Are you getting the internet speed you paid for?
March 27, 2017
Many Internet Services Providers (ISP) promote lightning-fast internet speeds, but are you really getting the speed you paid for? Here are four components that may be preventing you from getting that lightning-speed promised.
Modem- If you use a modem, check with your ISP to see if you have a modem that can handle the fast speed you purchased. Whether you own the modem or are leasing it, if the modem can’t handle the speed, it may be time to upgrade your modem.
WATCH: This fun, albeit old, video explains the basics of what a modem does.
What is a Modem? “A modem is a network hardware device that modulates one or more carrier wave signals to encode digital information for transmission and demodulates signals to decode the transmitted information.”
Routers – Your router should also be fast enough for your usage and have enough range to cover your office or home. The router connects your devices to the internet. Computers, laptops, tablets, smart TV’s, gaming devices, and even home Internet capable appliances such as dryers, lights, or security cameras, all connect to the same router. Now, keep in mind that the router distributes your Internet speed capability among the various devices. So, if one device is using a large portion of the bandwidth, for example, Sally is streaming movies on the tablet, and your Internet browsing speed on the computer is affected, that may just mean you need more speed from your ISP to cover all your devices– not that the router is faulty.
However, if your ISP is giving you sufficient speed for multiple devices, say a speed of 70mbps, but your router caps at 54mbps, then your router is not allowing you to take advantage of the full 70mbps. The specs of your router will give you its capabilities, namely the Standard the router supports and the Frequency of your router. Call us if you need help determining whether your router is fast enough and has enough range for your needs.
WATCH: This video shows the relationship between a Modem and a Router.
What is a Router? “A router[a] is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. A data packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the networks that constitute the internetwork until it reaches its destination.”
Network Adapters – These are the components in the devices themselves that make it possible to connect the device to the router, and thereby, the Internet. They are typically built-in to the device, and support Ethernet (wired), Wi-Fi (wireless), or both. The adapters also have a limit on how much traffic they can handle. As in the example above, your ISP can claim to provide you speeds of up to 70mbps, but your device may only be able to handle 54mbps max. If this is the case, you can always purchase an alternative USB wireless adapter for your device to get better speed. If you need help determining the current speed of your Network Adapter, you can visit the device’s manufacturer’s website for its specs, or call us, and we’ll be happy to determine it for you.
Local Traffic –Your ISP may have many subscribers on the same network node you are on. The node is a distribution point used by the ISP to provide service to a specific geographic area. It is quite common to notice a drop in speeds during peak hours- when many people are using the service at once, and the node is handling high traffic. If you are confident that your modem, router and network adapter are performing correctly, you can run a test of local traffic using www.speedtest.net. We recommend doing 3 tests to get an overview of traffic performance (morning, afternoon, and evening). Overall lower-than- promised speeds may need to be reported to your ISP.
These various components could affect the actual speed you are getting on your device, and there may be more than one issue involved. We will be happy to troubleshoot any network problems you are having and advise you on steps to take for optimal connection.