The consumers guide to internet speed – Flux Magazine

worda Alexa Wang

No matter which provider you sign up for, the internet is allabout speed. Everyone likes completing his or her day-to-day tasks on theinternet without any connection issue. Every household has different internetrequirements. Some use the internet for basic browsing such as checking emails,scrolling through social media feeds, and paying bills online. Others like todownload movies, stream all those binge-worthy shows online, and play all thosefirst person-shooting games.

However, with all the talk surrounding Mbps, Gbps, broadband, and fiber, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. That is the reason why we came up with a comprehensive guide for internet users about internet speed.

In simple words, internet speed refers to the amount of datatransferred over the web on a single connection. This is an important factorfor consumers looking to set up a new service. It determines what kind ofactivities you can do on the internet and how fast can you do them.

For example, if your internet speed is slow, your videos willtake ages to load and you will be 2-3 seconds behind everyone else in a co-opgame.

You will find dozen of providers advertising super-fastdownload and upload speeds. Some of them might lure you into signing up fortheir services. However, there are many things to consider and the advertisedspeeds mostly are not accurate.

Download Speed: it refers to the megabits of data you can get fromthe server in one second. The data can be in any shape such as images, files,music, and text. The everyday activities like streaming your favorite shows inhigh definition and listening to music on Spotify requires you to downloadlarge data.

Upload Speed: It refers to how fast you can send information anddata to others. For an average household, all the activities require much moredownloading instead of uploading, therefore, the upload speeds are always lessthan the download. Activities like sending files over the internet and videocalls require fast upload speeds.

Bear in mind, the internet service providers like Spectrum, Cox, etc always use the word up to when they advertise download and upload speeds. If you are new to this, you might end up calling Spectrum internet customer service for not getting fairly consistent speeds. However, you do not need to. The internet speeds vary from time to time due to many factors such as latency and type of connection.

Bandwidth and Internet Speed are two entirely differentaspects of the internet yet often used interchangeably. As we have alreadydiscussed, the internet speed refers to how fast the information is transferredwhile bandwidth refers to the individual capacity of an internet connection.

Many factors can stop your internet speed to reach the fullbandwidth. For example, there are multiple users in your home. If all of themare streaming high-definition movies on Netflix simultaneously, your internetconnection will not be allocated the bandwidth and everyone will faceunbearable buffering.

The internet comes to you in five basic types: Fiber, Cable,DSL, and satellite.

Fiber: It is the fastest available internet technology.With fiber optics, the information travels a lot faster. The only problem withfiber internet is its availability. Since it is a new technology, there is ahigh infrastructure cost associated.

Cable: It uses the existing coaxial cables used totransmit Cable TV services to connect you with the internet. It can get youspeeds up to one gigabit. It is widely available and offers more reliability ascompared to satellite and DSL.

DSL: Digital Subscriber Line or DSL uses a connection similar to thephone line but the wiring is different inside. This makes it faster than theoutdated dial-up connections. The former or current telephone companies alsoprovide internet service through this technology.

Satellite: In geographically remote areas where cable orfiber cannot reach, Satellite is an option. The internet is deliveredwirelessly, therefore, it is available almost everywhere in the United States.

It varies from household to household. For a single person whojust checks social media will not require much download speed but if you have afamily of five downloading games, basic browsing, and streaming Netflix in everyroom will require a lot of speed. The internet speed is measured in megabitsper second. For average usage, download speeds up to 25 Mbps is more thanenough for a single person. If you have heavy usage that involveshigh-definition streaming, you must have at least 100 Mbps or more.

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The consumers guide to internet speed - Flux Magazine

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