Bandwidth is a term that many people can get confused about. Essentially, the bandwidth shows how much information how been downloaded from the server (a computer where the files are stored). Bandwidth is shown in terms of MB’s and sometimes even in GB’s (for large websites and files that are being downloaded often). For full websites, bandwidth can go pretty quickly since every single file and image must be downloaded for every single page that is visited by every individual user. Each image and file on a page are generally small, but having those being downloaded by many people all throughout the day can build up very quickly.
Bandwidth is purchased with a web hosting package. Bandwidth isn’t free, it costs money to be allotted a certain amount of bandwidth each month. Once the bandwidth limit is reached the files and images hosted on the server for the websites will not be able to be downloaded any longer. Essentially, they are inaccessible either until more bandwidth is purchased or until the next billing cycle (since bandwidth is purchased for a specified time period, generally a month).
File hosting websites tend to use up massive amounts of bandwidth. Bandwidth is not only used when people visit the website but also is used every single time a person downloads a file or image that has been uploaded to the file hosting website. For instance, when a person uploads a picture and then goes to show other people, bandwidth is used up every single time another person views that image. That means if you put the link to that image on another page or forum, the file hosting web site is having its bandwidth used up every single time that page is loaded since the image is being downloaded along with the rest of the page.
Since bandwidth isn’t free, file hosting websites have to place limits on the amount of times a file or image uploaded can be downloaded and also on the size of the file or image uploaded. Items that are very large require more bandwidth usage each and every time they are downloaded. Also, if the files were allowed to be downloaded unlimited amounts of time, people would abuse this and post them all over the place in forums and this could lead to serious bandwidth issues. File hosting websites allot as much as much and try to be very flexible with the issue but bandwidth isn’t free.