With this, hosting companies indicate in their rules that users shouldn't allow their websites cause problems for other sites by overloading the servers they're located on. Provided resources can't be used for purposes other than creating and maintaining a website.
This limitlessness is formulated in different ways:
FatCow says to provide Oodles of disk space and bandwidth. This host also uses the phrase 'normal use' to determine what a user can do with his Oodles of resources.
Bluehost promises its customers UNLIMITED disk space and bandwidth. But requires that the number of inodes doesn't exceed 200,000.
What really lies behind the so called 'unlimited resources', you can find out in our analytical article.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 1. InMotion Hosting
- 3 2. WebHostingHub
- 4 3.WebHostingPad
- 5 4. FatCow
- 6 5. iPage
- 7 6. GreenGeeks
- 8 7. JustHost
- 9 8. HostGator
- 10 9. BlueHost
- 11 10. HostMonster
- 12 11. Real ways of limitation
- 13 12. Conclusions
- 13.1 12.1 The importance of storing information from different sources
- 13.2 12.2 Final conclusions
- 13.3 12.3 Recomendations
Did you ever ask yourself why does your unlimited hosting, with an unlimited disk space and traffic, cost you only 9$ per month, while a private server that has a 250 GB memory limit and 1.5 TB traffic limit per month can reach up to 175$? Or, for instance, what interest does the Internet-business giant YouTube have in paying millions per year to host your videos? It was far in 2006 when YouTube was already paying something about 2 mln $ per month for a 25 petabytes (25.000 TB) traffic.
Here is the officially released information about the number of watched videos and the amount of traffic that they gained in 2006.
Now don't you think that they could buy an unlimited hosting for 120$ per year? Unlimited disk space and traffic- this is what we are promised in all the commercials, but what are we really offered? Let us find out.
Lets try to analyse this on the example of the activity of the leaders of shared hosting business, rated in the top 10 on webhostinggeeks.com, all of them offering shared-hosting services labeled as “unlimited”.
You're not promised anything unlimited on the front page, but as soon as you pass to the page with all the fees, as you can see, InMotion Hosting mentions all 3 business packages as being unlimited (columns Disk Space and Monthly Transfer). However, when you start reading more detailed information about this “unlimited” resources you can see that this is nothing but an advertising trick, in which all the important information that the client needs to know is hidden from him or is revealed in a specific way so you couldn't notice that a part of the story is missing at the beginning. So, our “multiple Oscar nominee, winner of the Hugo Award, and owner of the NBA golden ring ” offers you unlimited everything so you can use it in fulfilling your business necessities. In the section with information about using the disk space InMotion emphasizes that the company’s goal is to win clients trust without using the maximum disk space offer as the main attracting point. This is why, instead of concentrating their attention on the usage of the disk space on the servers that host the sites of their clients, InMotion gives more importance to things that are really important for the client and his business- the customer support and the quality of the services that they provide. Less or more, this same arguments are mentioned in the section about the acceptable traffic to use, and this is nothing more then an advertising trick and a well arranged psychological catch created by the marketing department.
Let us pass to the most interesting part. Still, the contract says that InMotion Hosting has some constrictions that can be read in the “Terms of Service/Usage Policy” section. This is the reason why double checking the perfection of what they offer should be the first thing worth doing.
In the subsection “Unlimited Disk Space & Bandwidth” you’ll be able to see that although InMotion Hosting doesn’t keep trace of the size of your files and doesn’t put any restrictions regarding this, you are reminded that your shared hosting is designed for web-site hosting and can not be used for file storage or as archive. In other words, the files located on the hosting- account should be directly related to the clients website.
Besides, the TOS also mention that the hostings-plans Personal & Business Class are exclusively meant for shared-hosting usage (figure 2). This is why, in order to provide high quality services for all clients, the accounts (the equivalent of the clients) that have to much influence on the servers productivity or bandwidth, HAVE TO fix the created issues on their own.
Client: So what time do i have to make decision if my web site negatively affect on CPU or memory. 1 day? couple of days? Do you suspend my account for this time?
Other way, this types of clients will be suggested a virtual of private server.
fig. 2 The usage of the common resources the customers hosting-accounts
When a new or a potential new client asks the support department questions regarding the unlimited disk space that InMotion offers, he is answered that this is indeed what he gets. In case the client wants to keep 10 GB of data on the rented shared-hosting, it wouldn’t be a problem under one condition- all the information on the hosting- account has to be directly related to the client’s web-site. Moreover, the InMotion policy doesn't allow the usage of the hosting-accounts for keeping information. Therefore, it is forbidden to use shared-hostings as data storage.
Monica W.(operator):Hello Sean, my id is Monica, how may I help you?
Judging on the reviews of InMotion Hosting clients, that were expecting to get unlimited possibilities while using their resources, you can say that they were all disappointed. The problem is that many of them didn't read TOS carefully enough or didn't ask support service about the possible restrictions that aren't always evident to see.
As I customer I'm fully disappointed with In Motion Hosting. Our account has been suspended and we have no access to the control panel, emails (!) and ftp because the traffic was to high (250 visits per day) even though we bought unlimited traffic.
My site has been moved several times because although they offer unlimited disk space, they put my site on a dedicated server without enough space. When they did this one time, they blindly took my site down in the afternoon and did the move without my knowledge or a heads up. (amateur hour). Afterwhich, they failed to upload a bunch of directories that we're needed to be there. I run constant monitoring on my domain and since I've been with them my uptime has been 91.x%. Horrible. Now, my site just got suspended.
Many hosts say they offer lots of space and “unlimited” bandwidth but have hidden restrictions. Some companies will simply disabled or remove a site that uses lots of space or bandwidth with zero warning. I was assured by the Inmotion Sales staff that if the site I was setting up required more bandwidth or space than they considered reasonable they would contact me about switching to a different plan or host and not just cut me off, this is very important too me.
fig. 3 Their unlimited services
Already when you open the WebHostingHub website, you can see that the client is promiced unlimited disk space and bandwidth and also an unlimited number of websites and email. What would you say if we would check the value of this promises?
Only after looking through the TOS, we found out that the term ‘unlimited’ refers only to personal websites or micro or small business (more detailed information about this terms isn't given). The company also states that it is forbidden to use the hosting for the storage of large amounts of information (backups for instance), for multimedia keeping (video archives as here http://www.internetvideoarchive.com/), or the usage of a softwares that could influence the servers productivity, in this case you being suggested to use a dedicated server.
Below you can see the part of the contract (paragraph 10.2, fig. 4) that concerns the unlimited disk space, where you are told that the company will do it’s best to provide her clients with the disk space needed for the proper work of their websites/until it is logical from the commercial point of view. The next paragraphs contain information about more defined limits of the “unlimited” hosting. For example, if the total number of files reaches 75000 the owner will be asked to reduce from them.
fig. 4 Unlimited Diskspace
But in real life it is more likely that this type of clients will be proposed to transfer to a Virtual Private Service, and that means buying a dedicated server that will have a limited but 100% guaranteed disk space and traffic. Moreover, the accounts that have more than 10GB or 75000 files will be excluded from the WebHostingHub backup system without preliminary notification.
There are no specifications about the bandwidth and traffic neither. The only mentioned fact is that you cant use the hosting for streaming videos and exchanging information between servers, and also that shared hostings are meant for the final user. (But what if the client wants to show a streamed video, contained on his hosting-account to the website visitors?
Regarding the usage of the disk space for mail storage, the company mentions that the quantity of memory used for this purpose isn't monitored. However the users have to check themselves the space used for mail and monitor it so the number of emails from the mail-account wouldn't exceed 10000 or 2GB.
When you ask support if a client could load a 10GB photo gallery to his unlimited hosting, the answer is that WebHostingHub doesn't limit the disk space used by it’s clients if the stored data is needed for the optimal work of their site, hosted on the purchased hosting-account.
|25/01/2012 7:50 (via e-mail)
Client: I have a little photo gallery (about 2-5-10 GB). Does your hosting really offer unlimited disk space?
On the basis of the analyzed results we can assume that the ex-clients of WHH were disappointed with the difference between the states posted on the website and the services they really got. On the other hand, this could have never happened if the clients would attentively read the TOS (that was edited and supplemented 14 times the last 2 years) or if tthey would have asked the support about the things that they didn't understand.
Below, you can observe one of the examples when the client wanted to cancel his hosting-account, but he didn't get his money back, the money that he payed in advance. The problem was that he, as well as many others, got attracted by the advertising in which the hosting premises “unlimited” possibilities for their websites for a small payment.
A few weeks after switching to webhostinghub, they were hacked and 700, 000 websites (including mine) were defaced. I contacted them and requested to have my 3 year hosting account cancelled and my money refunded. That was a month ago, and I still haven't seen my refund. I thought that $5/month for unlimited everything was too good to be true. Turns out, it was!
fig.6 Webhostingpad claims it has 200000 thankful clients. Is it really so? We tested. Here are the results.
Directly on the main page we can see an offer for renting a hosting that wouldn't have nor disk space nor bandwidth limitations
However, the potential client could pay more attention to the star shaped end-notes right next to the “unlimited disk space and traffic ” that warn him about possible restrictions and that should make him analyze the offer twice. Still, in order to become acquainted with all the details you are recommended to refer to the Terms of Service (which is called Terms and Conditions at WebHostingPad).
Right from the first paragraph you should be able to notice that there are significant restrictions: it is straightly stated that if the client’s website uses to many of the servers resources (an additional load for the processor, memory and network resources usage and not a word about disk space size), then he will be asked to reduce the load to an acceptable level or buy a VPS. In this case WebHostingPad will be the only arbiter to determine what a high level of server usage really means. And if the web-hosting account has negative influence on the servers productivity, then it will be suspended without pre-notice.
A distinct subparagraph (not evident for the new client) is dedicated to the terms that concern hosting usage abuse. This includes suspicious CGI scripts and the use of more than 10% of the CPU power and also a restricted number of sent emails.
In the Abuse Terms the client is again promised unlimited disk space, but they also draw the attention to the fact that all new accounts have restrictions and if the client needs to rise his disk space or needs additional resources he should contact the WHP administration (which makes the promise of unlimited disk space from the beginning absolutely bizarre). The administration of the company will respond to such a request and will elevate the needed resources. Although, the client is immediately warned that the web-hosting can be used only as a hosting for website posting and that it cant be used as a file storage, media-libraries, data archiving. And of course, in case of violation of this paragraph, the account is automatically blocked without preliminary notification.
fig. 8 Abuse Terms
But doesn't this mean that at their discretion WebHostingPad could block the account of any client, if he didn't request for his disk space volume to be increased? Interesting company policy, isn’t it?
In this document, the client can find concrete numbers that assure him that the hosting he is about to get isn't unlimited. There is a restriction on the total number of files on the account (15000) and already when their number reaches 10000 files, the client will be suggested the following options for further collaboration: reduce the number of files, buy a VPS or receive the possibility to load additional 50000 files for 10$ per month. An important fact is that if the total amount of files exceeds the permissible rate, without pre-notice, the sales department will expose an additional fee for exceeding the limits. For sure, most of the ordinary users wouldn't be affected by the 10000 files restrictions and it would be more then enough for their hosting account, even if they have more then one website.
We found interesting the support’s answers to questions about possible email restrictions. When a client asks this question to a life-chat associate he is told that there are no constrains, but when putting the same question via email, he finds out that there are limitations for the number of sent mails per 24 h, and also a 5GB limit for email storage for the whole hosting-account.
|1/30/2012 - 8:53
Finally, this confirms the information posted on the web site in the first place and the client should watch out for any excesses.
From the reviews of the disappointed WebHostingPad clients we found out about the actual limitations of the unlimited hosting package. First of all it concerns the disk space limit, that is only 10GB, and second- the bandwidth, which’s excess can be reached easily when the site has more then 100 visitors per day. Also, if at the moment you post a regular website you already have loaded a data storage, you will be notified about policy violation.
fig. 9 Suspended account
The hosting company's subjective assessment will be crucial when deciding either your account should be blocked or not (fig. 9). Is the data stored on your account connected to your web-sites activity or is it a media-archive? We already know that the company warns the clients about this from the beginning. But as always, because of the lack of time you wouldn’t read the Terms and Conditions careful enough and subsequently, you will regret it.
...Unlimited Storage = wrong, they give you 10GB and if you go over they ask you switch to a private IP for $70 a month.
If you've read all the reviews here, one customer said he exceeded limit so often that causes his site to be unavailable.For an ave. of only 100 visits/day, he had to complain to them to increase bandwidth often until they just told him that he had to upgrade to VPS. How can only 100 visits beat an unlimited bandwidth? http://webhostinggeeks.com/user-reviews/webhostingpad/ - Anonymous
...Unlimited data is not unlimited. Simple site and email fills it up and they will complain claiming you are storing your stuff there. http://www.webhostingreviews.com/webhostingpad-reviews.htm - Doreen Galli
Another hosting from the top 10 webhostinggeeks.com, that offers its clients unlimited disk space and traffic/bandwidth.
fig. 10 Unlimited disk space and traffic.
Besides this, the client gets a lot of other services with the prefix “unlimited”, and the disk space and traffic fall under the Fatcow term “Oodles of storage and bandwidth”.
fig.11 Basic information about FatCow services
Another interesting fact is that when choosing the home country (for different clients) the picture of the provided services could change.
Its not only about the price (different countries- different currency), this also happens because some of the services aren’t marketed that intensive. This is how on the page for UK users, you can find endnotes that direct you to FatCow's Bandwidth and Disk Usage Policy, right next to the unlimited hosting proposal.
fig. 12 Unlimited hosting for UK users
I would like draw your attention, that besides the TOS, in which the company mentions the existing restrictions for the disk space and bandwidth size, there are some additional explanations regarding this limits.
`From the 13th point of the User Agreement you can find out that unlimited hosting isn’t actually unlimited. Of course, the client is ensured that if he is promised an unlimited hosting then that's what he gets, but practice shows that still, there are a few elements that you should draw your attention to.
First of all, this concerns the destination of your web-hosting usage- it should only be used for posting web sites on it and never as a file archive, media library, storage of any data that FatCow wouldn't consider related to the website from the clients account. FatCow reserves the right to delete all the suspicious files or can cancel the subscription for this kind of accounts.
fig. 13 Suspicious files removing
Besides, FatCow will be verifying how the client uses his traffic, disk space and other resources. In virtue of this, FatCow, at its discretion, can take appropriate action (fig. 14), if the client violates the restrictions in the usage of the resources that he is offered (just a sec, what do you mean restriction? Isn’t this an unlimited hosting?), or if the client doesn’t use them “normally”.
fig. 14 Suspended website
What does FatCow consider to be “normal usage”? And why is normal usage the thing to limit the client that decided to purchase an unlimited shared hosting?
Once again, the future client is assured that FatCow doesn't constrain him in any way if he uses hosting-packages marked as “unlimited”, and also that the company takes care of the client by offering him all the needed resources to make a successful online business. At least, they want to be sure that all of their clients have equal chances to receive good quality services.
To do this the client has to fully understand and agree with the terms of usage of the hosting’s services, and also, use the disk space and traffic for his websites according to the restrictions mentioned in the TOS.
It is also possible that FatCow will put constrains on the accounts of those clients, whose sites or scripts have bad influence on the efficiency of other clients websites hosted on the same server.
Normal usage means that any client receives and uses resources for his personal website just like any other FatCow client does. This implies the well-known CMS for blogs, usual websites or forums, developed using WordPress, WordPress, Joomla, phpBB. Altogether, about 12% of the members use this systems. On the other hand, the system requirements of the big companies’ websites (like JPMorgan Chase -http://www.jpmorganchase.com or AT&T -http://www.att.com/) cant compare to the requirements of the small companies’ websites or private ones, thus FatCow cant consider their needs abnormal. Another example of an abnormal web-hosting usage could be the storage of a large amount of audio and video files (mp3, mp4, wav, avi, mkv, divx, ogg and other), that might be connected to the websites activity but still require more resources for support comparing to any private virtual business web site.
Below (fig 15) you can see that 99.95% of FatCow’s clients are considered “oodles” or normaly using the hosting resources, while the rest 0.05% are those particular cases when hosting-accounts are used for keeping media-libraries or data archives.
fig. 15 Normal usage of the hosting
If FatCow has concerns about your account's bandwidth or disk space utilization, you will receive an email asking you to reduce usage. Generally, the customers are provided with a minimum of 48 hours to make adjustments before taking the account offline. Things to be done in this cases are deleting suspicious files or raising your disk space. If somehow the client doesn't receive or doesn't see the notification, FatCow shall not be liable for this and already starting with the next month the company reserves the right to suspend the contract.
Generally, the customer doesn't receive to many details regarding the approximate boundaries of FatCow’s “unlimited” hosting. No specific numbers, only general phrases about the “unlimited” hosting that remains “unlimited” only if you don't exceed it’s borders.
By the way, it’s not that easy to find this information on the FatCow web site itself.
When speaking to support, you can find out that,nevertheless, there are limits on the size of the mailbox (250 Mb) and of each sent email (25 Mb), but even then they will continue insisting that unlimited hosting is indeed what you get.
1/30/2012 - 10:26:00
From the reviews about FatCow’s unlimited hosting services you can find out about the real existing restrictions for the bandwidth and disk space usage. This implies a 25GB limit on the disk space and number of requests for MySQL. Sounds strange, but you’ll never find where to read from about all of this.
The speed is very slow, video is not allowed, unlimited space is 25GB, akamai is useless, sites going down for no reason, MySQL was limited to 75000 transactions per hour
Maybe it should be mentioned that Fatcow just promises unlimited storage space, but that means 25 GB.
Again, the company’s first page presents you a unlimited web-hosting offer. No disk space, traffic or email limitations. A little later will find out that that's not exactly how things are. At the same time, the IPage hosting offers very much the same that FatCow’s. Even the TOS are almost the same.
fig.16 Unlimited iPage.com
fig.17 Millions of satisfied clients
Also, on the website you’ll be able to see a bold statement that IPage are the leaders. Possibly this regards the number of clients, although when we checked this hosting using hosterstats.com we saw a completely different view. (fig. 18)
This may be explained in the following way- each IPage customer that has a hosting-account has 5-6 subdomains for every domain, a this are considered to be separate websites. Who knows?. fig.18 The real number of domains hosted on IPage.com
Its very interesting to find out that the provider’s TOS contains the same splay phrases that tell you nothing concretely about the real limits of the so called unlimited hosting. Besides, even the User Agreement and Bandwidth and Disk Usage Policy are just the same as FatCow’s.
It will be logically argumented to consider the ways of IPage limiting their services very similar with FatCow’s. We can also see the warning about the hosting’s normal usage and about the restriction to post any type of data that is not connected to the site’s activity. But again not a word about the physical limits of the disk space and traffic, only a warning that the client’s account could be blocked or deleted if the client violates the “unlimited” borders.
Let us return to the hosting’s declaration about unlimited email. What does IPage mean by this? And is it really unlimited? Actually, its a 25 Mb limit to email attachments, a limit for the number of emails sent per hour (500) and per day (5000) and some more.
This is how the hosting turns out to be not that unlimited as the client is convinced when he first gets acquainted to the official web-site.
Further, we’ll take a deeper look at what a technical support agent has to say about this.
When a customer calls technical support, he is again told that IPage’s hosting is really unlimited. But sometimes, even the support agents don't know for sure what hosting they work for, thus, convincing us one more time that IPage and FatCow are one single company.
The users’ reviews can tell you about the real limits of the disk space. Also, you’ll find out about cases when the clients were billed for additional services, services that they didn’t know about when they signed the contract.
Signed up for unlimited pages/unlimited e-mails....editor offers only six pages. I am opening an online store with over 6000 products - looking for full page for accurate and thorough description of each product - all inter-linked, and with e-commerce availability. Was told I can only have 6-9 pages with their editor AFTER paying for 1 year in advance for unlimited/unlimited, but that I could have additional pages for a "small monthly fee.
iPage announce that they give you "unlimited disk space and data transfer", but thats a lie. They close you account without any notice if you store over 60GB with pictures. And They dont have any money back guarantee. You dont get the money back if you want to move in the middle of an period.The support is also an "Cut and Paste" support. They just use call script and paste some answer from a list when they try to help or answer you.If you are an serious web developer and need some space, or like me, an photograph and want to show of a lots of picture. STAY AWAY from them.
The hosting-company GreenGeeks can offer you a large amount of unlimited services- wouldn’t that be too much for a shared hosting that costs you 4.95 per month?
fig. 19 Unlimited everything on GreenGeeks
Also, GreenGeeks are very proud of their data centre which is 300% provided with green energy power. But what can the client be offered? Is all the needed information included in the TOS?
fig. 20 Green Power Partner
So, what do GreenGeeks hide under “unlimited disk space and bandwidth”?
A potential client that is about to choose an inexpensive shared-hosting (like GreenGeeks) is assured that any of the hosting-plans marked as “unlimited” don't have any restrictions. The customer is also convinced that the hosting-provider is interested to offer the best things possible so that the client would efficiently use the hosting’s services. One more thing, they state that all the clients are equal and no customer will be let to use bandwidth or disk space in a way that would negatively influence the activity of other users from the shared-hosting. So, generally, they you should use the hosting as firstly intended, as most of the customers that are owners of small and medium web sites do. Surely, this kind of formulation is the most loyal towards the “unlimited everything” politic. Here are some examples of websites that choose GreenGeeks as their hosting provider and which appear to be those very small and medium sites.
This is a large database driven web site which is a great example of how database sites do on our servers.
Let us return to TOS.
If the customer ignores this rules or uses the shared-hosting for file-keeping or file archiving, then his account can be simply suspended for agreement violation. The technical support will try to contact and notify the client before doing this but the procedure of deleting the account in case of TOS violation may take place without this pre-note.
What does “excessive resource usage” mean from GreenGeeks point of view? And why is this the reason why an unlimited hosting gets limited?
GreenGeeks offers shared-hosting services, that means that the clients use in common the resources of one server. That’s why it is not surprising that GreenGeeks, using different scripts of the monitoring system, tracks the activity of the customers’ hosting-accounts, so they wouldn't negatively influence other accounts by excessive resource usage.
Excessive resource usage is considered to be the case when a hosting-account consumes 100% power of a processor core, 512 Mb of memory or 20 simultaneous connections to the server. There are a lot of situations when this could happen: the usage of cgi-scripts, numerous FTP-connections, numerous HTTP-requests and many other.
Those who will be violating this rule and systematically exceed the normal usage of the shared-hosting will have their accounts disabled and suggested to take a VPS or a dedicated one.
The supports continues to insist on the fact that the hosting is unlimited, but warns you that they have a restricted type of data that they allow to keep on the hosting. This should be files that refer to the site’s activity, what actually confirms what the TOS say.
01/30/2012 - 12:16
Among the large number of reviews, our attention was attracted by those, in which the users talk about the limitations they encountered while using the hosting. There was a case when the client didn't read the TOS carefully and pecked at the bait of unlimited disk space. He learned on his experience that there are physical restrictions for the work and performance of the MySQL-requests and php-scripts that have considerable influence on the servers functionality.
But if you carefully take a look at what TOS say about “abnormal” hosting usage (for example if you load 100% of the server’s processor), you could suppose that possibly, the support’s advice about the optimisation of such accounts isn’t meaningless.
And also here is the review of the client that, as it seems, because on his previous bitter experience, bought a VPS from the very beginning as he already knew about the restrictions of the unlimited shared-hosting.
I was very disappointed to learn that unlimited disk space doesn't actually mean unlimited! I was going to open up a reseller hosting plan, and some of my customers would be digital scrapbooking stores which would have large digital files available for download.
We were very excited for GreenGeeks and migrated our sites over. Unfortunately our experience hasn't been good.
GreenGeeks is a good choice for those who want hosting that cares about the envrionemnt. Besides ebing a good company overall they also have good hosting choices. I'm now using a VPS package with them as I didn't want to deal with the limitations of having a shared hosting account no matter how unlimited it may seem, because it always isn't. So far very happy with what I receive every day from them. Support was contacted once to help me set things up and they did great. Recommended 100%!
Here you’ve got another webhosting that promises it’s customers almost unlimited everything for making and posting projects on the Internet. But pay attention at the little marks (*) at the end of the unlimited disk space and transfer, right on the front page- they redirect you to Just Host's Bandwidth and Disk Usage Policy
fig. 21 JustHost’s offer
From all the information presented in the JustHost’s TOS, your should concentrate more upon the company’s policy about the unlimited services that they offer.
First of all make sure you are acquainted with the company’s point of view upon "unlimited disk space and data transfer".
JustHost encourages the clients to use the hosting properly, that means normally. What does normally mean? The company asks you to use the space and traffic you receive for their direct purpose and not for file storage, streaming and other.
Its also important that you know that you can’t keep information that is not connected to your web site, hosted on the hosting. And of course, you should always keep in mind that there are a lot of other people that have their hosting-accounts on the same server that you do and that the excessive activity of your website (using resources more then others, for example), that may affect the functionality of their accounts will be interpreted as agreement violation. Moreover, it could lead to the suspension or even deletion of your account. In most of the cases the customers are notified that they abused the company's policy and only if they ignore the warnings the appropriate sanctions are applied.
JustHost uses the concept of limitation, but without any concrete numbers, the information about well-established limits of system-resources (disk-space of traffic) not being indicated anywhere on the web site.
What does JustHost mean by normal usage? Because its that often that the client doesn't even suspect that his favourite site exceeded the frames of this concept. Normal usage means that you operate a personal or small business website that utilizes resources in a manner similar to most of other customers. For example, the system requirements of large corporations are not equal to those of small businesses and their resource requirements would not be considered normal for their architecture. Another example would be the storage of large numbers of video or audio files that may be associated with a site, but require more resources to support than a normal personal or business website would.
From our correspondence with the support, we found out that there are restrictions on the usage of the CPU time and RAM, but we where never told any more details. We were redirected to the Policies section, where again we encountered the term “normal usage”. As a result of this uncertainty and lack of specificity, the client starts doubting if he wants a shared-hosting for his projects or not.
26/01/2012 - 16:20:00
26/01/2012 - 0:56:00
Among the users reviews we would like to highlight those that offer more information about the “unlimited” services. At the same time, this is a type o warning that in case the client exceeds the load on the CPU more then 10% of total capacity, the customer’s hosting-account could be simply suspended or he could be suggested to buy a dedicated server, that’s considerably more expensive.
Also, from the reviews you could get more information about the restrictions on the total amount of files, posted on the clients hosting-account.
They suspend your account if you use more than 10% cpu (in their terms it says 20%), so a website who use php scripts and get more than 10 000 users per day can't be hosted by them, then they will try to sell you a dedicated server right away for 120$+ per month. I think the low prices and the Unlimited space/bandwidth is a scam.
Just Hosting has good pricing if you get at least a years worth. It does give you many options and that is good.
Be careful. I had this problem on 1 May 2011. They are NOT unlimited. They have a limit of 50.000 inodes/account even if you have reseller account. That means you cannot have more than 50.000 files/email/log/etc. together at the same time on their server. A simple Joomla installation is take 6500 inodes (files). So 50.000 inodes, it means you cannot resell.And then they stop your websites without warnings. I recommend to stay away from them.
Besides the attractive offers of unlimited hosting, HostGator offers a lot of extra services together with theshared hosting. But what we are interested to find out more about is unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
fig.22 Unlimited services and bonuses
fig. 23 Over 8 mln domains
Thanks to the webhosting.info service you can discover a completely different number- about 2 mlns domains.
fig. 24 Hostgator.com - 2.041.498 domains (webhosting.info)
The HosterStats.com service gives us a similar statistic:
fig. 25 Hostgator.com - 2.079.043 domains (hosterstats.com)
But this two numbers are far from 8 mln.
Unlikely most of the reviewed hostings that state about their unlimited services, Hostgator describes sufficiently detailed all the possible cases when the improper usage of the hosting might get it blocked. The terms of service offer you a lot of useful information with well described concrete cases that cast doubt on the unlimited hosting. The company established the following restrictions: the use 25% or more of system resources for longer then 90 seconds (there are numerous activities that could cause such problems; these include: CGI scripts, FTP, PHP, HTTP, etc), and also the use of more than 250,000 inodes on any shared account. This may potentially result in a warning first, and if no action is taken future suspension. Even if each file that you keep has not more then 10Kb, but their total weight exceeds 2.5 Gb, that could also get your account suspended.
Surely, Hostgator doesn't directly declare about the clients limitation in disk space, but its evident that the purpose of this is to never get accused of lying. Correspondingly, we can conclude that the “unlimited” hosting doesn't have any physical limits.
Also, any shared account using more than 20 GB of disk space will be removed from their off site’s weekly backup, excepting the Databases continuing to be backed up. All data will continue to be mirrored to a secondary drive which helps protect against data loss in the event of a drive failure. This directs you to the idea that you really should diminish the volume of data on your disk space.
And about the traffic- no one ever remembers to mention anything about unlimited bandwidth in the TOS, while the agreement says that the monthly received traffic volume depends on the hosting package that the client chooses to take.
In addition, we want to draw the customer’s attention to the terms of email usage on their hosting-accounts. The support section informs you that there are significant limitations on email usage, email attachment (25 MB) and the total number of sent emails per hour and per day. On the other hand in their TOS Hostgator only state about an unlimited number of email accounts, that's why you cant really say that the client is mislead.
When a client calls support he discovers that the operators strictly follow the rules mentioned in the contract with the company. They openly declare that Hostgator has no limits on disk space usage for the clients that use a shared-hosting.
However the immediately note that they have a restriction on the total number of files that can be posted on the hosting-account.
1/31/2012 - 13:08:00
You will be able to find a lot of interesting reviews about the “unlimited” services offered by Hostgator. The company has a quite dishonorable politic towards the customers that purchased hosting-plans with “unlimited” possibilities. This customers are literally forced to transfer to a more expensive hosting-plan, using different reasons and excuses (for example the reason that the client creates to much load on the server), and it mostly happens when the term for moneyback guarantee is over. They also promote a politic, that makes the resellers market their clients the same so-called “unlimited hosting”, and if they’re not satisfied with this then googdye.
HostGator offer unlimited yearly plans which is clearly false advertising. The reason for this is that they start throttling your hosting service as soon as the money back Gaurantee period has expired.
As most of the hosting providers presented in this brochure, Bluehost states about it’s unlimited services directly on the front page of their website, attracting the attention of the potential client.
fig. 26 Unlimited, unlimited, unlimited...
Its worth mentioning that Bluehost’s TOS is very well-composed and detailed. The agreement deeply describes what do “limited” and “unlimited” services mean, they even offer a definition for “unlimited” from their point of view. But let’s analyse this in course.
First of all, the section about the “unlimited” resource usage and the term itself is almost the same as in JustHost’s contract. But let us analyze the key moments of Bluehost’s TOS, that new clients should pay attention to before they choose their hosting-provider.
Bluehost claims that they don’t put any restrictions on the quantity of resources that the customers hosting-account uses and that they are doing their best to prevent the clients from feeling limited in any way. But its important that also, the clients respect the hosting’s rules. Of course the company understands that every site has its periods of rise and fall, that has influence on the amount of used traffic and disk space. In this cases the customers wouldn’t be asked to pay any additional fees. Bold statement, isn’t it?
Further, you’ll be able to see warnings about the fact that a shared-hosting is used in common with many other users, that's why it should be used in a way that wouldn't negatively influence the activity of other users’ accounts. In practice this means that as soon as the customer exceeds the frames of the conditional unlimited hosting (limits known only by the provider), he will get a notification, and if ignored could get the account suspended.
Are the customer’s rights prejudiced? No. Is the client cheated, when the hosting is called “unlimited”? Again, no.
The client is told from the very beginning that is case his site grows, his account will be transferred to another server (and he wouldn’t be suggested to purchase a VPS, how it usually happens), but this will happen only if the site grows to fast (because the high disk space or traffic usage).
Next, you’ll discover the well-known formulation about how the shared-hosting is designed for small and medium business, and it should be used properly. And again, you’re going to see the warning that the hosting cant be used as an online multimedia library, only for websites; there is a limitation on the total number of files kept on the hosting-account (200.000) and on the total number or data-bases and their volume (1000 data bases not bigger then 3BG).
There are no traffic limitations neither, but in spite of this Bluehost reserves the right to reduce the processor’s load, the bandwidth, the usage of the system memory if it prejudices other users’ activity.
But while discussing with the support you’ll find out that Bluehost has a lot in common with JustHost and HostMonster.
fig. 27, 28 Comparisson of tagxedo clouds created on the basis of TOS text
You’ll also get a confirmation that you can’t use your account as a digital archive or for video and audio streaming.
Possibly, using the users reviews we’ll finally find out if Bluehost really offers unlimited hosting.
And again, evidence that Bluehost and HostMonster are sister-companies (there are also similarities with FastDomain), and that the usage of the hosting would lead to big restrictions from the company, that warns you first and then suspends your account.
As you observed, this kind of practice refers to most of the websites, that start using the system’s resources more intensive then the hosting-provider would like them to.
UNLIMITED DISKSPACE AND BANDWIDTH is their statement not mine, I just got another threat from them saying I had to reduce my files by 50% or they would "look at further action to resolve the issue" False Advertising on their part! They are based in Orem, UT and tomorrow I will be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Yes I have a big site but again their words "UNLIMITED DISKSPACE AND BANDWIDTH" They are giving GoDaddy a run for their money as Worst Hosting company! I have read most all the posting on Host Monster and Blue Host (same company) and can tell you that I too have had 99% of their troubles Too!
The company (which is the same as Fastdomain, same live chat, same data centers, panel, etc... Same society but 2 ids...) is ok for very small site and very low trafic.
HostMonster is the last hosting that we will review, and of course, they also offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth for their clients.
fig.29 Almost Everything is Unlimited at HostMonster
Of course, HostMonster’s TOS will be written in that special way meant to convince the client that he is going to purchase an unlimited hosting, and that there is no way his disk space and traffic will be limited. The company established a few warnings regarding the common usage of the resources. Besides, if the client has more that 200.000 files on his hosting-account, or if the total used space exceeds the standart (3GB for all the bases and 2GB for one), he would probably be asked to diminish the number of files or optimise his MySQL. Happily the company doesn’t declare about the need to buy VPS or dedicated-server, and they promise to notify the customer in case of resource usage trouble.
Surely, this doesn’t really sound like an unlimited hosting, but in any they offer you a little more in comparison to other companies.
The support will make the client happy by promising an unlimited hosting, and even a 25Mb restriction on the email attach can’t spoil his good mood.
1/30/2012 - 9:41:00
From the user’s reviews we can find out that even a 50.000 files on the hosting-account could get it suspended. That doesn't really sound unlimited.
In the last review you can find out that the unlimited disk space just doesn’t exist.
I have never really had any problems with hostmonster until I heard about their new 50000 file limit. This is very misleading especially since they advertise everything to be unlimited, which lets face it with a 50000 file limit is anything but that..it automatically puts a limit on your space.
Hostmonster claims to offer unlimited this and unlimited that - however, in my view this is not completely accurate. In my experience it was very frustrating to find that limitations were placed on the MYSQL applications that I intended to use.
Always read fine print. There is no such thing as "unlimited storage and bandwidth." If you use too much, they will cancel your account on the grounds that "they can cancel you for any reason at any time" even though it contradicts their advertising.
So what are the real ways of limitation that hosting-providers use in their practice? Now that you got acquainted with the TOP-10 from http://webhostinggeeks.com/ we can conclude the following:
1. A hidden, lacking details definition of what “unlimited” means in the hosting’s understanding. The purpose of this is to mislead the inexperienced customer, that doesn’t know to much about documentation and legal casuistry or just didn't see the warning about the existing restrictions, indicated in the User agreement, Terms of Service or Policy.
2. A strange definition for “unlimited”, but this is more a continuation for point 1. You can’t use the hosting as a file storage or keep files on it that are not connected to the website. You also have to use the hosting for private or small business and do your best to be an average user- just like everybody else. But in reality, this is more like a conventional equality, because one client uses 20Mb of disk space for his private website while another one- 10GB.
3. The limitation of the parameters related to the service, by this indirectly indicating about the limitation of the service itself. For instance, reducing the total number of files kept in data bases- you would say that the disk space isn't really limited, but in this surroundings you could calculate where is the point where it approximately ends.
4. Warning you that the hosting’s resources are used in common with other customers and that rising the load on the processor, memory or traffic leads to the infringement of the rights of other users. But as the client can’t verify this himself, this would be the first sign that if needed the client will be simply cheated.
In order to view the full picture of the “unlimited” services offered by the hosting-providers you need at least a few sources of information that would be helpful to make an objective analysis of the market.
Therefore, as sources you can and should use:
1. The websites of the hosting-providers, where they are simply obliged to place al the information about their services, whether in the Terms of Services, User Agreement or Terms and Policies. Most likely, this information wouldn’t be on the front page, or it would be presented unclear, but you will surely find it on the website.
2. Talking with the support. If you don’t understand something, you can’t find some information or you would like to make any concretisations you shouldn’t hesitate to call support. Possibly, you wouldnt be told the truth, but if you insist and even put inconvenient questions maybe you’ll find out many interesting things about the company’s services, things that are missing in the official sources.
3. Users’ reviews. There are a lot of reviews on hosting’s forums, on websites that rate hostings and where people can leave their comments and reviews, and also on personal pages and blogs (tab.1, tab. 2)
4. Your personal experience during the testing period or the period when you have a moneyback guarantee, when you can check the hostings yourself by giving a bigger load to the server.
fig. 30 Useful websites where you can find reviews
Here are some examples on how to find reviews about one or another hosting:
A link to the google search results
Any justhost.com Review:
Webhostingtalk.com Forum User Feedback on Fatcow:
Website Work Reviews at Hostmonster:
Webhostingtalk.com Forum User Feedback on Hostgator Technical Support:
tab. 2 Useful websites where you can find reviews
Now that we are acquainted with the top 10 hostings from webhostinggeeks.com we know that:
1. There is no such thing as an unlimited hosting, as all the unlimited services offered have their actual physical limits. This is because the hosting-providers don't have unlimited hard-drives.
2. Some of the hostings are sister-companies.
3. There are several ways to limit the customer without violating his rights, indicated in the company’s official documents.
4. The company’s offer about unlimited hosting is nothing but a advertising trick to attract the client.
5. In order to create a large view about the services that a company is offering, you have to consult more then one source.
Before choosing where do you want to purchase a hosting for your website, be sure to analyze the information on the hosting-service market. Read TOS of different hostings, ask questions to support, take a look at users’ reviews on different forums and sites.
Only after you’ll do this you will be able to make the right choice.
And remember- there is nothing unlimited in the world. Perhaps only infinity.