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What Makes the Internet Faster?

What Makes the Internet Faster?


Many internet service providers claim to have the fastest speeds available on the market, but what does that mean? While people are generally familiar with the experience of slow internet vs. high-speed internet, what actually differentiates the two in a technical sense? This article dives into the definition and metrics of internet speed to explain what makes one internet connection faster than another.

Megabytes Per Second

At the most basic level, the internet transfers information that is packaged in bits. “Bit” is shorthand for binary digit, and it’s a number that can be either 1 or 0. Eight bits make up a byte, a thousand bytes make up a kilobyte, and a million bytes make up a megabyte. Internet speed is a measure of how quickly information can be transferred from the web to a user’s computer. High-speed internet like DSL and Cable achieve download speeds of multiple megabytes per second (MBps).

What Affects Internet Speed?

Internet service providers provide customers with varying levels of ‘bandwidth’ that determine the flow of information their device is allotted. The larger the bandwidth, the more information can flow through a connection. The more devices on one connection, the slower the internet will be for all of them as they divide up the bandwidth. Other factors that can reduce a connection’s MBps include worn/aged wiring or cable, unoptimized wireless, or bandwidth-hogging plugins.

How to Speed up an Internet Connection

There are a couple of tricks that can boost the octane of a connection. But first, make sure to have the right product that meets your needs. Basic high-speed internet packages might suffice for an individual but not for a family using multiple devices. Many streaming services, for example, require speeds of at least 5 MBps for optimum quality. Even more so, if you’d like to stream 4K resolution movies, then 20 MBps will be needed to make your streaming video look just like live TV. Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu will test your internet speed before streaming their content, adjusting the quality of the video to match. They recommend a bandwidth in the range of 5-10 MBps for 1080p resolution video and high-quality audio. Also, keep in mind that sometimes it’s not just your bandwidth speed that may be affecting your download quality. If the wi-fi router in the home is more than three years old, consider investing in one that has more bandwidth capabilities. Other bundled services like TV and voice will not affect the internet bandwidth. If the bandwidth is still insufficient, users can try closing unnecessary applications and disconnecting idle devices.

Understanding how to measure and improve internet speeds can help maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of any internet connection. To learn more about our high-speed internet services for homeowners and business owners alike, reach out to D & P Communications today by filling out our contact form.