Bandwidth Explained in Detail

August 26th, 2009

One of the most detailed article i have ever read on bandwidth.

Most personal or small business sites will not need more than 1GB of bandwidth per month. If you have a web site that is composed of static web pages and you expect little traffic to your site on a daily basis, go with a low bandwidth plan. If you go over the amount of bandwidth allocated in your plan, your hosting company could charge you over usage fees, so if you think the traffic to your site will be significant.


A very simple analogy to use to understand bandwidth and traffic is to think of highways and cars. Bandwidth is the number of lanes on the highway and traffic is the number of cars on the highway. If you are the only car on a highway, you can travel very quickly. If you are stuck in the middle of rush hour, you may travel very slowly since all of the lanes are being used up.

Traffic is simply the number of bits that are transferred on network connections. It is easiest to understand traffic using examples. One Gigabyte is 2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes. To put this in perspective, it takes one byte to store one character. Imagine 100 file cabinets in a building, each of these cabinets holds 1000 folders. Each folder has 100 papers. Each paper contains 100 characters – A GB is all the characters in the building. An MP3 song is about 4MB, the same song in wav format is about 40MB, a full length movie can be 800MB to 1000MB (1000MB = 1GB).

If you were to transfer this MP3 song from a web site to your computer, you would create 4MB of traffic between the web site you are downloading from and your computer. Depending upon the network connection between the web site and the internet, the transfer may occur very quickly, or it could take time if other people are also downloading files at the same time. If, for example, the web site you download from has a 10MB connection to the internet, and you are the only person accessing that web site to download your MP3, your 4MB file will be the only traffic on that web site. However, if three people are all downloading that same MP at the same time, 12MB (3 x 4MB) of traffic has been created. Because in this example, the host only has 10MB of bandwidth, someone will have to wait. The network equipment at the hosting company will cycle through each person downloading the file and transfer a small portion at a time so each person’s file transfer can take place, but the transfer for everyone downloading the file will be slower. If 100 people all came to the site and downloaded the MP3 at the same time, the transfers would be extremely slow. If the host wanted to decrease the time it took to download files simultaneously, it could increase the bandwidth of their internet connection (at a cost due to upgrading equipment).

Hosting Bandwidth:

In the example above, we discussed traffic in terms of downloading an MP3 file. However, each time you visit a web site, you are creating traffic, because in order to view that web page on your computer, the web page is first downloaded to your computer (between the web site and you) which is then displayed using your browser software (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc.) . The page itself is simply a file that creates traffic just like the MP3 file in the example above (however, a web page is usually much smaller than a music file).

A web page may be very small or large depending upon the amount of text and the number and quality of images integrated within the web page. For example, the home page for is about 200KB (200 Kilobytes = 200,000 bytes = 1,600,000 bits). This is typically large for a web page. In comparison, Yahoo’s home page is about 70KB.

How Much Bandwidth Is Enough?

It depends (don’t you hate that answer). But in truth, it does. Since bandwidth is a significant determinant of hosting plan prices, you should take time to determine just how much is right for you. Almost all hosting plans have bandwidth requirements measured in months, so you need to estimate the amount of bandwidth that will be required by your site on a monthly basis

If you do not intend to provide file download capability from your site, the formula for calculating bandwidth is fairly straightforward:

Average Daily Visitors x Average Page Views x Average Page Size x 31 x Fudge Factor

If you intend to allow people to download files from your site, your bandwidth calculation should be:

[(Average Daily Visitors x Average Page Views x Average Page Size) +
(Average Daily File Downloads x Average File Size)] x 31 x Fudge Factor

Let us examine each item in the formula:

Average Daily Visitors – The number of people you expect to visit your site, on average, each day. Depending upon how you market your site, this number could be from 1 to 1,000,000.

Average Page Views – On average, the number of web pages you expect a person to view. If you have 50 web pages in your web site, an average person may only view 5 of those pages each time they visit.

Average Page Size – The average size of your web pages, in Kilobytes (KB). If you have already designed your site, you can calculate this directly.

Average Daily File Downloads – The number of downloads you expect to occur on your site. This is a function of the numbers of visitors and how many times a visitor downloads a file, on average, each day.

Average File Size – Average file size of files that are downloadable from your site. Similar to your web pages, if you already know which files can be downloaded, you can calculate this directly.

Fudge Factor – A number greater than 1. Using 1.5 would be safe, which assumes that your estimate is off by 50%. However, if you were very unsure, you could use 2 or 3 to ensure that your bandwidth requirements are more than met.

Usually, hosting plans offer bandwidth in terms of Gigabytes (GB) per month. This is why our formula takes daily averages and multiplies them by 31.

Read out the full article here: Bandwidth Explained – Web Hosting Guide by Daniel White

Is Unlimited Disk Space With Bandwidth Possible?

August 23rd, 2009

Seeing packages that say unlimited storage and hosting is not a rare sign today. This is a method of overselling that hosting companies are using to lure customer.

By providing something which is not possible theoretically means overselling. To make it easier to explain, imagine a train which can accommodate 500 passengers coming up with an advertisement saying 600 seats available. It is impossible that they can fit 600 passengers in that train. So, this is a picture of an overselling method. Most companies have a solid strategy when their do this sort of campaign but if their plan backfires, their reputation will be affected.

This same marketing method is also used in the web hosting industry. The competition in web hosting is even fiercer with hundred of company competing for customers. Customers demand more and more from the packages and this is what the companies are using to attract more consumers.

How do we find out about the overselling done by web host companies? Here is an example. A company called Company A with 2000GB space and 20,000GB of bandwidth will be able to offer a package made up of 200GB of space and 2000GB of bandwidth to 10 customers. This is a logical mathematical calculation. However, Company A can predict that 90% of their customers will never use more than 10% of what they have in their account. Therefore, they can accept more than 10 customers and this makes it overselling.

The truth is, there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. It is hardly that you can use all the bandwidth that you hosting company provide to you because before that happens, you would have used up all your other resources like CPU Time, Ram usage and database connection.

However, you will not be able to find out about this because companies never include this information in their terms of service. In other word, a web host company has the rights to suspend any customer who abuse their resources and there will be no refund for that suspension.

So, when you go out looking for a web hosting company, make sure you look for a reputable company that has been around for quite some time.

Article by Justin Knights from

What is Bandwidth and how can i Calculate it?

August 18th, 2009

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred to and from your account in one month. Every time someone downloads a 10 KB file from your website, they use 10 KB of bandwidth from your account.

Also, every time someone visits your site; they are downloading the home page and use that much bandwidth.

Bandwidth is reset on the 1st of every month on all accounts.

How to calculate your monthly bandwidth requirement?

Lets assume, you have only 1 page on your website which is of 50 KB in size (text+graphics). When you get one visitors on your webpage and uses up 50 KB of your bandwidth. If your monthly Bandwidth is 1 GB (1024 MB or 1048576 KB) then 1048576 KB / 50 KB = 21000 approx. This is the total number of visitors you can get monthly on your website before your bandwidth reaches it’s limit. This is a simple estimation and you will have to take into account the number of pages on your website together with your email usage to calculate the correct bandwidth.

Note: You can optimize your bandwidth usage by designing pages which have their CSS and HTML validated. Make sure the images you use are fully optimized. As a rule of thumb, photographs should be saved in .jpg and other graphics should be saved in .gif. Further more .jpg can be optimized by reducing the quality of the image or the size.