The Secrets Behind Speeds, Wi-Fi,
and Your Own Devices
While nearly 600 customers revealed an incredible 94% satisfaction score, one thing that became apparent with our recent customer satisfaction survey initiative is this: there’s a lot of confusion regarding speeds and what should be expected in terms of performance of both Wi-Fi and meeting advertised speeds.
The reality is that there are countless circumstances that could be impacting your speeds – but what it isn’t, is a product of more people staying home. FairlawnGig’s network has never reached even 50% of our capacity – even on the busiest of days, with everyone “working” from home, streaming Netflix, and taking Zoom meetings.
What does impact your Internet speed is more complicated and can be a combination of the size of your home (and the construction materials), the age of your device(s), and the number of devices you have in your home. Let’s talk about each…
Your service may be perfect in the same room as your router, but gets progressively worse as you move farther and farther away. This is not because the router is inferior, but rather science. The faster your connection, the less distance it will travel.
The equivalent is also true in your home. The faster the service you subscribe to, the more likely it is that you may need a mesh network to expand and boost the signal from the ONT router. A mesh network extends your signal to every corner of your home to provide great Wi-Fi speeds. This could be needed because of your home size or it can also be a product of the materials and construction of your home, as some materials tend to block and interfere with Wi-Fi more than others.
Remember that you have two Wi-Fi frequencies from your FairlawnGig ONT: both 2.4 and 5 Ghz. If you get a strong signal on the 5 Ghz frequency, you’ll receive better speeds. However, the 5 Ghz frequency won’t travel as far as 2.4 and has challenges traveling through walls or floors. Some of your older devices will only operate on 2.4 as it was the original wireless signal. This also means that 2.4 is more crowded with more of your home devices “competing” with each other, otherwise known as interference. The latest devices have a 5 Ghz setting which results in less interference and a cleaner, clearer signal.
Can all your devices even work at a gig level? Unless they are all brand new – the short answer is no.
You could be experiencing poor performance or buffering with devices that have served you well. Ironically, the more reliable your older technology device is, the less reliable it will be in terms of the Wi-Fi speeds. That iPad 2 from 2011 that still serves you well simply wasn’t built to deliver service greater than 90 Mbps.
Older devices have slower processors and often less RAM than a device you would purchase today. Unless you have a brand-new laptop (i.e. MacBook you purchased for Christmas in 2019), the speed test will not show gigabit speeds, even if it is the only device operating over Wi-Fi.
Number of Devices
Think of the bandwidth you receive from FairlawnGig as a pie. Each device you have running, be it a smart TV, phones, iPhone, gaming systems, and however many applications are running on computers are all taking a piece of your bandwidth pie.
Often, we’re asked if 300 Mbps or one gigabit is the better choice of service for a given home. One quick way to answer this question is to count “always on” devices you have in your home versus residents. We’ve found that if you have an excess of devices in your home per person (averaging 3-5 devices per person), your home may benefit from a full gigabit of service from FairlawnGig. When we look at our own statistics, we find that of our customers who subscribe to gig service typically have 18-25 devices on their home networks, with 8-10 running devices at all times.
As technology grows and evolves, more and more “smart” devices like doorbells and security cameras are looking for a piece of your bandwidth pie.
As a reminder, all of FairlawnGig’s connections are symmetrical – meaning that when we say you are receiving 300 Mbps of service, you receive those speeds for both downloads and uploads. Traditional Internet provider service is asynchronous, meaning your upload speeds are far inferior to your download speeds. In the age of Zoom video calls, this can create problems as you need to send crisp images of yourself. If you’ve noticed news personalities at home with less than stellar images, it’s most likely due to asynchronous, inferior Internet service.
We Can Help
Short of heading to Best Buy and replacing all of your devices with brand new electronics (which we wouldn’t recommend), FairlawnGig can help you get your network providing better service. Most often, this involves two separate issues – either reconfiguring your Wi-Fi devices or installing a mesh network in your home. Our technical support group can assist you to make sure you are getting the fastest Internet available in your home. Please contact us for help at 330-668-3300 with any questions regarding your service.