At Home Telecom, we pride ourselves in giving you lightning fast speeds! Here are some pointers to get the most out of the speeds you subscribe to.
The first thing to determine is whether you are getting the speed that you are subscribed to. It is likely that you have many more devices in your home than you had a few years ago. All of these devices use applications that take up a lot more bandwidth than they used to. A few years ago, a 10 Mbps connection may have worked fine, but it may seem slow now. It probably isn’t that your internet connection has slowed down, it is more likely that it is due to the additional devices using more bandwidth. A speed test will determine whether you are getting the speed that you are subscribed to or let you know if there may be an issue that is slowing you down.
When performing a speed test, make sure to use a computer that is hard-wired to the internet jack in the wall or hard-wired directly to your router that is hard-wired to the jack in the wall. A wireless connection from a mobile device will not provide an accurate result. (Click here to learn more about WiFi.) Also, make sure that you are not using any other applications or devices that use the internet at the same time. This is important because anything else that is running will be using a portion of your bandwidth and cause your speed test result to be slower than it actually is. Even having your email open can decrease your test results.
Many different factors influence the internet speed test result you receive. The measured speed may vary based on the capabilities of your computer, internal and external network traffic conditions, demands placed on the speed test server, and even protocol overhead. The protocol overhead is the routing information that attaches to the data, such as destination and source ports. This can account for up to 25-percent of the total amount of data that is sent. For example, if you have a 10 Mbps connection and take a speed test, your result may be closer to 7.5 Mbps. If your results come back similar to this, it doesn’t necessarily mean your speed is slow, just that the speed test you ran doesn’t calculate away the overhead.
If you are getting the speed that you are subscribed to, but are feeling like you are being slowed down by your internet, it may be time to considering upgrading to a higher speed. If you are getting slower than the plan that you are subscribed to, we’ve included some tips below to optimize your experience.
Optimize Your Network
If you are getting the speed that you are subscribed to through your wired connection, but feel you are not receiving the speeds you should on your WiFi devices, take a look at what might be affecting your speeds.
- Router Placement – WiFi signal can significantly be impacted by physical barriers in your home. Construction materials such as brick walls and metal frames, appliances and even fish tanks can affect the speed of your WiFi. For the best possible performance, keep your router nearest to where you use online devices most and minimize the number of barriers in between. For instance, rather than putting your router in a spare bedroom, consider placing it in your living room entertainment center.
- Distance from Router - A general rule is that if you double the distance between the router and the wireless device, throughput decreases by one-third of its original strength. People often put their routers in an out of the way area of the home, but the best placement for good coverage is in the center of the first floor of your home, up off the floor and in a room where the internet is frequently used.
- Number of Devices – Think of your bandwidth package like a pie. Each device you connect takes a piece of that pie. The more devices you have the smaller the piece for each individual device which means that each device is going to be slower than if you had fewer devices connected.
- Security of your Network – Your speed is shared by all of the devices that are connected on your network, so if your WiFi is not password protected, your neighbors could be using part of your bandwidth pie. Be sure to secure and password protect your WiFi.
- Age of Devices – WiFi technology has evolved over the past few years, so if you have older devices, they most likely do not have the internal components required for fast speeds. Even many new devices do not have the capability of achieving more than 400 Mbps.
- Dirty Devices – Viruses and malware can run in the background and use your bandwidth without you even being aware. Keeping your system clean with regular virus scans will keep both your devices and your internet running smoothly.
If you are subscribed to Home Telecom's 1 Gbps plan or would like to boost your speed and switch to it, there are some special requirements to get the most out of the connection.
- You will need your home wiring that runs back to your optical network terminal (ONT) to be at least a Cat 5 with all pairs used for the Ethernet connection. A technician may need to run new wires in order to get your home ready.
- A hard-wired connection to an Ethernet jack in the home is necessary to receive 1 Gbps speeds. A WiFi connection cannot provide the speeds of a wired connection and most wireless-capable devices (i.e. smartphones or tablets) on the market do not have the internal components necessary to get 1 Gbps.
- The device you are using must have a Gigabit Network Interface Card (NIC). You will need to check with each device manufacturer to see if it is equipped with a Gigabit network card.
- To maximize your plan’s speed and get the most accurate speed test reading, iTV subscribers are encouraged to turn off their TV boxes that are not in use. It is important to note that both video and data services come into your home using the same pipe. The video takes priority to ensure you receive a high quality viewing experience. Even if you turn your TV off, if the box is still on, it will use part of the available bandwidth to keep loading the guide information and other applications on your box.
1Gbps and MyWiFi
The Home Telecom router used for 1 Gbps MyWiFi utilizes the latest and most advanced 802.11ac “Wave 2” dual band Wi-Fi technology, and complements it by using 4x4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. The router has the capability of delivering up to 1.7 Gbps over WiFi; however, most devices on the market today do not have the internal components to achieve those speeds. We are ready to deliver once the devices are ready to receive!
There are many benefits to using the 802.11ac Wave 2, including:
- Speed: Gigabit WiFi is possible if the device is capable of receiving it.
- Capacity: It delivers more data simultaneously to support the growing number of devices while supporting higher quality video streaming, bigger downloads, and other data-heavy online activities.
- Coverage: It delivers more speed at further distances than older WiFi technology for better home coverage.
- Battery life: Because data is transferred more quickly your devices can use less power and therefore go longer without recharging.
Home Telecom customers should note that there are some limitations with Wave 2, such as:
- The 5 GHz spectrum (while providing faster speeds than 2.4 GHz only) covers a short range.
- Since this technology is newer, not all devices support it (see your manufacturer’s device specifications).
- Even devices that do support 802.11ac may only support one stream. To reach the highest internet speeds, you will need to have four data streams. Each stream has a maximum theoretical speed of 433 Mbps.
The good thing about Gigabit internet is that even if you can’t get the full gig potential over WiFi, you can still significantly increase the speeds on each of your devices. For example, if you had a 100 Mbps plan and had 10 connected devices within the home, you could only be getting 10 Mbps to each device simultaneously. If you sign up for Gigabit internet, you would have a bigger pie and each device would get a bigger piece, so you will have more bandwidth to spread around to your devices.