Well, this is a short simple answer. For a long answer search the forums and you will find hundreds of pages of information.
Bandwidth is essentially the line between your site and another computer (or the net) and is measured/referred to by two standards: the size of the pipe (or the amount that can be transferred at one moment in time) and the amount that can be transferred in a period of time (a month for example).
When you see plans listed for sale they generally list the amount of GB of transfer each month. 15, 25, 300, etc. This is a threshold on the amount of information you can transfer in a set period of time and does not mean (directly) that you have a bigger or smaller pipe. I could sell you 300 GB of transfer on a 56k modem (although it would never transfer that much) or on a t-1 line.
When you see people talking about the size of the pipe they are talking about how big their internet connection is to the net. The bigger the size the more information that can be transferred at one time (or one moment in time).
As you go up the list you can see that each one can transfer more at a moment than another one.
So in asking what are the different kinds of bandwidth this is the background. Now the next step is to move on to who the provider is for the bandwidth.
There are a lot of providers out there who offer these different types of pipes as bandwidth. Some are more expensive, some are cheaper. One of the most common of the cheaper is Cogent. They offer (as listed on their website) 100 Mbps for $1000.00 per month. Overall, pretty cheap. Another company such as UUNet or say Yipes runs a lot higher. What is the difference? Service, quality of the lines, other factors, etc. But, depending on how much you purcase the price drops relative to a lower level plan. (For a complete listing of bandwidth providers search the forum and you will find a lot. You will also find a lot of reviews and opinions on them as well).
So what is cheaper bandwidth? Well if price is only your factor then you just need to compare prices. If may redundancy or service is important then maybe cheaper bandwidth means paying more for that service or reliability.
I hope this helps some.
Last edited by beachtrader; 11-08-2002 at 05:35 PM.
What about Aleron and Internap? I heard the latter has no downtime.
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Cogent is one of the cheap ones.
UUNET/Verio are one of the high quality ones.
Let's make it clear just because Cogent charges less than others it is not cheap. Sure their peering at times may not be as good as some others, but for the price it's awesome. UUNET and Verio may charge more, but sometimes the phrase "you get what you pay for" isn't right. I've gotten pings lower to a cogent connected server than a UUNET connected server before.
What about Aleron and Internap?
I don't know much about Aleron, but Internap I believe is a bunch of providers together actually. Sort of like Yipes I guess.
the actual cost is 3000. 1000 is if you happen to be a rich kid who wants a 100mbit link to the internet =) if you resell the bandwidth (like probably most of the people here) you have to pay 3000 for it. 1Gig-E is at 30,000. It is that cheap. But Cogent.... I won't go into it as they are tons of threads on it on this forum (do a search and you will find it). But I will say one thing: cogent bandwidth varies from city to city. Some places have it better other worse cos of obsolete infrastructure and so on.