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Let's be honest guys, Unlimited Disk Space doesn't exist!
I would like to hear from some other providers on here... It really grinds my gears when I hear someone say that so and so is offering them Unlimited disk space... I have to explain to them that there is no such thing as Unlimited TB Hard Drives (even though I would love this myself). I am curious to know A: Why hosting companies advertise unlimited (even though we all know that's not true) and B: How you handle the customers that want unlimited space (while you don't offer it)?
Interested in hearing everyone's responses.
Thanked by 1arminds
Its mainly marketing due to the fact people want to upload whatever and not be concerned with limitations on their data.
I understand that, however people don't understand that even with unlimited, there is still obviously restrictions. Whether companies that offer Unlimited Disk Space want to admit it or not, it is still there.
Hosting and BW used to be measured in MB. Sometime around 2000 due to Moore's law, it's now infinity. Can't be undone.
Apparently "Kryder's law" is more apt. An infinity of the real numbers.
Amazon offers unlimited storage, I wonder what their limits are.
This right here answers all my questions about life itself. I actually got a good laugh at this - thanks, I needed that!
Depends on your customer base, if you're going for average (not super web savvy) consumer you'll need to offer unlimited packages or your plans won't look appealing when they're comparing options. Every single host that offers unlimited anything at rock bottom prices has a strong AUP to back it up.
I have encrypted backups of my local machines that I store on my own servers, I could probably save some money with a truly unlimited shared plan that only costs like $40-50/yr - but if you read the AUP on any of these hosts, you can't store files over X GB in size, can't use it for backup space, etc etc.
It's total bullshit but.. if you're aiming for lowest common denominator hosting customer, you just kinda have to do it nowadays.
They shouldn't need to understand it unless they are uploading HD movies to their account or linux isos. Something seems wrong if a majority of customers need to be educated on the definition of unlimited.
I agree completely with you Mike, honestly in my opinion I wouldn't even trust a company that offers Unlimited disk space, without knowing exactly what I am paying for. Everyone has different ideas of what "Unlimited" is.
No such thing as unlimited. Period.
Sometimes you have to give buyers what they want. Markets rarely favor those who offer less than the big names who offer more.
It's nice and all to stick to your guns and declare unlimited as false, meanwhile everyone selling unlimited is getting sales because people like it.
The truth of the matter is that you can have millions of customers on unlimited packages and tens of customers hitting against limits that create issues. This coming from me, ask someone my previous job
Reality is that it works. You can sell it. People so rarely have issue with the other limits (like inodes or excessively high disk usage). So many in the industry wish it was different, some wish it so badly that they sign up for unlimited providers and try to make trouble to "prove" it. At the end of the day, people want it and they buy it, and there's nothing you can do to stop that.
You raise some good points @Jar
Maybe that's what the hosting community has came to nowadays --- I myself find it honestly deceiving though. Think of a cell phone company saying you had unlimited texting, but what they meant by that was you can only text 1,000 messages (which is hidden in a mile and half document called the ToS and AUP), and it cant be used out of country. Kind of a radical example, but see where I am going here?
It is a bit deceiving, but another way to look at it is that these companies are marketing to average people who know only that they want a website for their company or a blog. They have no idea what that looks like in terms of disk space. To them, it's one less thing to worry about and when it's all said and done they're using ~30MB.
The person who learns that there is no unlimited is the person who tries to start their own YouTube on HostGator. Those people can't be helped with clear advertising
Unlimited doesn't mean use that's not practical.
I avoid company that offers unlimited space, the fine print has lots of restriction. I rather choose those with specific number so I know how much I can really use.
Ah dang I have T-Mobile, they better not take away my Unlimited Data ;-)
I will admit, I am a sucker for Unlimited BW... Especially with Cell Phone providers...
"some of them are using as much as 2 terabytes (2,000GB!)" --- From that link you sent. Jesus, those people are using their phones as their home WiFi!
It's some guy in NY (I think NY) providing internet to his neighboring aparmentment tenants for $10/ Month.
Best. Thing. Ever. LOL!
We don't share our LTE and regularly get 3-5TB/month. Costs like 60EUR.
"Unlimited" is just a marketing term.
I guess its More of a psycological need of the client rather real hosting requirement.
With cheaper disks these days, clients do get some what "Unrestricted" Uploads, but as the OP rightly pointed, Unlimited is never achievable.
Furthermore, Clients often miss the fact that even if they get 10 TB of Space ( if not unlimited ) can they really use it ? Given the fact that most hosts place restrictions via CloudLinux and often the max. filesize itself, overselling ( if dont in a sensible manner ) wont really be a reckless gamble.
Storage is becoming cheaper and cheaper, and as such it is easier to allocate higher space limits to servers. Hosts like HostGator and GoDaddy ruined the reputable industry by introducing the "Unlimited" plans, as a result consumers don't find plans attractive that advertise otherwise. We actually tested this theory, when we first started we were offering packages with space allocations... Business was slow.
We decided to take a different approach. First off we figured the average account uses less than 1GB of space, and those that use more only utilize and average of 5-10GB of storage. So, we set up some servers with some pretty big raid arrays and started to market "Unmetered" packages. What people need to understand is that Web Hosts are selling exactly that, Website Hosting. If your website is legitimately using 20GB of storage than so be it, however, web hosts shouldn't be used as data dumps that's what you have services such as Google Drive for.. Or, get a VPS and be done with it.
Rather than limiting customers by Disk/Bandwidth, we instead limit them by RAM & Concurrent Connections. We pump between 128GB and 256GB of RAM into our website hosting servers at any given time, and provide decent allocations to each cPanel account. Now, we understand even still that the average account will still only use 10% of their allocated resources anyways.
There are ways to successfully, safely and reliably offer "Unlimited" hosting, you just need to properly plan each server and have a good AUP in place that allows you to give the boot to those ABUSING, so that people utilizing the service legitimately don't fall victim.
Additionally we chose the transparent route, rather than hiding our memory allocations as a lot of other companies do, we publish our limitions right on the product page.
Are even able to perceive the doublespeak here anymore? If you have policy in place to kick people out past a certain limit, it's not unlimited, end of story. The only thing you've done is arbitrarily label people consuming more than X on your "unlimited" service as "abusing" your service.
What would you think if some company was selling "unlimited" RAM VPS containers? People would scream scam...
Why "unlimited" bandwidth or disk space in shared hosting is any different is beyond my understanding.
The universe is not unlimited, and your service cannot exceed the whole universe, so there must be a certain limit for anything, end of story.
You can, in theory, offer unlimited storage at a maximum upload rate of, say, 100GB/day, without breaking the universe. But no "unlimited" storage providers are honestly doing something like this for cheap.
It's easy to stand on that soapbox but you either stand on it as a provider not able to compete due to personal convictions or a customer who doesn't have to deal with running a business.
You're looking at unlimited the wrong way. Unlimited does not mean infinite. No one who advertises unlimited has EVER said "infinite storage" to my knowledge. Unlimited means you are not limited by disk space. If you are making a website that requires infinite storage to function, you will not find shared hosting to be the right choice for other reasons.
People here care about this unlimited wording because they would want to use shared hosting as a personal backup, which is a very reasonable policy to disallow.
It doesn't matter what you think at the end of the day, unlimited hosts aren't hurting because of a few people who obsess over details on Internet forums.
If the terms are reasonable, then you fight it... It isn't doublespeak if the terms are what's expected of the plan. I tested the theory with dreamhost at one point as they advertise unlimited everywhere... The condition is that it needs to be legitimate and related to the website. So I uploaded a ton of Call of Duty 4 custom maps and linked them at a bunch of forums. I then backed up the files, then backed up the backups. Said and done, I was upwards of 3tb of legitimate site data stored. They never complained. So I added in another 2tb of backups of files that were encrypted, didn't link them or download them. No complaints after 4 months of that. Now I moved on to bandwidth as a test... I set wget to download that file repeatedly to /dev/null and just let it go. 4tb later to my home, still no complaints and no problems.
Sure, it wasn't exactly a legit setup, but it appeared as such. They also have the backbone to support it, so it isn't surprising that they didn't complain. Advertising it is one thing, but you need to back up the claim in the case that someone tests it. I did, but I never harmed the server as it was all static files and nearly no resources being abused outside of space. In one case, I did go over the abuse limits of resources, so they recommend a VPS because of it, but as soon as the reddit hug of death passed, they never let out a peep. They didn't force my hand, but simply warned me that cancellation was possible if the usage kept up.
Moral of the story, unlimited isn't unlimited, but it should be as far as the customer is concerned so long as they're within your aup.
Okay I will ask this just once, Does it matter? No it does not. Know why? The consumer wants to feel he can upload anything he wants anytime he wants period. Whether unlimited/unmetered or not he does care as long as he can do what he wants when he wants. The fact you tell him it is unlimited/unmetered makes him feel safe and warm.
So arguing that it doesn't exist with people that already know it doesn't exist is just plain stupid.
No no you don't understand, the entire industry is reading this thread, waiting to drop their income to please a few people who probably wouldn't pay more than $15/year for anything :P