What’s Up with My Internet Speed?

 

Velocity Fiber delivers speeds up to 1 Gbps - nearly 60x faster than the average U.S. Internet connection. Gigabit Internet enables streaming video from multiple devices, online gaming without any lag, uploading everything to the cloud for backup and transferring large files instantaneously, among other things.

Telecommunications services delivered over fiber are more reliable than services delivered by other technologies because they are less susceptible to inclement weather, such as lightning, require fewer electronics which are common points of failure and are easier to maintain remotely. Potential network issues can be identified and resolved seamlessly.

However, many users still access their Internet through dial-up, cable and DSL modems. Recently, Home Telecom created an online calculator to assess the speed a household requires for maximum efficiency and user experience based on their usage level. You can find out if your household or business is a LIGHT, MEDIUM, or HEAVY user here:

CLICK HERE to use Home Telecom’s online usage calculator

“Understanding what may affect the speed your home or business receives is important to know when making a decision on which method of delivery and which Internet provider will work best for you,” explains Will Helmly, President and COO of Home Telecom. “Ultimately, fiber is your fastest, most reliable choice and often times it costs the same or even less than other options. It is important to keep an eye on your Internet usage as a household and to review your current Internet speed and services regularly; there could be a better option available.”

So, what does affect the Internet speed you receive? We asked Home Telecom experts to share the factors they see that may be affecting your Internet connection speed.

What affects the broadband speed you receive? Numerous surveys confirm that users paying for service often suffer from speeds at or around less than half the speed they think they’re getting. Thankfully, there are ways to tell exactly what speeds you are registering. You can check your speed here- http://www.homesc.com/speedtest. But, if you are struggling to match your expected speed, it could be because one or more of the following factors:

  • Number of connections in your home – A common issue which often causes headaches is if multiple devices are hitting your broadband all at once. With the explosion of connected devices in the home it is common for users to believe that their connection has slowed down; however, it isn’t the connection to the house that has slowed, it is the connection to any particular device. If you think of your bandwidth like a piece of pie capable of the speed in which you are subscribed to, 10 Mbps for example, each connected device will take a piece of the pie. If you used to have two laptops in the house that were connecting at the same time they would each be able to get 5 Mbps. If you have now added a tablet and two smart phones each device is now only able to achieve 2 Mbps if trying to connect at the same time. Each pie piece has gotten significantly smaller. Reducing the number of devices connected to your network should improve performance, but if you would like to keep all your devices connected it may be time to consider upgrading to the next tier your service provider offers.
  • The speed capabilities of your equipment – In order to get speeds over 100 Mbps your computer must have a network interface card (NIC) that is capable of connecting at those speeds. Many older computers do not have the required Gigabit Ethernet or GigE card required for speeds over 100 Mbps. Also, if you are connecting through a router the router needs to connect with 10/100/1000 Mbps speeds. Wireless devices have their own limitations. Even the newest iPhone and Android devices have a maximum wireless speed capability of 433 Mbps in ideal conditions where an older iPhone 4 or Nexus One are only capable of 32 Mbps.
  • Is your connection wired or wireless – You will always experience the best speeds when using a wired connection as opposed to a wireless connection. Many factors affect wireless performance such as distance between the device and router, interference from appliances, building materials, garage doors, or other networks, the capabilities of the device or the quality and quantity of content being downloaded or uploaded.
  • Viruses/spyware/adware – Computer viruses and malware primarily slow down your computer, but they can also slow down your Internet connection. To avoid this, download anti-virus software (your ISP may offer virus protection software with your service or there are plenty of free ones like AVG or Avast!) and perform regular scans. Also, if an email with a link looks at all suspicious, it is wise NOT to click on it. We have seen too many instances of this and it bears repeating. Over and over.
  • Website capacity – A very common problem when trying to buy limited goods, like tickets to a special event. If a website has thousands of visitors all trying to get onto one page, connection problems will often occur due to the company’s server struggling under the pressure. If this happens, don’t refresh the page unless clearly instructed, as it could only make things worse.
  • Distance from the exchange – If you have DSL internet which goes through your phone line, then this can be a major reason why you might be suffering from slower speeds. Put simply, if you’re closer to the telephone exchange, you’ll get a faster speed, and the further removed you are, you can expect a diminished speed. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do about this unless you’re willing to move to secure a shorter exchange distance. Remember, this only applies if your internet runs through your phone line - cable broadband or fiber is not affected by this problem.
  • Quality of cables/modem – Many people think speed is dictated by the service provided by your ISP, and while this is true, your hardware also has an input. If you have frayed cables or an outdated modem, your speed is sure to suffer. The good news is that many providers will replace your modem and cables for free as part of their package, giving you the best hardware to run your connection through.
  • Weather conditions – Similarly to a TV signal, mobile phone coverage and other types of connections, if the weather outside is frightful, than your internet connection may face issues. Unfortunately this is not something anyone can control, so you may have to put up with this, especially if you’re not using a fiber connection.
  • Disconnections – Sometimes delayed speeds can carry on after weather problems or a previous disconnection. If this does happen, try resetting your router, and if the problem persists, contact your provider for help.
  • Time of day – Unsurprisingly, the internet is used by more people during 'peak' hours – 6pm-11pm. Consequently download speeds can be slower during these periods.

Contact Home Telecom for a complementary assessment of your Internet speed needs. Home Telecom is happy to discuss any questions or issues you have – even if you are not a current customer. Call (888) 746-4482 or email /Blog/146766/What-s-Up-with-My-Internet-Speed to learn more.