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 hosting plans.
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?
Let me tell you honestly first. Be careful when someone claims they provide unlimited bandwidth or monthly transfer.
Anyone claiming "Unlimited Bandwidth" is simply lying. There's no such thing as "Unlimited Bandwidth".
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 Service.
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.
When you first look for web hosting services (those who state clearly bandwidth offered), you have 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 upgrade.
Take these factors into consideration while estimating.
*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 our site at www.singaporewebhosting.com as an example.
The HTML file of the home page (average page) is 10.9k. There're 4 images at the top, 5k 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 15.9x150x6000x10%=1.43GB
That sounds reasonable for an service and information site with mainly text. As you can see, we seldom use images except the top logo, because we intend to provide service and information, not beautiful graphics or games or music download.
For safety, we'd rather choose a plan with at least 3GB bandwidth.
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. We're 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 our 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.
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