Broadband Speed and Wifi
When you access a website or other internet data, the speed depends on several factors:
- The server hosting the website or data;
- Any servers relaying the data along the route;
- The service providers server connecting to the router in your home;
- And the computers or other devices you are connecting and how they are connected.
Each of these may impose limits on the data rate and may also be limited due to congestion. At busy times, the speed you see may slow down. We have no control over the first two. The third is the speed of the service you are purchasing, either gigabit (=1000 Mbps) or economy 25 Mbps. The last depends on what you are connecting to the router and how.
Most speed test sites are not capable of measuring gigabit speed accurately. Google’s http://speed.googlefiber.net is one of the better ones, but because it is not local, the measured speed may suffer due to slower servers between Google’s and our ISP (Internet Service Provider). The best will be to use http://speedtest.whipcityfiber.com . Also, it’s important to note that the way internet traffic works, about 7-8% of the bits are used to route traffic, so the data rate you measure will only be about 93% of the bit rate, eg, gigabit will measure about 930Mbps.
The fastest and most reliable connection for your computer will be an ethernet cable between the router and your computer equipped with a gigabit ethernet port. WiFi connections are slower, typically maxing out at about 450 Mbps in the same room as the router, and slower the farther the computer is from the router and the more intervening walls there are. Older model computer may only be capable of about 150 Mbps at best. Generally, that’s good enough for most purposes, but when you really need maximum speed, a ethernet cable connection is best.
To measure the speed of your internet connection go to http://speedtest.whipcityfiber.com
- .Wireless connections
- WiFi connections, even with the most recent equipment, are not capable of gigabit speed. WiFi has been through a series of revisions, so the speed you get depends on the age and type of your equipment.
- Wireless connections are radio connections through the air and interference from other devices may cause some speed degradation. Sources of interference include your neighbors Wi-Fi router, cordless phones, microwaves, and other devices.
- Distance of your device (computer, tablet, phone, etc.) to the Wi-Fi router will cause a loss of speed.
- There may be obstructions between your Wi-Fi wireless router and your device such as walls, floors or other substantial objects
- Wired connections
- The transmitter/receiver in you device may not be capable of working at 1Gbps. Older computers have slower ethernet ports. Also, if you are using a USB Ethernet adapter, the adapter must be gigabit and the USB port must be USB3 or better, as USB 2 is not fast enough.
- If the distance from the router to your device is greater than 164 feet you will see a loss of speed
- You may be using older Cat 5 cable that is not capable of transmitting 1Gbps
- Other factors
- Network overhead – in order to route the data to you instead of to someone else the network attaches information to the data to address it to the right place and to check to make sure that it was delivered without errors. So at best a 1Gbps connection will only deliver 930Mbps of actual data.
- Network congestion – if a large number of people in town are streaming video then you may see your internet connection speed drop to 700 to 800 Mbps
- http://speedtest.whipcityfiber.com measures your internet connection speed within our network. If you use http://speed.googlefiber.net or any of the other speed test sites on the internet then you will probably see lower speeds than the speeds within our network
- The signal needs to pass through several network nodes each of which can be impacted by network congestion
- The server that you are connecting to could be congested or not capable of transmitting and receiving 1Gbps.
- Wireless connections
- Use a wired connection instead
- Move your Wi-Fi router and your device closer to each other
- If your device is greater than 2 years old you might consider upgrading your device to one that has an 802.11ac Wi-Fi transmitter/receiver.
- Purchase a better WiFi router. The one we supply is good and has the advantage that customer service can remotely access it to help troubleshoot problems, but there are better ones on the market.
- Install wireless router signal booster/extender. There are several brands on the market, just make sure it is 802.11ac or better so that it is compatible with the Wi-Fi router that we provide.
- Set up hardwired WiFi Access Points. A WiFi router with a gigabit WAN ethernet port can often be set to “Bridge Mode” to act as a WiFi Access Point, or you can get devices specifically for this purpose. The hardwired ethernet cable connection between the main router and the access point preserves the full speed of the service. From there, the Access Point provides WiFi reception in a radius around it. In a very large home, you may need several of these.
- Change the Wi-Fi channel on the router if you are experiencing interference from other wireless devices
- If your Wi-Fi router is in an enclosed space it may be overheating. Move it to a place where there is good air flow.
- For other options search the internet for Ways to improve Wi-Fi performance.
- Wired connections
- If your device is greater than 2 years old you might consider upgrading your device with capability of at least 1GBASE-T Ethernet connection and preferably 10GBASE-T or better for future proofing your purchase
- If you are using a USB Gigabit Ethernet adapter, make sure that you are plugging it into a USB3port which will support 4.8Gbps. USB2 only supports 480Mbps.
- If you have Cat 5 cabling replace your cable with at least Cat 5E but preferably Cat 6, Cat 7 or Cat 8 cable. These offer better shielding from interference as well as higher speed capability. The higher the Cat number the higher the speed but the shorter the distance that that speed can be supported. Cat 7 will support 10Gbps over 100m whereas Cat 8 will support up to 40Gbps over 30m.