Metered Vs. Unmetered Vs. Unlimited Bandwidth – Major Differences

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022

There are a lot of factors that you keep in your mind while creating your website, for example, relevant designs for the website, intuitive layouts, SEO content, etc. On the other side, you also become a little cautious while picking a hosting service to host your website based on the facilities offered by the hosting provider and resources required, such as RAM, disk space, Operating system, bandwidth, etc. Among all these factors, bandwidth is one such element in creating and hosting your website that you may not explore right away or during the initial stage of making your website live. However, bandwidth plays one of the crucial roles for your website and determines the speed of your website at which it will function. Here, you will gain detailed insights into the bandwidth and its different plans available for your website. Let’s get commenced.

What is Bandwidth?


The term ‘bandwidth’ comprises an aggregate of two constituents – speed and time. The speed has been measured in the units of bits, bytes, megabytes, terabytes, and so on. On the other side, the time is measured in the unit of seconds. To put forth in simple words, bandwidth can be defined as the amount of data (in bits and bytes) that a computer is able to transfer in any given amount of time. For instance, 70Mbps of bandwidth will typically mean that the computer can transfer 50 megabits of data in one second. The higher the bandwidth, the better it will be for your website. 

What is the use of Bandwidth in Web Hosting?

Bandwidth in Web Hosting

When the users are attempting to access your website, they are actually requesting data from your website. Since the website data is stored on your web server, the server receives the requests of the users to access the data. Further, your server sends the requested data via a network to a viewer’s browser. The process has been explained in a way simpler manner than it actually is. However, it is sufficient for you to comprehend the usage of bandwidth.

Bandwidth in the hosting service is this amount of data that your server can transfer whenever any user tries to access it. Thus, if your web hosting plan includes 70mbps bandwidth as a resource, then your server will be able to transfer upto 70 megabits of data per second with your hosting plan. When your website acquires more traffic, that infers more web users are accessing your website, which means you will have to provide your website with higher bandwidth. 

Furthermore, the overall transfers of data are also monitored in the web hosting. Here, you will need to know the concepts about metered, unmetered, and unlimited bandwidth. Let us dive into the following sections to comprehend each of them and the differences between them as well.

Metered Bandwidth

Metered bandwidth plan monitors the overall bandwidth your website utilizes. You will have to pay your hosting provider according to the amount of bandwidth your website will use. Suppose your hosting plan involves the allowance of 100GB transfer, and your bandwidth is 70Mbps. If your website consumes all the data, it can face any of the following two things depending on your hosting provider terms and conditions:

  • Your website will stop functioning. 
  • You will have to pay additional charges for the extra data your website utilizes. 

Unlimited Bandwidth

The unlimited bandwidth plan actually does not imply any unlimited factor. Your server will not acquire the unlimited speed to transfer data. Instead, your hosting provider will offer you the cap on the transfer, i.e., upto which your server can go. The unlimited bandwidth plans are basically the metered bandwidth plans with a higher limit for the amount of data your server is allowed to transfer. The hosting companies will not bother you by telling you the ceiling limit. Rather they just assume that your server can not cross that, which of course, may not be true at times. 

Unmetered Bandwidth

The unmetered bandwidth plan does not involve monitoring the amount of data. Thus, if you pick a 70Mbps unmetered bandwidth plan, your speed will have the limit of 70Mbps.

Your server will be allowed to transfer data at 50Mbps, and there will be no limit on how much data it will transfer. Hence, you will be paying only for the required speed while not bothering about the amount of data your server transferred. 

Metered Vs. Unmetered Vs. Unlimited Bandwidth

Metered Vs. Unmetered Vs. Unlimited

Let us figure out the differences between each of the bandwidth plans discussed yet. 

DeterminantsMetered BandwidthUnlimited BandwidthUnmetered Bandwidth
Bandwidth TrackingMonitoring of overall bandwidth usage.Technically, no upper ceiling of bandwidth. But the bandwidth usage is tracked. No bandwidth usage monitoring.
If the allotted data gets exhaustedYour website will stop operating and you have to buy further bandwidth usage.It has a higher ceiling than the metered bandwidth plan, and in case the data exhausts, you will have to purchase the extra bandwidth. Since there is no ceiling, your website will have no chance of data getting exhausted. 
PricingDepends upon the amount of bandwidth you use.If the data gets exhausted, you will be charged for the extra utilization of the bandwidth.Depends upon the higher ceiling of data transfer. Generally, cheaper than the unmetered bandwidth plan and costlier than the metered bandwidth plan.A flat price charge for the speed.You do not have to bother about the data getting exhausting.
Most suitable withThe website, which is small in size or getting started, with low bandwidth needs.Mid-level websites that need higher bandwidths can go for this.All the data-heavy, media-heavy or high-traffic websites.


The hosting companies might confuse you with the unmetered bandwidth plan and unlimited bandwidth plan. That is because the entire bandwidth business becomes complex when different companies employ different terms for the same kind of bandwidth plan in marketing material. When a few hosting companies advertise for the unmetered bandwidth plans, they actually mean unlimited bandwidth plans. 

As discussed already, a metered bandwidth plan will not make sense if your website starts expecting more traffic. Thus, you will have to tilt towards unlimited bandwidth or unmetered bandwidth. However, before picking any of these from your hosting provider, review the plan properly while reading the terms and conditions of the bandwidth plan. It will help you not fall into any confusion and know whether the hosting company actually serves what the term means. 

However, the renowned and leading hosting companies will generally utilize the right terminology for different bandwidth plans. No matter which bandwidth plan you will end up picking, do not forget to inquire about it in detail. 

Get in Touch

Arpit Saini

He is the Director of Cloud Operations at Serverwala Cloud Data Centers Pvt Ltd and also follows a passion to break complex tech topics into practical and easy-to-understand articles. He loves to write about Web Hosting, Software, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and much more.

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