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Why your internet still slow after changing to a 1Gbps line?

You got excited after signing up for a 1 Gbps line from your telco and patiently waited for the telco guy to come and setup your fiber modem. But after the telco guy is gone, you found that the internet speed did not improve a lot.  You called the telco to check and they said its all fine. Yes, it is very frustrating. Ok, hair pulling session over and it’s time to get to work.

You do not need much technical knowledge to do this.

Step 1: Check the internet source.

Note the router and Lan cable play a big part here. It is best to use the router given/recommended by the telco. The LAN cable must be at least Cat 5e/6/7. Check the writing on the cables before using.

Connect the router to the modem (the black color box – NetLinkTrust) only. Get a laptop (preferably Windows operating system) with a Gigabyte Lan Port and connect it to the router. You should see this

 

Go to the network status. If you do not see the speed 1.0 Gbps, it’s either your laptop is only geared for 10/100 mbps or the cable is cat 5/faulty.

Once this is done, go to your telco speed test page. For Starhub it’s local speed test is

http://broadbandspeedtest.starhub.com/speedtestv3.1/

and click begin test.

 

 

 

 

Here is my result. You should get at least a 600 Mbps reading. The ideal is at least 800 Mbps at above. If your telco says 600 Mbps + is the normal range then they are bullshitting you. You are paying for a 1 Gbps line and yet you got only like 600 Mbps+. It happened to me, after i make some noise, they came down to replace the modem and the optical cable. Like magic, the speed went up to 900 Mbps + immediately.

I tried Linksys EA series giga router and it gave me crappy results, so i stick to the D Link 868L given by Starhub. So router used is important as well.

So now you can confirm your internet source is running at 900 Mbps+. It’s time to look at your devices.

Step 2 – Devices

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Wifi networks. But are you familiar with your devices’ wireless capability?

Wireless CapabilitySpeed
802.11a & 802.11gUp to 54 Mbps
802.11nUp to 300 Mbps
802.11acUp to 1Gbps

Check out the specs of your devices. Like Ipad Pro, it can support up to 1 Gbps wireless. Networking always take 2 hands to clap (that’s why they have a protocol call handshaking). You need to have the sender (router) and receiver (devices) to have at least the same capability to get the maximum speed. You can’t have a router wifi that can only support up to 300 Mbps and you expect your Ipad Pro to get 1 Gbps speed. Similarly you can’t have your device which can only support up to 300 Mbps to get 1 Gbps speed from your 1 Gbps wifi router.

If you prefer using Lan cable network for stable connections for gaming or doing work.

  1. You need to ensure that the cables must be at least Cat 5e/6. Cat 5 cable only support up to 10/100 Mbps.
  2. If you are using switches, it must be a Giga Switch.
  3. Your Computer Lan port must be GigaLan.

Prepare a few spare Cat 5e/6 Lan cables to test, sometimes even new cables can be faulty.

If most of your devices are not 1 Gbps capable, then there’s no point in getting a 1 Gbps urgently. If your home wifi network is used by many people concurrently, then it would make sense to get the 1 Gbps line. In simple terms, for example you have 3 tablets which have a maximum speed of 300 Mbps, 3 persons are using the 3 tablets to watch movies at the same time, so 3 x 300 Mbps = 900 Mbps, with a 1 Gbps line, these 3 person will not have their speed reduced. But if the line is a 500 Mbps line, then 500 Mbps / 3 = 166.67 Mbps per person and they may experience some lag while streaming movies.

These 1 Gbps / 500 Mbps are also known as bandwidth.

After doing all of the above and gotten 900 Mbps+ reading, you open your favorite app to watch your favorite show, and the movie is still streaming at a pathetic speed. Why?

Remember Networking takes 2 hands to clap. How fast the app can stream movies depend mainly on the following

  1. Server Geographical location (the closer the country to Singapore, the faster it is)
  2. Server bandwidth and number of users connected (if the server has 20 Gbps of bandwidth and there are 1000 users connected, each user gets 20 Mbps of bandwidth only, some servers also limit the speed for free users and higher speed for paying users)
  3. Quality of the shows/movies. HD/FHD movies need faster speed (Data block transmitted for a second of the movie is much bigger than low quality movie) so that it will not be choppy.

The 900 Mbps+ above is based on local speed test, which means if you watch shows on local apps such as Toggle, most probably you wont get any lag. If you watch shows from an app based in e.g Germany, then the streaming speed will be much slower. You can do an international speed test to find out the connection speed to that particular country.  Telcos only “guarantee” local speed. So most of the time, choppy movie/show is due to the app that you are using and it’s not due to your own internet network.

 

Happy surfing!

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