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Hosting Data-Transfer Quotas Are Fading Out 135

Posted by kdawson
from the unmetered-is-not-unlimited dept.
miller60 writes "One of the largest Web hosts has scrapped data transfer quotas on all its shared hosting plans, retiring one of the oldest metrics in the hosting industry. With its latest move, 1&1 Internet has gone all-in on 'unlimited' hosting, a controversial practice viewed by many as a gimmick that promises more than it can deliver. Yahoo and Go Daddy have also experimented with unlimited plans, as the shared hosting sector responds to a tough economy, tough competition, and predictions that it will be made obsolete by cloud computing."
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Hosting Data-Transfer Quotas Are Fading Out

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  • SLA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484)
    I'd guess the lack of SLA renders it meaningless.
    • Re:SLA (Score:4, Informative)

      by phoebe (196531) on Friday September 04, 2009 @02:58AM (#29308317)
      It should be apparent that quotas have been scrapped as they cannot actually guarantee you can use the bandwidth speed they sold. So when they could have previously sold 1/5/10/50GB/day tiers, they spin that into a flat up to 50GB/day, let's call it unlimited, p.s. you'll be lucky to see 1GB.
      • by siloko (1133863)
        That's it - I run my own 'bedroom' server from consumer broadband which is ok for tinkering and trying out new things. A colleague did the same but got pissed with the slow download rates so leased a server from a commercial company. Nowhere did our discussions on the issue mention download caps as a problem, only speed. Speed, in case you missed it, is the new black!
        • I run my own 'bedroom' server from consumer broadband

          You have been reported to the TOS police, who is contacting you about upgrading you to business-class service.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drspliff (652992)

        However many other hosting companies can quite easily handle large amounts of bandwidth.

        One of my hosts is HostGator, they're not really the best out there, but they seem to be able to handle large traffic sites very well. One site of mine has been averaging about 7 or 8mbit, peaking at 20-30mbit. Last month we transferred just 5tb of data across all the sites hosted on the same account, with one site taking 11 million hits.

        Sure, we use more resources than most customers, but at the same time we're on a $14

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MindStalker (22827)

          One interesting factor that many ignore is that big hosting companies like HostGator, host so many sites that their peak loads are based upon general internet peak loads. Unless you have a HUGE audience most likely your specific site getting hit frequently possibly means another popular site is getting hit less often. Lets say that on average at 8pm/EST (a typical peak time) 2% (a random guess on my part) of people surfing the internet in the US are viewing a HostGator site. That metric is not going to chan

      • Re:SLA (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:04AM (#29310003)

        Being a former employee of one of these major hosters, I'll tell you how it worked for us with this unlimited thing. We ran a number of clusters that hosted around half a million websites.

        You can have "unlimited", we won't cut you off purely on usage. We will cut you off if we notice that you're causing problems for the whole system. We're not going to grow our cluster significantly just for you. So yes, you could happily do 5-10mpbs/s for the entire month. If you spiked to something like 100mbps for any length of time, it would be noticeable.

        Its a shared system. Shared hosting means shared resources. The point where you start impacting other customers by consuming too many resources, you'll get throttled or suspended. Same goes for excessive CPU or memory usage, abusive database monopolization, or other such crap.

        Of course, we'll probably notice you once you're in the top 20 sites on our platform, but if you're not actually causing problems, you'll be fine. In short, if you make the senior admins do work, you're probably liable to get suspended.

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        "It should be apparent that quotas have been scrapped as they cannot actually guarantee you can use the bandwidth speed they sold."

        Not only that, but they've been offering "unlimited" bandwidth for at least 10 years, why is this news now? Quick google search [google.com] reveals hundreds of sites offering "unlimited bandwidth". There's even a website from 2003 that explains what "unlimited bandwidth" really means [archive.org], which is basically it's unlimited until we notice you and decide to cancel service because our TOS all
  • by syousef (465911) on Friday September 04, 2009 @02:57AM (#29308315) Journal

    Why not GoMummy or GoBaby? All I know about this company is that I've seen people complain and that some of their ads are risque, but I still chuckle every time I see the name. "GoDaddy unlimited hosting" sounds like an all night party for old bong smoking pot bellied losers.

    • by zmollusc (763634)

      Hey! I resemble that remark!

    • "sounds like an all night party for old bong smoking pot bellied losers."

      No, no all night parties, but shooing stray kids off the lawn can get a bit noisy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      According to Wikipedia, they were looking for something more memorable than Jomax Technologies. Someone suggested Big Daddy, but that was taken, and then someone just came up with Go Daddy.

      • by svtdragon (917476)
        Really? They came up with Go Daddy out of Jomax? The tragedy here is that the original name was ripe for a JoMama joke. "JoMama's pipe is so fat..." "JoMama's not like a truck... she's more like a series of tubes that [censored]." Help me out here, /. There have to be some I'm missing.
      • by jpyeck (1368075)

        I'm surprised they didn't make the shorter leap from Jomax --> Jo Mama

        Imagine the fun commercials they could have made with that name!

    • I have been using their services for two years without so much as even a minor glitch. They host my domains and a vLAMP server the domains are pointed at. My service is not unlimited. I get up to 150GB of storage, and 15GB of traffic per month. I've never even come close to either cap, even hosting a few large videos for limited access to friends and family. I use it as my personal playground in The Cloud..... So far it's been much easier to manage than a 'bedroom' server. I do also maintain a local

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:09AM (#29308359)

    Typical cloud services are metered at higher rates than typical standard hosting services. The difference is that you get metered on actual usage than arbitrarily-defined usage levels.

    It isn't really different than inversely calculating the ROI of a pedometer. The more you walk and use it, the less it costs per measured step. However, if you buy it and put it on the shelf, you have that initial sunk cost and barely any return on your investment.

    Clouds are cheap if you have few visitors. They are outrageously expensive if you have massive amounts of traffic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gravos (912628)
      My perception has been that the cloud services (Amazon, Google, slicehost, mosso, etc) have realistic, sustainable per-unit costs whereas shared hosting outfits tend to have completely unrealistic cost assessments. They count on the fact that most people won't use their full quota because there's no way they could deliver what they promise to every user without ending up WAY in the red.

      For my money, I'll stick with cloud services that are metered honestly and transparently.
      • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:31AM (#29308469) Journal

        My perception has been that the cloud services (Amazon, Google, slicehost, mosso, etc) have realistic, sustainable per-unit costs whereas shared hosting outfits tend to have completely unrealistic cost assessments. They count on the fact that most people won't use their full quota because there's no way they could deliver what they promise to every user without ending up WAY in the red.

        FYI, everyone does this.

        Your ISP, your phone carrier, probably your electrical and water company... even some software developers. They have very high upkeep costs, and very low costs for actually keeping you connected. The hope is you'll be one of the users that helps pay their upkeep, rather than actually using their service.

        • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Friday September 04, 2009 @04:43AM (#29308763) Journal

          The fact is that unlimited is easy and more convenient than trying to calculate if the limits are enough. And these are $3 hosting packages, you can be pretty sure that you wont be allowed to host lets say YouTube on it. It's not just the bandwidth, but all the server resources it would consume.

          Same thing with dedicated servers on providers that dont have quota. It doesn't mean you're now on a 10gbit line and you can use it as you please. Instead of quotas, your bandwidth is 100mbit and usually on a shared line. You can usually burst it up to 100mbit, but if others need more bandwidth it will be shared. Dedicated bandwidth costs ~10x more and isn't usually needed anyway, as long as they dont *really* oversell the line too much.

          With everything its about bringing down the costs for users by sharing the expensive resources. It works good most of the time. If you know it wont work for you, then you can get the more expensive dedicated bandwidth and so on.

          It's just one inconvenience out of the way.

        • by gravyface (592485)
          Slightly off-topic, but we promptly cancelled our Mosso hosting once we found out that their "cloud" (whatever) MySQL servers were set to listen on the default port, accepting root logins from *any* IP address: they're claim was that this enabled users to use whatever SQL tools they wanted remotely (umm, ssh tunneling ftw?). I guess those "tools" also include brute force password attacking utilities and the like?
          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            What's the difference between having the MySQL server accepting connections from everywhere, and having the SSH Server accepting connections from everywhere? I really don't see much of a difference. Now, they should probably have some kind of safe guard in place to stop people from brute forcing either one, but the existence of an open SQL server by itself doesn't seem all that bad, considering most hosting providers already have SSH open anyway.
      • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:57AM (#29308571) Journal
        "They count on the fact that most people won't use their full quota because there's no way they could deliver what they promise to every user without ending up WAY in the red."

        Meh, banks do the same thing with your deposits.
      • by jedrek (79264) on Friday September 04, 2009 @07:12AM (#29309335) Homepage

        The truth is, almost all users will use much less than their quota. I've run, in the past and present, a bunch of personal sites of varying popularity: a web design portal, an e-card site, a blog, etc. They got from hundreds to tens of thousands of uniques/day. Even on the busiest months, I my bandwidth use was calculated in GB or tens of GB. Baring traffic anomalies, like the slashdoting my dropbox.com account got a couple days ago, you need either extremely heavy content (video) or to be hugely popular to get past 100GB/month. I doubt if 0.5% of dreamhost or 1&1 accounts do that kind of traffic.

      • They count on the fact that most people won't use their full quota because there's no way they could deliver what they promise to every user without ending up WAY in the red.

        Not only that, but shared hosts put limits on customer accounts that they don't tell customers about.

        For example, 1&1 puts a limit of 12 apache processes on each shared hosting account. What does that mean? It means if you have a PHP website, and 13 people connect to any domain on the account within the same second, at least one of them will get a 500 server error.

        That might not seem so bad, but if something breaks and PHP processes start freezing up, then apache will spawn new processes to serve new

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Rule 1: Never use 1and1 or as it's know in germanny 1und1. They are the shittiest company ever. They impose all sorts of rules and will ban/delete your account without notice. I have had an entire domain and mail deleted from the system. All they would say was "You requested it, there is no restore function. Sorry you are no longer a client". The request was to move the domain name, and the contract was cancelled 3months in advance of the end date as required. F*ck 1 and 1!

      Rule 2: No free lunch. Goes

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The company I work for, www.cari.net offers all three services, Shared Hosting, Dedicated Servers and Cloud clusters. We measure bandwidth at the switch port and use Average bandwidth not 95th Percentile. Sure, we calculate ROI and look to make a profit, like any business, but we do work with the clients and not cut them off at some arbitrary level.
  • It used to be that the only reason you would go to a hosting provider was because the cost of the bandwidth and hardware to do it yourself was prohibitive. Now with providers rolling out Fibre To The Home and Fibre To The Neighborhood and the availability of commodity components, it becomes affordable to do it yourself. It is also preferrable because more of the control is put into your hands. As Google's outtage hopefully demonstrated, cloud computing is risky and it is better to depend on as few contra
    • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:20AM (#29308423)
      what if mom unplugs your server to give your basement it's annual vacuum? there are elements of a professionally run datacenter that can't be reproduced at home for the same cost.

      if your worried about losing data, buy a slot in a colocation facility so it's your hardware everything is sitting on and you can encrypt the drive and put tamper alarms on it

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rakishi (759894)

      As Google's outtage hopefully demonstrated, cloud computing is risky and it is better to depend on as few contract resources as possible.

      No, all it indicates is that a lot of people are idiots who overreact to whatever hype the media is currently blabbering about. It's why you get 60 hour waiting times in every ER when the media says that some horrible new disease has just killed 15 people in the past two months.

      The rest are well aware that any locally hosted service will have an even worse reliability than google or cost so much it's not worth it for most people.

    • The big thing that a properly run datacenter gives you is highly reliable power, network links and cooling (granted the last one may not be an issue if it's just the odd box and your local climate isn't too hot).

      FTTH will give you more bandwidth (though not nessacerally much more) to your communication providers most local node but that is all it's likely to get you. It's still likely to both be badly congested and not particulally reliable/quickly fixed.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Now with providers rolling out Fibre To The Home and Fibre To The Neighborhood and the availability of commodity components, it becomes affordable to do it yourself. It is also preferrable because more of the control is put into your hands.

      Yes, and when that Fiber goes out for a week, you'll have plenty of opportunity to revel in just how much "control" you have.

      Good luck getting you ISP to allow BGP updates, for multihoming.

      And your UPSes and generators are in good shape, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems the word unlimited never actually means unlimited when internet services are involved. My "unlimited" internet on my mobile phone contract is actually 500MB. Everything is "Unlimited" is Capped or has a Fair Use Policy.
    If I ever see the word Unlimited when advertising a service, I dismiss it out of hand and look for the small print.
    I understand that an "unlimited" service is practically impossible to provide- I just ask the service providers don't use the word. Tell me the actual amount and then I

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo (196126)

      It's the usual "fair use" policy, i.e. unlimited until we think it's too much.

      More interesting to know would be what happens if you exceed their unstated limit. Is your site just cut off, or maybe bandwidth/cpu limited? If you decide to leave because you hit the limit, do you get a refund on the remaining contract period and do you have to pay any sort of cancellation fee?

    • If I ever see the word Unlimited when advertising a service, I dismiss it out of hand and look for the small print.

      While I agree with you in principle, I feel I should mention the one service I've seen that effectively does provide what it promises:

      Unlimited text messaging plans from AT&T are true to their word. If there's a hidden limit on that, it's set higher than any sane person could possibly use. (My sister's first month with unlimited texting racked up something like 6,000 text messages, and that's on top of what the other four of us on the plan were using. AT&T never complained, so they must not care.

  • by HughsOnFirst (174255) on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:24AM (#29308437)

    Last year I had a website that was number one on digg for months and eventually got over ten thousand diggs

    http://digg.com/people/He_Took_a_Polaroid_Every_Day_Until_the_Day_He_Died [digg.com]

    My unlimited , "no data transfer quotas" account didn't last a whole hour.

    Figure that each visitor accounted for 13,000 hits and 6,000+ largish photos it added up

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04, 2009 @06:10AM (#29309069)

      each visitor accounted for 13,000 hits and 6,000+ largish photos

      Your server's failure was due to bad web design. No server could have handled that, regardless of the kind of uplink. Unlimited transfer volume does not also mean unlimited CPU power, unlimited RAM and unlimited hard disk bandwidth.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        THIS.

        Also, why in GODS name did you post this thing on SLASHDOT?!
        Say bye to your site again in 3...2...1...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Also, why in GODS name did you post this thing on SLASHDOT?!

          Because he is a troll, and his post is just a poorly disguised attempt at getting more users to click on his dumb link.

          • That's not a link to my site, it's a link to a digg story that links to another site that in turn links to a site that has a link to my site.

            If you are too lazy to find my site I really don't care if you can find it, on the other hand you are actually interested and take the effort find it, fine.

            Anyway I think you meant spammer, not troll. Trolls are generally anonymous posters of unfounded or ignorant (did you click the link?) claims and general snarkiness.

            I filter both out of my blog, and no I'm not link

    • by pHus10n (1443071)
      Are you trying to crash your server again out of spite or something? :)
      • Are you trying to crash your server again out of spite or something? :)

        It's not like I put the url into the post, and if you want to go to trouble of finding the site that's fine. According to google there are "about 14,200" mentions of it on various web pages with about five thousand blogs linking to it.

        The New York Times, Canadian public broadcasting, The Guardian in the UK, a bunch of other newspapers in Scotland, Italy, a business magazine in Denmark, Time Magazine, Fox News, Wikipedia, and a zillion photography related sites all link to it

        At this point I'm not too worried

    • by ukyoCE (106879)

      Did they block you from transferring data, or did your server run out of processing power?

      Or did you somehow think bandwidth was the same thing as the other server performance metrics?

  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:27AM (#29308453) Journal

    No transfer quota.
    For instance I have a few low usage servers (mail and backups for a few small biz), I pay for 2Mbps with 100M burst. This means that I can use 100M 5% of the time as long as I don't use more than 2M 95% of the time.
    But bandwidth is extremely cheap around here.

    • Would you please also tell us where we have to move to instead of just dangling that carrot?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Well, he has a French sounding name, an email address from altiva.fr, his sig has a URL in French with the French TLD...
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          So.. Canada?

      • 95th percentile has been a standard way of billing business-class hosting for at least the last decade, AFAICT.

        The big change around here is that overage charges and base bandwidth charges are going down and getting replaced with electricity costs. I'm paying a bloody buck a VA, making my bandwidth bill almost irrelevant.

        Of course, I'm not dealing with your mickey-mouse $30 virtual server hosting plans; I have a 100% power and 'net SLA, ~40 peers, 24x7 competent staff, physical security, dual/redundant powe

        • See dedibox.fr. They offer dedicated servers (originally custom-built VIA boards with 120G HDD, probably much better by now) with 100Mbps and completely unlimited traffic, for â30/month.
          Another company has virtualized hosting that even cheaper, but you pay more for storage (on a SAN).

  • There's no such thing as unlimited.
    There is a limit, they just don't tell you what it is. At some point, you'll get an email telling you you're using too much resources.
    Also, providers that have unlimited storage have conditions that you can't upload anything you want (uploading large files to share with people for example)

    I'm paying $10 a month for a VPS and I'm getting 20GB of storage and 500GB bandwidth a month. I'm using maybe 2GB which is the OS, a few sites, and some pictures and movies of a trip, my

    • Nobody ever believes that this would even be legal to do until it happens to them personally. After actually reading the terms of service on a couple of hosting plans that just sounded too good to be true in an effort to figure out how these companies were affording such cheap bandwidth I discovered the dirty secret. I tried to warn TWO friends (clients of two entirely separate companies) about this type of shady business going on in the economy hosting market but neither of them believed me until their a

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <(deleted) (at) (slashdot.org)> on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:41AM (#29308505)

    We hosted a counterstrike mirror in 2000, and we had an 1&1 "unlimited traffic" plan.

    Guess what. After some more GB of traffic as usual went trough the line with a new update of CS, 1&1 closed the connection.

    Well, they not simply closed the server connection. It was CeBit some days later, and we were there at the 1&1 stand. The admin, responsible for that very server (among others) also was there. So we asked him, what happend to our unlimited connection. He apologized and tried to re-open the line.
    Only to find, that he himself could not connect to the server at all. As if it was blocked at a invisible device in-between.

    We could not resolve the issue there, and we later ended the contract.

    So don't believe their deliberate lies! There never will be!
    There are only managers who calculate an average without thinking, when looking at their statistics of traffic up to now (with the limits).
    And later, managers in panic, who notice that people actually will use that unlimited line, when they have it!

    • Of course, I meant "There never will be an unlimited plan!"
      (Sorry, I didn't sleep this night. Without any caffeine.)

    • Well, give 'em the benefit of doubt, they might just have been too clueless to figure out what congested the network... It's 1&1 after all...

      But yes, it's amazing what companies sell and how angry they get when you actually want to use what you pay for. I have no problem with an offer that says "20 Gig a month and then we cut your wire". Or "10 Gig". Or whatever arbitrary number. But claiming "unlimited" and then strangely resulting in funky problems that for some reason can't be solved is simply dishon

    • by Eil (82413)

      Yep, there's a difference between "unlimited" and "Internet unlimited". See every other Slashdot article about Comcast over the past decade.

  • Every time I see either a host offering "unlimited bandwidth" or someone saying "why should I pick the host you're with? For $2 per month less I can go to X and get unlimited bandwidth" I always end up wanting to have the spare change to sign up for an account, set it up as a Linux ISO or package mirror and seeing how long it lasts! Somehow I doubt it'll be long, but "unlimited" suckers in enough people that it obviously works. And then they'll wonder why either a) their server is dog slow (erm, someone is

    • It's quite possible to offer unlimited traffic on a dedicated 100mbit link right to the backbone. But be prepared to share your paycheck with your ISP.

      You get what you pay for. Pay too much, lose a bit of money. Pay too little, lose everything because the good you bought simply cannot fulfil its intended purpose. There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. (allegedly said by Jo

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        I guess when it comes to computers then unlimited anything is possible, but things that my host offers unlimited of (like addon/parked domains, emails and databases) are effectively unlimited because you're constrained only by your use of the alphabet and (eventually) some possible limits of standards (e.g. domain lengths stop you using a true "unlimited" number of domains, but you're still looking at stupidly huge numbers). Disk space and bandwidth are more physically limited things - there's no such thing

  • Their so called unlimited is only as long as you don't get to point of degrading the network for rest of the people that have hosting there.
  • I've been with Dreamhost since 05 and they started offering unlimited to new customers a while ago, and they recently completed moving all old customers to unlimited too. The reality is, most people use a fraction of the offering anyway.
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday September 04, 2009 @04:52AM (#29308803)

      That's basically what makes this business model viable. Also, if everyone is doing it, the heavy users will "spread out" across the ISPs, that's why no single ISP would ever dream of offering it, simply because everyone who wants to use 100+ gig a month will sign up with him, ruining the business model.

      It also only works as long as the rules of the game don't change. The telcos had to learn that the hard way when Internet became mainstream. Telcos in the US offered "unlimited", unmetered local calls. It worked well for ages. I mean, how many calls do you make per day? You yak a bit with a friend, hang up, free up the line. The few hardcore BBS junkies that hooked the line 24/7 were manageable.

      The rules of this game change completely when the internet entered the living rooms of the US. Now everyone was on the line 24/7, getting a second line for phone calls (yes, kids, that was before the mobile phone fad). The "unlimited, unmetered" plan that worked under the premise that people make short phone calls, maybe taking half an hour a day or so, backfired badly under the pressure that people now stood online 24/7. Even more so when they did stay online permanently simply because of the threat that you might not get a free line because everything is busy, making the problem only worse.

      ISPs might be wary to make a move they can't take back, especially since they were the ones that originally benefitted from a quite similar backfiring move by someone else. A truely "unlimited" plan could very easily backfire if something that uses a lot of bandwidth constantly become mainstream.

      Like, say, P2P.

      • Whoa there wayback machine! I remember "teen lines", although I used mine to keep the modem dialed up 24/7.

    • Dreamhost documented the practice of hosts overselling on their blog a few years ago.

      http://blog.dreamhost.com/2006/05/18/the-truth-about-overselling/ [dreamhost.com]

      FWIW, I've also been with them since '05, and while they've had their hiccups, I think the package is great; and they've become stronger in terms of infrastructure as a result. Speaking as a developer. I use their private servers now too, and am sooo pleased to have the root user capability added recently, alongside their groovy control panel which is fantasti

  • It's not like I'll be able to start the next YouTube with one of these hosting accounts. Just because they won't charge you per x amount of bandwidth doesn't mean there won't be a direct correlation between your number of visitors and their viewing speeds. An unlimited quota, which is limited to 300 kb/s total for all of your users, is not unlimited.
    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      An unlimited quota, which is limited to 300 kb/s total for all of your users, is not unlimited.

      Yeah, that is the only problem with hosting whole YouTube on a $3 shared hosting account.

      • by MeNeXT (200840)

        To add to this, what service are you expecting on a $9.95/month plan? Do you honestly think that you will get the help of knowledgeable tech when your server starts bouncing mail? These plans are only as good as the amount of business you are prepared to lose. With my experience with 1&1 is that even when you show them the problem and advise them on how to fix their servers, it still takes days to escalate the problem to someone who can do something about it.

        Snake oil is only snake oil, there

  • They are placing them elsewhere - They throttle the bandwidth at either the account level, or through throttling the hosting boxes.. "Unlimited" means no stated plan limit, not no limit.

    I'm speaking as the current owner of a regional hosting provider in the north east US.. We don't play with this kind of pathetic marketing bait and switch crap... You can't get any more misleading

    This is the same as the Cricket USB cell modems saying $40 a month for "unlimited" use - then the print at the end states that
  • I am really tempted to go open an account at 1&1 and then really pump the bandwidth just to prove how full of crap they really are. The only people who get truly unlimited service are those who never even come close to using any kind of serious bandwidth. Its not that hard to do and you don't even have to host pr0n...just run bittorrent when a popular flavor of Linux like Ubuntu, Debian, or Mandriva updates their distro and you can easily saturate a 100mbit connection.

    I lease several servers for mysel

  • I have a server at server.lu [server.lu] and pay for an actual "unlimited" plan. There are other dedicated hosting providers that do the same. As long as the bandwidth is for legit purposes - aka you're not hosting a warez site or torrenting everything under the sun - it really is unlimited. I can push 100mbps all month long if I wanted to, as long as the bandwidth is there. Shared hosting plans offering this always have some sort of a caveat. Don't believe it, even 1&1's terms and conditions page has nothing abou
  • I've had a 1and1 hosting package for about 6 years, ever since they started hosting for individuals and not just corporate, and I learn about this through /. When are they planning to inform their clients? I use a secondary host for rich media, so this would have me overhauling my site and adding more content, should I get started? My latest email invoice doesn't say anything about this.
    • Package Usage
      Usage
      Disk Space
      1025 MB of 120000 MB in use
      Transfer Volume unlimited
      File Usage
      11142 of 262144 files in use
      Basics
      E-mail 4 of 1200 mailboxes in use
      Domain 1 of 2 included domains have been registered
      Tools and Features
      WebsiteBuilder 0 of 2 projects in use
      max. 12 pages for each project
      DynamicSiteCreator 0 of 3 projects in use
      max. 12 pages for each project
      MySQL Databases 3 of 25 databases in use
      Scripts Supported Perl
      Python
      PHP

    • I'm a former 1&1 customer [orderingdisorder.com] for a reason... and I used to love them. Turns out they decided to really prove they don't care about their customers.

      Others have answered your question... most of the limits are listed in your admin control panel. However, over the years I had my account with 1&1, they raised the price on me once without notification, and they regularly changed my bandwidth limits, database limits, e-mail account limits, and so on. By "changed" I mean "sometimes up, sometimes down".

      One

      • Meh, I only use it for samples of my audio work, but I might offer to host a venue's website assuming it'll just be for listing upcoming shows etc.
  • My Website [zoxed.eu] does not get enough hits to need an Unlimited plan, you insensitive clod !

  • Overselling hosts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Badmovies (182275) on Friday September 04, 2009 @08:24AM (#29309649) Homepage

    Unlimited is obviously a gimmick, as there are limits to anything. Most "unlimited" plans have rules about usage, be it CPU or other, that allows the host to suspend the account. "unlimited" plans that cost $9.95 a month should be viewed with a critical eye. You get what you pay for with hosting. Before buying a hosting plan do some research on what hosts provide quality service, what price they charge, and what can be expected in terms of support. Oh, and always keep local backups of your data, and never sign up for an extended contract.

    1&1 does not have a great reputation on www.webhostingtalk.com [webhostingtalk.com]. Anyone with an interest in reading about the perils of unlimited plans (or hosting in general) should browse around that site.

  • Unlimited does not mean infinite capacity, nor does it mean they will allow a single user to abuse their resources. Unlimited means there are no artificial limits imposed or quotas that you will hit in the normal course of doing business. If you use up the resources you have purchased (e.g. dedicated server CPU) then that wasn't a "limitation" that was imposed on you; you simply used up the resources you had purchased. When shared servers and bandwidth are the question then yes the definition of unlimite
  • The vast majority of people who have a website generally don't come anywhere near their limits. Generally people think that just because they put a website up about their cat that the world is going to be just as interested in it as they are.

    Heh heh... seriously.....

    If your getting serious traffic that means you're going past limits (obviously warez sites excepted) then you're happy to pay a little more when you expand.
  • I manage several sites on 1&1 and godaddy. and one thing I discovered is that the "unlimited" plans have a throttled output or use a reduced processor allotment on them. Joomla shows off slow processor or throttling quite a bit and the same host company but unlimited compared to a bandwidth metered account and the Joomla install on the unlimited plan is MUCH slower. Pages take from 7-10 seconds to render compared to the 1-3 seconds I get on the premium metered plan.

    Yeah it's unlimited, but your spee

  • I've switched over to Google Apps from 1&1 for my home domain. I don't like the restriction to Page Creator, but I'll live with it if the uptimes are better than flippin' 1&1, especially for free. Web Gmail was out yesterday, though since I use IMAP exclusively, I was unaffected. If Google has the same problems 1&1 has, I will switch to someone else.

    I have one lousy domain left to switch.
    -l

  • Here's the common sense - advertise unlimited if you have the resources to give me as much as I might ever ask for.

    Restaurant: Unlimited Pies, $20

    So I start eating pies, they run out after I've eaten 1. Sorry sir, those were the pies allocated under your contract, it's not fair if you eat more than one as we've sold the other pies to other people and told them they are unlimited. That's called fraud - though companies call it "overage" and "marketing" it's still fraudulent.

    If the limitation is say the most

  • These hosting space providers are a dime a dozen. A more interesting type is something like Topcities, which offers free application hosting with lots of free templates for Joomla, wordpress, phpbb, etc.

  • You just have to read the TOS so see that all the unlimited hosts give them seleves unlimited excuses to shut your website down if you attempt to use your unlimited resources.
  • I am a San Francisco Photographer. [schoenfeldt.com] After every wedding I shoot I put a gallery of photos online. They are low resolution proofs, but it is over 1,000 photos per wedding usually, so they ad up after a while. I am usually bumping against my storage limits with my host (inmotion hosting, whom I've been happy with) So, the other day, I finish a corporate job, and I'm putting all high resolution of the photos online in a big zip file. I log into my cpanel to check if it puts me over my limit and I see "Disk Spa
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 04, 2009 @12:42PM (#29312725) Homepage

    One of my sites, "downside.com", has a MySQL database of every Securities and Exchange Commission filing since 2000. There's a cron job that updates the database from the SEC site every day at 4 AM. This used to run on EZPublishing, until they gave up hosting to focus on "permission e-mail" (really). It's now running on an $14.95 "unlimited" hosting account at HostGator.

    It works, but HostGator does have some undocumented restrictions. One was that they kill MySQL requests which run more than a few seconds. So I had to speed up one transaction that could run long (a good idea anyway) and the database upload had to be done a few hundred records at a time. The daily cron job only runs about a minute, and they're OK with that.

    Once, HostGator lost a hard drive and lost the database. The cron job can automatically rebuild the database by re-reading the SEC data for each missing day. (This takes care of routine recovery after downtime). But when the cron job ran for hours, rebuilding nine years of missing data, HostGator didn't like it. We had to talk about that one, and they recovered the database from a backup. That took hours of MySQL time, but they did it.

    It's a low-traffic site, though. When I did it, nobody else had SEC filings in a free database. Now all the search engines do. I keep it up more as a reminder of the financial mistakes of the dot-com era. (Although I did call the mortgage crisis in 2006 and put that on Downside. This stuff is obvious if you understand the fundamentals.)

  • A hosting service I use to use offered unlimited everything, but their terms of service were such that you can't just use it to host your files. You can't backup your HD to their HDs etc etc

    *****.com does NOT provide unlimited space for online storage, backups, or archiving of electronic files, documents, log files, etc., and any such prohibited use of the Services will result in the termination of Subscriber's account, with or without notice.
    ---
    All file placed online must have a web purpose.

    Needless

  • There's no such thing. There's a limit somewhere. Either they throttle the connection so that it's impossible to use more than they would like to offer or they just terminate all unprofitable accounts. If the latter, sometimes it 'accidentally' goes down they 'kindly' let you out of your contract, sometimes they invent a TOS violation or claim you're "abusing" your unlimited service by using it without limits, and sometimes they just tell you to take a hike.

    It doesn't especially matter how, it still destroy

  • Okay. Somebody fork over the $15, upload a dozen Linux ISOs, and get added to the primary websites as a mirror site...

    I'm betting it'll take just a couple days before you find out just how "unlimited" your service is.

  • As usual, merchants are selling products the way THEY want to, not the way their customers want. Take me, for example (and I think I'm a pretty typical example). I have a few small, relatively low-traffic web sites that bring in a few extra bucks a month. Most months the bandwidth I use is well within my plan and the price of the plan is quite reasonable. I certainly can't afford - or at least don't want to pay for - dedicated servers and high bandwidth caps when it wouldn't be worth the money.

    But I live in

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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