SEB’s bandwidth is getting out of hand.

I’ve put it off time and again, but I’m going to have to resume my hunt for a new service provider pretty quick I think. I just checked the logs for the site and we’re hitting an all-time record for bandwidth usage this month. So far Christine from Blogomania hasn’t hit me up for overages, but I can’t imagine that will be the case forever and I’m far enough over my limit that it’s really not fair of me to take advantage of her generosity. My monthly limit is supposed to be 19 Gigs of data, but with three days left in the month I’ve already used 60.31 Gigs with SEB accounting for 54.77 Gigs out of the total.

In case you’re wondering, that’s a usage of 326%. Ouch.

The option to stick with Blogomania and go to a higher plan isn’t viable as their biggest account would cost $30 a month and only offers 30 Gigs of transfer. My thoughts of moving to Dreamhost are probably out as well as the Code Monster plan they offer has a limit of 64 Gigs a month and I’m quickly approaching that limit already. Bandwidth usage has grown about a Gig a month for the past three months allowing for maybe three months before I’d have to step up to Dreamhost’s Strictly Business level which gives 88 Gigs for $79.95 a month and I can’t afford that. For that much I may as well spend the extra $20 and rent a dedicated server from Server Beach and get 2000 Gigs of transfer a month and my own server to set up as I please.

Either way I’m back in the market so if you see any great deals on hosting packages that offer lots of transfer be sure to drop me a line and let me know. I’m really amazed we’re using this much transfer these days and I’m still hoping to avoid putting ads of any sort on the site, but I may have to consider something along those lines to help defray the costs of maintaining it. I’m really lucky that Blogomania hasn’t hit me up for the overages so far, but I don’t want to keep mooching off of them either.

39 thoughts on “SEB’s bandwidth is getting out of hand.

  1. Dathorn has a Corporate plan: 6GB disk, 90GB bandwidth, $40.50 a month. Theirs are reseller accounts, so you can carve up your resources into as many domains, subdomains, and add-on domains as you like.

    Disclosure: I’m a customer of theirs. Please contact me offlist for further impressions.

  2. Actually, before I got into a major money crunch I used EV1Servers.net (corps like PHP.net use them)  and loved them very much.  A basic RHE or BSD server will run ya about a hunny and you get a terabyte bandwidth a month.  Granted you can get a bit more transfers from ServerBeach, I used to use a server there and had nothing but bad experiences with them as well as a few other friends who ran their businesses there.

    Depending on how linux savvy you are, you can save yourself some $$$ from most dedicated providers by not using a control panel to do your work and go command line all the way.

    Plus, you can always do hosting for friends for a nominal fee to offset the costs of a deicated server.  That’s what I wound up doing when I first got my EV1Server a couple of years back (when they were known as RackShack).

  3. Les,

    Why don’t you start asking for bandwidth donations from visitors? Make it easy to give by Paypal or whatever. I think a lot of people here appreciate all the time and money that you put into SEB, and wouldn’t hesitate to give a little back to help support it.

  4. I’ve got an idea that might work. We all know that Les hates to take money for this, especially from advertisers and I can understand his reluctance. Why don’t you set up a “Friends of SEB” account, Les. You could have 5 or 6 spots open a month that people could reserve to give $20. If a list was made, people could budget their donations over the year so that you would have a good idea that your charges were covered month to month. This way you could afford that 2000 GB offer and many of us would feel less guilty for burning up your allotment.

    For example, I might claim a pledge spot in January, April and July. Others would choose these months and/or others.

    While I have no problem with you making a profit, if possible, from this venture, I would be less apt to see it as a labor of love and more a labor of return. Please don’t allow SEB to become a commercial concern. Give us a chance to help it continue to be a unique and inspirational place to read and comment.

    Then again, you could sell a tee shirt for $40.00, making that a profit generator, unlike it is now.

  5. Elwed, thanks for the tip. I’ll check them out and contact you in an email for your opinion.

    DaveT, thanks for the heads-up. I’ll definitely take a look at them, though with a hundred bucks a month I’d definitely have to get some friends to go in on it with me. grin I could probably get away without using a control panel if I had to. I’m not super-familiar with Linux, but I know enough to get myself into trouble.

    Zak, at the moment the bandwidth overages haven’t cost me anything, but I’m not sure I want to find out how much extra a 326% utilization would run me. grin I may take that route in the future, though, if there’s enough interest.

  6. Not sure if there are difficulties with an American using a Canadian host, but my provider Halifax IT does a great job for me. The website states ‘Unlimited web traffic’, but I’m not sure if he can handle the kind of bandwidth you’re talking about.

    $500 Canadian a year works out to about 75 cents US I think wink

  7. Wasn’t EV1servers the company that signed a Linux-IP license with SCO?

    Yes, they were one of the companies that thought it was a brilliant idea to get a Linux IP license from SCO.  mad

  8. I dunno about your own webserver, the costs may not be worth it in the end.

    Where I’m at right now, with a 16KB/s upspeed, the thought of upping, on average, 2 gigs a day makes me shudder.  I don’t know what Les’s connection is.

    Side note:  Is that the Santa I remember from ‘02, that you couldn’t find last year?  Or is that last year’s Santa?

  9. Know your demographic, and peddle your reputation to get the service to pay for itself, with minimal work upon your part.

    Get several long-term avertising accounts, and give them only a pay-up-front-for-1-year/6months option. 

    EG: A number of non-profits/ngo’s would happily advertise here for memberships/one-off-contributions.

    rob@egoz.org

  10. If you have enough time in your hands, you might want to check out this:
    http://www.tenue.fi/2004/?n=ti_virtuaalipalvelin

    I got my suspicions on the unlimited bandwith thing with that low price (about 30€ + tax), but anyways, it might still be worth checking out. Don’t know if there is similar ones closer to USA.. I suppose these are located in Finland, which makes it quite a long distance :b

  11. I know nothing about what’s available and affordable, but before you go commercial please consider Brock’s proposal, or something like it.  You are putting lots of time into a very worthwhile endeavor, and it deserves, and would get, support from us.

  12. What Elwed said – a paypal tipping jar would be a good place to start, along with the previous month’s balance of donations and expenses.  And as Brock said, many of us find SEB “unique and inspirational.” 

    Good luck finding a suitable host.  I’ve never needed that kind of bandwidth.  grin

  13. Les, check out 1&1, they have everything from web hosting to root servers available.  For $49 a month you can get your own Linux server with 500 Gigs of transfer.  I’ve been a customer of the German counterpart for a couple of years, and they’ve been very reliable.

  14. Les, it seems like there is but a small price increment between a high-end shared account and a low-end dedicated server with a lot more resources to boot. If you’re willing to consider getting a dedicated server, I suggest you ask around who can do tech support and who’s interested in a cost/resource sharing arrangement.

    Nudge nudge, wink wink.

  15. I’ve had my domains with Cyberwurx since 1999, and I couldn’t recommend them more highly.  Not only are their prices reasonable, but their service is top-notch.  I’ve yet to put in a service request that’s taken longer than 8 hours to fulfill, and I can’t remember a single instance of downtime.

    I just went over to their site and they’ve introduced blog hosting packages recently.  Though I think there might be others that would better suit your needs.

    With all that said, I’d surely be willing to kick down a few bucks a month to defray the costs of keeping SEB afloat. 😀

  16. If you do end up managing your own server in any capacity (assuming it’s Linux) feel free to ask for help if you need to.  I run my own, and wouldn’t have it any other way (though my bandwidth usage isn’t nearly the same as yours, otherwise I couldn’t afford to host it myself).

  17. I will look into all of these suggestions, thanks. I’ve read elsewhere that there have been some problems with the PayPal Tipjar service lately. Some folks having their accounts canceled for no apparent reason or something? I know Amazon offers something similar as well, anyone have any experience with that?

    I appreciate all the offers for help. It’s nice to know that SEB is as valued as it is. I’d love to just set up my own server here and run it, but it would probably eat up most of my upstream connection and my cable modem provider won’t allow us to run servers on their network. When I win the lotto I’ll just have a T1 connected to my new home and then I’ll do it all myself. grin

  18. I took a look at the offerings from 1&1 and their $49 a month dedicated server package looks like it would be perfect. It has plenty of bandwidth and lots of room. My only question is I have no idea how much of a server load running multiple sites like I am puts on a server so I have no idea if 2GHz Celeron based server is going to be adequate, but I suppose I’ll run into that question in every dedicated server offer I run across. grin

    I’m going to check out a few other places you guys recommended as well, but 1&1 is looking pretty good so far.

  19. I’m probably gonna reveal shockinly massive levels of valley-girl ignorance here, but whatever the problem is, I like this site, so I hope you fix it with the least amount of time & stress possible!

  20. Les,

    I ran about 15 domains with over 100gb tranfer/month on a dual 1Ghz box… bottleneck was always the network wink

    If you end up going with a service w/out cPanel or similar, and need Linux help – let me know and I am at your service…

    I recently moved to hosting matters, and you may want to look at some of their reseller packages as well… or ask if they can set up something for you … they were extremely helpfull in my recent Web Hosting nightmare and you are already indirectly using them smile

  21. I’ve had no trouble with Dinix.com’s VPS. My site doesn’t do nearly the traffic yours does (I get about 5000 page views a day, but I don’t have many graphics on my site), but I have their entry-level VPS running mine and a few other sites with no trouble at all. It’s 75 GBs for $35/month, and you get root-level access (which is handy). Your site might kill a VPS100, so you might want to try a VPS200 (gives you a bit more breathing room in terms of CPU/Bandwidth).

    They’re currently sold out on VPSs, but from what I understand they’re expecting more servers soon.

  22. Les,
      I have a friend who has a large web server setup (16 IBM server chassis, all in RAID 5, fed by a T3 line, with a lot of other shit I don’t know jack about). I know he has a LOT of bandwidth to spare right now. Email me & I’ll give you the info to get ahold of him if you are interested. Bonus: He’s relatively close to you (Farmington Hills)

  23. Thanks again for all the help. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from folks both here and in email and I’m sure I should be able to find something out of all of them that suits us well.

    Turns out my bandwidth usage may be exaggerated somewhat. Been talking it over with the pMachine crew and the homepage for pMachine doesn’t use that much bandwidth. Also noticed that there was a big discrepency between the “overview” page and the “detail” page for SEB. Overview says SEB used 54 or 56GB this month, but detail page brings it down to like 28GBs. Still over my cap, but not as bad.

    So at this point I’m not even certain how much bandwidth I’m really using. grin

  24. I really like total choice hosting…
    http://www.totalchoicehosting.com
    The biggest plan is 26.95 per month and includes 55GB bandwidth…you can buy additional bandwidth…having trouble locating the info but I can ask on the forum.
    Anyway, I’ve been with them since sept and I love love love them!

  25. here’s another possibility, Les null

    They advertise 20 GB of web space and 400 GB bandwidth for $7.95/month

    Don’t know much about them, but stumbled across this one.

  26. Les,

    I have been researching hosts for the past week and must have read hundreds of posts over at http://www.webhostingtalk.com.

    Anyway, some of the names that keep coming up as excellent hosts are:

    http://www.bluewho.com
    http://www.idologic.com
    http://www.hostgator.com
    http://www.lunarpages.com
    http://www.dinix.com
    http://www.site5.com

    I would check those.  It looks like Hostgator has a plan for $50 with 10gig space and 100gig bandwidth.  They’ve been around a long time and from what I understand they are very good.

  27. I’d recommend http://www.diyhost.co.uk – I know a number of bloggers host with them and push through quite a bit of traffic and at least one of the tech support guys there is a regular here wink .

    On the money side of things – stick up some Google Adsense adverts. Small text link adverts should bring in enough to more than cover your hosting costs (Google Inc doesn’t like you talking about what revenue you do get, but my with my now-slowly dying blog still brings in enough every month to pay for 2x DiYHost Premium packages for a year). And I know your site is a lot lot busier than mine!

    Another case, especially if you have intensive scripts running and lots of DB access, is a dedicated server (as others have mentioned). Probably your best choice if you can administer one (Webmin and Cpanel are quite easy to use: but expect to pay extra for Cpanel due to licence costs).

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