Is it Worth Upgrading to Multigig Internet in 2023?
If you are living in or near a major city, you have probably seen your local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) touting the incredible speed upgrades they have been, or soon will be, delivering. Google Fiber announced 5 Gbps speeds in select markets earlier this year, something that would have been unthinkable for residential internet service just a couple of years ago. These “greater than gigabit” speeds are commonly referred to as multi-gigabit, or multi-gig for short.
Now without further ado, should you upgrade to multi-gig internet?
The answer is, of course…it depends. There are a few things you should think about before upgrading, and we will discuss them below.
1. What are your needs?
Gigabit internet is incredibly fast, and for things like streaming movies or playing video games it is generally good enough. The issues arise when multiple people are using the network at one time, especially near the max range of a wireless signal. Multiple users doesn’t necessarily slow down the internet, but it divides your bandwidth. If you have ever been in the shower when someone turns on your washing machine and had your water pressure drop; you have experienced a similar issue. When multiple users are attempting high-bandwidth activities like streaming movies, playing video games, or participating in video calls you can quickly see the value of multi-gigabit internet speeds.
2. What equipment do you need?
Higher speeds require different hardware, and there is a good chance that the current networking equipment in your home is not capable of more than 1 gigabit. If you are in a smaller home, with only a few users you may be ok with the router the ISP provides. However, for most of our clients additional equipment is required, including Wireless Access Points, network switches and ethernet cable to connect everything. Each of these devices must be capable of handling the speeds you are paying for or you simply won’t see the speeds you expect.
For consistent wireless internet coverage, BRAVAS recommends a WiFi 6 (802.11ax) access point for approximately every 1000 sq/ft of living space. You will also need to ensure all hardwired devices are capable of at least 2.5G to ensure they can pass data across your wired network without creating a bottleneck. Even the wire in your walls needs to be considered. If all of this sounds daunting, feel free to reach out to your local BRAVAS location so we can assist in designing a customized networking solution for your home.
3. What are your expectations?
Simply paying for higher speeds from your ISP doesn’t promise a great experience, and even your current speeds may be held back by your home’s network. This could be an equipment issue or a design issue. Without the right design, and the right equipment, you can pay for higher speeds without seeing any improvement.
If you feel that you are approaching the limits of your current network for any reason you may very well benefit from an upgrade. By working with a company like BRAVAS to engineer a solution for your home and your family you can experience incredible speeds from one edge of your property to the other. If that sounds exciting to you, please reach out to us today and check out our podcast about upgrading to multi-gig here.