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What is bandwidth?

Think of it as the amount of electricity used to play sound files and display images on the Internet. In the same respect it can be thought of as a 60 watt light bulb and a frost-free freezer that use different amounts of electricity. In the same respect, different types of files use different amounts of bandwidth.

Bandwidth is commonly thought of as something that doesn't exist in some people's minds due to the fact that they have never had to use it or had it stolen from them. The fact is, bandwidth does exist and is used by anyone who creates a website. In some cases, website servers do not allow bandwidth usage at all. But in most cases, it is.

American Heritage® Dictionary description of bandwidth:
bullet The numerical difference between the upper and lower frequencies of a band of electromagnetic radiation, especially an assigned range of radio frequencies.
bullet The amount of data that can be passed along a communications channel in a given period of time.
What is Bandwidth Theft?

Bandwidth theft is the linking to files such as images, music and other contents of another website directly to your website to be brought up on any given page that is within your website. Oh, and by the way, this can include webpages themselves. It isn't the way to go, but I've seen people do it.

Have you ever gone to a website and seen something like, "Please transload these files to your own server. Do not link to them."? If you ignore that request and link to them anyway, that's bandwidth theft.

Who is authorized to use bandwidth?

The person actually authorized to use bandwidth is the server and website owner. If a person purchases space on a server for their website, then that person is authorized to use the bandwidth allowed them for the website. In the same respect, if a person uses another persons bandwidth without permission, it is bandwidth theft. Which is illegal in every respect. It's stealing regardless of what anyone might think.

Okay, lets say I have no room on my website for an image that I want to use from a website that offers free images. Instead of trying to transload that image to my own server, I decide to create the necessary link to load it from the website where is at present. By doing this I have just become a thief. Why? Because I'm using their bandwidth to get the image onto my page on my website.

On most servers that offer free hosting of your website, they do not allow for use of bandwidth outside the server. These servers include: tripod, geocities and more. It is rare these days to find a free server that allows bandwidth outside their server. The reason for this is quite clear. The free website owner doesn't pay a dime for bandwidth use and because of this, the server usually requires ads to be place on the website they are hosting for free.


Who "owns" it and who pays for it?

In most cases, the person paying for their domain pays their website server for the use of the bandwidth for their website. The actual server owns the bandwidth that this person pays for and they in turn have access to that bandwidth for their use on their website hosted by the server on which they are on.

Most server and website owners offer advertisement for different things to aid them in paying for their bandwidth. For example, lets say I need to advertise a website. I would go to a website where they advertise and apply for their service. Remember, more subscribers = more pages = more hits = more advertising revenue. The money made from advertising offsets the money spent for bandwidth.

How Much Bandwidth Is Enough?

It depends on your needs when considering what company you wish to use for hosting your website. In my opinion, there can never be enough in most cases. Here are some options to consider:


Do you plan to offer any type of file download?


Average Daily Visitors x Average Page Views x Average Page Size?


Will you be authorizing any direct linking to items on your website?

Since bandwidth is usually determined by the hosting plan prices, you should take into consideration how much is right for you. Most all hosting plans have bandwidth requirements measured in months. So you will need to estimate the amount of bandwidth that your website will require on a monthly basis.


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