Fast internet is basically a home essential for most of us. If you work from home, stream your favorite shows, video chat with loved ones or just enjoy a social media scroll, you know the perils of slow internet. So, what does fast internet look like, and what do terms like “gig” really mean?
To understand gigabits (Gb), you have to understand the root word: bit. A bit measures how fast data will transfer over a network. When you download a file, for example, the speed at which you can transfer the file from the internet to your computer would be measured in bits.
A gigabit, commonly known as a gig, is a lot of bits––1 billion to be exact.
You’ll also hear terms like megabit (Mb), which is equal to 1 million bits. It takes a thousand megabits to equal one gigabit. We’ve just thrown a lot of numbers at you, but here’s the gist:
Quick note: bits are not the same as bytes. Typically, megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes are used to measure storage on devices like smartphones, computers, flash drives or cloud storage—not internet speed!
What’s the Gig Deal?
Gigabit speed is exactly this: the ability to transfer one billion bits of data between your devices and the internet in a single second.
Sound fast? It is!
Gig-speed internet is 5 times faster than the average broadband speed in the US, making it the fastest internet around. Here are a few things you can do with gigabit speed:
• Higher Quality Video Streaming
• Connect Numerous Devices at The Same Time
• 4K Resolution Gaming
• Lightning-Fast Downloading/Uploading
How Does It Work?
With FASTnet, your internet experience starts with a fiber optic connection to your home. Fiber broadband uses a thin glass tube to carry the data to your home via light, rather than a copper line.
While it’s possible to receive gig speeds over a traditional coaxial cable, fiber delivers some distinct advantages. The biggest benefit is that fiber provides more bandwidth while being more reliable than cable.
Internet bandwidth controls how much data can be uploaded or downloaded from your device. This is different from internet speed, which determines how fast you can upload or download data. That said, more bandwidth correlates with higher speeds.
What do all these advantages do for you? They make your signal travel faster, longer, and with less interference.
How Can I Make the Most of Fiber?
To ensure the best experience with your fiber internet, here are a couple of things to do:
- When possible, connect to your router with an ethernet cable. Some devices have to use Wi-Fi, but more Wi-Fi connections mean more signal interference. Connecting your PCs and other ethernet cable devices to your router will help alleviate some of the interference.
- Place your router in a central location with as little physical obstruction as possible. The more walls your signal has to go through, the weaker it gets, so try placing it in the center of your home so that all rooms have access to the connection. Also, keep your signal away from windows or electronic devices like microwaves and refrigerators, as they can zap some of your signal.
- Remain close to your router. Wi-Fi signals will degrade as you get further from the source, so for more important tasks, stay close to the router for the strongest signal.
If you’re curious about the speed you’re receiving, connect directly to your modem via an ethernet cable, and run a speed test. You can find many speed test options online for free.
Please Note: Your speeds may be slower than expected, especially if you run a speed test from a wirelessly connected device or far from the router.
If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support team at 1-800-431-1544.