When signing up for a hosting plan, one of the most important factors to consider is how much bandwidth is provided. Data transfer is expensive but necessary. Too much and you will be throwing money away, too little and your site will be shut down.
Predicting bandwidth usage is something hosting customers new and old alike have trouble with. It involves a wide variety of factors, including the size of your web pages and hosted files (movies, pictures, etc.), as well as how often these items are viewed. Other services like FTP and email also count towards your monthly bandwidth allotment.
Thankfully, there are a number of free online tools out there to help you estimate data transfer usage. My favorite three (in no particular order) are:
- Bandwidth Calculator at Active Online
- Website Bandwidth Calculator at Free-webhosts.com
- Mystic Nights Bandwidth Calculator
Estimating bandwidth usage only takes a few seconds and can save you time and money down the road. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to always be on the upper end of your limit each month. Headroom for growth and traffic spikes is necessary. The last thing you want is to be paying bandwidth overage fees, which are often quite excessive.
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