The Difference Between Monthly Transfer and Bandwidth

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You’ve already pulled out all your hair trying to design the perfect website. Now, you must find a cheap web hosting company. You’ve done your research and chosen the best web hosting company for your site, but they’re asking you technical questions about monthly transfer and bandwidth. Do you know the difference between the two? Do you know which one will best support your website?

Be sure to read about the difference between bandwidth and speed. It will help increase your knowledge, but as for now, let’s go a step further and look at monthly transfer and monthly bandwidth. They may seem like the same thing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What is bandwidth?

In it’s purest form, the true definition of bandwidth is most easily defined as the amount of data that can be transferred from one place to another at a given moment. Let’s break that down a bit. Currently, megabits per second, or Mbps, most commonly measure bandwidth. Therefore, bandwidth tells how much data CAN travel from Point A to Point B in a second, but not necessarily how much data WILL travel.

Keep in mind, bandwidth isn’t the same as speed, but it does contribute to the speed of a webpage loading. It merely describes the amount of data that can travel together. For example, let’s consider lines at an amusement park. Some amusement park lines are single-lane and other lines offer six lanes. At the same second in the single-lane ride, one person can travel from Point A to Point B. In the six-lane line, six people can do the same. The six-lane line has a higher bandwidth.

Unfortunately, in the world of shared hosting, a precedent was set many years ago which co-mingled the definition of “bandwidth” with “data transfer” and the hosting industry never looked back. In other words, many shared hosting plans and control panels refer to “monthly bandwidth” when what they really should be advertising is “monthly transfer.” These terms typically  convey the same meaning when the discussion involves shared hosting. It is possible that someday that will change.

Memory and storage

Just as monthly transfer and bandwidth have been misconstrued, the same confusion occurs with the terms, memory and storage. When your computer runs out of room and you can no longer add files, leads to a common misconception. You call up tech support claiming your computer is out of memory. In reality, it is merely the hard drive that is full. I’m going to go out on a limb to blame this result on the rise of smartphones. We are accustomed to miniature computers which happen to have memory cards that run out of memory. The same thing must be true for computers, right? By all means, no. Both cases are wrong, both hard drives and flash drives should be referred to as storage.  As a result, we have a bunch of confused people because of it! Anyways, back to the point…

What is monthly transfer?

How do monthly transfer and bandwidth differ, then? When you break it down, monthly transfer refers to the total amount of data transferred during a given month. Most hosting packages set a limit on how much data transfer to allow in a given month. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t transfer more data than your limit, just that you may be suspended, slowed down, or may need to upgrade to a higher level hosting package, depending on your web hosting company’s or other ISP’s rules. Many people witness this every month with their smart phone data plans.

Most plans have monthly transfer limits and will charge you extra or slow your speeds if you exceed your transfer limit. Web hosts typically have similar plans. There are, however, some web hosting plans that offer un-metered and unlimited monthly transfer. For marketing purposes, web-hosting companies word the terms differently. Additionally, each host has their own rules for what this means.

Is anything unlimited

The reality is, there is nothing unlimited in the world of hosting. If you elect these types of plans, other restrictions listed in the Terms of Services, are possible. Make sure you understand the rules for “unlimited” plans before purchasing. Typically, unlimited plans are the lowest level of service one can buy at a shared hosting provider. Try to avoid these packages for anything other than a hobby site and definitely do not use them for business, especially if your business relies on your web site and email to operate. On the other side of the coin, if your business’ web site is more of a brochure type -site, and perfect up-time and performance are not critical, this type of plan might be just fine for your needs.

Comparing monthly transfer and bandwidth

 

As you can see in the above examples, monthly transfer and bandwidth share a connection while remaining independently unique. How do you know what your website needs? You have to evaluate what you plan to do with your website. Websites that move a lot of data at a time (high bandwidth clients) probably want to get a web hosting plan with a high monthly transfer limit as well. These websites include, although not limited to, websites that stream video, have popular forums, or host image galleries. These kinds of websites transfer a lot of data at a time. If you have a low-trafficked, informational blog set up for clients without photos or videos (low bandwidth), you probably would want to consider something with a lower monthly transfer limit.

You might even qualify for an unmetered or unlimited plan if you are not using the hosting package to store your entire life’s video and MP3 collection. Remember, as your usage increases and your demand for higher reliability increases, you can always upgrade to a package with a higher level of speed, transfer, service level and up-time guarantee. Perhaps unlimited or shared hosting isn’t cutting it for you. There are many great alternative options available to you before you become the next Amazon of the world.

If you have questions about how much monthly transfer and bandwidth you need, it is good to ask your current web host what kind of usage you have been using historically.  Are you just starting out? Start with an entry level plan, because traffic almost never happens over night. This will allow you to upgrade as your site becomes more popular and more profitable.  If you have more questions, feel free to contact us, and we’ll help you select a plan that’s right for you.

Web Hosting: Pay with Bitcoin

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You have many options when it comes to choosing a web host.  Consider finding one that allows you to pay with Bitcoin. With GlowHost, you can do that.  Let’s take a quick look at Bitcoin and why it’s a good idea.

What is Bitcoin

If you haven’t heard about Bitcoin, you have probably been sleeping under a rock. In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin to the world. Internet insiders have been trying to create a digital currency, but no one could answer the questions: What will back the currency? Who will control it? Amazingly enough, Bitcoin is mined from code instead of gold, and the economy is monitored simply by peer-to-peer protocol. A Bitcoin is just a hash encoded to signify one unit of currency. Instead of investing in gold, you are investing in digital capital, and that’s what gives Bitcoin its value.

Benefits of using Bitcoin

There are several benefits to using Bitcoin. First of all, it is extremely safe. One bitcoin is comprised of a code of 33 or more characters. It can’t be randomly reproduced, and the peer-to-peer network that monitors Bitcoins checks every bit of code to make sure no one is duplicating any Bitcoin. This ensures that no Bitcoin is double spent. When you own a Bitcoin, you can rest easy that it’s yours, and it won’t be stolen.

The value of Bitcoins lies in scarcity. Bitcoin rules state that no more than 21 million Bitcoin will ever be in circulation, and “mining” for Bitcoin will end by the year 2140. If you own Bitcoin, you will own a digital commodity that can be traded through a global mercantile system. Each year, the value of a single Bitcoin is rising. As the total number of Bitcoins mined nears 21 million, you can bet that their value will rise even more.

Why pay with Bitcoin

Perhaps the number one reason to pay for your web hosting with Bitcoin is that it is incredibly fast. If you pay with a check, it typically takes a few days before the funds are available. Bitcoin transactions can range from thirty seconds to ten minutes if a merchant wants to confirm the transaction. Bitcoin is also cheaper than using a credit card. Sure, a credit card transaction is instantaneous, but not only do you pay fees for using a credit or debit card, the merchant does as well.

Another bonus of paying with Bitcoin is that you don’t have to worry about inflation. Because there is a limit to how many Bitcoins will be mined, you don’t have to worry about more Bitcoin being “printed” when needed, which is the root cause of inflation. The limit on mining Bitcoin protects your investment.

You can see that using Bitcoin to pay for your digital needs, or for your web hosting, makes sense. If you are looking for a web host, take a look at GlowHost, and see what we can do for you.  Jump in, and let your Bitcoin buy you a great web hosting service from GlowHost.

Domain Name – Your Online Identity

Domain Names 101: Public vs. Private Registration

When choosing the best web hosting, choosing public or private registration for your new domain can be a bit confusing. Read on to learn what to take into account when making this crucial decision for your company’s internet presence.

Let’s start by understanding the difference between these two. Regulations for domain registration require you to send your personal information such as physical and email addresses, to the registrar in order to become the legal owner of your domain. This information is then registered with WHOIS, a public database of domains and their owners maintained by the ICANN, the international organization in charge of keeping track of who owns what on the internet.

Anyone can look up the registered owner of a publicly registered domain by sending a query to WHOIS. This can lead to potential problems for you and other domain owners, such as:

  • Unwanted people knowing you own a domain
  • Unwanted visitors showing up on your property
  • Becoming a victim of data mining
  • Receiving a lot of spam
  • Domain hijacking
  • Domain slamming

Private domain registration is a service provided by your registrar that allows you to keep your information private when registering a domain. The registrar will then share its own information with WHOIS, acting as a shield to ensure your privacy and avoid the aforementioned issues. Private registration is usually a premium service you can contract for a low yearly fee. It’s affordability has made it one of the most requested additional services of registrars, and the best web hosting services will invariably offer it.

Private domain registration is a great service, but it might not be for everyone. Since WHOIS lists your registrar as the owner, your domain will not technically be owned by you. WHOIS is consulted to resolve any legal disputes related to domain ownership. Therefore, choosing a registrar or web hosting service you can trust is of paramount importance when creating a private registration.

If you own a single website or a few domains, purchasing this service is a no-brainer. However, costs can add up quickly for owners of a large quantity of domains (100+), owned either for flipping or as alternative access to websites. This can be circumvented with some legwork by setting a single or a few privately registered domains to act as proxies for the rest – though this is not implementable in every case.

The decision between public and private domain registration comes down to three fundamental factors. The first one is the security of your personal information. The second is the reliability of your registrar or web hosting provider. The third one is minimizing the possibility of harassment including spamming, stalking, and other situations that might affect you and your family.

Make sure you get the best web hosting services possible. Contact us with any inquiries on the privacy of your information. We offer the best solutions for domain registration and web hosting, and of course, we offer private domain registration services as well. Just select the option at checkout when ordering a domain from GlowHost.com and we’ve got you covered.