Unlimited Hosting Accounts – One Big Gotcha

When you are looking for a new hosting account, it can be extremely tempting to look at some of the very inexpensive packages that claim to be “unlimited.” For the most part, they are telling the truth. While some hosts still arbitrarily restrict the amount of bandwidth or server space you utilize, others have moved on to limiting other resources that are not even mentioned when viewing the “details” of their hosting plans. In those cases, as long as you are not taxing the server resources (memory, CPU, etc.) terribly, you can use up as much space and bandwidth as you want.

However, the one big gotcha you have to watch out for is the “inode” limit. Of the four popular hosts I examined (three of which are offering “unlimited” plans), none of them mentioned any limits (other than the bandwidth and space limits mentioned on Penguin Hosting’s page) on their “details” pages. From the “details” pages, all of them appear to be offering something too good to be true. In fact, they are; but you have to examine their terms of service in order to find out what the limits really are.

How Much Bandwidth Do You Use?

I was doing some research into my various Web hosting accounts the other day to see what services we absolutely need from a host. I noticed that, according to our log files, we are using between 125 and 175 gigabytes of bandwidth each month on one of our accounts and at least 175 gigs/mo. on our other account. We’re averaging approximately 300-500 visits each day.

Granted, on both of our sites, we offer a lot of large downloads, so that accounts for a great deal of our bandwidth. Still, though, I cannot even imagine what we would be paying for that type of usage if we were stuck in an older hosting plan.

How much bandwidth are you using on an average basis? Do the numbers mentioned above sound utrageous, or are they fairly standard? What are your thoughts?