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how does one get more bandwidth?

Please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go to my website, I’m asking for help and if you go there you will add mucho dollars to my already insane bill.

I got linked to fleshbot.com and now every perv out there is going to my website. I had 13,513 visitors yesterday alone. Needless to say, I’ve exceeded ALL of my bandwidth(60 GB), and doubled that and earthlink won’t sell me more. I’m a complete novice at this so I’m asking you techie types (Shinji) on how to get more (yes, I need more, I feel like a crack whore).

Again, I beg of you, go in February, but not now as I’m paying ten cents/MB.



by [a former member] at 2005-01-14 01:10:58 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Shinji? I am also curious as to how this works… why so expensive after a certain breakpoint?

by [unverified member] | 14 Jan 2005 09:01 | | Report spam→
Ouch! What a rude way to learn about bandwidth overage costs. I’m crunching a couple numbers to give you a thorough answer, and running a couple questions past my own server techs…

by Shinji Kuwayama | 14 Jan 2005 12:01 | | Report spam→
Ok, here’s the straight dope. I’ll explain how hosting companies deal with bandwidth issues, and then try to make a couple suggestions on how to deal with your current predicament.

Web hosting accounts generally provide for a certain bandwidth “quota”, included with the normal hosting charges. Once you go over, they start charging overage, in your case $.01/MB. (For reference, this is a fairly competitive rate.)

I don’t know exactly why Earthlink is refusing to sell you more bandwidth, but it’s probably because their policy is not to host porn sites, and they’re not inclined to consider the journalistic/artistic issues involved. This is commom policy; hosting porn is a specialized field unto itself, and companies like Earthlink generally prefer to let competitors handle those customers (and corresponding legal liabilities). I’m on the phone with Earthlink now to try to learn more about their policies — if I find out anything interesting, I’ll post it.

Naomi, I think you can go a couple of routes with this. Your first option is to consider switching to a hosting firm which is more comfortable with adult content, and won’t simply cut you off. However, you’d still be facing bandwidth charges, and I don’t think they’d necessarily be less. In fact, it might cost more because such firms generally charge a premium for their services.

The other thing you can consider is taking steps to block unwanted traffic to your site, and reduce your bandwidth usage to a more reasonable level. I’m guessing that your site doesn’t generate revenue directly, and this might be more cost-effective than just providing free content to pervs.

Do you have a sense of which approach you’d prefer? If you have a clear preference we can pursue that avenue specifically! In the meantime, I’ll see what I can find out…

by Shinji Kuwayama | 14 Jan 2005 13:01 | | Report spam→
it’s $.10/mb , not $.01, otherwise it’s be fine I suspect.

Naomi – how about changing your profile to “pornographer” instead of “photographer”?


by [unverified member] | 14 Jan 2005 13:01 | | Report spam→
UPDATE: Thursday I had 51,466 visitors.

Thanks so much Shinji:

First of all, I’m paying $0.10/MB not a penny so that adds up way faster! Earthlink wouldn’t give me a reason, just that, no 60 GB is the max and our customers do go over and are willing to pay the penalties.

My site is free and the only revenue generated would be potential clients. Matt had suggested setting up a paypal feature, but I can’t expect editors to pay, nor do I believe pervs will volunteer to pay either.

From one appropriate site I got picked up by numerous others. I suppose I should be happy that the word is getting out, but I have no idea if any of these visitors could be interested in working with me in the future.

I hate to have an exclussive site, how would it work to block unwanted traffic? How do I determine who is worthy and who is slimey?

I suppose I can reduce the image size or even reduce the number of images. Didn’t really want to do that and that will be a lot of work but what else can I do?

I have had someone who is willing to give me 200 GB bandwidth with no charges if I go over, but then he wants a link. I don’t want to cheapen my site with banners.


by [former member] | 14 Jan 2005 13:01 | | Report spam→

I am an artiste not a porn-monger.

by [former member] | 14 Jan 2005 13:01 | | Report spam→
This Dutch guy who is offering me the bandwidth suggests that: "Make sure you have no “open dirs” your friend can tell you what that means, cuz that’s why ppl where visiting your site SOOO much." Huh?

He is thinking of giving me a server in exchange for a photo for his own site which is a twisted and sick blog (his words not mine).

Why do I get caught up with these people?

by [former member] | 14 Jan 2005 13:01 | | Report spam→
I feel your frustration, my artiste…

Thanks for the correction — I also just talked to Earthlink, and it looks like you must be on the “PremiumSite” plan, right? If you’re getting charged $84.95/month, plus $0.10/MB bandwidth overage, then that’s actually not as competitive as I thought. (Correct me if I’m wrong on any of this.) So you can probably save dough by switching to a different host.

However, regardless of your host, we should talk about how to intercept unwanted traffic from porn sites; as links to your site propagate through the Internet (blogs, etc), you’re just going to see usage climb, and it doesn’t sound like it’s worthwhile for you to pay for all that.

Responding to your questions:

  • No, you aren’t going to get enough donations to cover these expenses, and I suspect that accepting “payment” for adult content would be enough to get you booted from Web hosts that don’t allow porn sites.
  • I’d consider blocking individual “referers” as they emerge your best bet. For example, you could block (or redirect to some gracious “i’m conserving bandwidth” page) Fleshbot specifically. Handling specific referrers like that might be enough to put you back in the black.
  • Reducing image sizes, etc, might help marginally, but probably not enough to solve the problem by itself (unless your site is one big Flash movie, or something — I can’t see it right now, so I don’t know).
  • Mr Dutch Guy sounds like he knows more than I do about hosting porn, but I’m suspicious. This stuff costs money, and I suspect he’s got some plan to make dough off your photos. If anyone’s going to do that, it should be you.

Again, I’ll let you know if I find out anything else that might help!

by Shinji Kuwayama | 14 Jan 2005 14:01 | | Report spam→
PS — I am learning a lot about the Internet today.

by Shinji Kuwayama | 14 Jan 2005 14:01 | | Report spam→
Fleshbot is a cool site mind you. Part of Gawker. I think art people and creatives would go there.

The big problem site was yonkis.com/b.htm at 22,000 odd

So how do we block the referrers?

The Dutch dude is actually a blogger, hasn’t even seen my site yet, just offered help since he saw I was over the bandwidth when he went to my site. Maybe he just has access to a good server.

Speaking of which, do you suggest any other than earthlink that I can switch to?

I think I’m just going to remain shut down until Feb and hope my popularity has wavered. Why can’t I be this lucky in my love life!

by [former member] | 14 Jan 2005 14:01 | | Report spam→
Ah, fair enough. I’m not too hip to the Gawker scene… anyway, to answer your questions:

How to block the referrers depends on the features offered by Earthlink; do you know if they provide PHP or CF? The thing to do would be to scan incoming cgi “referers” for known problem referrers, and block/redirect accordingly. We’d probably need to rename some of your files, and include a teeny bit of invisible code in each page… via include, or whatever. (I know this is probably too arcane to be useful immediately, but we’ll keep going.)

Alternatives, ok. Here are some examples, which I think are all more cost-effective than Earthlink for you:

  • 1and1
    German company, totally automated. Inexpensive, but customer service is weak. Ok if can handle technical stuff yourself (or have someone to do it for you).
  • Interland
    I’ve heard these guys are ok; don’t know much else…

And there’s tons of info here:


It’s pretty overwhelming though. Let me know if you have more questions!

by Shinji Kuwayama | 14 Jan 2005 18:01 | | Report spam→
I just remembered that there was a hosting discussion a while back:

Hosting a Website

There are a bunch of host recommendations in there!

by Shinji Kuwayama | 14 Jan 2005 19:01 | | Report spam→
Rerouting traffic based on referrers is pretty easy to do with mod rewrite. It’s a fairly common apache module. Some web hosts don’t offer it as an option-probably because they don’t want to respond to customer service issues when things aren’t working-but many do. I use 1and1 (got hooked up with their 3 free years a while back) and use mod rewrite when I get too much hotlinking from a site. It’s worth looking into. If it turns out earhtlink does allow this, I would be happy to show you how to set it up. Alternatively, a quick google search will probably tell you all you need to know about the rewrite module.

by Mark Meyer | 15 Jan 2005 00:01 (ed. Jan 15 2005) | | Report spam→
Ah, you can do mod_rewrite on 1&1? That’s pretty cool! Good idea.

Mark, do you use 1&1’s Exchange hosting? I tried it out a while back but had problems connecting with Entourage 2004 (and then got royally frustrated with the phone reps).

by Shinji Kuwayama | 15 Jan 2005 09:01 | | Report spam→
Ok, Matt shut the site down yesterday at around 10 AM, but I still had 62388 visitors! I can not believe this.

People are suggesting I put advertising up since I can be making money! I could use the funds so maybe I should compromise my artistic intentions.

Shinji, I would love to talk to you over the phone about all this. Matt says maybe I can use your company as my server, or I received an email from Portugal today that I’ll forward to you that’s offering to be my server. I just hesitate to deal with someone overseas and would rather deal with a friend ; )

Thanks for all of your help so far!


by [former member] | 15 Jan 2005 16:01 | | Report spam→

No, I just use their Linux hosting. Not much of an Exchange/Entourage person. I’m pretty comfortable with a linux or OS X box but am pretty ignorant of anything from the Windows world.

Somewhat off-topic: 1and1 offers dedicated servers starting at about $50/month. This includes 500GB/month transfer. I’ve often wondered if it would be worth finding 5 or 6 somewhat self-sufficient people and sharing this service. It seems like a good deal and you could install anything you wanted on the box—running photo gallery software in a mod_perl environment for instance. As someone who does hosting Shinji, do you think it would be too much of a headache? I suppose it would depend on who those 5 or 6 people where.

by Mark Meyer | 15 Jan 2005 16:01 | | Report spam→
Naomi, I replied via email to your forwarded offer of “unlimited bandwidth”. I’m going recap my notes here for everyone’s benefit…

Basically, “unlimited bandwidth” is impossible, and you have to examine such offers critically. Bandwidth — ie, cumulative data throughput — costs money, and there’s no clever way to get it free of charge. If anyone were able to offer truly unlimited bandwidth, they’d have Google, AOL, and Yahoo as clients.

When you get such an offer, the reality is probably going to be one of the following:

  • The bandwidth is unlimited up to a certain point, after which it’s subject to overage charges. That is to say, unlimited until you reach the limit. Funny, huh? This would be explicitly stated in any hosting contract; reading the fine print should clear things up.
  • The hosting provider is “throttling” bandwidth usage. This means reducing the speed at which the server can operate, so that it becomes impossible to exceed whatever the quota is. (I’ve never heard of this actually happening, but one has to recognise the technical feasibility of it.)
  • The hosting provider has never dealt with high-bandwidth sites (ie, exceeding 100GB/month), and doesn’t know how much they can end up costing. This is a terrible scenario, because it would probably result in being cut off abruptly and ugly billing disputes.

All this said, if anyone knows something I don’t, please let us know!

by Shinji Kuwayama | 16 Jan 2005 10:01 | | Report spam→
Mark, responding to your question about dedicated servers…

Dedicated servers are certainly cheaper than “shared” hosting. Your instinct is right on, though. The monthly fee is lower because the hosting provider is passing expenses on to you, the customer. You have to estimate what the additional real costs would be, based on your experience, expertise, and level of interest in nuts-and-bolts server maintenance.

I look at it this way — when you sign up for a dedicated server, you’re absolving the hosting provider of responsibility for all software and configuration issues. Typically (contracts do vary), the provider agrees to do the following:

  • Ensure a constant network connection
  • Ensure constant power supply
  • Ensure the physical integrity of the server — ie, replace parts when they break (and they do, all the time, so that’s good).

Everything else is your problem:

  • Installing software (and paying for licenses)
  • Configuring said software
  • Fixing configuration problems
  • Software upgrades and bugfixes
  • Maintaining server security (secure code, bugfixes, etc)

Now, this is totally do-able, if you have the know-how (and it sounds like you do). However, my advice is to consider the “real” cost of all this in terms of your time; it might take 5 hours a month, or 10, or who knows. Like you said, it depends on who/what’s being hosted.

When I’m talking to clients, I often put it like this: You can pay $X/month for a big shared account, or you can pay $Y/month for a dedicated server, and then pay an employee/contractor $Z to maintain it for you. You know? Fill in the figures, and it’ll probably be clear which way to go.

Boy, I’m long-winded. Hope this is useful! Let me know what you think of my response…

by Shinji Kuwayama | 16 Jan 2005 10:01 (ed. Jan 16 2005) | | Report spam→
Shinji, what do you think of this?



by [former member] | 17 Jan 2005 10:01 (ed. Jan 17 2005) | | Report spam→
Hey Nelson… I dunno, I can’t get to that site. Is it something about co-locating Mac Minis?

(F everybody’s I, “co-location” is the next step beyond a dedicated server. You actually own the hardware, and the provider is not responsible for its physical maintenance. You’re basically just paying rent on a slot in their server farm.)

by Shinji Kuwayama | 17 Jan 2005 12:01 | | Report spam→
I realise this thread is probably dead but just in case anyone is interested you can also do a whois search for sites that you suspect have a similar problem to yours and take a gander at who is hosting them.

by Sarah Race | 26 Mar 2006 16:03 | Vancouver, Canada | | Report spam→

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Matt Ipcar, Matt Ipcar
Washington, Dc , United States ( DCA )
Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
Mark Meyer, Photographer Mark Meyer
Anchorage, Alaska , United States ( ANC )
Sarah Race, Photographer Sarah Race
Vancouver, Bc , Canada


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