.Mac now openly limits bandwidth usage

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
July 20th, 2005 • 3:12 pm

It is always pleasant when the specs for a product that you are subscribed to change and the company doesn’t tell you. That’s exactly what’s happened with .Mac.

As MacMinute reports, a .Mac subscription now comes with a 3 GB/month limitation for bandwidth usage.

Officially, there was no bandwidth limitation before that. However, there were reports from users that Apple did indeed impose some kind of limitation, displaying an error message after your “homepage” web site had been accessed too many times by too many people in a certain period of time. I never experienced this myself, but there was some limitation.

However, the unstated limitation was clearly not enough for Apple. So they have now moved to an openly stated limitation, like most other web hosts do. (I suspect this move also has to do with the fact that a number of MP3 blogs that I visit regularly were using their .Mac account to host the MP3 files that they were sharing, thus generating a fair amount of traffic on Apple’s servers.)

The problem with this move is twofold. First of all, existing subscribers should at least be informed of it. I never received any information about this. I noticed it only because I visited my account page the other day in order to update some payment information. I shouldn’t have to visit a third-party web site to find out about this!

The second problem is that 3 GB is simply not very much. It’s not exactly competitive with what other providers are offering out there. Of course, these other providers are not offering integrated Mac OS X synchronization, or one-click home page building — but still… Apple charges a premium for .Mac subscriptions, and should offer something that’s more in line with what other providers charging similar rates are offering.

The new provider I have chosen for betalogue.com offers 240 MB of space (roughly the same as .Mac) and… a 30 GB/month bandwidth allotment, all for 84 euros/year. 3 GB/month is downright stingy, especially if you are going to use your .Mac account to host photo albums and share them with a number of family members.

5 Responses to “.Mac now openly limits bandwidth usage”

  1. ssp says:

    Not that I’m using .mac…. but this point has been confusing me for a while.

    On the one hand, bandwidth seems to be really cheap these days (just look at how much bandwidth search engines, other services and Google (who seem to download a few hundred MB from our server each month) consume and provide). On the other hand, hosting services remain really stingy when it comes to bandwidth.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    I think you can actually control the amount of bandwidth used by search engines to a certain extent, through your robots.txt file. But they sure do use quite a bit. In my case it is pretty much 50/50 (50 from actual readers and 50 from search engine robots).

  3. d.w. says:

    Admittedly, it’s been a very long time since I was a .Mac subscriber, but, for people using it as a way to share photos with friends/family, I have to say that a Flickr Pro subscription is a drastically better deal for that use case.

  4. ssp says:

    I’m not quite sure to which extent Google hitting me so hard ( ~11000 hits / 200MB so far this month) is ‘my fault’ because my pages include dynamic php content causing even those that don’t change to be re-downloaded. But I don’t really know what to do about that.

  5. Pierre Igot says:

    Putting this:

    User-Agent: Teoma
    Crawl-Delay: 30

    in the robots.txt file forces the Teoma robot to delay its crawling. I suspect something similar would work for Google. (I did it for Teoma because they were really going overboard with their crawling.)

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