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What You Need to Know about Bandwidth in Hosting

Having reliable hosting service is essential, but it only buys you a small portion of what you need to get your websites running successfully. You will need a hosting account that offers a solid web hosting foundation, packed with necessary features for increased productivity and flexibility, and also a suitable level of bandwidth transfer allowance that helps you to eliminate the out-of-pocket cost factor to get your site running year after year. So how does bandwidth affect the decision you make to sign up a hosting account?

Bandwidth is a term used to describe the throughput capacity of a given network medium or protocol. It is the amount of information that can be carried in a given time period. In the hosting industry, bandwidth is used to express data transfer limits in bits per second. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transferred in bits per second (bps).

Bandwidth Units of Measurements
kbps kilobits per second = 1000 bits per second
mbps million bits per second = 1 million bits per second
gbps gigabits per second = 1 billion bits per second
tbps terabits per second = 1 trillion bits per second

How do you usually interpret the bandwidth terms that you normally see in the details of a hosting plan? A kilobit is a thousand bits, or 1,000 bits and a gigbit is a billion bits. Kilobits per second is usually shortened to kbps or Kbps. From a hosting providers point of view, a kilobit is 1,024 bits. For example, 28.8 kilobits per second (kbps) is 28,800 bits per second. If you see 10GB bandwidth allowance in hosting account, it means 10 Gigabit, which also means 10 billion bits per second.

1 bit (b) = 0 or 1 = one binary digit
1 kilobit ( kb) = 10^3 bits = 1,000 bits
1 Megabit (Mb) = 10^6 bits = 1,000,000 bits
1 Gigabit (Gb) = 10^9 bits = 1,000,000,000 bits

Because hosting companies are paying for using the bandwidth, you will be allocated a certain amount of bandwidth that you can use. When a visitor requests a page, the server at your hosting provider's data center is contacted and will return your site along with all the graphics and text. The more web users have on your site, the more bandwidth you will need and because you are paying for the amount of bandwidth that you will be using for your site, you need to determine the sufficient amount of bandwidth allowance so that your site can serve at the appropriate speed.

How do you determine the amount of bandwidth allowance for your site? There are many ways that you determine the monthly amount of bandwidth transfer that your site needs to serve your web users, but I would suggest the simplest method below.

Look at your daily web statistics and find out the daily average web users and number of page views. Usually, a new website has less than 1000 daily unique usersm, unless your site provides something useful, needful or something web users really wants.

Secondly, calculate the average page size that you have on your site and add all the graphics size attached to the page. Multiply the amount of visitors with the page size ( this include all the graphics ) and with 30 days and you will get the approximate monthly bandwidth transfer that you site needs.

How much bandwidth your site may need, depends on many website and business requirements. Look at your web statistics again. See which files are the ones that web users are downloading most and with how many web users are downloading these files.

Once you have these data, you can safely add or reduce the amount of bandwidth at any point in time knowing that you have the ability to estimate the monthly bandwidth allowance required.

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