I was talking with someone about bandwidth this morning and at times I get a bit “techy” when I speak. So I went searching on Wiki to see if I can put it into plain English. When I found the article I was shocked! This so goes along the lines with your site/house theory I use.

This is taken right from Wiki:

Bandwidth in web hosting

In website hosting, the term “bandwidth” is often incorrectly used to describe the amount of data transferred to or from the website or server within a prescribed period of time, for example bandwidth consumption accumulated over a month measured in Gigabyte per month. The more accurate phrase used for this meaning of a maximum amount of data transfer each month or given period is monthly data transfer.

Consider this analogy:

  • Rented Water Tank = web-server that hosts your website,
  • Water company = hosting company where your web-server resides,
  • Water = files, data, images, etc. that comprise your website,
  • Pipe = the internet,
  • Quantity of water delivered = bandwidth consumption,
  • You = patron / visitor of your website which is hosted on aforementioned web-server.

There’s a pipe that delivers water from your rented water tank to your home. As you request water, the water company delivers it to you. All the while, they are keeping track of how much water was delivered to you, during a billing cycle. You have a contract with the water company in which they agree to charge you a fixed dollar amount per billing cycle, provided you do not request more water than the allowable quantity, as defined in your contract. If you do request more water, they will not deny you … but you will incur additional charges for the extra water requested / delivered.

With that example in mind, web-pages typically equate to a small quantity of water … while images, videos, PDFs and other similar media can potentially equate to large quantities of water being delivered by your water company. The accumulated total can grow rather quickly, especially when your website is popular / visited by many people.


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