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What is the difference between unmetered and unlimited bandwidth?
What is the difference between unmetered and unlimited bandwidth?
Rapyd Team avatar
Written by Rapyd Team
Updated over a week ago

Bandwidth, in the context of web hosting, plays a pivotal role in determining the data transfer rates and the volume of data that can be transferred between your website and its users. Two commonly used terms associated with bandwidth are "unmetered" and "unlimited." While they may sound similar, they have different implications. Let's delve into the differences between unmetered and unlimited bandwidth.

Introduction to Bandwidth

Bandwidth denotes the maximum rate at which data can be transferred over a network connection in a given time frame, typically measured in bits per second (bps). It's an essential factor for website owners, as it affects the speed and performance of their sites.

What is Unlimited Bandwidth?

Unlimited bandwidth implies that there is no set limit on the amount of data transfer that can occur between your website and its visitors.

  • Pros:

    • Flexibility: Good for sites with unpredictable traffic spikes.

    • Predictable Costs: Hosting costs remain stable regardless of traffic.

  • Cons:

    • Fair Usage Policy: While termed "unlimited," many providers may have a fair usage policy in place, meaning there might be soft limits.

    • Potential Throttling: If usage is deemed excessive, some providers might slow down the connection.

What is Unmetered Bandwidth?

Unmetered bandwidth means that the amount of data transfer is not monitored or tracked by the hosting provider. However, there is a set maximum speed at which data can be transferred.

  • Pros:

    • Steady Performance: With a set speed, there is consistency in performance.

    • No Overages: No additional charges for going over a specific data limit.

  • Cons:

    • Speed Limits: The speed is capped, which might impact data transfer during high-traffic periods.

    • Potential Higher Costs: Might be more expensive than metered plans.

Key Differences

  1. Definition:

    • Unlimited Bandwidth: No cap on data transfer volume.

    • Unmetered Bandwidth: No tracking of data transfer, but there's a cap on transfer speed.

  2. Pricing:

    • Unlimited Bandwidth: Typically, no extra charges regardless of data usage. However, throttling or restrictions may apply if the fair usage policy is violated.

    • Unmetered Bandwidth: Fixed cost for a specified speed. No additional costs for data transfer, but speed may be limited.

  3. Best Suited For:

    • Unlimited Bandwidth: Websites with unpredictable traffic patterns.

    • Unmetered Bandwidth: Sites requiring consistent performance without worrying about data transfer volume.


While both "unlimited" and "unmetered" bandwidth offer advantages, it's crucial to understand their implications. "Unlimited" can be an attractive offer but always read the terms to know about any hidden restrictions. On the other hand, "unmetered" ensures you won't be charged for the amount of data you transfer, but you'll have a fixed speed. Depending on the needs of your website, one might be more suitable than the other. Always check the terms and conditions and consult with the hosting provider to make an informed choice.

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