Paying for more speed or having your operator double it is useless

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they break the standard fiber speed record: 1.7 petabits!
they break the standard fiber speed record: 1.7 petabits!

Optical fiber

Let’s face it: we have a obsession with speed of our fiber optic network. When choosing a service provider, we always tend to opt for the ISP that offers the highest speed and, as a secondary factor, does so at the lowest price.

More than ten years ago, Google researchers published an article with the headline that made us raise our eyebrows in the midst of the expansion of Internet networks and the search for high speed: “More bandwidth does not matter (much).” In fact, a decade later Cloudflare is still signing off on that claim and calling for what we really need in our current fiber network instead of speed increases.

We can’t just look at speed

When we make purchase decisions and compare home Internet plans between different operators, the most likely value we look for before is the connection bandwidth to assess the performance of our Internet. More bandwidth is faster speed, or so the marketing says, but there are more important variables.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted at any time. It is the maximum throughput, or capacity, of the communications link between two servers that want to exchange data. He “bottleneckยป is the place on the network where the connection is restricted by the amount of available bandwidth. This is usually in the “last mile,” either the cable that connects a house or the modem or router in the house itself.

For example, if we understand the Internet as a highway along which information travels, the bandwidth would be the equivalent to the number of lanes on that highway. Therefore, the wider the road, the more traffic that can fit on the road at any one time. The bandwidth is useful for downloading large files such as operating system updates and game updates. Also when we play streaming video, although probably less than you think. Netflix recommends only 15 Mbps of bandwidth to view a stream in 4K/Ultra HD resolution.

Worry more about latency

In the simile of the Internet as an information highway, latency would be the time it takes for data to move through the freeway, the speed at which vehicles are moving on the road. If the traffic is moving quickly and there are no traffic jams, you will get to your destination faster. Latency is measured in the number of milliseconds it takes for a data packet to travel between a client (such as your computer) and a server.

gaming lag

In practice, we have to measure latency as round trip time (RTT) between client and server because each device has its own independent clock, so it’s hard to measure latency in only one direction. He round trip time (RTT) is the duration in milliseconds (ms) that it takes for a network request to go from a starting point to a destination and back. This is an important metric for determining the health of a connection on a local network or the Internet as a whole, and is frequently used by network administrators to diagnose the speed and reliability of network connections.

Thes low latency connections they are important for gaming, where small bits of data, such as players changing position in a game, need to get to another computer quickly. And we are increasingly aware of high latency when it makes our live video conferences choppy and unpleasant.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.