When you are looking for a web hosting provider, you might only look at how much bandwidth you are given, your storage capacity, and the price of the hosting plans that
they offer, but you might not look at one of the most important things: the location of their datacenter.
A datacenter, for those of you who do not know, is the facility that a web hosting company operates. It is a facility where their servers are placed as it is primed for making sure that such computers work all of the time at 100% efficiency.
Most of the providers that you see online operate on the U.S. and most likely, their datacenters are also located in the said country as well. So, the question is: does datacenter location really matter or not? Let’s find out the answer in this article.
As previously mentioned, a datacenter is a facility that houses all of the servers of a web hosting company. It is a highly-secure facility that has fast internet connections and stable electricity because you want their servers to operate 100% of the time.
That being said, since most hosting companies operate in the U.S., it is also likely that they do only have their datacenters in the said country as well.
The location of the datacenter, to put it simply, does affect page loading speeds, but not as much as you think it is.
Let’s take this for example: Suppose that a datacenter is located in Atlanta and the person who is trying to access a website that is run by a certain hosting company’s servers inputs the URL to access such website, it will still load relatively fast (this is assuming if the datacenter indeed has fast connections, to begin with).
If we are going to get technical, the difference in page loading speeds will only be by the milliseconds which is not perceivable to the human eye. If anything, the slowest page loading speed will be just 1 second slower than people who are near the datacenter.
Now, the example above presupposes that everything is in order, but you have to also take into consideration network routing. If someone tries to access a website from a different country, their connection will be routed through a certain channel and that is why page loading speeds could be slower than others.
For instance, if you are playing an online game and you happen to be in Australia and let’s assume that your game has their server in America, it will take quite a bit of time to route your connection toward their server, hence the speed penalty.
In order to remedy this, the hosting company would have to create a server near your location and then route the connection from there.
That is also precisely the reason why cloud hosting solutions have been quite popular in this day and age solely to address the problem of location from the server itself.
In closing, the location does affect network speed, but you also have to take into consideration network routing and how your web hosting company addresses the problem.