Web Hosting: Difference between Storage Space and Bandwidth

Oct, 08, 2009 | Web Hosting | 2 responses
Web Hosting: Difference between Storage Space and Bandwidth

Storage Space vs. Bandwidth. Why are those numbers in my hosting plan different?

Whether you are looking for a new web hosting plan or already have one, you might still be asking yourself this exact same question. It is not uncommon for our customers to feel a little overwhelmed when trying to make a decision on which plan suits them best. For individuals not well versed in web design or hosting, they just aren’t sure what to expect and, therefore, cannot make an educated decision. Fortunately, we like our customers to be informed, which is why we’re breaking down the two popular and confusing topics of storage space and bandwidth.

Storage Space

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Storage space is the total amount of space on a server where you can store files, especially those used to create your website. These files can be anything from HTML files, images, website scripts and email. Some people also like to use the storage space to log backup files and old copies of web pages or even just backup files from their home or office computers for safe keeping.

A good analogy is to think of your storage space as your filing cabinet. When in an office environment, a filing cabinet needs space to grow for when you start adding more folders of information to it. The same goes with storage space, and we generally recommend for people to expect website storage space growth of up to 3 or 4 times its original size.

Also, as with a filing cabinet, once the storage space is filled, there is no more room for information to be stuffed in. So, if you plan on having a tremendously large amount of information going onto your server, you should plan on buying a large enough space to house it all. Luckily, Digital Pacific customers have the luxury of upgrading or downgrading their web hosting plans at any time as their needs change.

Bandwidth

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Bandwidth is where many web users get confused. Simply put, bandwidth is the amount of data transfer that occurs between your website and end users, and the amount needed depends on the needs of the individual or business and on the popularity of the website itself.

In order to understand how much bandwidth may be needed, you must first understand that whenever someone views your website, their computer must actually download the files that construct the webpage from the server before being able to display it. The size of the files downloaded – which can be anything from images, text, and documents accounts for how much bandwidth is used up at that given moment.

Besides people viewing your website, bandwidth is used when you backup your website, or when someone downloads a file from the server. Furthermore, an often overlooked factor in bandwidth usage is the fact that it occurs whenever you send an email from your hosted email account. So, if you are sending email after email full of large files to multiple people, this transfer from the server will count towards your bandwidth usage.

When it comes to bandwidth, it is wise to keep in mind the ability of a web host to accommodate your needs if they grow more than expected. Some companies may charge a fee to transfer to another plan, charge an extravagant amount of money per certain amount of transfer beyond the plan, or even suspend the account once the maximum has been reached. Digital Pacific, on the other hand, lets you upgrade and downgrade your plan at any time for no extra charge. Another thing to remember is that bandwidth allocated to Digital Pacific’s web hosting plans resets itself at the start of every month.

Web Hosting: Difference between Storage Space and Bandwidth

Storage Space vs. Bandwidth

To reiterate, storage space is the amount of server space that is allocated for your file storing needs, while bandwidth is the amount of transfer allowed from the server to other locations on the internet. Bandwidth will be larger than the amount of storage space by quite a bit in order to allow for the information you have stored on the server to be transferred sufficiently to web visitors. So, as long as you understand the difference between Mb and Gb, you’ll now be able to better understand the various web hosting plans out there.

Below is an example of a simple text website with one or two small images and text using 25gb of storage space per month, which is the amount of space we allocate to our “Business Basic” plan.

  • 25gb is approximately 25,000mb; 1 Mb (approx. 1,000,000 bytes), 1 Gb (approx. 1,000 Mb)
  • 25,000mb of web traffic will support around 1,000,000 page views per month, which is more than enough for most websites.
  • An average email that is sent is around 59 kilobytes. This equates to 16 emails per mb, meaning you could send around 400,000 emails per month on this plan, which no one generally does, before reaching your limit.

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Feature image credit: Freepik | Flaticon

Comments

Comment Posted By: Joe Steadman

It’s interesting how many people don’t know this difference. Guess it’s like RAM and storage on a computer.

Comment Posted By: How To Improve Your Site's SEO With a Web Builder | DragDropr

[…] online store owners creating a website for the first time don’t look at storage space and bandwidth first when choosing where to host their site. However these elements can be huge factors for how […]

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