Loading… loading… loading… COME ON, ALREADY.

Ever wonder what happens behind your internet speed? What impacts it? Why it matters?

Over the last year or so with the rise in streaming services, our Audio Video Charlotte team has grown to become trusted experts on educating customers and then upgrading wifi to better support needs. We’ve come to understand that sometimes learning some of the basic terminology can go a long way in making you, our customer, feel more up-to-speed. (No pun intended.)

Here are the important keywords and concepts critical to internet speed that we love to pretend to understand.


We’re just going to say it – bandwidth is everything.

Longstoryshort: Bandwidth is the amount data that can be sent to you. It’s usually measured in seconds. There are two aspects you need to look at when you are choosing your bandwidth speed. If you have a bigger family, more people in the house using the internet, then higher bandwidth will increase room for speed. If you have a device that is limiting your speed then bandwidth won’t quite matter as much.


Here’s the textbook definition – broadband is the minimum speed in which your data can travel, whereas bandwidth is the amount of data that can travel to or from your device.

So, for all intents and purposes, this will determine your speed.

You are probably using one of these four broad bands, Satellite (30 mbps), Asymmetric Direct Subscriber Line (100 mbps), Cable (300 mbps), or Optical Fibre (1000 mbps). Contacting your ISP (Internet Service Provider) with help you determine what broadband is fit for your home.

So what impacts your broadband and bandwidth? Here are the elements to what impacts your internet speed:


Imagine your bandwidth like a huge pipe. You have data-on-data-on-data flowing through the pipe like water. If you are downloading movies, music, etc., then you probably want to have a greater bandwidth reach. If you are streaming movies, playing games, or just surfing the internet then you probably want to look into a bigger broadband. The amount of data being sent back and forth from different devices can either run smoothly or clog up your bandwidth pipe which will then make your data harder to receive or send.


Not only does your internet connection depend on the amount of data you are using, but the amount of devices you are using at one time can impact your internet speed significantly.

Say you only have your computer streaming movies throughout the whole house, but then you have a few friends come over and they hop on your wifi as well. They start watching videos on youtube or instagram and everyone’s connection starts the slow down. This happens because your broadband is slowing down, and your bandwidth is clogging up. If you are a family of five you should probably look into a bigger broadband and bandwidth, but if you are living the single life, well you can look into some of the cheaper options for your internet speed.

There are many more aspects to look at your internet speed such as your router and location, but it all starts with the bandwidth and broadband. Contacting your ISP will give you a better estimate on which internet connections are best for your home or business.

So, what’s our approach as trusted experts in upgrading wifi? First of all, we look at a customer’s current wifi on every job we do. A good place to start is measuring speed, so we recommend customers download the Ookla app or go to http://www.speedtest.net/ to easily measure their speed. What’s great about it is that it only takes a minute. Also – it’s a good idea to check it at several locations around the house. It’s easy to save the results and email them to us, so we’re ‘up to speed’ when we get to your home.

Another next step is for a customer to check in with their current provider to see what they’re paying for. If you – the customer – are getting 160 and paying for 200, that’s pretty good. If you – the customer – are getting 160 and paying for 300, that is not as good.

A special note about how we work – we always try to hard wire Internet wherever we can,  particularly in their home office or a media room where they use the Internet a lot for streaming movies. Sometimes it’s not cost effective to do it, but the more devices we can keep off the Internet the better.

Talking wifi can be a rabbit hole, we know; hopefully this 101 brought you up-to-speed on some general education, but if we’ve sparked some interest, the links below provide more detailed information. 

Let’s talk about it more; schedule a free consultation today.

Read more about it:

Via Nerdwallet: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/utilities/how-to-decide-what-internet-speed-you-need/

Via Medium: https://medium.com/@thebeginner/the-beginners-guide-to-understanding-your-internet-speed-dfce26bc88b2

Via Starhub: http://www.starhub.com/personal/support/services-and-plans/broadband-getting-started/bandwidth-vs-speed.html

Via Plug Things In: http://www.plugthingsin.com/internet/speed/