I am planning on setting up a free file hosting site where users can host files up to 1GB. I was looking at some dedicated server hosts and found one in the Netherlands that offers 50TB bandwidth per month, 100mbps connection on start and upgrade to 1000mbps for a small additional monthly fee. I found another Luxembourg based provider which offers pretty much the same hardware, with unlimited bandwidth per month, but they only offer 100mbps - but they are almost half the price of the former host. Though I am always the pessimist and doubt it will be successful, I would like to be able to scale smoothly if the need arises, preferably without the need to switch hosts entirely/bring in more servers when I don't need to. I've been debating between the two for a couple of days, and for a site of this type the Luxembourg provider's unmetered monthly bandwidth is tempting, but as I said they are limited to 100mbps. I was planning on using a free CDN like Cloudtflare from the start just to speed up delivery of my static files, etc, but higher end CDNs that can accomodate large files are very expensive, and I would prefer to avoid these as long as I can, because as of now I am on an extremely restricted budget. My question is, for a site of this caliber, would having a 1000mbps connection be necessary for scaling smoothly to a large number of visitors, or is this just marketing hokum that I will never actually use to its full extent? I did some research, but most of what I could found pertained to people hosting websites like torrent trackers, forums, etc, not a site whose main function is serving files. I know most people's internet connection is nowhere close to 1000mbps or even 100mbps, but if I am serving files through a large number of connections currently I am afraid a 100mbps connection might get congested, though I know little about this so any advice on this topic would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • 2
    You do realize that if you cut out all the non-needed stuff you end up with a readable question of mabe 5 lines? Because all the business and provider stuff is totally irrelevant to the question.
    – TomTom
    Feb 25 '14 at 6:22
  • You're asking us to predict what your service's bandwidth requirements will be? Feb 25 '14 at 7:28
  • Why will people use your site when there are so many other (read: better) ones already out there. I don't think you realise how supersaturated this market is. Feb 25 '14 at 9:12

would having a 1000mbps connection be necessary for scaling smoothly to a large number of visitor

Yes, and more.

See, these days people may come with 30, 50, 100 mbit on their side, so you need a lot of bandwidth to accomodate a lot of parallel downloads.

Even if someone just comes with an 8mbit connection - 100mbit, ignoring overhead etcl - just covers 12 of those at the same time. And if your files are large, those downloads will take some time - which means that in the end you you ned WAY more than 1gibt to handle a large number of downloads.


You're going to be stuck with some decent running costs either way you go here so why not use a host with cheap file storage and a good international CDN? Amazon AWS would be one of these providers but there are heaps of 'cloud' providers like this. I think Rackspace also have a CDN offering. None the less - it sounds like you want a decent CDN to tie your application into.

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    Looked at AWS and Google Compute Engine and related services, because they have less configuration hassle compared to dedicated hosting. Their storage is NOT cheap... they try and trick you with "pay for what you use" pricing and charging only fractions of a cent per GB, but if you do some simple math 0.085 * 1000 = $85 - for one TB plus cost per minute to run an instance plus price per GB bandwidth which is also outrageous. One provider I looked at offers a 2TB hardrive and 50TB BW p/m for around $85 all inclusive. GCS can double as a CDN, convenient but even more expensive than S3.
    – Lucifer N.
    Feb 25 '14 at 9:13
  • @neal Gratulations for not failing basic school math. This is not meant sarcastic. I am always astonished how few people manage to run the math behind offers like AWS and google compraed to traditional offers. They have GREAT advantages in flexibility, but for a fixed size setup.... the costs are brutal. I pay 20 USD for 10tb traffic. Yes, no gb scale, but hey, if you need part of it it gets quite cheap.
    – TomTom
    Feb 25 '14 at 9:20

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