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Web Host - Bandwidth

For a webmaster, bandwidth is the measurement of data that is sent from your web host's server down to the visitors computer. If you have a lot of visitors and they all download large files from you, then you will need a great amount of bandwidth. Many webmasters do not plan for the future and inadvertently have their web sites shut down in the middle of the month because their web site was much more popular than they ever expected. To preven this from happening to you, carefully measure your bandwidth usage and plan ahead!

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How Much Bandwidth?

The main difference between the basic and expensive plan of any hosting provider is the differece in the amount of bandwidth per month. Most hosts will define the bandwidth amount in GB (Gigabytes; 1 GB = 1,000 MB). Below is an easy way to calculate the amount of bandwidth you will need for a month.

  • Total = visits a day * page views per visit * average page size * 30 (number of days a month)

Example for a site with 1000 visits a day, 4 page views per visit, and a page size of 45KB (kilobyte):

  • 1000 * 4 * 45KB * 30 = 4,500,000KB = 4,500 MB = 4.5 GB

This web site would require a plan with a minimum of 4.5 GB of bandwidth a month. However, to allow for growth, it would be wise to choose a plan with excess bandwidth, in case there is an unusually large amount of visitors in a month.

Dedicated Lines

Some hosting options, more common with dedicated server plans, come with a dedicated connection of some speed. Generally these dedicated lines vary from 256kb/s (kilobits per second) all the way up to 100Mb/s (megabits per second). These options are great for web sites with a steady stream of traffic, with very little need for burst bandwidth. Burst bandwidth is just the term used when a site is sending data at an unusually high rate compared to its normal rate. If you have a dedicated line, as opposed to a certain amount of GB a month, your site will not be able to handle high bandwidth peaks.

Below is a table of how much bandwidth(in GB) you would be able to squeeze out of a dedicated line, in ideal conditions, over a one month period. Note: chances are you will not get peak speeds, and we have included a Real World amount that will probably be closer to the GB you will actually get.

Dedicated LineOptimal GB/MonthReal World GB/Month
256Kb/s 82 GB~75 GB
512Kb/s 165 GB~130 GB
1Mb/s324 GB~270 GB
10Mb/s3,240 GB~2,700 GB
100Mb/s32,400 GB~27,000 GB
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