Web Hosting Glossary

A glossary of definitions for Web Hosting and related terms and phrases. Other definitions may apply in different circumstances but are not included.

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Term Definition
Unix

A popular operating system, developed by AT&T in 1969, that was very important in the development of the Internet. UNIX allows more than one user to access a computer system at the same time. An early version of UNIX, which was used by most colleges and universities, incorporated TCP/IP and made Internet connections possible.

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Unlimited

In web hosting, unlimited usually comes up when referring to storage space and bandwidth. There is no such thing as unlimited data transfer or diskspace as a web server has physical hardware limitations. Unlimited is a marketing term. Web hosts should really use the term unmetered instead.

Unlimited could also refer to other web hosting features including databases, email accounts, domains, etc. This is not technically possible either as both hardware and software restrictions would prevent a hosting plan truly having any unlimited features.

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Unmetered

Can refer to diskspace and bandwidth (or data transfer). It means you are not monitored or charged according to the amount of diskspace or bandwidth you use with your hosting plan. The web hosting provider has no defined limitations set. There are physical hardware limits though to what the web server can transfer or store.

While the hosting plan may have unmetered bandwidth and/or diskspace, web hosts can limit their customers by other means. This usually happens in the web hosts Usage Policies and Terms of Service. Web hosts will allow you to utilize disk space and bandwidth in the normal operation of a personal or small business website. If you exceed the threshold of normal operations you will most likely get a warning email either asking you to reduce your usage or move to a hosting plan better suited for your website(s) needs. If you continue to exceed normal operations, within a certain time period (usually 1 or 2 days) your account could be suspended.

An example of a violation of a terms of service could be using 25% or more of system resources for longer than 90 seconds.

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Uptime

A web hosting industry term for the time during which a web server is operational. The industry benchmark at this point in time for availability is 99.9%

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