Is 1 Gig internet speed worth it?

Gigabit internet may now be available in your area. What you can do with 1 Gbps, how fast is gigabit internet, and are you ready to make the switch?

What is 1 Gbps?

Gbps stands for “gigabit per second.” It’s a measure of speed commonly used by internet service providers to demonstrate how fast their internet plans can transmit data. Gigabit internet is one of the fastest speeds offered to residential customers right now.

What is the difference between Mbps and Gbps?

1 Gbps = 1,000 Mbps

This speed is commonly referred to as 1 Gig, 1 gigabit, or 1,000 Mbps.

Is 1 Gbps fast?

The average download speed in 2018 for America was about 96 Mbps. That means 1 Gbps is over 10 times faster than the average download speed. With that much speed you could download a full HD movie in 47 seconds. If you only had download speeds of 100 Mbps, the same task would take a full eight minutes. Up to 100 people will be able to connect to the internet and hop online at the same time with one gig. If you work from home, you could download a video conference in under 5 seconds. The possibilities are endless.

How does gigabit internet work?

When gigabit internet first launched, it was offered exclusively by fiber providers. These days, there are two technologies that can deliver gigabit speeds to your home: fiber and cable.

Fiber internet is the best connection for 1 GB internet speeds. Thanks to fiber-optic technology, data can travel at the speed of light without any network interference, and customers can experience symmetrical speeds, where download and upload speeds are identical. That makes fiber internet with gigabit speeds the fastest and most reliable internet available. Many gigabit fiber providers, like AT&T, offer competitive introductory pricing close to what a decent cable internet plan costs.

Cable providers offering gigabit speeds have recently entered the market. This is possible because of a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) system. With an HFC system, data is sent from the provider through fiber cables and received by coaxial cables to the home. While the download speeds are still blazing fast, it’s not quite as good as gigabit internet over fiber. Gigabit internet over HFC typically has asymmetrical speeds, meaning you might get up to 1,000 Mbps download but the upload speeds might be up to a mere 35 Mbps. You might notice reduced speeds caused by network congestion in the evening. That happens when too many of your neighbors are online at the same time.

What can you do with 1 Gbps?

Gigabit internet is so fast that it can handle almost anything that a customer wants to do online. The tasks you already do online today can be done much, much, faster.

Connect multiple users: If your YouTube videos are buffering every few seconds or your webpage is taking too long to load, it's usually due to bandwidth issues. When several users are online at the same time, you could reach your bandwidth capacity and may experience buffering or slower speeds. Switching to a plan with gigabit speeds will allow everyone in the house to do what they want online without interrupting the person in the next room.

Streaming videos in 4K UHD: If you bought the latest 4K TV or smartphone on Black Friday, you might be limited by your current internet speeds. Those devices might be able to handle more speed than you have. Gigabit internet means you can stream in the highest video quality, on up to 40 devices at the same time! Even if you’re not trying to have a streaming party, it’s nice to know you won’t see any loading circles or spinning beach balls. If you’re not already on your subscription service’s 4K UHD plan, maybe it’s time to upgrade to take advantage of these ultra-fast speeds.

Cloud backup: Backing up your data is never fun, and it can often take a long time. That’s where the extra fast upload speeds on a gigabit fiber connection can really come into play. Unlike a cable connection that may have slower upload speeds than download speeds, fiber’s symmetrical connection will ensure that backing up your data is as painless as possible. You won’t have to worry about losing your files if you misplace them on your phone or laptop. Backing up your work folder, vacation videos, and precious pictures to the cloud with 1 Gbps upload speeds takes just seconds.

Competitive online gaming: Whether you’re just a casual gamer or you train for your eSports team, all gamers can appreciate the extra speed. The boost in upload and download speeds can really help lower your ping rate and download patches without taking an eternity. You could also host your friends on games that use peer-to-peer connections without any problems.

Which providers offer 1 Gbps?

Many providers are expanding their plans to include gigabit internet. Even smaller providers are launching some form of gigabit internet service to compete against major providers.

Here are some providers that offer gigabit speeds:

Provider

Gigabit Connection

Download Speed

Upload speed

AT&T

Fiber

Up to 1,000 Mbps*

Up to 1,000 Mbps*

CenturyLink

Fiber

Up to 940 Mbps

Up to 940 Mbps

Cincinnati Bell

Fiber

Up to 1,000 Mbps

Up to 250 Mbps

Cox

Cable

Up to 1,000 Mbps

Up to 35 Mbps

Frontier

Fiber

Up to 940 Mbps

Up to 880 Mbps

Google Fiber

Fiber

Up to 1,000 Mbps

Up to 1,000 Mbps

Mediacom

Fiber

Up to 1,000 Mbps

Up to 50 Mbps

Spectrum

Cable

Up to 940 Mbps

Up to 35 Mbps

Verizon

Fiber

Up to 940 Mbps

Up to 880 Mbps

Xfinity

Cable

Up to 1,000 Mbps

Up to 35 Mbps

*Speed/Time examples are estimates and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Download speeds (up to 940Mbps for Internet 1000) are typically due to overhead capacity reserved to deliver the data. Speeds may vary based on factors including site traffic, content provider server capacity, internal management factors, and end user device capabilities. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101.

Pricing and availability for gigabit internet varies by area. The best way to check if internet speeds up to 1 Gbps are available in your area is to use our zip search tool.

Why am I seeing 940 Mbps instead of 1,000 Mbps?

While providers often advertise speeds up to 1,000 Mbps for gigabit internet, your actual speeds depend on many other factors. Some speed is lost in bandwidth overhead needed to deliver the data from the provider, which is why gigabit max speeds typically go up to only 940 Mbps. To get these maximum speeds of up to 940 Mbps, you’ll want to be hard-wired to your modem with an ethernet cord. That means you should expect slightly slower speeds than the max speed if you’re connected to your WiFi network on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Can my modem handle 1 Gbps?

In order to get 1 Gbps internet speeds, you have to have the right hardware.

Providers will usually include the right equipment for your internet plan, or they’ll give you the choice to rent it. Here are a few things to keep in mind in case you’re using your own modem instead of the provider’s.

Gigabit over fiber: Some gigabit fiber providers like Verizon will require additional hardware called an optical network terminal (ONT). The ONT helps convert the fiber-optic signals to your home modem.

Gigabit over cable: First, check if your current internet modem is the DOCSIS 3.1 standard (not to be confused with DOCSIS 3.0). This new standard allows for gigabit speeds over coaxial cables and allows for faster download speeds up to 1 Gbps, reduced latency, and even less power consumption.

Gigabit internet is the best of the best when it comes to internet speeds. It’s reliable, ultra-fast, and will support all of your household’s devices. Whether you’re downloading movies, streaming Netflix, or Skyping loved ones, you’ll be able to do it all a whole lot faster. The easiest way to find out if any providers offer gigabit speeds in your area is to use our search by address tool.

Updated on:

Leave A Comment