What is Bandwidth and Data Transfer?


When choosing a web hosting plan, we need to consider several aspects such as data transfer speed and bandwidth.

These concepts can be confusing for some users, so let’s try to explain what we are talking about when using terms such as transferring data from a web hosting or bandwidth.

The data transfer limit is an essential factor when determining what type of web hosting plan we need.

Usually, the disk space and bandwidth are two characteristics that vary depending on the plan that is chosen. Disk space is something that is quite clear and that most users understand.

If a computer has a 256 GB hard drive, data and files can be stored up to 256 GB. If a mobile phone has 16 GB of space, we know that we can save apps and photos up to 16 GB.

When referring to web hosting plans things are the same. Some plans have 1 GB, 5 GB, 40 GB, 200 GB and so on and you can store files up to the capacity of the contracted web hosting plan.

The transfer of data has to do with the number of users who make a request to the server to see the content that we have uploaded to the hosting account.

For example, any website that we visit is likely to have an image that accompanies a text such as the description and the presentation photo of a product in an online store.

This image has a certain size which occupies space, either in KB or even MB, which is transferred from our web hosting account to the user’s device that visits our website.

All this data transfer will add up and should not exceed the maximum bandwidth assigned to our web hosting plan; otherwise, the website will stop working

Each web hosting package gets a monthly data transfer plan which is reset once the month ends, so if we have a bandwidth of 10 GB, we can use those 10 GB throughout that month.

The files that users upload via FTP to the web hosting account also add to the data transfer limit, as well as email usage.

There are several aspects we should take into consideration to ensure that we do not surpass the bandwidth limits of our web hosting plan:

– Be aware of the size of the images. There are several ways to optimize the image size that we upload to the web hosting. If we upload a picture as we get it from a camera or a current smartphone, it will suppose an excessive data transfer consumption.

– Do not upload videos. Videos take up much more space than an image. Each user who watches the video will consume a part of the data plan. If the video occupies 100 MB and 10 people see it per day, there means 30 GB of data transfer per month, only for a single video. You can use alternative video hosting solutions like YouTube or Vimeo to upload your videos, and then just embed the video into your website.

– Control the files attached of the emails. If we make intensive use of the email service and frequently work with attachments such as PDFs or images, they can add up to to the data transfer plan. Today there are several solutions in which we can include the attachments without uploading them to the email server where our email accounts are hosted.

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