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What is ‘bandwidth’? Why is it important for your website?

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the speed at which information flows into and out of our website. The higher your bandwidth, the faster your site operates.

And web hosting service provider will charge more for higher bandwidth.

Host companies often specify the maximum bandwidth your site is allowed but they rarely mentioned the minimum bandwidth your site is guaranteed. Just like a MLM scheme, they always say, “Earn up to $10,000 per day by joining us”, but they rarely highlighted that we might end up earning $0 per day. So, remember to keep an eye on that!

This is a critical point to negotiate. Analogically, bandwidth is like a toll road with a posted speed limit of 65 miles/hour (mph). If the road is so crowded that you can only drive 15 mph, but you still have to pay the toll.

To discuss high bandwidth connection offerings, we need to know these terms:

  • ISDN : Integrated Service Digital Network. This connection uses special digital adapters with existing copper telephone lines to provide data transfer speed of up to Kbps (kilobits per second)
  • ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. This newly-developed technology also uses existing copper wires. ADSL will be able to offer data transfer speed of up to 1 Mbps (Megabits per second), and 1 Mbps sending.
  • T1 or DS1: A digital-only line can reach speeds up to 1.544 Mbps
  • T3 or DS3: This more expensive version can offer data transfer speeds of up to 45 Mbps.
*disclaimer – this is a note from 1999, hence might be a little outdated.

Note

In order to determine the kind of bandwidth our side needs, we have to estimate the number of users our site will have and the amount of graphic information they will need to receive.

Try negotiate for the best solution for your specification when possible.

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