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How much bandwidth do I need for my hosting?

When researching and choosing a web host To host your domain, one of the factors to evaluate and compare is the cost of the required amount of bandwidth. Yes, many providers offer "Unlimited" plans, but on closer inspection, you will find that unlimited is not truly unlimited - there are always penalties if you use too much as it is based on "normal" usage, whatever that means. That said, knowing how much bandwidth your site actually requires can be a bit of an art.

Web hosting bandwidth and data transfer

Basically, bandwidth is a term for calculating the speed of traffic and data that can be transferred between users and your site over the Internet. The term "bandwidth" is often misused to describe "data transfer," but they are actually two different things.

What is data transfer?

Data transfer is the total amount of data that must be transferred at a given time, usually measured in a month.

What is the site's bandwidth?

Bandwidth is a measure of the maximum data that can be transmitted in a given time, usually measured in seconds.

The number in "data transfer" tells you how much data you can transfer in a month. The "bandwidth" number tells you how quickly data can be transferred.

Think of throughput as the width of a water pipe, where data transfer is the amount of water flowing out of the pipe. How much the width of the pipe (flow rate) determines how fast the water can flow (data). Basically, data transfer is the consumption of bandwidth.

For site owners looking for web hosting, the amount of bandwidth a hosting company's site offers can usually serve as a good indicator of that host's capabilities - the higher the bandwidth, the higher the speed; network; connection; and systems.

So what about unlimited bandwidth/data transfer?

As mentioned above, many hosting organizations offer cheap hosting plans that include "unlimited bandwidth". For the buyer, this means that he can transfer to his site as much data and as much traffic as they need, without restrictions. For a hosting provider, this means a way to give the buyer a fixed cost that will generally work.

As always, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Simply put, hosting companies simply cannot offer unlimited bandwidth - it is too expensive to provide unlimited access to every client. However, most companies fall into the “normal range” of bandwidth usage by default, and this is the range that hosting providers use when creating their “unlimited” packages. Unlimited hosting providers can serve most of their customer base, however, there is an absolute limit on the bandwidth included in this package; the trick is to know what it is.
By comparing your site's actual required bandwidth to the bandwidth offered in this "unlimited" guise, you can better determine what level of hosting you really need and whether or not a given provider will really meet your needs.

How to calculate the required bandwidth

Think of the bandwidth, for example, two pants: you need the right size. It doesn't make a lot of sense to buy up the size, but at the same time, there is a number that comes up. If your waist is a size 36, you're just not going to fit into that 32. Simple math.

Here are the steps to calculate how much bandwidth you need

The bandwidth also doesn't make sense to buy - which is why it makes sense to work with hosting providers offering scalable solutions. As for buying a small one, it will only get you in trouble. Know your real need to get a service that works for you - here's how to calculate the required bandwidth:

Estimate the average page size of your site in kilobytes (MB). *
Multiply this average page size (in KB) by your average monthly visitors.
Multiply the result from step 2 by the average page views per visitor.
If you don't know, use Pingdom Load Time, test on multiple pages and take the average of the pages tested as your baseline test count. Here are some real-life examples:
This is the basis for determining the required bandwidth - however, you are not finished yet. You also need to enable the provision of an additional "room" in case of a traffic spike. Generally speaking, I recommend giving at least a 50% spread. But you need to allocate additional space for growth and traffic surges - leave at least 50% of the tolerance.

Required website bandwidth + redundancy (no user load)

To do this calculation, use the following formula:
Bandwidth Required = Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Traffic x Days Per Month (30) x Reserve Factor

Average daily traffic: total monthly visitors / 30.
Average Page Size: The average size of your web page.
Average Page Views: The average page viewed for visitors.
Reserve factor: the safety factor varied from 1.3 - 1.8.
Required website bandwidth + redundancy (with user load)
If your site does not use or does not allow loading:

Bandwidth Required = [(Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors) + (Average Daily Downloads x Average File Size)] x Days Per Month (30) x Reserve Factor

Average daily traffic: total monthly visitors / 30.
Average Page Size: The average size of your web page
Average Page Views: The average page viewed by a visitor
Average file size: total file size divided by the number of files
Reserve factor: the safety factor varied from 1.3 - 1.8.

Does bandwidth matter?

Yes and no.

Bandwidth calculation is critical when you are developing an application for the general public or trying to reduce hosting costs.

HOWEVER, bandwidth/data transfer numbers shouldn't be an important factor when choosing a web host, especially if you're just starting out.
Bandwidth (data transfer), as well as storage space, is hardly a significant comparison factor for hosting buyers - especially if you're new to today's market.
If you check, almost all shared hosting providers offer "unlimited" storage and data transfer. While the term "unlimited" is nothing more than a marketing gimmick; Web hosting users often get more than adequate capacity in terms of storage and data transmission bandwidth. In most cases, it is the server's RAM and processing power that limits the use of an unlimited hosting account.

If you are looking for a web host, find out more about the things you should take care of when choosing a web host.

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