highway “traffic”. If someone asked you “what was the traffic like on your way over?” Your answer would most likely take the following into consideration: the number of lanes, the max speed of the highway, the speed you were actually able to travel and the number of cars on the road at the time.
- In website hosting, the term “bandwidth” is often incorrectly used to describe the amount of data transferred to or from the website or server within a prescribed period of time, for example bandwidth consumption accumulated over a month measured in gigabytes per month, ie.. the number of cars actually passing through the highway. The more accurate way to state this is the amount of data passing through a hosting account each month or “monthly data transfer”. If you exceed the amount of monthly data transfer that is allowed in your plan you will run into additional charges, just like you would on a cell phone when you go over your minutes.
Every hosting plan has a limit
- Hosting companies offering “unlimited” bandwidth will usually have some fine print explaining exceptions or will simply slow your rate of transfer.