Minimum pipe for my webserver?

I’m currently paying 20 bucks a month for a shared hosting on a Unix server. My local ADSL provider has a 768Kbps-down/384Kbps-up home office package with a static IP for 50 bucks a month, $10 more than the plan without the IP.

I’ll be putting a new box together some time in the next couple of months, and I wonder if it the bandwidth would be sufficient for my website’s needs.

My peak hour ever according to webalizer was 520461 Kbytes.

I’m running out of space on my current host… I’ve got a 100MB database that dumps to around 200MB, and mysqldump is choking on my space restrictions before I get a chance to gzip the dump file.

I’ve noticed that people’s home-based connections tend to be pretty slow, which is why I’m a little wary. But I’ve gotta admit that having the server sitting on my desk would be mighty convenient.

Will 384kbps be a fat enough pipe? I don’t plan on running any filesharing apps or anything.


384 kb/s is probably adequate if you’re not providing file transfers (i.e. just plain pages) and your traffic level is low enough.

Most home-based connections are 256 kb/s or even 128 kb/s upstream, which can be sluggish.

Your peak hour works out to a sustained 1184 kb/s.

You are also at the mercy of your ADSL connection; if you want high-availability you might not want to go this way.

You will need more info than just your all-time peak hour to decide. 384kb/s may be okay, but it’s hard to tell without a little more information about your traffic. Internet traffic is bursty by nature, rather than a slow steady drain on your server. You want to have enough bandwidth in reserve to handle the peaks.

I take it 384kbps is bits not bytes. If that’s the case, it’s not possible to server 520,461 Kbytes in an hour.

Note that your DSL provider may not allow you to run a web server (especially a commercial one, if that’s what you’re doing) on their connection; be sure to verify the terms of service before signing up. Some even go so far as to block common server ports.

Also, as KellyM pointed out, DSL isn’t exactly a high-availability service, i.e. there is no guarantee on speed/uptime or response time should the service go down. Having said that, I’ve been on DSL 3.5 years (3 years with Telocity/DirecTV, .5 with Speakeasy), and had only a few hours of downtime about 3 years ago.

To increase my availability, I’ve put my DSL modem, router, and main server on a big UPS – this gives me several hours of uptime when the power goes out, and keeps power glitches from hanging the DSL modem, a fairly common occurrence with some modems.

I’ve successfully run a family e-mail service with POP/Web/WAP mail access on my DSL connection for 3 years now on my 1.5/128 connection, so it’s definitely doable. If the home office package described in the OP allows you to run a server, and provides sufficient bandwidth and availability for your needs, it’s certainly worth considering.

If you go this route, make sure to use a router (allows you to share the DSL connection between multiple machines, and provides some protection), and put a firewall (either hardware or software) on your server – home servers on DSL/cable are inviting targets for crackers and spammers (the latter look for open-relay mail servers they can hijack to send their spam).

Thanks for the advice, everybody.

There’s a 1.5/768 package for 20 bucks more. I’m assuming that if I pay for a static IP, a webserver’s okay. I’ll definitely call em and ask when the time comes.

I’m basically running a semi-popular local message board (on phpBB) with about 1200 members.

I should probably look more closely at my logs…

Hehe… you should discover the joys of PostNuke with an easy-to-add, integrated phpBB module. You still have the neat phpBB with with a nifty CMS, too. Shameless example.