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You are here: Portal Home > Knowledgebase > Sales- General Questions > Pre-Sales Questions > Why don't you offer "unlimited" plans?

Why don't you offer "unlimited" plans?

The problem with companies offering "unlimited" bandwidth (monthly transfer) and disk storage is simple - there's no such thing. The main elements of any web hosting plan are disk space and bandwidth. Disk space is the space you have allotted on the web server to store your website. Bandwidth is an amount you have available to transfer web pages from the web server to the browsers of visitors to your site. Web pages and graphics consume bandwidth or capacity on the web, and bandwidth and disk space cost money.

The network lines that carry data around the web (optic fiber, cable, copper wire etc) have a finite capacity. There is a limit to the amount of data that can be transferred at any point in time. Likewise, the hard drive of a web server has a limited amount of space determined by the physical size of the hard drive. Many hosting companies claim to offer "unlimited" plans (both disk space and bandwidth), but be aware that there are physical limitations to both disk space and bandwidth. Before you buy an "unlimited" plan, know what you're getting into.

When consumers decide they want to place a website on the internet, they are often unaware of the fact that there are limitations. Unlimited is attractive because it requires no further thought. If it's unlimited then I never need to worry about running out right? Although this is understandable, there are risks with purchasing unlimited plans. Many web hosting companies offer "unlimited" as a plan feature. It is impossible for any provider to actually provide an unlimited amount of bandwidth or disk space. It's just not possible.

So why do unlimited plans exist? Most websites only consume a very small amount of bandwidth and disk space. Hosts offering unlimited resources are counting on the fact that you will never use them, either because they're not needed - or their Terms and Conditions / Acceptable Use Policy prevent such use. Unlimited is a marketing trick to get your business. Check in the hosting company's Terms of Service: there will probably be a note about what "unlimited" really means. If you intend on having a lot of visitors to your site, offering downloads (especially audio or video files), or using flash, do not choose an unlimited plan hoping to get unrestricted bandwidth. You will find yourself with problems. Your web host is not going to run at a loss for long - and will quickly find a way to make you pay for the additional usage, or worse, suspend your account for "abuse".

The bottom line is this: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. ALWAYS read the Terms and Conditions and/or Acceptable Use Policy when choosing a host for your online business. Hosting companies offering "unlimited" plans are (in our opinion) conducting their businesses without moral principles or ethical standards, and attempting to deceive consumers by using the fine print to redefine "unlimited".

For additional information, please visit these sites:
http://www.askwebhosting.com/article/54/Unlimited_Bandwidth_in_Web_Hosting.html
http://www.buffyguide.com/webmasters/whatisbw.shtml
http://www.al6400.com/articles/bandwidth.shtml



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