UNLIMITED. You’ve probably seen this term countless times when searching for a web host. Hosting packages for $5 a month that offer you unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
Sounds great doesn’t it? However, disk space and bandwidth are true commodities and do indeed have limits just as water, natural gas, or oil. Well lets have a look at just one small piece of the fine print that you are agreeing to when you sign that 3 year paid in full up front contract. One major “unlimited” host has the following in their TOS (terms of service) agreement.
There are many things can slow down a server. In order to guarantee the fastest possible connections, we need to monitor our servers for processes that overload them. Any party that slows our servers down, can and will be notified. UNLIMITED HOSTING COMPANY reserves the right to kill any process (i.e. end a software’s execution) that is overloading a server, or slowing it down heavily. Each account is allowed to use a fair portion of the server’s Cpu time and Ram memory. We stick to the 60 minute rule, which means that each shared hosting account may not use more than 60 minutes of CPU time per day. Accounts that generate more than 60 minutes of Cpu usage per day will be notified and asked to optimize their website performance to fit under 60 minutes or upgrade to a managed dedicated server with no CPU limitations.
CPU limitations? And you thought this was unlimited, this is just the beginning, just wait until you surpass their unlimited bandwidth allotment and see what happens to your sites!
This is common among most of the so called “unlimited” hosts. In other words, they are relying on the notion that you as the client will be drawn to them by the “unlimited” bandwidth and disk space claim but hope you do not realize that you also have to use server processes to power your website *which are limited.
This is how they can legally claim their service offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth. As one insider at an unlimited host told me. “it’s unlimited until we say it isn’t, then they have to pay extra for the limited.”
In plain English, unlimited hosts will leave your site online until you start passing their pre-determined bandwidth cap, once you do, well wouldn’t you know it, you’ve exceeded their CPU process quota or max mysql connections. Then your site is suspended and your being told either you need to upgrade your service or find hosting elsewhere.
The other trick is in the content clause that the “unlimited” hosts have. They know that adult sites take allot of disk space and bandwidth to run flawlessly, so they bury little things like the following deep in their TOS (terms of service):
* Prohibited Offerings. No Subscriber may utilize the Services to provide, sell or offer to sell the following: pornography, nudity, sexual products, programs or services; escort services or other content deemed adult related.
And this fun little tidbit:
* Profanity or profane subject matter in the site content and in the domain name are prohibited.
This article is to inform you as the client what you could potentially be getting involved in by signing up with one of these “unlimited” hosts.
Always be clear about a potential companies TOS before signing up and make sure they do not hide certain things in hopes that you will not discover it. Also make sure the company offers many ways for you to contact them. Many unlimited hosts will only have a phone system and or a chat system both of which you will be put into a queue that could last up to an hour before speaking with someone.