Why the fuzzy bandwidth limits?

If you've come to this page, it's probably because you were wondering why we were hand-waving about the bandwidth limits for PythonAnywhere accounts. You're definitely right to wonder — "Low", "Medium" and "High" are pretty vague terms.

The thing is, PythonAnywhere is still a very new service. We're still trying to work out what we can put in free accounts and what we should charge for, how much we need to charge to break even, and all that stuff. And a certain amount of the infrastructure to support high-performance computing for science and finance is still in the labs, not yet ready for prime time. So a certain amount of hand-waving is impossible to avoid!

Anyway, obviously we can't leave it at that and charge you for something without at least vaguely telling you what it is, so the details of what we're promising to deliver are in the Terms and Conditions. For those who prefer a human-readable version of all that legalese, here's what we're trying to say:

  • Beginner accounts are for people who just want to try out Python and play with it a bit. We don't offer any guarantees about what bandwidth you'll get, but obviously it'll be enough to be usable.
  • Hacker accounts are for people who want to do a little bit more: scrape data hourly, do some number-crunching, run lots of consoles, that kind of thing. Or even for people who think that having Python available anywhere is such an awesome thing that they just want to give us money. (Thanks!) Again, the bandwidth limit isn't strictly defined, but it'll be enough to do useful work.
  • Web developer accounts are for people who want to use PythonAnywhere to run a normal personal or small-business website. We're not trying to compete with a $200/month Linode instance (the clue is in the price) but if you have a hosting account, your slice of our servers should be able to deal with getting linked from the front page at Hacker News. Well, unless you've totally messed up your web application and are hitting the database hundreds of times per page view :-)

Obviously we'll be offering new kinds of accounts as time goes by. As we promise on our front page, we'll soon be offering high-CPU-power accounts for scientific and financial number-crunching — but we're also considering higher-powered web hosting accounts, accounts with support for GPU computing, and lots of others. Perhaps we should also offer pay-as-you-go plans where you can pay for extra bandwidth and processor power based on how much you need to use.

So, that's it. Is there anything we're missing? Are we getting anything wrong? .