What is bandwidth?

The term "Bandwidth" is used to describe the amount of information (data) that your site is allowed to transmit and receive each month. The data that counts towards your monthly bandwidth allotment includes:

  • Emails that are sent and received.
  • FTPs (including FrontPage updates), to and from your website.
  • Web pages and their content (video, pictures, and text) that are displayed.

Each hosting plan comes with a monthly bandwidth allotment. The bandwidth allotment is defined in terms of a Gigabyte (GB), which is approximately one Billion Bytes. One Gigabyte is the equivalent of 1,000 Megabytes (MBs). A "Byte" is a character of information, such as a letter, number, or part of a picture or video.

For example, the Basic hosting plan comes with 1 GB of bandwidth. This means that a website hosted under the Basic Plan can send and receive up to one Billion Bytes of data per month. The bandwidth usage counter is reset on the first day of the month.


Site Usage Notification

If your site exceeds your monthly bandwidth during the month, the server will automatically generate a nightly "Site Usage Notification" Email and send it to the Email address of your site's administrator (the Email address which you provided when you ordered the hosting). The notifications will be send every night until the counter is reset on the first on the next month. The notification tells you how much your site has exceeded its bandwidth allotment by.

Here is a sample notification:
Your site has exceeded its
bandwidth quota in the period beginning on 2005-10-01.
Your quota is set to 1048576000 bytes ( 1000.0 MB ), and
your site has consumed 559189702 bytes ( 533.285 MB ) beyond that quota.

Here it is again, but we've added commas to make it more readable:
Your site has exceeded its
bandwidth quota in the period beginning on 2005-10-01.
Your quota is set to 1,048,576,000 bytes ( 1000.0 MB ), and
your site has consumed 559,189,702 bytes ( 533.285 MB ) beyond that quota.

This example means that as of the date the Email was sent the site had gone over its limit by 533.285 Megabytes, which is .533285 Gigabytes., or a little over 1/2 a Gigabyte. Each night this amount will probably increase as the site continues to use additional bandwidth beyond its allotment.


Over-Bandwith Charges

So why is going over your monthly allotment important to you? Because you are using service which you have not paid for. In the same way that you're charged for going over your monthly minute allotment on your cell phone or telephone plan, you will be charged for any additional service that your site uses. The charge for going over your limit is $5.00 per Gigabyte, or any portion thereof. In the previous example you would have already been changed $5.00 for going over your bandwidth because you used 1/2 a GB of additional bandwidth. You could use up to a total of 1 GB of bandwidth at no additional charge. If you exceed 1 GB you would be charged another $5.00, and you could up to a total of 2 GBs over your allotment without additional charge. Occasionally your site may go over and then drop back down below your bandwidth allotment. Let's assume you had a special event happen and posted a lot of new pictures on your website and everyone rushed over to view them. That may cause you to exceed your bandwidth, but most likely the next month everyone will not return to view them again, so your bandwidth would return to normal. In this instance it makes sense to pay the normal overage charge. If you expect that you will continually go over your allotment, then you can add additional bandwidth to your site at the following rates:

Additional Bandwidth/Month Monthly Cost
1 GB


2 GB $3.60
3 GB $4.80
4 GB $6.24
5 GB $7.80
6 GB $9.36
7 GB $10.92
8 GB $12.48
9 GB $13.04
10 GB $15.60

As you can see, if you expect to continually exceed your bandwidth it's much cheaper to add additional bandwidth to your site than to pay the overage charges. In addition, if you go over your allotment and add bandwidth to your site before the end of the month in which you go over that becomes the new allotment and you will not be charged for going over unless you exceed that amount. For example, if you have 1 GB of monthly bandwidth and exceed it by 1/2 a GB you would be charged $5.00. But if you upgrade before the end of the month by adding an additional GB you would be charged $2.00 for the additional bandwidth, but not the $5.00 overage because you would have a 2 GB limit which you would not have exceeded. Basically, overage charges are determined based on the counter at the end of the month, not at the point in time that you exceed the allotment.


Reducing Bandwith Usage

Here are some tips for saving on bandwidth:

  • Use thumbnails for your pictures. Displaying small pictures for your visitors to chose from, and having them click on the thumbnail before displaying the larger version could save lots of bandwidth if they don't want to view all of the pictures.

  • Use smaller and "right-size" pictures. Don't upload a large picture and then use the browser to "make it smaller". Use a utility to shrink the picture before you upload it.

  • Don't place a lot of pictures on a single page. That way if someone doesn't view them all you will not have consumed the bandwidth.

  • Don't put lots of pictures or video on your home page. Someone casually viewing your site by accident would be using the bandwidth. Put pictures and/or video on separate pages with links to them on your home page.

  • Reduce the quality and/or size of your video files.

  • Use your ISPs Email account for sending and/or receiving Emails.

2009 Bizwala