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Website Technology Issues Forum

What Does Bandwidth Really Mean?
The Effect of Bandwidth for Number of Visitors

 10:22 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

What does bandwidth really mean in web hosting?
For an example if I have a 50KB web page and bandwidth of 1MB per month, can I only have 20 visitors(1MB/50KB) per month requesting that page? What happen if more than 20 visitors request that page? I mean if I exceed my given bandwidth, what happen? Please give me a clear explaination with a numerical example.

Thank you.



 10:49 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


Your math is right, but 1 MB/month is obscenely low.
Most cheap host ISPs offer gigabytes per month, and not just a few.

Yes, you multiply each file length by the number of times its accessed.
Then add the totals for all files, pages and images, what have you.

The access log file I download every night is usually 1 MB or more,
NOT counting visitors to my site. -Larry


 11:11 am on Sep 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>I mean if I exceed my given bandwidth, what happen?

you will need to read the terms and conditions of the host you are with, one of two things will happen

1. you will be billed extra for the bandwidth that you use - often it is cheaper to 'upgrade' to a higher account than to pay the extra bandwidth.

2. they will turn off your website/account until the next month (unusual)


 10:59 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you for answering.

Is it true that the accessing
of my web site will be slow if
I exceed the given bandwidth?


 11:17 am on Sep 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Bandwidth" in webmastering terminology, is not a rate of thru-put.
Your access speeds will not "slow down".

If your host service has a limit of say 100 GB per month, and you exceed that
due to high traffic, one of the following usually happens:

a) Service is cut off entirely until the next month.
b) Service continues, but you get billed extra for the overage, and usually at a higher rate.
c) Host ISP offers you an upgrade for a few bucks more per month.

Option (c) is usually the cheapest, and best done ahead of time. -Larry


 4:40 pm on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Finally I got it right!
Thank you very much for helping me.


 4:59 pm on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Bandwidth" in webmastering terminology, is not a rate of thru-put.

No, bandwidth is what webmasters confuse with data transfer ;-).
A server can have 100mbit/second bandwidth, but a 50gbyte/month data transfer limit.

Some hosts do get this right.


 6:34 am on Sep 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Py9: That's what I was clumsily trying to say.

Everywhere ELSE but webmastering, 'bandwidth' is used properly to mean
thruput capability in bits or bytes per second.

The term has become so confused and corrupted in website land, that
I have all but given up setting it straight, and so have most host ISPs. -Larry


 2:34 am on Sep 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here is a notice I saw when I was trying to request
a web page from a site that had exceeded the bandwidth.
I present the full HTML code here.

<TITLE>509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded</TITLE>
<H1>Bandwidth Limit Exceeded</H1>
The server is temporarily unable to service your
request due to the site owner reaching his/her
bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

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