Caution about Data Transfer Bandwidth


It is extremely important to look at the monthly data transfer bandwidth included in a plan and the fee per megabyte when you go over if you plan to have a popular web site.

There are some easy calculations you can do to get a feel for how much bandwidth is enough. (Remember, 1 character is a byte, 1,000 bytes is a kilobyte or K, 1,000K is a megabyte (MB) and 1,000MB is a gigabyte (GB))Add up the amount of space consumed by your typical web page, and multiply it by your number of daily visitors, and then multiply it by 31. (Calculate Interactively Below.) If your web page has 10 kilobytes of HTML text, 5 images of 15 kilobytes each, and you expect 50 daily visitors, your calculation looks like this

:Bandwidth per visitor: 10K + (5 * 15K) = 85K
Bandwidth per day, 50 visitors: 85K * 50 = 4250K or 4.25MB
Bandwidth per month: 4.25MB * 31 = 131.75MB
In this scenario, you would use only 131.75MB of bandwith per month. Add a second web page with 5 different graphics? You’ve just doubled your possible bandwidth requirements.Now, here’s a more complex scenario. Are you planning to open your web site with a Flash introduction? What size is that introduction file? For a 1MB file, at 50 visitors a day, you’re looking at this:Bandwidth per visitor: 85K + 1000K = 1085K
Bandwidth per day, 50 visitors: 1085K * 50 = 54250K or 54.25MB
Bandwith per month: 54.25MB * 31 = 1681.75MB

Ack, that one megabyte Flash file sent your bandwidth through the roof. Moral of the story? If you are having a simple, plain text site with just a few graphics and are not expecting many visitors, a small monthly data transfer rate may be your best choice. However, if you are expecting a lot of visitors, or plan to have multimedia, anything from Flash to a short movie clip to MP3 music, you better be very careful about the plan you choose. Some hosts charge 10 cents or more per megabyte over your limit.


Bandwidth Estimator

Visitors per Day:
Bandwidth per Visitor: KB
Estimated Minimum Bandwidth per Month: MB
(GB )

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