What is bandwidth and Bandwidth theft

Something that seems to baffle many webmaster is the term bandwidth. They do not understand exactly what bandwidth means or what is mean by bandwidth theft. A simple description for bandwidth, is the resources a site uses on the computer who's server their site is housed on. Each time a file like a page, image, animation or midi etc. is loaded from a site, it is using a certain amount of resources or bandwidth from the computer it is on. You can also think of bandwidth similar to the electricity your refrigerator takes to run. When someone links directly to an image on someone else's server instead of copying it to their own computer and then uploading it to their own server, it is similar to your neighbor running a cord over to your outlet to run his own refrigerator. While it is convenient for him, it is the person that has the plugin that has to pay for the extra usage.

There are many servers that set a limit to the amount of bandwidth a site may use each month and after that limit is reached, a site may be closed and the webmaster sent a large bill that must be paid before they can open their site again. Some artists can not afford this and may be forced to closed permanently. If you really admire the artist's who's work you are using help them keep their sites open by not stealing their bandwidht.

There are some very simple steps that you can take to unsure that you are not stealing someone else's bandwidth.

1.) Always copy the images you want to use to your own computer, and them upload them to the directory on your own site.

To copy an image using a PC. Hold your mouse over the image you want to copy and click the right mouse button. When the drop down menu appears select Save As and you will be given another menu so you can select the file name and location of where you want to save the image. On A Mac, hold down the right mouse button and follow a similar route.

2.) Make sure that the image is being loaded from your own directory instead of the site where you original got it.

If the image you want to load is in the same directory as the page you want to display it on, the HTML code is simply <img src=roundball.gif>

Note your code should never look like:
<img src="http://www.someone_else's server.com/artistsdirectory/nameofimage.gif">

Besides the reasons given above, and that of common courtesy and honesty, there are several other reasons why it is not a good idea to link directly to someone else's images. The most important is the fact that your pages will load faster if the images being used on those pages are also being called from your own site. The second is that you will be assured that the images are always available to your pages. Many artists including myself change their sites often and even remove images on occasion. If you link directly to one of these images, you could be faced with the following.
Oh no a broken image :(

Even worse than the broken image, is the surprise that some webmasters give sites found stealing their bandwidth. Because I believe in education rather than vengeance, I do not practice this myself, but know that some webmasters replace the images being stolen when they find this happening with ones that leave very little doubt that the site stealing bandwidth is a thief.

I hope this tutorial has helped you understand a little bit more about bandwidth and the importance of uploading the images you use to your own server.

For more related topics check the links directly below.

If you would like to promote copyright awareness, please copy my copyright campaign logo and post it to your own website or blog with a link to my copyright material. Remember to copy the image to your own server. If you need help with the code please email me and I will help you.