Server hosting services have become quite common in recent years. It is something we all appreciate and it gave the chance to everyone to easily find their place on the world wide web. Although there are different hosts and serves to choose from, there are several factors to keep in mind.
One of the many things to keep in mind when choosing a hosting package is the bandwidth that will be required for the website to function properly. To make a good assessment of your needs, you must first understand what is meant by bandwidth when it comes to web hosting.
The meaning of the term bandwidth in web hosting
Although the correct definition of bandwidth is data rate, where the unit of measure is bit/second, most web hosting companies do not refer to bandwidth as transfer speed, but the amount of data that can be transmitted over a given period within a hosting package. In other words, bandwidth in the case of web hosting means data traffic.
Bandwidth is easiest to understand if you compare it to the freeway. The more lanes the traffic will be, the more flowing it will be. Highway cars are data that visitors download from your web pages. Every time someone visits a page on your web site, they actually download files using their browser. However, traffic is also flowing in the opposite direction, although on a much smaller scale: uploading files to the server and checking email also causes bandwidth consumption.
The files your visitors download can be HTML, image, video or audio files. These files take up space on the highway. The larger the files and the more people access them, the higher the data traffic and the higher your bandwidth needs. If you do not have enough bandwidth, there will be traffic jams and visitors will have trouble accessing the content of your web pages.
How to measure bandwidth in web hosting
Bandwidth is most commonly expressed in gigabytes per month (GB / month) in web hosting. Gigabytes are also used as a unit of measure for disk space on a computer. The smallest unit is a bit, then byte, then kilobyte, megabyte, and gigabyte. Each gigabyte has 1024 megabytes. To give you an impression of what these sizes mean in reality, we will state that one average song saved to a computer in MP3 format has approximately 4 MB. So, on a 1GB disk space, you could store about 250 songs in an MP3 format. However, by downloading one of the songs, visitors to your web pages, in addition to the MP3 file itself, would download HTML files and images, and more people would likely visit your site.
However, if you allow visitors to download files, you must also consider the average number of downloads per day and the average file size when calculating. Namely, if you have large amounts of data on web pages, especially if you have video or audio files or large and suboptimal images, then the bandwidth you are entitled to as part of a paid hosting package can be consumed very quickly and you may find yourself in trouble. However, in our experience, average websites consume less than 5GB of traffic per month.
Many web hosting providers say they give unlimited bandwidth, and some of them offer flat bandwidth. However, in both cases, it is just a marketing ploy. Web hosting providers unlimited or flat bandwidth are counting on you not to use a lot of traffic, leaving you confident that you can use as much as you want. However, if you do so and start to use more than what such hosts envisioned, they will quickly find ways to charge you an additional fee or impose restrictions on your package. Some will even suspend your hosting package in case of increased traffic, which of course can cause you great harm.
So do good research on who you sign the contract with and choose one of the check servers like the ones at https://www.dedicated-servers.com/unmetered-dedicated-servers
The “hidden” boundaries set by the hosting provider mainly relate to the CPU and RAM.
The CPU cores on the server manage the tasks your account requires of them, including running a server-side PHP script, connecting to a database, or sending an email. If one user monopolizes the CPU, it may cause delays to requests from other websites. In most cases, there is a separate CPU for each hosting package.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is a short-term computer memory. When requests (whether coming from a website, incoming e-mails, database connections, or something else) arrive at the server, they are allocated RAM that they can utilize. This is very important when it comes to traffic. If there are 100 visitors to a website at one time, then a certain amount of RAM will be required to complete all queries at one time. RAM is limited in web hosting packages and depends on the hosting provider’s offer – from 256MB or more.
By all means, your web application itself needs to be optimized in order to make optimal use of RAM.
A lot of people get confused when they encounter with bandwidth and what it actually is. Sure you can do the search online and find some answers and that is something you should definitely do before choosing the right package. In a nutshell, the unmetered bandwidth is definitely something to bear in mind when selecting a server. It may not always be the choice for you, but that depends on what you plan to do.
Either way, we hope that we have cleared things out when it comes to this aspect of server hosting. Now it is time to look for your options and find the package which suits your needs best. Good luck!