What is Unmetered Bandwidth vs Metered Bandwidth?
When setting up a new server for business or your next project, you must first determine what your network and bandwidth requirements for the server will be. This is an important decision because choosing the wrong bandwidth plan may have costly consequences.
Unmetered and unlimited bandwidth is not the same thing when it comes to bandwidth usage. There is a lot of debate around this topic to explore. What is unmetered bandwidth? Does unmetered mean infinite bandwidth? Is there even a difference?
The simple answer is yes, there is a difference, however, it often also depends on the fine print of your hosting plan. There are two common data allocation strategies that server hosting companies employ: those that allocate by traffic and/or those that allocate by bandwidth, also known as metered and unmetered plans, respectively.
Metered vs Unmetered Bandwidth Plans
|Metered Bandwidth Plans||Unmetered Bandwidth Plans|
You have access to 20TB of traffic on a 1Gbps internet connection.
|With an unmetered amount of traffic on a 1Gbps internet connection, you can use as much or as little traffic as needed to accomplish your server goals.|
Traffic is a measure of how much data traffic consumption a hosting client can use. Server hosting providers who limit data by traffic usually express this as the amount of data that can be transferred per month — 20 Terabytes per month, for example.
Bandwidth is the speed of the data transfer to and from a web server. A server hosting company plan that allocates by bandwidth might advertise accounts with 1Gbps bandwidth. That means you can transfer a maximum of 125 MB within a specific time period (each second), but you will be afforded unlimited data transfer each month.
What about infinite bandwidth? Often hosting companies offer plans that are limited by bandwidth and not by traffic — also called unmetered hosting plans and do have an upper limit on the amount of data they can transfer in a given period.
There is a physical limit on how much data you could consume in any given month even with unmetered service, but they are typically very high. Many hosting companies will leave it to the fine print, whereas ServerMania will provide you with an expert consultant who will walk you through your bandwidth requirements.
There is also a limit on transfer speed, it is the amount of data the connection can transfer in a second multiplied by the number of seconds in that period of time. A 1Gbps connection for instance can transfer roughly 324TB in a month. But there is a big difference in the way metered and unmetered plans are paid for.
By 2020, the total global interconnection bandwidth is projected to increase from 1,144 terabits per second in 2016 to to 4,991 terabits per second by 2020., with the United States representing 1,795 terabits per second of this bandwidth.
Without an unmetered hosting plan, clients can use up to their traffic allocation, putting a limit on the amount of data they can consume. If they consume more bandwidth, they can expect additional costs at a set rate for each added gigabyte or terabyte. Most business owners prefer consistency and plenty of runway for their business plans and an unmetered hosting plan is often an attractive feature for their dedicated servers.
Standard ServerMania dedicated server plans include 20 TB of traffic with a maximum bandwidth of 1 Gbps. That’s more than enough for most business websites, publishing sites, and small eCommerce stores. But what happens when 20 TB isn’t enough?
When Unmetered Bandwidth Plan May Be the Right Option
Bandwidth usage cannot be underestimated when it comes to your server. Unmetered dedicated servers often do not have problems that site visitors may experience as the company scales or if the company is on a shared server. Good businesses know that most websites may not require unlimited bandwidth from the outset, however, it is a beneficial feature to have as they get more customers. They also do not have to worry about the unknown extra fees at the end of each month, they know exactly what they are paying for.
Consider media businesses that serve videos or large game hosting providers that cater to a large subscriber base. They will burn through their 20 Terabytes of allocation and start racking up additional costs for the excess data they use. For server hosting clients that frequently need to transfer huge amounts of data, unmetered plans are more cost-effective and simply make sense. They can move as much data as they need to without worrying about incurring additional charges, fees or penalties. The only limit is the bandwidth capability of their network connection (notwithstanding upper limits mentioned previously).
Consider the implications of not having high bandwidth as you get more customers:
- Limits on resources
- Website traffic congestion
- Servers overloaded
- Web pages are slow to load
- May cause issues for businesses sharing the same server
Metered connections may be the right choice for moderately sized e-commerce and business sites, publishers, and web applications that may not have to scale but have requirements to store and process a set amount of data over the internet each month.
Affordable Small Business Hosting Solutions
ServerMania’s server hosting plans are designed to give our clients the most cost-effective infrastructure solutions, which is why we provide a range of metered and unmetered bandwidth options with our servers.
Countless companies count on us to process, store and secure their data. Many of the largest industries require both high bandwidth and high connectivity speeds to process data and transactions in real-time. Our dedicated servers come in a plethora of hosting and bandwidth options.
With eight data centers around the world, many industries have benefited from our reliable service, security, and reputation for customer care.
Server hosting clients that could benefit from unmetered plans include:
- Game hosts that need to support lots of concurrent games at low latencies.
- Media businesses that stream video and audio to large audiences.
- News media sites, blogs, and eCommerce stores with a substantial volume of daily visits.
- Businesses that use their servers to store and distribute large amounts of data.
We know making decisions on servers, processors, applications and bandwidth can be a complex task, often requiring an equally complex solution. Fortunately, Servermania has a team of experts to guide you in every step of the process.
To learn more about our range of dedicated and hybrid hosting solutions, book a free consultation today to get started.