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1 GIG disclaimer

How Fast Can I Go

A 1 Gig (1 Gbps download speed) internet connection is extremely fast. The power of a 1 Gig connection is not just meant to be used on 1 device like a computer. The 1 Gig connection is meant to ensure that all the devices in your home have enough bandwidth to support their applications, streaming and downloading needs. In fact, there are very few individual computers or devices that can reach a full 1 Gig download speed on their own. Think about it like the electrical power that comes into your home. It is shared by all the lights, appliances and devices in your home. There is no one device, light or appliance that can use all the power, but you need to make sure you have enough to power all of them. 

With that said, here are some of the maximum download speeds that individual devices can recieve. These speeds are the maximums and can be limited by a number of factors including, but not limited to: home network congestion, the physical connection to the network (e.g. WiFi, wired, etc), the speed of the website or host you are connecting to, overall internet traffic, other software or applications running on the device, viruses and spyware.
 

Computers on a Wired Connection

For a computer to get the fastest speed possible that machine will need to have a 1 Gig or 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port and use either Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cables to connect directly to the modem.  

Computers that will get speeds close to 1 Gig download speeds (likely 900 Mbps-950 Mbps) will need to meet these specifications listed below and not be congested with viruses/spyware and not running any other applications, software or browser extensions.

  Windows Apple
Microprocessor 5th generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5500U Dual Core Processor or equivalent 5th generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5500U Dual Core Processor or equivalent
Memory 8 GB 8 GB
Ethernet port/NIC (Network Interface Card) 10/100/1000 or Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 or Gigabit Ethernet
Operating system version Windows 8.1 or better Mac OS 10.6 or higher

Browser version

IE 8 (or newer) Safari 5.1.1 (or newer)
Safari 5.1.1 (or newer) Firefox 24 (or newer)
Firefox 24 (or newer) Google Chrome 31 (or newer)
Google Chrome 31 (or newer) NOTE: Chrome not recommended

For computers that are older or do not meet the specifications shown above, the range of maximum download speeds can vary between 400 Mbps and 900 Mbps. Exact maximum speeds will also be impacted by items noted earlier in this section.
 

Computers on a WiFi Connection

For a computer to get the fastest speed possible that machine will need to have an 802.11ac wireless card/adaptor and be connected to an 802.11ac wireless router.  Even with the use of these devices the maximum expected download speed over a WiFi connection will be between 200 Mbps – 400 Mbps, with some high end gaming/graphics computer reaching above 500 Mbps.

Wireless Technology Maximum Expected Download Speed Range
802.11ac 200 Mbps – 400 Mbps
802.11n 150 Mbps-250 Mbps
802.11a/b/g 20 Mbps-32 Mbps

It is important to note that the maximum expected download speeds shown are greatly impacted by the set up of the wireless network in the home/office. The further away the computer is from the router the slower the speeds will be. Exact maximum speeds will also be impacted by items noted earlier in this section.
 

Smart Phones, Tablets and other devices on a WiFi Connection

For a device to get the fastest speed possible, that device will need to have an 802.11ac wireless card/adaptor and be connected to an 802.11ac wireless router.  Even with the use of these devices the maximum expected download speed over a WiFi connection will vary greatly based on the individual device configuration and the distance from the device to the router.  Maximum expected download speeds will range between 20 Mbps – 400 Mbps, with most devices having a maximum expected download speed less than 100 Mbps. 

It is important to note that the maximum expected download speeds shown are greatly impacted by the set up of the wireless network in the home/office. The further away the computer is from the router the slower the speeds will be. Exact maximum speeds will also be impacted by items noted earlier in this section.
 

A Note on WiFi and 1 Gig

For a device to get the fastest speed possible that device will need to have an 802.11ac wireless card/adaptor and be connected to an 802.11ac wireless router.  Even with the use of these devices the maximum expected download speed over a WiFi connection will vary greatly based on the individual device configuration and the distance from the device to the router. Currently, there is not a WiFi set up that will support a full 1 Gig download speed to an individual device.  The use of an 802.11ac wireless router will help to enable multiple devices to get the maximum speeds possible.