No! Bandwidth and Speed are NOT the Same Thing

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When shopping around for the best web hosting company, you often hear the terms bandwidth and speed. Sometimes all the technological jargon gets thrown around so much it loses its meaning. If you don’t do your research you may end up with too much or not enough of one or the other.

Have you ever played the game “Telephone?” You tell a person a short phrase. Then, each person is required to whisper what he heard to the next with the final person saying it aloud. What starts out as “The dog is brown and black”, ends up like “A cog is round and flat.” The same can happen when people talk about bandwidth and speed, especially when the FCC uses them interchangeably.

No, bandwidth and speed are not the same thing, now take a look at how they are different.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth has nothing to do with speed; rather, it has everything to do with capacity. The simple definition for bandwidth refers to the amount of transferred data from Point A to Point B at a given time. Many people believe that their website speed increases as they increase the bandwidth. While bandwidth may be part of a larger problem that affects website speed, increasing your bandwidth does not necessarily mean your website speed is going up too. For a tangible example, let’s look at a pack mule. One pack mule, let’s call her Sandy, can carry five duffel bags from Texas to Mexico while another mule, Bessie, can carry ten. Bessie has a higher “bandwidth”, however, she takes one hour longer to get to Mexico. Thus, a higher bandwidth does not necessarily mean a faster speed.

Speed

Now that we have looked at bandwidth, let’s take a closer look at website speed. Internet or website speed is pretty much what it sounds like: how quickly information travels from Point A to Point B. Speed measures in Megabits per second (Mbps) or often referred to as “Megs”. Speed, the number one factor that determines if people will visit and stay on your website. Studies show that the longer a user has to wait for a page to load, the more likely they will ditch the site and search for something else.

How they interact

Now that we have a better understanding of what bandwidth and internet speed are independently, let’s now see how they work together. Back to our pack mule example, we expand on it. For instance, we need to move twenty duffel bags from Texas to Mexico. As stated before, Sandy’s “bandwidth” is five duffel bags, and Bessie’s “bandwidth” is twenty. Now, let’s say Sandy’s “speed” is one hour while Bessie’s “speed” is two hours. Simple mathematics can help us see how bandwidth and speed interact. Let me draw it out for you so it is easier to reference:

Sandy:
Bandwidth = 5 Bags
Speed = 1 hour

Bessie:
Bandwidth = 10 Bags
Speed = 2 hours

It will take Sandy four trips to move all twenty duffel bags, making her speed a total of four hours. Bessie can move all the duffel bags in two trips totaling two hours. In our example, the higher bandwidth does equal a faster speed to move all the duffel bags. In the example, substitute the duffel bags with amount of data, and the hours with megabits per second, and you can see how bandwidth and speed interact.

It’s important that you evaluate your website needs in order to decide how much bandwidth and speed you will need. If you have videos or games that require more data for high quality streaming, you may need more bandwidth than a website that just contains text. Work along side your web hosting company to determine the best ratio of bandwidth to speed for your website. GlowHost offers some of the largest bandwidth allocations available in the industry, all ports (that’s the bandwidth part!) on our network run at least 1 Gbps with capacity to supply well over 100 terabytes of monthly transfer, and future plans include 10 Gbps ports even on our entry-level shared hosting accounts.

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.