If Unlimited Bandwidth and Transfer Hosting Doesn’t Exist – Why Do I See Offers?

Mention the word “unlimited” and invariably, you’ll get blank faces and wary stares. Almost as infamous as the word “free,” there’s just about nothing that is truly “unlimited.” Or is there? A quick search of web hosts will bring an on slot of unlimited bandwidth and transfer offers. You will find just about as many naysayers, too. With the promise of unlimited bandwidth and transfer pulling in one direction and bad reviews in another, what’s a webmaster to do?

When a hosting company offers unlimited bandwidth or transfer, what they are purposing is to offer unlimited traffic to your site. Bandwidth is the amount of storage you have available to transfer your web pages, which are stored on the server, to the browser of incoming visitors. Each visitor requires a bandwidth amount. Maybe you’ve plugged a web address into your browser and instead of the site loading, you’ve received an error message reading something like “this site is currently unavailable: the server has reached its maximum bandwidth allowance.” This happens because the owner of the website opted to pay for a set amount of bandwidth and for one reason or another, the site attracted more traffic than the owner paid for.

Before setting out to purchase a plan with unlimited bandwidth hosting, let’s address a few of the more common myths you will come across.

“These claims are nothing more than a marketing ploy.” Technically speaking, there truly is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. Since bandwidth is finite in nature, the web hosting company itself has limited resources. Thus, how can they offer you something that they don’t have themselves?

Easy. Yes, bandwidth is finite, but a web host has so much of it, that there truly is no chance of using of it all. For example, about everyone has heard of the “Toy” or “Teacup” Yorkshire Terrier that has become incredibly popular. Well, technically there is no such thing. The American Kennel Club has one standard for the Yorkshire Terrier and a “Toy” version is not among these. Yet breeders sell these “Toy” versions since they are smaller than the standard. Technically speaking, there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth, but that’s really just a technicality.

“You’ll get the bait and switch.” This myth abounds because it can happen. A web host offers unlimited bandwidth, but only for a limited time. However, not all companies operate this way and as they say about a few bad apples . . .

“Scam Alert!” The idea behind this is that a new web host promises unlimited bandwidth hosting just long enough to get a good customer base. Then, when their server starts to drag, they cut and run. Instead of updating their server, they decide to just take your money. This may happen, but an easy way to avoid it is to sign with a host that has a good reputation..

Just the facts ma’am

It’s true, bandwidth does cost money. The more bandwidth offered per dollar, the less the hosting company makes. But this does not mean that unlimited bandwidth hosting promises a disaster.

Many web sites use very little bandwidth. And actually may use only a fraction of what’s available to them. The larger the provider you sign with, the more accurate the provider can estimate their available resources and promise you unlimited bandwidth hosting.

Some providers refuse to offer cart blanche unlimited bandwidth. This is to protect themselves against server abuse. If a web site has considerable audio or video downloads, the server bandwidth will be eaten up. With more control over what a webmaster can and can’t upload, a host provider can offer greater resources to more clients. Because of this most web hosts won’t allow audio or video if you sign up for unlimited bandwidth service.

When deciding on a company to provide unlimited bandwidth and transfer hosting keep in mind what your site needs and if this is the best option. Don’t be afraid of the bad press associated with unlimited bandwidth offers, many hosts are valid and offer reliable, sound service to their clients.