There are so many myths and misconceptions surrounding internet speeds. How does someone know fact from fiction? While some myths may be based on a bit of truth or were once true many years ago; some of these myths may have you overpaying for internet service or prevent you from having a better experience all around!
From satellite internet, to inclement weather and internet speed tests; let’s bust some common internet speed myths! We’ll explain the facts over the myths here.
Myth: “Satellite Internet Is Slow”
Fact: Satellite internet speeds reach up to 100 Mbps
While this used to be true, it’s not anymore! Back in the early days of satellite technology, satellite internet was painfully slow. All the fun stuff like downloading songs and scrolling through social media took forever! To watch a YouTube video or stream from the early days of Netflix? Forget about it back then.
Fortunately, like most other internet technologies, satellite internet has made many technical advances over the last ten years. For example, with Hughesnet satellite internet, customers used to only be able to get speeds up to 25 Mbps and their service was capped. Today, Hughesnet has plans with internet speeds up to 100 Mbps with unlimited data. 100 Mbps is fast enough to fulfill most household needs including streaming and gaming.
Myth: “Inclement Weather Slows Down Your Speeds”
Fact: It can, but it’s much less likely than it used to be depending on the kind of internet you have.
Normal weather like rain, wind, snow and clouds generally have no effect on your internet connection. However, the assumption that it does slow down your internet speeds is based on a little bit of truth. Rain has the potential to interfere with the radio waves involved in sending and receiving information, but it’s usually not noticeable and certainly won’t take down your internet.
If you have satellite internet, you may have to worry about snow piling up on your satellite dish. It can block incoming and outgoing signals and if heavy enough may even move your satellite dish, weakening the signal by not being lined up properly.
For other types of internet where the lines are above ground like DSL and cable, it’s the more severe weather you have to worry about. The kind of severe weather that you worry about losing your electricity over. Heavy winds, tornados, hurricanes, and floods for example. Negative effects from severe weather range from slower internet speeds to prolonged outages. However, these kinds of issues are temporary and providers act quickly to fix them once conditions are safe again.
Myth: “Speed Tests Show Your Actual Internet Speed”
Fact: Speed test results vary and may not always be accurate
Speed tests are a great tool, but they only reflect the speeds received at that date and time. There are factors that can make your internet connection appear slower like network congestion, testing during peak hours, the device used, and if you’re testing over your Wi-Fi connection.
Myth: “Slow Internet Is Always The Internet Provider’s Fault”
Fact: Internet providers can throttle your internet speeds, but usually it’s something else slowing your connection down
Myth: “Faster Internet Speeds Are Always Better”
Fact: Every family has different needs and you could be overpaying for more internet than you use.
Everyday activities like checking emails, scrolling through social media, and watching videos require 100 Mbps max download speeds. For most households internet plans with 500 Mbps or more are excessive and are paying way more for internet service than they need to.
Myth: “Upload Speeds Are Always Slower Than Download Speeds”
Fact: Some internet providers do offer symmetrical speeds
This myth is still very much true for many internet providers. For example Viasat’s base plan offers 100-150 Mbps download speeds, but their upload speeds are at an atrocious 3 Mbps and they are not the only ones. It’s still very common for DSL, satellite and cable to offer much faster download speeds and much lower upload speeds.
However, fiber optic internet providers are changing this because they can. Fiber technology can easily offer much faster upload speeds because no one is sharing bandwidth with their neighbors. Companies like Verizon Fios, Metronet, Frontier FiberOptic offer symmetrical download and upload speeds on all internet plans. So if you subscribe to their 500 Mbps plan, you’re getting 500 Mbps download speeds and 500 Mbps upload speeds.