Unlimited Bandwidth: What Is The Deal?


As you have seen, the generalized term “bandwidth” is used to describe the monthly data transfer allowed.   Most web hosting providers measure this on a monthly basis. They are in turn charged by the wholesale providers who allocate the required amount of bandwidth to the web hosts.  The web hosts pass on the cost they pay the wholesalers, to the consumers through a variety of hosting plans they sell.

Since every bit of bandwidth is money for the web hosting providers, they have in place several techniques to ensure no consumer gets away with using excess bandwidth than specified in the plan they signed up for.  Most web hosts bill consumers for the extra bandwidth used, at the end of the month; while others resort to restricting any further usage in a particular month once the limit is reached.

Every new webmaster looking around for web hosts finds the promises of unlimited bandwidth attractive.  It is certainly exciting to be able to use any amount of bandwidth for a fixed monthly fee.

But have you ever wondered why only some hosts offer unlimited bandwidth and not all of them. Have you noticed that many of the major internet marketers do not sign up for the unlimited bandwidth plans?  They should because they are the ones who need it the most.

But they obviously know better! You will have to learn to read between the lines to understand what “unlimited” actually means. You will have to think logically and realize that the web hosting providers are in this to make money, not for social service.  Why would they give away their bandwidth, disk storage, hardware and server memory for free?

Here are some of the reasons why they offer unlimited bandwidth:

  • Web hosting providers know that most websites need only a small amount of bandwidth and disk space. They can “afford” to offer unlimited bandwidth as it is not going to be used anyway.
  • If you have a website with heavy traffic, the web host will deal with it by restricting you from hosting certain types of files. You must have seen that many hosts do not allow audio and video files.  They are smart and know that most web visitors are interested in downloading audio and video and these files use up enormous amount of bandwidth.
  • There are others that state that their customers have the privilege of using unlimited bandwidth of around 900 MB, over and above that, users will have to pay.  Here they are imposing a restriction on bandwidth that can be used but call it unlimited.

Does this mean that there is nothing like unlimited bandwidth? Unfortunately, yes.

However, it is wrong to group all the web hosts that offer unlimited bandwidth as fraudulent.  Many reputable and highly trustworthy web hosts also resort to these marketing tactics in order to attract customers due to the increasing competition.

But beware not to fall into the hands of web hosts that vanish after they get a few signups. Reputation is what you should be going by when selecting a web hosting provider.

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