When you start looking for a host, it is important to know the amount of bandwidth it offers. But what is it exactly?
This is a factor that we take into account continuously when we evaluate the Top web hosts for your website.
Just remember that “bandwidth” is a concept that quantifies the amount of data allowed to pass between Internet users and your site on the Internet at any given time.
This term is often misused to refer to data transfer (or traffic), but these are two separate things. Bandwidth measures the maximum amount of data that can be transferred at a time t, usually given in Mb/s (read mega bit per second).
If we make the analogy between your Internet connection and a garden hose, the water representing the data to be transmitted, the bandwidth would then be the width of the hose.
This amount of data that the network of your host can support is a good indicator for the choice of your server. Only, be careful not to fall into certain traps. Unlimited bandwidth offers often hide penalties for overuse. It should be understood that nothing is given for free, these offers are most often used to attract new customers, but this does not give any guarantee on the quality of the hosting.
What about the traffic?
The traffic or data transfer represents the amount of data actually transferred.
If we take the analogy of the garden hose, the traffic would be the number of liters of water passed through the hose.
You can quickly calculate the monthly traffic generated by your site. To do this :
- Estimate the average weight of your web pages in Kilo Bytes
- Multiply this average weight by the average number of monthly visits
- Then multiply the result of step two by the average number of page views per visitor
The difference between Mb/s and MB/s
You have surely seen these two metric measures once in your lives. You may not have noticed that one takes an uppercase “b” while the other does not.
To put it simply, both the Mb/s unit and the MB/s unit refer to the download speed. The nuance, however, is that Mb/s refers to the number of megabBITS per second, while MB/s refers to the number of megaBYTES per second.
Without embarking on overly advanced computer concepts, it is relevant to know that there are 8 bits in 1 byte. So, if you see 15 MB/s and 15 Mb/s, you should understand that the former is 8 times faster than the latter.