Internet Speed: How Does It Work?
Internet speed can lead to incredibly frustrating situations. We all know the feeling of buffering Netflix shows, Pinterest not loading, or a Zoom call that makes everyone sound like a robot. If you deal with this frequently, it may be time to check in on your Internet plan. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything from bandwidth and broadband to the best types of Internet connection. As Internet providers ourselves, we know these topics can be confusing, so let’s go over them together.
Speed vs. Bandwidth
Speed and bandwidth are often used interchangeably, but they are different from each other. Bandwidth is the capacity of data that can be used for internet speed. Picture a backyard hose, for example. If you choose a hose with a smaller opening, you’re going to get less water per second than you would with one with a larger opening. Bandwidth works the same with data. The more bandwidth you have, the more megabits of data you can transfer per second, which creates a faster internet speed.
Signs Your Speed is Being Affected by Your Bandwidth
Unsure if your bandwidth is failing you? Here are some of the most common signs:
- Your Internet-powered chats won’t load (WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook messenger, etc.)
- Video games lag or boot you out of a game
- Streaming services won’t play properly because they need to load every few minutes
- It takes more than a few seconds to load websites.
- Your Internet crashes when multiple people are using Wi-Fi
If all your devices are struggling to transfer data, there is a great chance your bandwidth is too small for you. In this case, you want to upgrade to a broadband network with a higher megabits per second package.
What Is a Broadband Network?
A broadband network is what people are referring to when they say “high-speed Internet.” It is a term that refers to different types of wide bandwidth data transmission. In other words, different technologies allow for faster Internet because more data can be transmitted. Before broadband was created, people relied on dial-up connection which wouldn’t allow for the things we enjoy today like Netflix and video games. Today, many households use DSL or fiber internet to keep up with our modern luxuries.
Perhaps the most popular Internet source is the digital subscriber line (DSL) because of its wide availability. DSL uses phone lines made from copper to transfer data. Because phones have been around for much longer than the Internet, most households in Texas should have DSL abilities.
One of the latest gifts from technological advancements is the creation of fiber Internet. This technology was made available in 1996 and is the fastest internet solution out there, and it only gets faster with time. It is run through thin glass fiber strands that carry light instead of electricity like DSL. Because of this, fiber can transmit data up to 100 times faster than DSL. So, if you work from home or have many Internet users in your home, fiber Internet is the best solution.
When it comes to the availability of fiber Internet in rural Texas, CTTC is continually expanding its network. CTTC has been expanding across Central Texas, allowing more people to have access to fiber Internet. If you’re in Central Texas, give us a call to see if fiber is available in your community.
How Do Different Plans Affect Your Usage?
In the simplest of terms, the less bandwidth you have, the slower your Internet will be. If you have a plan with low bandwidth, you may run into issues like loading delays and poor streaming quality. When you have different devices (such as Smart TVs, Wi-Fi enabled security cameras, smartphones, gaming consoles, etc.) using data at the same time, your bandwidth needs to be able to support it. If it doesn’t support all of these devices at once, that’s when you will experience buffering and lagging.
We recommend using our Broadband Calculator to see how many megabits per second your household will need. From there, choose a plan that supports this speed or more if your budget allows for it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to Internet speed so you can always access what you need.
Should You Upgrade Your Internet Plan?
If you’re constantly dealing with Internet problems like the ones listed above, we recommend you upgrade your Internet plan. There are great solutions for both urban and rural dwellers that may be more affordable than you think.
Because fiber internet wasn’t available until 1996, many homes or buildings haven’t been able to install it yet. However, thanks to new technology, chances are DSL and fiber Internet are now available, no matter how small your town is and no matter when your home was built.
If you’re in Bend, San Saba, Richland Springs, Goldthwaite, and surrounding towns, contact us to upgrade to a broadband network or fiber Internet.