Bandwidth in computer networking refers to the data rate supported by a network connection or interface. Most hosting companies offer a variety of bandwidth options in their plans from 1 G to 100 G, some hosting companies even offer unlimited bandwidth. So exactly what is bandwidth as it relates to web hosting?
Website hosting bandwidth describes the rate at which data can be transferred between a website and computers connected to it within a specific time. Normally it is the calculated monthly in hosting packages by many website hosts, e.g. 1g bandwidth each month, or 5g bandwidth each month.
Bandwidth represents the capacity of the connection. However the overall performance of a website also depends on many other factors as well.
What’s the difference between bandwidth and traffic?
Web hosting bandwidth vs traffic just like highways vs cars. Bandwidth is the number of lanes on the highway and traffic is the number of cars on the highway. Traffic is simply the number of bits that are transferred on network connections. Bandwidth is the number of bits can be transferred on network connections within a given period of time.
If you have 100MB website bandwidth and you host a 40MB video on the website for visitors to download. Each download will create 40MB traffic between the web server and local computer. Two downloads will create 80 MB traffic, three downloads will create 120 MB traffic. If all the three downloads occur at the same time, all the bandwidth will be used up. In such case, someone will have to wait. Your 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 video will be slower. The more visitors at the same time, the slower the transfers would be.
How much bandwidth do you need?
This is the question you should ask yourself before signing up a new web hosting account. Bandwidth is often the major concern for popular business websites.
Check Bandwidth from traffic stats report
An easy way to know how much Bandwidth is enough for your website is to check the traffic stats provided by your previous host. If you have an existing website hosted with a host and decided to transfer the site to a new host, you can refer to the traffic report of stats with last hosting company. Almost all of the web hosting service providers can offer the website stats reporting service.
Usually if you have a brand new same website without much content yet, you can go for a shared hosting, as normally you will not need more than 1GB of bandwidth per month except you will invest a lot of money on ads or hire professional marketing team as soon as the new site launches. It is the same with most personal web hosting or small business websites. If you can expect little traffic to your site always go with a low bandwidth plan at the initial stage. After all, most web hosting companies will offer you upgrade options for more bandwidth if you need.
How can I reduce bandwidth usage?
Is there any way to reduce the bandwidth usage? Yes. If you’d like to reduce the website bandwidth, you can design a website with css and clean code, this can slim down the web page size. Also try reduce the usage of heavy images, especially downloads and videos on your website.