There’s No Such Thing As Unlimited

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Mattias Geniar, February 02, 2009

Follow me on Twitter as @mattiasgeniar

un-lim-it-ed [uhn-lim-i-tid]
1. not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
2. boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.
3. without any qualification or exception; unconditional.

Here’s the short version: it simply doesn’t exist, because nothing is unlimited.

And especially not a webhosting company that claims “unlimited bandwidth” or “unlimited diskspace”, such as Dreamhost or Servage.

It’s not my intention to burn both companies into the ground, because I’m sure *something* about them is good – but it’s meant to raise questions about their “unlimited” part, and the business model they encompass.

Because truly – if their service is “unlimited bandwidth and disk space”, they’d be out of business already. One guy would purchase such an unlimited package, and just resell it.

Even if he didn’t resell it, and if he does use the Unlimited Package only for himself, he would have endless storage for as little as 100$/year. Seeing as how a simple 500GB diskdrive is around 50$, you can see where this marketing strategy hits a solid financial rock.

And that’s just part of the hardware. How about bandwidth, servers, cooling, electricity, staff, support, back-ups, …

You simply can’t have that, for such a price. You make sacrifices. If you’re lucky – you never need the staff, support or the back-ups, and it all keeps going.

But ask yourself this question; “What if something goes wrong?

You might end up on a massive overloaded server with zero performance left. Loading static pages takes 5+ seconds, database queries take forever, connections drop all the time, … Or what if your unlimited bandwidth is suddenly limited to a 10KBps connection, because of “over usage” (a term they define)? What’s left of that unlimited then?

The quality of something isn’t always measured in what you immediately see – but how it’s handled, ones it goes wrong. This especially goes for hosting  – you don’t know what quality you’ve got, unless something goes terribly wrong.

Could you afford a 48h downtime? Do you think their technical support will treat you like a king, for a measily 100$/year?

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