Those in the hosting know will have seen many of our hosting peers offer ‘unlimited bandwidth’ solutions over the years. As you’ve no doubt also noticed, 34SP.com has always been resistant to such an update. This is because we’ve always wanted to be fair, open and honest with our users; we don’t want to promise you something that we ultimately can’t fulfill. And we all know that nothing is truly without limit. Well, that’s all changing today as we formally drop our bandwidth limits across several plans.
Why the change now?
Quite simply, it’s not really much of a change. We haven’t charged a single 34SP.com website user for excess bandwidth usage in several years, we’ve absorbed those costs ourselves, rather than hinder our user’s growth.
Indeed, through the years we’ve been continually increasing our bandwidth allocations, to the point where few regular users exceed their allocation. Additionally, users are increasingly offloading more demanding items off server. For example, video to YouTube or image heavy sites to CDNs such as CloudFlare.
Which is why we’re now simply saying, as long you’re using your account in a fair and reasonable manner, consistent with other websites, we’re not going to charge for bandwidth.
So what constitutes fair usage? Put quite simply: standard traffic for a regular website. If you’re running a typical website, online store or blog you’ll be fine. If you’re hosting nothing but gigabytes of ISO files generating terabytes of download data, maybe not so much.
Our general rule of thumb is that if your website is causing the server it is hosted on to struggle, we will ask you to move to a service more capable of supporting that load. More often that not, bandwidth is the least of concerns, genuine problems stem from load on database servers or overloaded web servers. We don’t really look at bandwidth, we look at server performance.
We think it’s fair that if you’re impacting another user’s hosting experience, and your site isn’t on the best platform then it needs to move. We’ve always operated this policy, and this doesn’t change moving forward.
What happens if you think I’m violating the fair usage policy?
Our support team will drop you a note via email, and we will try to understand how you’re using your site.
Depending on the situation it’s possible we might need to take some pro-active action too. If your site is causing server instability we may need to migrate your site to a different server or plan type, deploy a CDN solution or tweak your site setup.
Only in exceptional situations would we consider suspending a site – e.g. your site is causing server unavailability, we’re unable to contact you and we cannot implement a suitable alternative without your direct help. We’ll do everything we can though to keep you online. And again, we will try to reach you as soon as possible.
What plans does this affect?
Our Professional, Business VPS, Reseller VPS and Managed WordPress hosting all now come with unlimited bandwidth. These packages are all aimed at supporting standard websites.
Our VPS and Dedicated plans remain metered at this time, and should be used for any non-standard setups such as VoIP services, file hosting, video streaming etc. These plans still come with very high bandwidth allocations, that are largely never exceeded by most users.
I’m still confused
Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your website and what you’re hosting. We’ll be happy to advise.