Is it True that Fiber Internet Slows Down with More Users?

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Written by Maine Dela Cruz

Slow internet is a taboo, as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a significant shift in the way we utilize technology. Stringent health protocols have restricted social interactions and forced everyone to become extremely reliant on our internet connection. With a computer or a mobile device, we can proceed with our daily routines and still be connected to the outside world. However, with more people at home, we can’t help but worry whether more connected devices can affect the internet speed.

For those working from home, slow internet can disrupt workflow and reduce productivity. And when this happens, we can’t help but ask, “Why is my internet so slow?

What The Numbers Say About Our Internet Speed

According to a recent article by Manila Standard, the Philippines ranks 176th out of 202 countries worldwide and 21st out of 22 in Asia. Throughout the years, many are clamoring for better speed and connection from internet service providers or telecommunication companies.

This large demand for a faster and stable internet connection in the Philippines prompted several companies to begin offering fiber internet services to residential areas and businesses.

What Is Fiber Internet?

In its simplest sense, fiber internet refers to a broadband connection that uses a fiber-optic cable. Compared to the regular internet connections that use cable wires, fiber internet utilizes special strands or fibers, bundled together to from large protective optic cables. Unlike copper lines, these fiber optic lines consist of minuscule plastic or glass strands. Optic fiber internet gives you gigabit speeds, and even a slower connection plan offers hundreds of megabits per second. On top of that, you can get a dedicated connection with fiber internet, which means the full gigabit will be yours to use as much or as little as you like no matter how crowded the neighborhood gets and no matter how busy the peak hours are.

Advantages of Fiber Internet

Compared to the regular internet connections that use cable wires, fiber optic cables may more expensive. This often discourages users since they get enough satisfaction from the 20 to 100mbps that they usually get from cable since most downloads from the internet don’t usually max out that connection. But due to the pandemic, more Filipinos have realized the need to switch to a fiber-optic connection due to its advantages. It has become a go-to connection for telecommuters, gamers, multi-user households, and businesses.

Here are the benefits of using fiber internet:

Connection speed

When it comes to the race for the fastest speed. Fiber wins at a large margin compared to dial-up, DSL, and cable. Fiber optic networks can deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps, whereas DSL speeds typically top out around 6 Mbps. For example, if you would download a large media file (6.5 GB), this is how long each connection will take:

Dial-up – 11 days

DSL 1 – 14 hours

Cable 1 minute – 14 hours

Fiber – About 1 minute

The speeds that fiber optics can deliver are ideal for any online activity, including:

  • Downloading music and videos
  • Streaming TV and movies
  • Playing real-time multiplayer games online
  • Back up data
  • Send and receive large files at the same time, especially over long distances

Reliability

Fiber internet is a great choice for high-bandwidth households. It can support a wide range of devices, such as computers, mobile devices, and smart TVs, at once. With this, there is no need for signal boosters, as you would normally need with ethernet cabling. This is because the light that is being transmitted can travel an exceptionally long distance without losing its strength.

Zero throttling

Fiber optic internet speed doesn’t throttle because it’s less susceptible to overload. Throttling refers to the intentional slowing or speeding of an internet service by an internet service provider. Unlike fiber internet providers, cable internet systems providers use throttling to prevent internet outages.

If you are connected to the internet using fiber internet, there should be no reason why you are suffering from slow internet speeds. However, there are other factors that may affect the performance of your fiber internet connection.

The Myths of Fiber Optics Debunked

Despite these advantages, fiber optics is still poorly understood, and because of that, there are many myths that surround its use. The next section will examine this and examine the reality.

Myth #1: Expensive

When we hear this term, the immediate thought is the expense that is involved. But the truth is, they really are not that expensive now and are very comparable in price when compared to the ethernet cabling. In fact, many Server Message Blocks (SMBs) can now afford fiber optics. Keep in mind, you will achieve tremendous cost savings down the road because you are using light instead of copper to transmit the data packets. Plus, it requires less power consumption and equipment to maintain. One fiber optic cable can outlive nine generations of copper cabling. Continued demand for fiber optics and the ways in which the signals are terminated will bring the price of it even further downwards. Cost savings can be as much as 25%-50% when compared to copper.

Myth #2: Fragile

The misconception here is that since glass can be easily broken, so can fiber optic cabling. But remember that there are hundreds and hundreds of such strands in a single cable line, thus making it extraordinarily strong to withstand all sorts of environments. In fact, the military uses fiber optics quite extensively in the harshest climates, and the cabling can withstand over 200 pounds of pulling tension. In fact, it is even used across the ocean and Arctic-like weather conditions.

Myth #3: Dangerous

Since light is used, there is minimal risk of a fire hazard, as opposed to copper cabling. Since light is used, there is also virtually no risk when it comes to electromagnetic interference with other nearby electronic equipment. It is also considered to be much more eco-friendly than the use of copper.

If you are connected to the internet using fiber, there should be no reason why you are suffering slow internet speeds. However, there are other factors that may affect the performance of your fiber internet connection.

Reasons for Slow Fiber Internet Connection

The performance of fiber-optic cables should naturally be excellent – if only there are no errors or faults with them. Here are the key factors to look out for:

Specification of fiber optic cabling

If your fiber internet installer uses the wrong optic cabling, you’ll never reach your desired speed. Worse, they’re not going to work. This is the biggest reason behind a fiber optic link failure and the first fault that requires an engineer to check.

For 10 gigabyte speeds, the maximum cable length you can run ranges from OM1 (33 meters), OM2 (82 meters), OM3 (300 meters), or OM4 (400 meters).

Quality of construction

Poorly terminated cabling with ends bent too sharply will either be limited or won’t be connected at all. Additionally, if the cabling becomes dirty, the transmission can also be affected negatively.

Cable tightness

If the cable becomes stretched too tightly, the quality of light down the cable becomes compromised. This is another factor that results in a frustrating poor performance or even complete failure of the cable.

Patching

During the patch process, the leads can become scratched or dirty. Bear in mind that the weakest part of the link will determine the overall quality and performance of the link as a whole. It means a poor patch lead creates a poor lead overall. It’s recommended for patch leads to be cleaned each time they are re-patched.

Aside from the fiber optic cable issues, slow internet connection may be attributed to your Wi Fi router.

What Causes Wi-Fi Signal Problem?

Although fiber connection provides incredibly fast network speeds to those connected via ethernet cable and wireless devices, there are a number of situations to cause your Wi-Fi router to underperform. To boost your internet speed, discover what disrupts or slows your Wi-Fi and wired connections. Here are some of them:

Location

Proximity to the wireless access point or router can affect the quality of your Internet connection. Larger properties or home offices located in a garden or yard, however, may simply not be serviceable by one centralized internet hub. If this is the case, moving your router won’t be enough, and it may be time to consider a mesh network instead.

If your router is tucked away in a far corner of your office or house, the opposite side of the same space, may not get the same coverage. This can be due to distance from the router, Try moving your router to a more central location, or install more wireless access points. If you can put your router in the center of your coverage area, you will get better coverage throughout your business or house.

Physical obstruction

Objects, too, can impede connections between your devices and a router. If possible, try to keep clutter around your router to a minimum. Walls or glass can also interfere with the Wi-Fi signal.

Malware

Malware can infect your computer’s hardware, software, or applications. One type is internet malware that infects computer applications such as web browsers. This kind of malware can open multiple browsers in the background which can slow internet speeds.

VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) will always slightly decrease your internet speed, as it adds a number of steps that were not present in your connection before. Namely, the encryption process and connection to a remote server.

Often, a free VPN will limit the number of servers accessible by non-paying clients. This can create strain on those few servers, slowing them down for those availing free access. Other servers are available only to paying customers who can then get full-speed service in locations that are not under strain.

So, essentially, when it comes to internet speeds when using a VPN, it’s often the case that you get what you pay for.

How to speed up slow internet

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If none of the solutions above address your internet speed issues, you can take a few additional steps to boost your connection:

Restart your computer

Make it a habit to restart your router. This allows them to “refresh” and clear stored up data.

Upgrade your router

Look for a high-quality, long-range router to deliver the best internet speeds.

Purchase a Wi-Fi extender

If you have issues with your internet speeds in certain areas of your home, you likely need a Wi-Fi extender to provide a more consistent Wi-Fi connection wherever you are in the house.

Amp up your security

Others may have found a way to leech off your connection. Use hard-to-guess passwords and WPA2 security.

Angle one WiFi antenna straight up and the other to the side

This will send the connection both directly up and down through ceilings and horizontally through walls for well-rounded coverage.

How Many People Can Use Fiber Internet Wi-Fi Connection?

According to Actiontec, most wireless access points and wireless routers can theoretically have 255 devices connected at a time. That represents a lot of computers, smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other devices and probably far exceeds the needs of the typical home. However, just because you can theoretically connect 255 computers to a single Wi-Fi router/access point doesn’t mean you should. There are always ideal number of devices per plan or subscription.

Get the Best Surfing experience with Streamtech Internet!

If you have read up to this point, it is clear that your internet service provider has failed you. It’s time to shift to a better internet provider that offers high-speed, reliable internet at an incredibly lower cost. From Php 1,499 to Php 3,499 per month, enjoy up to 150Mbps of unlimited internet connectivity with Streamtech!

What’s more, as the opening of classes draws near, Streamtech is introducing another Back to School perk, the Teacher and Student Discount Promo. Now, they can avail of high-quality fiber internet services and cable TV at a lower price.

Learn about the general mechanics of the promo.

Teacher and student discount - back to school promo - fiber internet - streamtech

Streamtech is one of the Philippines’ newest internet service providers. Streamtech is present in key cities and municipalities across the country. We proudly provide fiber internet in Bacoor, and other areas in Cavite. We are also one of the providers of fiber internet in Batangas and other major municipalities in the province. For the NCR, we provide fiber internet in Taguig, Las Pinas, and Muntinlupa.

To get updates and know more about our amazing products and services, visit our official website or Official Facebook Page.

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