Speed Up That Cheap Website with Cheap Amazon S3


Do you have an economy-grade website host? Me too. BlueHost is great for only $6.95 per month but its response times and transfer rates are terrible. Fear not — Amazon S3 to the rescue. For pennies a day you can supplement your cheap website host using Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3).

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.

It is simple. So simple.

  • Sign up for an account.
  • Download and install the awesome S3 Firefox Organizer (S3Fox) Firefox add-on.
  • Upload the files you want to be served up like hotcakes.
  • Update the links in your HTML files to point to the new location.
    Example: http://s3.amazonaws.com/jeremy/blog/images/large_bandwidth_sucking_header.jpg
    Note that the example is intended to show the format of the URL and does not point to a valid resource.

Too good to be true? Nope. The S3 files are served up lickety split and best of all it takes the load off of your cheap host which allows it to function much more efficiently. So far I have moved my site’s header and the LightBox JS file. Why didn’t I move the other JS files and images? Because Google hosts all of the popular JavaScript libraries for free.

How much does it cost?
Very little, unless your site becomes wildly popular. 1 million requests costs one dollar plus 17 cents per GB transfered. That’s right. 1,000,000 GET requests = $1.00 + $0.17/GB.

Let’s assume the average size of the elements being served from your Amazon S3 bucket is 10KB.
10KB = 0.01MB = 0.00001GB
1,000,000 requests x 0.00001GB = 10GB
10GB x $0.17/GB = $1.70
1,000,000 requests x $0.01/10,000 requests = $1.00
Total Download Cost: $2.70

Your cheap site can now support 1,000,000 requests per month for a whopping $9.65 ($6.95 for BlueHost and $2.70 for Amazon S3). And if your site gets Dugg or on the front page of Reddit, Amazon S3 will scale without sweating a drop.

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Quote of the Day

Chris B: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Me being a programmer is like a tool-using ape building star ships.

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DD-WRT for the win!

DD-WRT Logo

Today I was faced with a difficult wireless networking scenario: looooong house, many thick walls.

 

The topography is as follows:
Comp A <--- 200 ft., 4 walls ---> Router <--- 150 ft., 3 walls ---> Comp B

The house is older so the walls are very, very solid and RF-absorbing. The old setup involved a Linksys WRT54GX (802.11 b/g) as the router in the middle, a Belkin Wireless-N PCMCIA card on computer A, and a Belkin Wireless-N PCI card on computer B. After many attempts to reposition the wireless adapter’s antennas on computer B with no success I suggested hooking up a WRT54G in client bridging mode (using DD-WRT) to act as the wireless adapter on computer B. Worked like a champ. The signal is now strong and the connection hasn’t dropped one single time.

The kicker is that the WRT54G I used is version 8.2 which has very little RAM and doesn’t support the standard method of upgrading the firmware to DD-WRT.

The Solution

  1. Download TFTP.
  2. Download the VX Work Killer firmware for the WRT54G v8.2
  3. Download the dd-wrt.v24_micro_wrt54gv8.bin firmware for the WRT54G v8.2
  4. Upload the vxworkskillerGv8-v3.bin firmware to the router.
  5. Wait for the router to reboot.
  6. Try to ping the router (192.168.1.1 by default).
  7. When you can ping the router continue to the next step.
  8. Open a command prompt and enter
    tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put dd-wrt.v24_micro_wrt54gv8.bin
  9. If all went well, when the router reboots it will have DD-WRT on it and be accessible via 192.168.1.1.
  10. Username: “root”
  11. Password: “admin”

Source

The connection on computer A is also weak so I’ll be adding a WRT54G to the mix to fix it.

Thank you DD-WRT!

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I Want One!

What an amazing robot. Imagine how many more important things you could do instead of cleaning the house!

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