As consumers, much of your daily life requires and depends on a reliable connection to the Internet. You use it for email, shopping, banking, streaming, research, entertainment and much more. Most don’t know the ins and outs of how this ever-changing technology works, but you know you need it. And, you need it to be FAST.
There’s been a lot of hype about one-gig speeds. But what is Gig, and what can Gigabit Internet do for you?
Gigabit Internet literally means that you are downloading 1,000,000,000 bits per second or 1,000 megabits per second. That’s 100 times faster than the average Internet speed in the United States. Gigabit Internet runs on a fiber-optic line, which is capable of much higher speeds than the traditional copper lines of most DSL and cable connections.
Now that we know that gigabit speeds have superior technology and give you the fastest Internet connection, let’s take a look at its benefits. The chart below provides a comparison of different speeds and download times, via FastMetrics:
Quite the difference, right? Imagine that you’re sitting down with the family to watch a movie, only to find out you have to wait 72 minutes for it to download. Twenty-five seconds sounds a lot better! That’s less time than it takes to make microwave popcorn!
What are some of the other benefits that this high-speed Internet will give you? Here are just a few from our Kinetic by Windstream team:
1. Increased reliability
Remember those fiber-optic cables that Gig Internet uses to transmit data? They’re made of glass, compared with the copper that DSL and cable Internet use, and they transport data using light signals — instead of electrical currents. Copper wires can only withstand about 25 pounds of pressure without being damaged, while fiber can sustain about four to eight times that (100-200 pounds).
Those factors help protect your connection from outside interference, including weather conditions, moisture, fire and other electronic or radio signals.
Another thing to consider? Distance. Signals over copper lines also worsen the further away you are from the source. Distance knows no bounds with a fiber connection.
2. Lower latency
Latency is the period of time between when you click something and when you actually see it. One of the best benefits of high-speed Internet is lower latency, or faster page-load times. Would you be able to tell the difference between, say, DSL and Gigabit Internet? Probably not: DSL and cable Internet have response times of between 10 and 30 milliseconds, compared with fiber’s 5 to 20 milliseconds. Remember, too, that those numbers can fluctuate depending on certain variables, such as your equipment.
3. A new level of entertainment
As you saw in the chart above, Gig Internet can easily get the entertainment you crave at your fingertips. For one, gigabit speeds allow for 4K streaming, which requires much more bandwidth (about five times as much) than a high-definition stream.
This option also opens the door for immersive media, like virtual reality or augmented reality (Pokemon Go, anyone?). Some are expecting Gig Internet to expand the new-media market, giving you even more entertainment.
4. Room for everyone and everything
How many people are you sharing your traditional broadband network with? And, how many times have you bumped heads over actually sharing that network? Yes, we’re talking about that sticky situation when all you want to do is stream your favorite show while cooking dinner with that voice assistant; the kids are doing homework, streaming music and have some rerun streaming in the background; and your spouse is browsing the web in preparation for tomorrow’s big day at work. Something’s got to give, right?
And, more often than not, it all comes crashing down as Internet speeds take a turn for the worse, all the shows are buffering and you’re still waiting on that next step in the recipe.
Perhaps the best feature of Gigabit Internet is that it supports multiple users on multiple devices — all at once. There’s no need for you to ration out your bandwidth for certain activities during certain times. You all can have it all!
5. Matching upload speeds
Upload speed is how quickly data travels from your device to a service. It doesn’t typically matter to most people, until some make or break moment when you realize how long it’s taking that you want better upload speeds.
So, when are those moments? If you do a lot of live streaming, video conferencing or online gaming — activities that both require your device to continuously send data to a server and to recipients’ devices — you’ll want good upload speeds. And all the other times? Large file transfers, along with cloud storage and backup solutions. If you work from home, too, you’ll find that you may be increasingly reliant on upload speeds, particularly for any communication and collaboration tools used to stay in touch with your business peers.
Most Gigabit Internet solutions today offer matching download and upload speeds of one Gig, which doesn’t even come close to the government’s definition of broadband (25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload).
Those all sound great, right? So, what, if any, is the downside to Gigabit Internet? Do a quick search and you’ll find that the biggest drawback is the lack of availability in the United States.
Why? The main reason is its transportation method — those fiber-optic lines. Most Internet service providers have to lay out new lines in order to offer the faster Internet connection. But, providers, including Kinetic by Windstream, are working hard to add fiber-optics, and neighborhoods and cities are beginning to see the benefits.
Kinetic by Windstream is committed to providing our customers with the most advanced products and services. Gig Internet is already available in several markets within our footprint, and our technicians are working diligently to add fiber-optics to more areas every day. We do this because our Kinetic Internet customers demand faster speeds and a more reliable network.
Visit our Kinetic Gig page to find out more about what we can do for you and if your area is eligible for gigabit speeds.