Are Unlimited Bandwidth Plans Real?

I’ve been thinking about the bandwidth usage of my other blog and I realized that in the near future, it’s bandwidth usage will become higher so I tried to look at the other plans that my current webhost, HostGator. I discovered that the 3rd plan, Swamp, offers unlimited bandwidth and I’m wondering. Is that really feasible?

I’m just asking this question because bandwidth, just like disk space, memory usage, coal, and gasoline (more examples) are exhaustible resources. They require servers and connections in order to run. I’m not really familiar with the technicalities on how they provide bandwidth but as far as I can understand, I don’t think it’s an unlimited resource.

Well, not all websites or blogs are bandwidth extensive so they won’t use that much bandwidth anyway. So are they hoping that those blogs won’t exhaust their resources?

As of now, my bandwidth usage is about 2-3 gb per day and I’m assuming that it will grow higher due to my other blog. Perhaps if I reach 50% of my bandwidth capacity, it’s time to talk to HostGator support to ask more about their unlimited bandwidth plans.

How about your webhost? Do they offer unlimited bandwidth too? I heard that dreamhost increases your space and bandwidth every week?

23 thoughts on “Are Unlimited Bandwidth Plans Real?

  1. @Allen you’re using waaay too much BW.. have you considered super cache? It dropped my daily BW usage from 1GB to 400MB

    @unlimited. This is called overselling. It’s a common practice of hosts with a large number of owned servers. Basically, they allow you to take BW (and in some cases HD space) from other accounts that don’t use much juice so you get the illusion of an unlimited account. Sounds dirty right? But business wise it’s actually an ingenious practice.

    sylv3rblades last blog post..Glow in the Dark PSP

  2. If they’re offering unlimited bandwidth at the same price, or a small premium, there’s most likely a tradeoff. You’ll only really find out when you start eating up huge amounts of bandwidth. If you want to shift plans, do it with a webhost you trust and who you’re sure won’t screw you over.

    Lings last blog post..Memorial Day Hotel Deals

  3. @sylv3rblade – Umm nope, but the bandwidth usage is not due to this blog. It’s my other blog, a manga viewing blog. Now you know why it has a high bandwdith usage. Let me try that plug-in of yours so I’ll see the difference.

    on overselling, wow that’s some new info. I never knew that. Where did you get that info? 🙂

  4. @Ling – They are offering it at a higher price so I guess that’s the tradeoff ? More bandwidth means more expensive but I can’t get the ratio of the increase since it’s unlimited.

  5. Oh. Images. That really eats up bandwidth. But I still recommend Super Cache. It’ll keep everything else’s BW usage at a minimum.

    Digital Point
    And some friends who know are in the business ^_^

    The only trade off I can think off is like with a previous host for my forum. The package was attractive and the price was rational but the server has a memory and CPU usage cap. Couple that with an active forum and well… the result is a lot of 404.

    IMO, there’s a lot of Good Hosts (like mine. Reseller account for $4 yay!) out there that strive to get big enough to compete with those we already know. The only problem is finding them amongst the innumerable Bad hosts.

  6. there is no such thing as unlimited bandwith. Although companies like hostgator have an unlimited supply of bandwith (As long they keep paying for it), they usually apply a policy of good behaviour. Meaning that you use 1 terabite of bandwith they may say it is ok, but if you use 1000 terabytes they won’t like it very much…

    Hugo Santoss last blog post..Holy Crap! Im on Twitter!!

  7. @sylv3rblade – Wow! well in that case, I hope that mine steals from other accounts’ bandwidth and not the other way around. ^_^

    I hope hostgator is not a bad company and can be trusted. So far so good in my experience

  8. @Hugo – lol I don’t think I’ll be able to reach 1terabyte of bandwidth as I don’t offer downloads. But I guess they will have a hard limit somewhere. We just have to read the fine print. 🙂

  9. @Ceblogger – when you reach 50% of your capacity, you should start looking because it won’t be long till you reach 100% of your bandwidth capacity. 🙂

  10. I think a lot of the ISP are guilty of overselling too. I remember reading not to long ago that some of the major ISPs were having trouble providing enough bandwidth because, as sylv3rblade said, they were counting on people not using it. This discussion came about because of all the bit torrent throttling that is/was going on.

  11. In a million years I will never underatand how you guys are using that much bandwidth. I have VERY intense image based blog traffic every day and I have never come closer than 15 gigs a month.

    I see you have a very good Alexa rating, if it’s not too personal can I ask how many thousands of unique visitors do you get in a day?

    Dave from Welcome Back Rosenthals last blog post..This Blog Got Mentioned on WFMU by Bronwyn C. See? There is Something Good in Jersey

  12. My fear for many of my sites and blogs is not the bandwidth usage but some of my hosts have a cpu limit and most web 2.0 software/programs dont do to well on many hosts in that environment. All those database hits. Or least that is my experience so i moved to a VPS. Cost a little more, have to run the server myself but I have “freedom”.

    BlogMeTheMoneys last blog post..Adsense Alternatives: Part 4 of 4

  13. @Dave – Hi Dave, let me explain how I manage to get that high bandwidth. I also have another blog, it’s a manga blog. Every chapter is about 2-3mb where people can read online. I get about 600-1000 visitors daily there the last time I checked and each person doesn’t only read one chapter when reading a story right? That would explain my bandwidth usage. ^_^

  14. @Porch Lifts – Well, they should be better off selling limited bandwidth than offering unlimited bandwidth. They should that if they do something wrong, people will start spreading it to other people and ruin their image and brand.

  15. @BlogMeTHeMoney – Wow! You must have a pretty heavy trafficked blog that you had to move into VPS. I’m currently using wordpress in all my blogs so I’m not sure how heavy it is in terms of database usage and cpu usage. Any ideas?

  16. Well, THAT at least makes sense, because that kind of usage with a regular site is just not feasible.

    The only real issue that most people face is traffic spikes. If you get shared hosting (like 90% of us do) you might only use a teeny tiny amount of your bandwidth, but get 1000 or 2000 people in a short amount of time and you get the automatic suspension they never tell you about.

    Dave from Welcome Back Rosenthals last blog post..Change Your Brain and Change Your Life on PBS

  17. I think its a hype up. Hosting services even Hostgator must have a unwritten policy to reduce or cut the bandwidth after you reach some certain limit.

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