Domainmonster.com Domain Editorials
If a hosting company claims to offer "unlimited bandwidth", steer clear. Such an offer is dishonest and you will probably end up wishing you’d read the small print when you are getting charged for excess usage in a few months’ time.
Firstly, "bandwidth" means "amount of data that can be transferred per second". What would it mean to have unlimited bandwidth? Presumably everything would transfer in no time at all; your pages would load instantly. Of course, that’s not what these companies mean. When they say "bandwidth", what they actually mean is "data transfer". It might help to think of bandwidth as the breadth of a water pipe, and data transfer as the water flowing through it. Your data transfer limit is the equivalent of the amount of water that is allowed to pass down the pipe during a given period of time – it is the amount of data that can be downloaded from your site per month. An example of a data transfer limit would be 20GB/month. So the first thing to note is that "unlimited bandwidth" is an incorrect use of terms. Not a good start for this hosting company.
But supposing you come across a company that offers unlimited data transfer, which is to say (far more reasonably, you might think) that there is no limit on the amount of data that your site visitors are allowed to download from your site per month. How generous of them. The fact is, however, that a hosting company would be taking a very serious gamble on their business if they really did offer unlimited data transfer, and the fact is that they’re not really offering anything of the sort. Claiming to offer unlimited data transfer (or bandwidth) is basically dishonesty. One way or another, they will prevent you from going over a certain limit. They might start imposing hefty excess charges when your data transfer reaches 20GB/month. They might just close your account if you exceed their invisible limit. They might drastically reduce your actual bandwidth, which would affect the speed of your pages loading in your visitors’ browsers. Trust me on this one: there is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is certainly no such thing as unlimited data transfer.
You may think that it won’t make much difference to you whether or not they really offer unlimited bandwidth, because you’re not going to be exceeding more than a modest amount anyway. However, do you really want to deal with a company that uses these sorts of dishonest sales techniques? If they’re lying to you about "bandwidth", couldn’t they be lying to you about other things? You’ll probably have to pay extra for their "unlimited" package, and the worrying thing is that you might not know what your actual limit is or what you are entitled to. Basically, the wisest move is to cross any hosting companies of your shortlist which claim to offer unlimited anything. They are lying.
Author: Natalie Catchpole