Thottled Bandwidth?


#1

Hi, I’m new to all this so I’m hoping someone can fill me in.

Dreamhost has been recommended to me as a possible host for my record labels website. At the moment I’ve got a domain registered and the site itself is being put together by a friend. Although I know virtually nothing about hosting and the specs, the deals Dreamhost have going seems to be great, as backed up by the recommendations I spoke of!

But… someone did mention to me that DH might not be suitable for a business like mine because of ‘throttled bandwidth’. More specifically, my site will need to include previews of upcoming releases as well as a number of DJ mixes in 192kbps MP3 format, each about an hour long.

Can some explain to me how throttled bandwidth might effect the above please? Is it really an issue I need to consider? Or would it actually be something that shouldn’t cause me any trouble?

Thanks

Mike


#2

Throttling can be set by YOU on your domain name. This is so that your site would get shut down if you reach a certain amount of bandwidth usage (so that you don’t get charged a leg for going over). It would automatically go back up the next billing cycle. This way you could set up two domains and use one for just information in case the other one where you are serving the files reaches it’s limit.

If you know you are going to be using massive gobs of bandwidth, choose a plan that is more suited to it.

Additionally,
http://wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/KB_/Account_Control_Panel/Status::_Bandwidth

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#3

It’s not clear to me what type of “throttling” you’re talking about. As mentioned, you can setup the domain so that if you go over your bandwidth for the month, the site switches to another that you setup.

But the data transfer speed also varies. Sometimes I get 200KB/s, sometimes 600KB/s. The only real way around this is either a dedicated server at a location where you know the exact bandwidth, or colocation in the same situation.


#4

Hi, I’m the ‘Anonymous’ who posted this thread, I just registered…

Cheers for the pointers so far. I’ve had a bit of a read now, so I think I understand a little more than I did, but I still have some questions. So, er… please pardon my ignorance :slight_smile:

Ok, so the way I understand it so far is that the bandwidth you’re given is an amount of data that can be downloaded from your site each month before you start incuring a ‘top up’ fee. ‘Throttling’ is a feature set by me to basically block any further traffic in or out of my site once that limit has been reached, at least until the next month? So firstly, does this mean just literally downloading files (e.g. the MP3s I’m talking about) from the site, or does it literally mean all and any data transfer out of Dreamhost’s servers, e.g. whenever someone so much as opens up my homepage and browses the site? The FAQ states "Every time somebody visits your web site, or downloads a file from it, they use a little bit of transfer bandwidth in the process. ", which sounds like the second suspicion to me. Is that right?

Still, even if that is the case I can’t see how I would go over the monthly allowance - even the smallest deal has 1TB (1000GB?) of bandwidth. Since my label is very new and very small right now I wouldn’t expect to go over that. The amount of visitors wouldn’t be immense by most websites standards, and judging by the 135mb size of one 90 minute mix I have here as a 195kbps MP3 I can’t really see there being any problem with visitors taking downloads either. Or… am I being naive?

Cheers for the suggestion about having 2 hosting programs, one for the site itself and one just to hold and distribute files. But at the moment that just wouldn’t be cost effective, the money simple isn’t there.


#5

So firstly, does this mean just literally downloading files (e.g. the MP3s I’m talking about) from the site, or does it literally mean all and any data transfer out of Dreamhost’s servers, e.g. whenever someone so much as opens up my homepage and browses the site?

Every time someone views your site, they transfer data. The amount of data transferred varies. If your whole web page consists of a 5KB HTML file and 40KB of images, you would need roughly 24 million people to visit that page to exceed your bandwidth.

Or… am I being naive?

Tough to say. But $8/mo vs the £59/mo for the other plan doesn’t seem worth it at this point. Go with an $8/mo plan, and set a bandwidth limit. If you start exceeding it, then think about switching.

On a side note, here’s a different explanation of throttling. When you set a limit, say 100GB, what actually happens when that limit is reached is that the site root switches to another folder. You can put whatever you want in that directory.

It can either be a single page, or a revised version of the site. One idea might be to put all your large files on a subdomain (doesn’t cost any extra) and put the transfer limit on that. If the limit is reached, put a second set of files, with lower quality, up for people to listen to.


#6

I’d just add that if you run into disk space or bandwidth problems at Dreamhost, it’s probably time to consider a dedicated server.

Any chance you could put ads on your site to help out with the cost? Google Adsense is pretty easy to use and could work out okay if the site has good content.

Of course, if you’re getting more traffic from people that just want to download huge files, rather than reading through the site, the ads might not be enough.

If you had others that were willing to mirror some of the files for you, that could help.

Also, plan ahead. Even if the plan you choose is fine for now, will it be enough when you grow? While your site’s growing would be a good time to start thinking about how to generate revenue, or finding mirror sites.

Dreamhost also offers dedicated servers, so if you ever need to upgrade, I’d imagine that it would be easy enough to do–plus you’d already be familiar with the control panel, since it’s installed on those, too.


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#7

Those are some other good suggestions.

I’ll add that for adding mirroring down the road, I would develop the site so that all the links to the files can be changed with ease.


#8

Cheers for the suggestion about having 2 hosting programs, one for the site itself and one just to hold and distribute files. But at the moment that just wouldn’t be cost effective, the money simple isn’t there.

You don’t have to spend anything extra, just create a sub-domain (i.e. downloads.whatever.com) and set up throttling on it. That way people would still be able to access your main site for information but not the download portion of it. Also, if you haven’t gotten your free domain name from DH, there is always that option too :slight_smile:

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My Blog http://www.sounanda.com
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http://www.marciesgifts.com
Send me a pm if you want cms or forum software installed (for a fee)


#9

I guess this is pretty clear now, but I still wanted to clarify. In some parts of the IT world, bandwidth throttling means how much can go through the pipe at one time. In this situation, you’re talking about capping the total bandwidth transferred. My throughput has always been great, and I’ve never gotten close to my limits of monthly transfer yet. You won’t be disappointed.

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