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  1. #1

    Post Physical Location of Host matters?

    Hi forum readers - I hope that this thread subject is pretty self explanatory.

    I am working on a site that is targeting a particular region of the world. I am interested in the Middle East. I am facing an issue (very important I think) which has to do with the physical location of the web hosting company.

    Here is the assumption. If there are two very similar web hosting companies. Both have good data centers and support, etc. One of the hosts is in the US and the other in the (targeting country) Bahrain (a small island nation in the Middle East). Am I better off by selecting the local (Bahrain) hosting company? Does it matter? Does geography play a role when it comes to selecting a hosting company. When I speak to hosting companies they are saying that physical location is not really important. They are asking me to look at customer serivce, technical support, when deciding.

    I have thought about having the site in 2 different locations (US and Bahrain). There are times when Bahrain looses its internet connection for about half a day or so. This happens every one or two years. I want the site to be running even when the internet connection is lost to the outside world. The domain will be both .com and .com.bh

    Your advice/suggestion or info is much appreciated. Thanx in advance.

    Zoya

  2. #2
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    I do not think that the Physical Location is very important.
    People choose host company's location because they want a datacenter nearly to their visitors to get a valid response time.
    So, what I mean is the datacenter's location matters.
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  3. #3
    sorry maybe I was not clear when referring to the web hosting company I am referring to their data center. My issue is does geography play a role when it comes to web hosting. So if I am a new internet business based out of Bahrain, should I be hosting in that country? Does it matter?
    Regards - Zoya

  4. #4
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    I'm in UK and a web host is in Canada
    Doesn't matter at all
    I think that is important what web hosting company you are with

  5. #5
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    If I was to rate whether location does matter, I would say not as much when compared to some of the other things suggested (support, price, specifications, etc…). Though it’s really up to you; maybe try the outside host first to see how the loading times are.
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  6. #6
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    I agree. You always have the choice. Overseas web hosting service can be cheaper

  7. #7
    Data center does does matter one bit.

  8. #8
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    Yup. i do agree, Data Center does the first thing that matter in choosing web hosting.
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  9. #9
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    What does matter - where your visitors would come from. if they are supposed to be mostly for Bahrain - you will need Bahrain located server. It may guarantee better speed. If your visitor are international, you may want to stick to the US.

  10. #10
    You would need to consider the carriers the datacenter uses to see if they serve well a particular geographical location, if it has good connectivity it will serve you well no matter where it is. The only exception I would made would be with software that needs to send/retrieve live data as a network game, live video, etc. where it could be an important factor due to latency.

  11. #11
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    I see it as being highly important, but you also need to take into account the carriers that they use.

    Best way to test is to get a test ip or download file for each of the hosts you are contemplating and testing that way, the faster the d/l or ping the better. If you are targetting an audience in Bahrain they you will most likely be better served by a hosting company with servers in Bahrain as that DC is more likely to have lower latency and much faster response times than a DC in the states.

    Hope this clears up your query
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  12. #12
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    IMHO- it doesnt matter if a host's data center is in Bahrain or US or even Afgan! Once you know how the internet works it should be smooth sailing. In america, most people do not use the http protocol because most of the internet is centered around them so they tend to simply put my-domain.com. However, in the other parts of the world (china, Korea etc) you should use the http protocol as it will help you reach the destination you want to go eg http://www.my-doamin.com . Once you include all the necessary parts of your domain on your website and use absolute links on your website, getting to and around your website would be made much easier and just about everyone would be able to get to your site without a problem
    If you're the smartest person in the room then you're in the wrong room

  13. #13
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    The circumference of the earth is 24,901.463 miles. This means the theoretically speaking, you can get to any part of the earth (by traveling in a strait line) in 12,451 miles or less. Since data sent over this distance is done so via light on a fiber-optic cable, we can use the speed of light to calculate how long it takes data to make this trek.

    12450.7315miles / 670616629mph / 60minutes per hour / 60 seconds per minute / 1000 milliseconds per second = 0.00000515724839 milliseconds

    This terribly small number is how long it would take to transmit data if we did not take time to process the packet every time it hits a router. What can be learned from this is that the amount of time it takes has nothing to do with the distance, and everything to do with the network path. The only way to decide which location is better for you is with trace-routes to your expected customers. Hope that helped clear some stuff up for you!

  14. #14
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    doesn't matter for me but I'd rather get hosting from datacenters that follow the laws and can help you when needed (such as server reboot if you've lost complete access)

    I've had hosts in the US, UK, and Canada - all great, currently all my servers are in the US (NYC, Missouri, Washington) - didn't move out of CA and UK because of location, completely other factors forced the changed.

  15. #15
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    Hello Zoya

    Quote Originally Posted by utheman View Post
    I am working on a site that is targeting a particular region of the world. I am interested in the Middle East. I am facing an issue (very important I think) which has to do with the physical location of the web hosting company.

    Both have good data centers and support, etc. One of the hosts is in the US and the other in the (targeting country) Bahrain (a small island nation in the Middle East). Am I better off by selecting the local (Bahrain) hosting company?
    Select the one with the better network. Though geographically they are apart, the network performance might be better for the US data center than for the local company (or vice versa).

    However, are you sure the local company has servers locally? Many companies outside the US host their servers in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by utheman View Post
    They are asking me to look at customer serivce, technical support, when deciding.
    I would say the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by utheman View Post
    I have thought about having the site in 2 different locations (US and Bahrain).
    If the Bahrain host actually has its servers in Bahrain, then if your budget allows it and it makes sense from your POV, then I would do both.

    Btw, also consider the laws that apply; some things legal in the US might not be legal there.

    Good luck!
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  16. #16
    If your running game servers for users in say the UK, then you should choose a UK datacenter as the lower the latency the better, or even if you have users that will be downloading/uploading fairly large files to/from your site e.g YouTube media sharing type site. If their are competitor sites that have the same or similar content to your own and that can be downloaded quicker they are more likely to favor that website instead. If your site is only to be used for an informational type site then the server location isn't as important. Id say server location is important for game server/media sharing type sites only, NOT informational type sites.

  17. #17
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    in todays world the location of the host does not really matter. But the USA is a preferred location for hosting because the data centers are much more massive and they are more up to date. Also the laws which protect you and your site.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by astarnes View Post
    12450.7315miles / 670616629mph / 60minutes per hour / 60 seconds per minute / 1000 milliseconds per second = 0.00000515724839 milliseconds
    Hmm, your calculations are a little out (try multiplying instead of dividing for the last 3 operations). It actually takes around 67ms for light to travel 12450 miles. And then you need to consider that for any communication to take place you need to send a signal out and get a signal back, so double the distance / time. And real routes don't go in straight lines and don't necessarily take the shortest geographical route around the world, which is why I often see ping times approaching 300ms from Australia to Europe. So yes, location can be an important issue - not so much for web hosting, which isn't highly sensitive to latency but certainly for other apps like voip and gaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by utheman View Post
    Here is the assumption. If there are two very similar web hosting companies. Both have good data centers and support, etc. One of the hosts is in the US and the other in the (targeting country) Bahrain (a small island nation in the Middle East). Am I better off by selecting the local (Bahrain) hosting company? Does it matter? Does geography play a role when it comes to selecting a hosting company. When I speak to hosting companies they are saying that physical location is not really important. They are asking me to look at customer serivce, technical support, when deciding.
    All other things being equal, go with the local host (that is, local to the visitors you're targeting - your own location doesn't matter). Latency isn't a huge issue in web hosting but it can make a noticeable difference to page loading speeds, particularly when the page includes a large number of small files, such as thumbnail images. You may also get an advantage in local Google search results if you're not using a country-specific domain.
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  19. #19
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    You may also get an advantage in local Google search results if you're not using a country-specific domain.
    True. But if Google is the only worry, I guess one could use their webmaster tools to set the correct Geotargeting for their site(s) and enjoy the freedom of hosting anywhere, and using any (generic) TLD: http://www.google.com/support/webmas...n&answer=62399

    I want the site to be running even when the internet connection is lost to the outside world.
    If you know that the local Internet connection can be unreliable, then go for a well connected place, like US, or UK which is closer to you. You could go for other European locations, but finding a host that targets English speaking customers might not be just as easy.

  20. #20
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    I don't know if it will be a business website at all but if you want your page to rank high in Google's local search engine you might want to think about the local host especially if all other things are equal. For SEO its been shown that where your website is physically stored (your web host's datacenter's location) can have dramatic effect on your websites ranking for that area. Google itself has implied that its algorithm is partial to where the data center is. Just another thing to think of when making this decision.

    That being said the other things like reliability, support, price, and the network over there are more important than this (who cares about how high it ranks if the websites not up) but this could be another thing to factor in.

    Good luck!
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  21. #21
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    Physical location does matter quite a bit, if you're targetting people in that area, research what's available and see if there's enough connectivity from carriers within that datacenter you picked. If nothing else try going for one close to that area.
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  22. #22
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    Physical location matters a lot.
    To target a local market it's always essential to choose a hosting provider registered within this country and having servers within the same country, so check your Bahrein guys and gofor them if they meet both requirements or at least registered within Bahrein.

    Regards,

    Natcoweb

  23. #23
    Hi
    I believe you don't want to think about physical location.just think about services and customer care.

    Neal Jasper.
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  24. #24
    Hmmm. Lots of folks saying it doesn't matter. It's more than distance and markets.

    It's a well known fact that the internet is being censored in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait.

  25. #25
    This is the exact question I just asked right now lol

    I shoulda did a search first

    Some say it matters that the datacenter is closer and some say it doesnt matter if its closer

    What do you guys suggest~??

    Choose a local datacenter~!
    OR
    It doesnt matter

  26. #26
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    Physical location does not matter unless you plan to visit the datacenter to work on your servers.

    Latency is not the same as speed.
    Latency matters for game servers, otherwise it makes no difference.
    You can have bad latency 300+ms and still download a file at 10mb/sec.
    Latency measures how long it takes for one packet to get to the other end, not how many packets you can send at a time.

    Its also possible to have a good latency but small bandwidth.
    You can get a low ping with a 512k ADSL modem.

    The difference between 30ms and 300ms will not be noticed by anyone viewing your site as long as the speed is good.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by foobic View Post
    Hmm, your calculations are a little out (try multiplying instead of dividing for the last 3 operations). It actually takes around 67ms for light to travel 12450 miles...
    My bad on that one, math was definitely bad there. Just so it makes sense to everyone else, here is the right math. (For the super-geeks, yes I know my significant figures are way off)

    Code:
    12450.7315Miles               1 hour               3600000 ms       66.838 ms
    ---------------------------  *  ----------------------------   *  --------------------  =  ----------------
                 1                  670616629 Miles            1 hour                 1

  28. #28
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    FIRST - the connection.... THEN - then server...

    Yes the connection of the server to the rest of the world is the most important thing. BUT also to do with the server you will best hosted on, how much load, how much CPU is free. How busy it is. How well connected it is to the internet backbone, which services are offered by the datacenter. What port connections... Etc....

    If the server is oversold, has a full HD, and is working overtime to sort out website requests, connected via a 100Mbps port which is constantly blasting out to connect to users but is located next to you... It will still be much MUCH slower than the server on the other side of the world which has an un-saturated 100Mbps port and is well connected to the internet without an overload?? So if speed is your worry - location does not matter much. Facilities matter much more!! Don't go for cheap hosting - as they probably will be overselling and quite likely on very busy servers.

    I hope you understand.
    GOOD LUCK!
    alex

  29. #29
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    95% of the time it doesn't matter, only time when it does is game servers or people in china trying to get on your site with 200ms ping!
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  30. #30
    What if your living in the UK and decided to move from US hosting to UK hosting and had to transfer a good 35GB of data... well I did this and it took me a good 12 hours to transfer 35GB of data from a US host to a UK host as I only got 777kbps transfer speed from US host to UK host.

    Now when I went from one US host to another US host it only took around 4 hours as I had 2MB/sec transfer speed.

    As I live in the UK it was well worth me choosing a UK host as my Website/FTP/Email all load much much faster now.

    With the previous US host that I was with I could download content from my sites @ around 56kbps - 180kbps.
    With the UK host I am with now I can download content from my sites @ 1MB/sec.

    So its definitely worth choosing a local hosting company/datacenter.

    This won't be a problem for many site owners though.

  31. #31

    Thumbs up reply

    If you are going to host a site directed at people from Bahrain I would definitley not host it with a company in the U.S.

    Always select an offshore hosting company if you are targeting people outside of the U.S. as there could be laws you could come under in the future if you are hosting your site in the U.S. that you want to avoid.

    To be safe, host your site in a different country than the country you are targeting. That way, the powers that be in the country you are targeting can not easily get at your web site if you inadvertantly break some obscure law of the country whose people you are targeting.

    For example, if you are targeting the people in Bahrain then select a Malaysian host for your web site etc just to add a measure of security.

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