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Unmetered bandwidth

One of the ploys used by web hosting companies is to offer unmetered bandwidth.

Unfortunately, bandwidth is the most expensive component of most web hosting companies in Singapore. Is it possible to offer something that costs money for free? Yes, if customers do not use alot of bandwidth, and pays up sufficiently for disk or other components of a web hosting plan.

Market price for 1 Mbps is around SGD 250/mth. That translates into just 100GB/mth based on experience; particularly for small web hosts with only 1 Mbps bandwidth. Guess what? Just 1 website, usually forum site or photo hosting, can take up the entire 100GB/mth. Is it then profitable to charge $5/mth for unmetered bandwidth? No. So what happens when you purchase one of those $5/mth unmetered bandwidth accounts, and end up using 100GB/mth? You have a good chance of getting your account suspended, and getting your usage capped.

Based on experience, having access to statistics of over 5000 websites. The majority of websites, i.e. over 90%, uses less than 1GB/mth. Just pay for what you really use, and your webhost is more likely to be able to support your site, and they are more likely to stay around.

If you still want to get plans with unmetered bandwidth, take a good look at the terms and conditions of the plan. The following are just some of the terms I have seen for unmetered plans: No forum site. No photo hosting. Cannot provide downloads of files. Cannot provide chatting. Cannot take up too much CPU resource.

Put it this way: think of something you use regularly every month. Let's say petrol. If someone offers you unmetered petrol for $50/mth; pump whenever you like. Pay $600 for 1 year upfront. Would you take up the offer?

Lim Wee Cheong
28 May 2007

[Sysadmin] Access to servers via mobile device and ssh
[Sysadmin] RAID 0 scaling on SCSI U320, Bonnie++ 1.93c benchmark results
[Sysadmin] TODO (Apr 2007)
[Sysadmin] Recover from mistakes in /etc/fstab or e2label usage
[Sysadmin] Server overloaded?
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[Sysadmin] mount: could not find filesystem '/dev/root'
[Sysadmin] Parallels Virtuozzo Physical server to Container migration (vzp2v)
[Web hosting] DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service)
[Web hosting] Uptime for dedicated server, VPS and shared server
[Web hosting] Shared, Guaranteed and Dedicated Bandwidth
[Web hosting] Unmetered bandwidth
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