By now, you’ve probably realized that if you can get cable internet in your area, you should do it.  Cable internet for our specific location has many benefits over DSL/4G solutions.  The two most valuable reasons behind cable internet are reliability and the bandwidth.  You pay roughly the same, but get more of what is promised to you as a customer.  If you haven’t called in years, it’s a good idea to call again to your local cable company and see if they’ve extended service to an area near you.

Bandwidth is Important. But why?

All that being said, bandwidth isn’t cheap, and to have multiple users on the same connection can be frustrating.  Especially, if one or two users are utilizing all of your internet bandwidth.  Here is a quick reference guide provided by our local cable company Service Electric –  You can see that even some of the higher packages are only geared for 5+ devices.  That’s because bandwidth quickly accumulates.  Someone watching youtube can easily pull 4-7Mbps.  Uploading pictures to Facebook or social media can also slow down overall connectivity.  You would think that uploading wouldn’t have an effect on downloading, and generally you would be right.  But, if you uploading large files or a lot of little files, you could easily utilize all of your upload bandwidth.  Without any spare upload bandwidth your computer/devices may struggle to transmit necessary Acknowledgement (ACK Packets) packets.  By not having enough spare upload bandwidth your network won’t have enough room for the overhead packets and can simulate a slow download speed as well.

One more thing to consider when choosing a bandwidth package is that technology is constantly moving forward, which means cameras are taking higher resolution pictures than ever before.  Better pictures equate to larger file sizes.  Same goes for HD/4K content.  Better quality, larger files, more network overhead.

Alright. So how do I optimize my bandwidth?

So, what can be done to help speed up internet for your business or family?

  1. First address your internet speeds and what you’re trying to do.  If you’re family is heavy into media streaming, then you’ll most likely need a faster connection from your ISP.
  2. You have a fast connection, but there are still issues?  Check your router for QoS (Quality of Service) options.  See what you can do to restrict users from utilizing all of your available internet bandwidth.
  3. Pinpoint high bandwidth applications.  We offer cloud backup and deal with bandwidth issues all the time (which is why we restrict the upload 😉  Applications like iCloud, Dropbox, and other cloud services can slow connections down drastically without users even knowing.
  4. Limiters/Traffic Shaping – This is more advanced, but something we do for commercial customers.  We configure guest networks and primary office networks with load balancing in mind so that no single users can saturate all of the bandwidth.  This means that you may not see max speeds when you speed test, but you won’t have slow-downs.
  5. Disconnect certain devices from your network to see if it speeds up at all.  Simply shutting down computers/devices is a good way to start.
  6. Rebooting your router/modem – Unless you have a high-end router, chances are you’ll need to reboot it along the line.

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