3 Gigabit Internet One Year Later! Speed tests vs. Real World Experience

hey everybody it’s lon simon it’s time once again for your weekly wrap-up and this week i thought i would talk about gigabit internet and how to get the most out of it because i have been on a multi-gigabit symmetrical internet connection now for exactly a year and i wanted to tell you what i have learned over the course of that time let’s get to it [Music] now to recap last year i installed the comcast gigabit pro service here at the house this was and i’ll get to why i’m saying was in a second a two gigabit symmetrical connection which means that i could download it two gigabits and upload at two gigabits per second remarkably fast i have made use of this especially for all the uploads that i do running a youtube channel and i have to say it has saved me hours a week if not more than that because my uploads went from taking about 45 minutes to an hour per platform to take in about 30 to 45 seconds maybe two minutes at the most so it’s really bought me back a ton of time and i can actually work later into the day and still hit my self-imposed deadlines which is usually to get a video up on youtube by about a quarter of seven pm eastern time so i’m very happy with the performance that i got out of this now this is a fiber optic connection and it’s quite expensive so i’m paying about 320 a month and that includes a mandatory equipment rental that you have to get from comcast and there’s also a thousand dollar installation fee it’s not available everywhere you have to be in the right spot i was fortunate that i had a fiber splice point at the end of my street so they came out here a year ago and ran cable from my house all the way to that splice point at the end of the road and then it goes on from there to the head end definitely check out the playlist that i

have linked in the video description because i detailed the whole process of installation we got a good look at the fiber splicing that we were doing here at the house it was really cool just to see how all this stuff comes together now the other day i got wind of an upgrade that was coming to us gigabit pro customers and they went from two gigabits symmetrical to three gigabits symmetrical so don’t hate me but let me run a quick speed test here on my windows computer now connected to this laptop right now is a thunderbolt 10 gigabit card and that is or i guess a network adapter and that is connected to my 10 gigabit switch in the other room and you can see here we’re downloading at over three gigabits per second and i can upload at that rate as well and it’s just remarkable that i’ve got this at my house now before i had the gigabit pro service i had the best service that comcast could give me which was 400 megabits down and only 10 megabits up and it was a very unreliable connection i was really having a hard time doing the live streams that i do during the week and this has really created so many new opportunities for me and has really created a much more productive environment for me at the same time now this is different than the gigabit service that they’re now offering in most markets this is available where i am now as well but i’m much happier with my fiber connection so you get 1.2 gigabits down but only 30 to 40 megabits upstream and by comparison again our gigabit pro service is three gigabits down and three gigabits up so it is much faster especially on the upstream and this is called a three plus one service which means that in addition to that three gigabit connection over an sfp connector they also have another gigabit available on an ethernet jack on the switch that they install so you actually get two separate networks essentially that you can play around with and i haven’t even made

use of the ethernet one yet a friend of mine in town also got this service installed and he actually aggregated both connections together so he’s able to get a full four gigabits delivered to his network i may dive into that at some point in the near future but there are some practical considerations here uh that includes how you configure your local network to make use of all this bandwidth but also considering what bandwidth is out there for you to utilize outside of the comcast network for example so when i’m uploading my videos to youtube i’m definitely uploading a lot faster than i did before as i mentioned at the outset but when i check my router’s control panel it’s usually hovering between half a gigabit and 800 megabits or so i’m rarely even getting to a gigabit when i am uploading sometimes i’ll get close to it but never the full two or three like i have now and what’s interesting is that if we go back to our speed test here you’ll see that even the speed test server can’t give me all the bandwidth on the downstream here so in that test we just ran you can see it actually connected to some additional servers so that we could better max out my connection which i thought was interesting by the way we transferred about three gigs downloading here on the download test and uploaded about 1.7 gigs and that’s gigabytes not gigabits and to further talk about this let’s take a look at the google speed tests that you can run on their site and this is more indicative of what you might get connecting to a web server so even though we’re on ethernet here fully maxed out at our 10 gig local connection i’m

only pulling down from the google server here with their built-in speed test about 267 megabits and the same is true in the other direction here certainly again a lot faster on the upstream than what i had before but in practical uses here you’re not really going to see this much bandwidth going to one site all at once and even sites that you think might be better equipped for this like a steam game download for example those typically max out at around a gigabit as well occasionally a little bit faster but you can have three or four people doing all of this bandwidth intensive stuff at the same time and get the full amount of bandwidth from all the different services that they’re using but it’s important to know really the difference here between what your potential is and what you may actually end up with and another consideration here is how you’re connecting to the network so i browse the comcast xfinity subreddit from time to time this by the way is the best way to figure out how to get to the right customer service person for the gigabit pro service if you want to order it or at least see if you’re eligible and i occasionally see posts like this one where somebody signs up for their gigabit service the coax version and says hey i’m not even getting close to this what’s going on and the reality here is that if you’re using wi-fi only in your home you are never going to see gigabit speed to any of your devices because wi-fi really struggles to get to that level of performance let me give you a perfect real world scenario here this is my new ipad mini it has a wi-fi six radio on board i’ve got my wi-fi six access point in the ceiling plainly visible right above my head and if i go ahead and run the speed test here uh you can see that we are getting about 600 or so megabits per second on the downloads and this wireless access point is

actually connected via gigabit ethernet so you can see the most that we can really hope to get out of this thing is about 600 megabits and change over wi-fi and that is under ideal circumstances now when i bring this little ipad mini upstairs in my kitchen and connecting to that same access point i’m doing about 200 megabits per second in both directions not bad for browsing the web but when you run a speed test on one of these things you’re going to see when you’re connected to wi-fi that you’re really going to struggle to get up to true gigabit speed just because of the nature of how wi-fi works so if you want the best performance you’ve got to connect via ethernet and then if you’re going above a gigabit you’re also going to need to get a multi-gigabit network and we talked a lot about this in some prior videos the most recent one i have on this topic at least how i’m set up here is with my upgrading my multi-gig network video where i slid in a 10 gigabit distribution switch from unifi and this really enabled me to get the speeds that i want out to most parts of the house and then i’m supplementing some of this expensive unified gear with these really inexpensive switches from qnap who usually makes these network attached storage devices they’ve been really getting into this multi-gig ethernet business and they’re coming up with some really nice products this is one that i just bought recently and what this one provides as my camera focuses are two 10 gig connections and then four two and a half gig connections this is not very expensive and what you could do with this is run your 10 gig leg out to your router connect another 10 gig pc that you want running at full blast and then you can connect a bunch of other machines at the slower two and a half gig speed to get most of the bandwidth that you want to get out of it but really if you’ve got a gigabit connection if you want to make the best use of it you’re going to have to start putting these switches all over

the place to connect up to get the performance that your internet connection can provide now if you’re not interested in running ethernet cabling everywhere take a look at mocha this is a network extension technology that works over your existing cable tv wiring and i have found in my testing over the years for this to be the next best thing to ethernet ethernet is still the best by far but mocha is very close if you’ve got it set up properly i’ve got a whole playlist here on screen that you can check out to get more information on it right now there are two lower cost adapters on the market that i like which are the trans lights like the one you see on screen here and another brand called go coax and both of those seem to be delivering good performance that is running close to their advertised speeds so those are the two that i would look at if you’re on a budget but do check out the playlist to get more information about it and how it compares now in full disclosure the moca alliance which is the standards body for this technology has sponsored videos here on the channel in the past but i am a big fan of this technology because it really works and it’s so much better than power line and i was a fan of it before they approached the channel for a sponsorship but definitely check out mocha if you can’t run ethernet now one last consideration is the routing performance of your router so if you upgraded to gigabit but your router is two or three or four years old it may not be able to keep up with the bandwidth that you’re getting from your isp and just as an example a few months ago we went up to my brother’s farm in vermont to get him hooked up on starlink and his

routers which were probably about eight years old couldn’t even keep up with what starlink could deliver to him so the performance of the router itself is really important and here’s a good example because before i upgraded to this fiber optic connection i was running with one of these unified dream machines as my router but take a look if i have all the security features enabled the best it can do is 850 megabits per second so i had to go find a router that could support the full speed of my network and i went with the udm pro and in full disclosure unifi did provide the router i was using and the udm pro to the channel free of charge and we have some details about how all of those routers work in the playlist but you definitely do need to make sure that the router you’re running with can support the network now if you’re renting from comcast or your cable provider they will likely give you one or rent you one that will support those speeds but if you’re using your own equipment check the specifications out to be sure and i have to say i’ve been looking around at a lot of different routers that are being sold currently that’s not usually a specification that they list so you might have to call up the manufacturer or check out some of the more technical reviews to make sure that the router can deliver the bandwidth that your isp is providing so our final question is do you even need a gigabit connection and i think for most people the answer is at the moment no now this screen that you see here is from an isp that is growing rapidly here in connecticut called go netspeed they offer symmetrical fiber optic connections i interviewed one of their vps about a year or so ago and it was really fun to hear about how they’re building out this network as a scrappy startup and they’re finding a lot of success because people are getting very frustrated with the phone company and the cable company and a lot of my friends are in areas where go netspeed is offering service and they call me up asking what service tier they should go with and more often than not i

am recommending people go with premium even though their first inclination is to go gigabit and the reason why i’m suggesting they go with the premium offering here that is 500 megabits symmetrical is that a bulk of my friends are connecting to the internet solely via wi-fi and they’re using a single wi-fi connection that the entire house is sharing and given all we just talked about it’s really not likely that they’re ever going to make use of a full gigabit connection at the moment unless they start hardwiring in some of their devices so for many of my friends they’ve been very happy not going with the fancy gigabit service but going with something in the mid tier and i think we’re going to see a lot more of these mid-tier offerings coming out that i think will provide a huge speed boost to most consumers yet not cost them as much as a gigabit connection would that they likely will never be able to take full advantage of at least in the current technology state that we’re in and we’re going to see a lot more of these fast symmetrical connections comcast i believe is starting to feel the burn here of all these little fiber startups nipping away at their local markets and they are pushing now to squeeze as much value as they can out of their coax wiring and they’re in the middle of a test right now on a one gig or actually one and a quarter gig symmetrical coax system where you’ll be able to use your existing cable wiring swap out the modem and suddenly go from having a gig down and 30 megabits up to having a gig in both directions and i

suspect that when comcast starts offering this they’ll probably offer lower tiers that are symmetrical that cost less and again you might want to consider at least a less expensive option if you’re primarily a wi-fi user but it’s very exciting now to finally see isps focusing on upload speeds because all of the marketing to date has mostly been focused on downloads but as somebody who uploads a lot of stuff uploads are becoming increasingly important too especially given how many people are working from home even post pandemics so that’s going to do it for my experiences over the last year of having a multi-gigabit fiber optic connection that just got even more multi multi gigabit i was very surprised to see that extra gigabit come down i didn’t even know i had it until i ran a speed test you really can’t tell the difference when you go from two gigabits to three gigabits but it’s been very nice to have all this bandwidth available to me there’s just no frustration anymore in my workflow so the only frustration left is just on me to get these videos produced in a timely manner after that they get out to the world pretty quickly so let me know what you thought down in the comments below give me some ideas too for future topics related to these multi-gigabit networks and some of the things that you’re running into with that i always like to talk about this networking stuff because i know a lot of you are interested in it now this week’s wrap-up is being brought to you by all of you i want to thank two new supporters we have on the channel crab donkey joined us on patreon and rich daily joined us on the youtube

membership program if you want to support the channel you can you can go to lawn dot tv support and make a monthly or a one-time contribution to the channel we support patreon the youtube membership program along with floatplane and of course we have my donorbox page which is where that link will bring you to which is a great way to support the channel if you want and i want to thank everyone who contributed this week and everyone who’s been contributing on an ongoing basis and all of you who watch on a regular basis too because all of those things equal channel growth if you want to follow me in other places you can do so on the long list of stuff that i’ve got here on screen including our podcast which is an audio version of this show we also have my amazon page where all of the review videos that i upload can be watched without advertising and we also do live streaming on amazon too so if you follow me there you’ll get notifications from believe it or not the amazon app every time i go live we have some other ways to engage with the channel including my very infrequent email list we’ve got the facebook group which is well over i think over a thousand people now and then we have my discord which i am going to start doing a little bit more with in the near future because somebody tells me i could do live call-ins from discord which i want to play around with so that’ll be something we’ll explore in the future and then of course we’ve got my store where i sell previously used items that i reviewed here on the channel they’re not that used because they were just used long enough to get a review done and if you want to get alerted every time we add something to the store you can go to london tv store alert and that is going to do it for this week’s weekly wrap-up i’ve got a lot of fun stuff coming up i think i’ll probably review the ipad mini here because i’ve been really liking it more so than i thought i would and i’ve got a bunch of other things planned as well and again keep those questions and comments coming because i get a lot of great ideas from for content from comments so comment away down in the comment section and i’ll catch you next time until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters hot sauce and video games brian parker chris allegretta tom albrecht thomas anfang jim tannis and handheld obsession if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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