Gigabit Internet. Noticeable? Worth it?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by cmdrdredd, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. cmdrdredd

    cmdrdredd Lifer

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    I currently have comcast and pay for the 150/20 plan and average around 180/25. I also pay for the unlimited data because we regularly go over the 1TB cap since we do not have cable TV service and stream everything. Recently I received an offer that they have 1Gb/35Mb service available. I have a gigabit LAN in the whole house and since we stream everything I thought the extra bandwidth might be a good thing. However, I notice their unlimited package is now up to $50/mo and I'd have to either rent a modem or buy a new one since my current modem that I bought a few years ago is DOCIS 3.0 and not the newer 3.1 so it cannot handle the faster speed. That would put it about $50 more than I pay now, for ~5x the speed give or take. The other option is to go with AT&T Fiber which offers 1Gbit internet. They aren't in my neighborhood yet but they have it ready to go in other neighborhoods locally(within a couple miles) so I know it's coming at some point. They are offering better deals than Comcast for sure but I'm not very up to date on how well received AT&T Fiber is by customers. Fiber seems like the better bet in the long run based on the technology though. Just based on pricing, Comcast sucks bad.

    So here are my real questions

    Does anyone have experience with AT&T Fiber and is it worth getting when it becomes available in my neighborhood? The 1Gbit up and down is really enticing for the price they are asking which is cheaper than comcast by a long shot. Especially by waving the internet data cap for new customers in the area if that stays around when they get my neighborhood connected.

    Is Gigabit internet really noticeable over my current connection? How often do you get download speeds near that mark? I like the speed but wonder if it's realistic to really expect taking advantage of it. Maybe someone has actual experience here and made a similar switch like say after a move? I understand it's really based on individual usage. I have multiple TVs streaming HD or 4k HDR video all the time in addition to game systems and music streaming at any given time. Do I even need that much bandwidth? The upload couldn't hurt for plex server usage anyway.
     
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  3. razel

    razel Platinum Member

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    Have maxed out gigabit at work. I'm sure the main line speed is more than 1000 but it's only gigabit Ethernet to our PCs and actual speed varies between 930-960 depending on your cube. Have 100mb/s at home. It used to be 50mb. With HD streaming, regular home use I can't tell a lick of difference. It's only when you download or stream 4k movies where the bottleneck becomes something else out of your control, primarily your ISP or Internet traffic and weather itself. I tried 200mb/s at home once for a few months and quickly went back to 100mb/s. Only very few web services can maintain 200mb/s and at that speed, honestly I was not saving that much more time to be worth the money.

    In my opinion when you factor in real world wireless speeds 75mb in my opinion is the sweet spot for home usage. Whether that's 75mb per person or overall, it's up to you. If you want to improve your Internet you can ensure that your Gigabit home LAN is up to snuff and most importantly your home wireless router is well placed.
     
  4. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Super Moderator
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    I currently have Gigabit FIOS, but I don't (gasp) use it. I've been on my 15/2 Comcast connection for the last month or so, trying to decide if I should even keep the FIOS.

    When I first finally got the Gigabit FIOS, after trying for like two weeks, I used it, and I found that, most sites on the internet could NOT push a Gigabit/sec through the general internet, or the servers were too overloaded. Sure, it was better, but I had 150/150 for a week or two before the gigabit, and honestly, for just myself, I didn't notice much of a difference.

    Granted, using the Media Creation Tool to download Windows 10 and put it on a USB, well, the MS servers could push 300-600Mbit/sec, which is not too shabby. But how often do I do something like that? Most of the servers serving up Linux-related ISOs, are on overloaded donated servers, or on some kid's uni dorm machine, or something. (Well, maybe not that bad, but SourceForge isn't really that fast either.) I was getting, at best, 14MB/sec from a Linux download site, which is what, nearly 100Mbit/sec or slightly more. Not too bad, but doable with a 150/150 connection just as easily.

    I guess the biggest benefit, is peace of mind. You no longer have to really ever worry (well, not for quite some time), if you have enough bandwidth for XYZ internet site/service. Because your pipe to the internet, is no longer the bottleneck.

    For actual web browsing, maybe on image-heavy sites there was some improvement, with high-end desktop PCs, on sites like Newegg.com. But for most web browsing, there was no difference.

    I guess, the biggest advantage, for a fatter pipe like a Gigabit Internet connection, is with a LAN with multiple machines / users. (I have multiple machines, but as far as streaming video goes, it's just me.) For a bigger household, maybe a Dad, Mom, four kids, maybe a grandparent or two, and a very intelligent cat with an iPad, I could see where Gigabit would have an advantage.

    But for a single home user, I think 150/150 is plenty.

    (*) All of this is not considering an online backup service. Of which, Gigabit FIOS would be very useful, because of the increased (nearly) gigabit upload. However, Comcast's Gigabit Internet service, over DOCSIS 3.1, currently has only a 35Mbit/sec upload, which is (relative to FIOS), rather pathetic.
     
  5. mnewsham

    mnewsham Lifer

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    Yup, for just myself 150-300mbps would be more than fine, but with 3-4 other heavy internet users and another 1-2 light internet users, having 1gbps sure is nice. No longer do I worry about saving my larger downloads for off-peak hours. Or worry if my downloads + streaming will effect someone else streaming or gaming.
    1gbps for a single person would be mostly pointless outside of a few niche scenarios (heavy uploads or frequent large downloads) . Though depending on your ISP it sometimes makes more sense to get gigabit than something slower. For me currently it would cost more money to switch to any other speed tier with my ISP.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    This!

    :cool:
     
  7. Gryz

    Gryz Golden Member

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    You guys are all very quick to make the conclusion that servers are not fast enough.

    It might not be the servers. It might be TCP. You need to pull a few tricks to get very fast download speeds with a single TCP connection. E.g. you need the TCP Window Scaling Option to get decent speeds. Especially when the 2 computers are not on the same LAN.

    There might be more needed. Maybe use multiple parallel TCP connections, in stead of one. Your application needs to do that. Most applications won't do that. Torrents might be a good way to test your Gigabit connection. (Because you'll always have a few dozen TCP connections open. On popular torrents anyway, that have many seeders and peers).
     
  8. mnewsham

    mnewsham Lifer

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    I can get 80MB/s+ with 2 seeders on certain torrents.
    Most servers simply don't have the bandwidth available.
    I usually cap out at 100-300mbps to most web servers.

    Steam hits 850mbps+
    Star citizen hits 900mbps+
    Microsoft servers hit ~900mbps
    etc
     
  9. Gryz

    Gryz Golden Member

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    And what makes you believe it is the servers, and not TCP itself ?
     
  10. mnewsham

    mnewsham Lifer

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    Because those same servers late at night can hit 2x the speeds they do during prime time hours.
     
  11. razel

    razel Platinum Member

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    In order of highest bandwidth... there is theory, there is real-life, your ISP, then wireless, then there's you.
     
  12. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber Member

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    You need wireless AC with really fast internet speeds. I have 200-250mbps down and 14mbps up internet. I use powerline mostly and wireless. If I want to see downloads over 8MB's I have to get the 100ft ethernet cable out which I do for downloading games beyoung 30GB's. I am going to upgrade my powerline to a gigabit conneciton which is what my routers are to begin with. Using old powerline connections with wifi built in with 100MBPS connection in powerline to gigabit routers. Fastest download my internet has done is about 30MB's on steam. So about 240mbps down.

    I don't think you need gigabit unless the price is the same but you need gigabit routers and ports to take advantage of any connection above 100mbps.
     
  13. aigomorla

    aigomorla Cases&Cooling Mod<br>PC Gaming Mod<br>Elite Member
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    be very careful on att gigabit fiber..

    The reason i say that is because in their contract it states you are metered.
    However they do not enforce this yet... the keyword is yet.
    Call the sales rep and ask, they will tell you its unlimited, however on the contract it states its metered.

    I have asked them to remove the word "metered" and they wont...
    In short it feel its there so they can basically rip you a new one when they do decide to meter.

    So with a 1 year commit + the possibility of it being meter... gigabit may not be worth it....
    Whats honestly the point in all that speed without unlimited download and upload?
    And with ATT the kings of screwing you with bandwith after you reached a quota, well.... as much as i hate spectrum, i am pretty much stuck with them on their 300mb tier.
     
  14. razel

    razel Platinum Member

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    Agree... I also dislike Time Warner, which became Spectrum in my area. My other available options for Internet aren't better. 4G cellular Internet or just ~ 8Mb/s DSL. Though Spectrums customer service when you are a new customer is great, it's after that where my hatred begins. Too bad 4 of my family members are on Spectrum as well... good thing Spectrum's service has been solid for almost 3 years.
     
  15. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber Member

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    If you go the gigabit route. I would suggest making sure all your routers are gigabit and that you have a wireless AC router that is 1900mbps+ and that all your laptops or wireless devices support wireless AC. Otherwise you are paying for bandwidth that you cannot take full advantage of.