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The news keeps getting better every day. Spring has sprung, more vaccines are available, and we are starting to make plans to go back to work in our offices. But while you are still working at home, here are some tips to get the most out of your Internet connection.

Seven factors that determine how fast devices run

Any speed above 10 Mbps opens the door to email and web browsing. But, if multiple people in a household are binging Netflix and online games, you’ll need more. Fortunately, most local residents now can access up to 1 gigabit of speed (that’s 1,000 Mbps!), but no matter how much speed comes to the home, other factors determine the speed measured inside it. Following are the top seven factors that affect internet speed:

  1. The Provider

The capabilities of local internet providers determine the maximum speeds available to a home. Their consistency in delivering them is measured by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC program, “Measuring Broadband America,” tests internet speeds of participating providers. The FCC’s most recent report showed two local providers, including Cox, delivered more than 100% of promised speeds around the clock.

Of course the service provider can only control how fast data is transported across its network. A number of other variables affect the speed experience once the data reaches the router and devices inside the home. The remaining factors are under the control of the consumer and impact the actual maximum speeds at which devices in a home will run.

  1. Type of Devices

Some devices can’t keep up with today’s speeds. Like a car, different makes and models of devices are capable of different speeds. Age is also a factor. For example, an iPhone 7 is capable of a max wifi download speed of 221 Mbps, and a Dell Latitude E7470 is capable of a max wifi speed of 310 Mbps. Even if a consumer pays for gigabit delivery, those are the maximum speeds those devices can achieve under the best conditions.

  1. Ethernet Cables

Old ethernet cables, which connect the computer to the modem, can slow speed. In fact, there is only one type of ethernet cable today capable of delivering gigabit speed: the newest Cat5e/Cat6 cable. 

  1. Wired vs. Wireless Access

It’s never been easier to enjoy internet access anywhere, but the trade-off for mobility is decreased speed.

  1. The Volume of Usage

Having too many programs and apps open on a device drains the power available to achieve maximum speed. And, the more devices sharing the bandwidth, the more the speed decreases for each device.

  1. Device Security

A slow connection could indicate a virus or other security breach. Using anti-virus software is crucial to overall internet performance. Unfortunately, security measures may also slow speeds. 

  1. The Browser and Operating System

Newer is better. When it comes to operating systems, Windows 10 or Mac OSX 10.8 (or newer) will deliver the best speeds. Also, speeds can vary significantly by browser.

I hope this helps you get the most out of your connections. 

Sincerely, 

KATHRYN FALK

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