Having a fast internet connection depends on what you use the internet for at home, how many devices are using the internet at the same time, and how many Mbps you have from your service provider. As a result of the COVID-19 virus stay-at-home advisory, families are using their internet more than usual for information, schoolwork, working from home, entertainment and more. We wanted to share with you things you can do to make sure you’re getting as much capacity from your Internet connection as possible.

Things you can do to make sure you’re getting as much speed as you can:

-              Update your router. Older routers are often not made to handle higher speeds. It might max out at a lower speed resulting in blocking the bandwidth that could be distributed throughout your home.

-              Move your router to a central location in your home. Your routers radio signal doesn't just broadcast in one direction. Instead, it's more like ripples in water. If you've placed your router in a far corner of your home, you're most likely reducing your usable coverage and capacity.

-              It might be the device you’re using. Older devices are not designed to handle higher speeds. The best way to test if the problem is your device or your router is to directly connect a newer device to your router using an ethernet cable and test the speed. If you are getting close to your full speed on the newer device, but not on your older device, the problem is most likely the age of your older device. If neither device is reaching full speed, it is probably your router.

Keep in mind that not all routers are created equal. Your router signal needs to sync with your modem connection. And your modem and router need to be able to handle the speed you are paying for. For example, if your internet is provided through a Coax cable, your router needs to be compatible with a Coax connection—and if you’ve purchased a 1 Gig plan, your equipment needs to be Gig-capable.

If you determine you need to replace your router, All West offers up to 2 Plume SuperPods at $9.95/mo.  To ensure you get full-strength, uninterrupted connectivity where and when you need it.

What is Plume

Plume is a cloud-based system that provides you with full-strength, uninterrupted connectivity where and when you need it. The Plume app delivers an enhanced experience through custom guest access, parental controls, and AI Security™ for added protection. SuperPods™ are beautiful, small and plug straight into the wall.

Why you may need to upgrade your speed

The best download speeds and upload speeds for you depend on how you use the internet at home.

Let’s first look at your connection as if it were a water pipe. When it’s just you at home, you normally have enough water moving through the pipe.  However, if all your faucets are on at the same time, you may see less water pressure than usual.

The same thing happens with your wi-fi speed. When the whole family is home, your wi-fi gets divided between all the devices connected to your router resulting in a slower connection.

For example, let’s say you have a family of four, and nine devices split between them that include phones, laptops, iPads, and Smart TVs. When everyone is home at least six devices are being used at once for school, streaming TV, surfing the web and gaming. When you have that many devices in use, you need enough bandwidth to support them all. 25 Mbps distributed six ways is about 4 Mbps allocated to each device. Just doing schoolwork on a laptop could use up to 25 Mbps, resulting in very slow internet. The more internet-connected devices you use, the more your speed is distributed amongst them.

Upload speeds vs. Download speeds

Internet speeds are measured by how much data your internet connection can transfer per second, which is measured in megabits of data per second (Mbps). The number you see in Mbps measures the rate at which a provider delivers internet data to and from your home.

Download speed refers to how many Mbps it takes to download data from a server in the form of images, videos, text and more. Activities such as listening to music on Spotify, downloading large files or streaming tv on All West.tv all require you to download data.

Upload speed refers to how many Mbps you can send data from your internet connected device or server to another. Sending emails, posting photos or videos on social media and video calling a friend all require you to upload data.

When you purchase internet speed, it’s an up to speed. Meaning if you bought 100 Mbps you can get up to that speed. Different wired connections (Fiber, Coax, or DSL) give you different up to speeds. For example, 100 Mbps on a Coax connection will give you up to 100 Mbps download speed and up to 10 Mbps upload speed. Whereas Fiber is symmetrical, giving you equal upload and download speeds.

If your internet plan doesn’t support the amount of data you are uploading or downloading, your internet may slow down. So the next time you’re using your internet connected device and it slows down, it may not be your internet provider but the upload and download speed of your internet plan.

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