4 Ways to Minimize Download Bandwidth

The constraint of bandwidth is something we cannot escape. Whether you have a single shared hosting account or a data center filled with servers, you still have to deal with bandwidth limitations. For those of you who lease or own dedicated servers, keeping your bandwidth numbers down may be a daily struggle.

The following are four steps you can take to lessen the sting of high data transfer for one or multiple websites on your server.

1. File compression – Bandwidth is calculated in bytes and ultimately in gigabytes (GB). While HTML and CSS files are generally smaller than Mp3s and other media, multiple downloads can add up. Fortunately, you can save bandwidth with file compression. Most modern web browsers support gzip compression, meaning that users will download your content and then uncompress it seamlessly within their browsers.

2. P2P File Sharing – Although this is generally thought of as a tool for software, music, and movie pirates, peer-to-peer networks are great for reducing bandwidth, as they offload some of the data transfer to users. BitTorrent is a very popular file sharing technology that you can use for large file downloads.

3. File Hosting – If P2P file sharing does not work for you, there are plenty of services that will host your files remotely at a fraction of the cost of bandwidth.

4. Cloud Storage – Many services such as Amazon S3 offer long-term cloud storage, web application caching, and/or Content Delivery Networks (CDN), all of which can reduce your server’s direct bandwidth and ultimately save your money.