"Fast internet" is a boast used by so many advertisements that the actual meaning can be confusing. Increasingly higher numbers of megabytes—and even gigabytes in large, metropolitan areas—are shown, but how would you choose between two fast internet companies in the same area? If your business needs internet that supports all of the research, downloading, uploading, and general computer use, here are a few details to help you understand what matters before signing an agreement.
Consistency Over Raw Speed
When talking about fast internet, it's all about the capacity of an internet connection and getting the information from the source to the destination as quickly as possible. The internet connection—or "pipe" as it's known in technician jargon—need to be big enough to send a lot of data at the same time in order to fulfill the fast downloading appearance,
If that fast data going through a wide pipe has errors, the data has to be sent again. With modern internet, the act of visiting a website, downloading a file, or most other standard internet activities involves a handshaking process. A request, acknowledgement, delivery, and confirmation sequence has to take place for specific chunks of data called packets, and if the data is corrupt, the time it takes to resend the data is added to the download time.
In addition to advertised speeds, and internet service plan needs to provide consistent handshaking sequences. This is harder to reflect in advertisements aside from speaking of quality, so you'll need to research local internet providers, performance statistics, and your own tests.
Customer Support Rights & Fast Resolution Tips
Unfortunately, consistency testing requires being part of a service plan in the first place. Keep an eye on your connection, and if you detect slow performance, there are a few things you need to do before customer service is absolutely necessary.
To test your internet speed, check websites such as Speedtest.net or Broadbandreports (also known as DSLReports). If the speed test is significantly slower than what you're paying for—as in 75% or 50% slower—contact your internet service provider (ISP).
If the speed is reading correctly, but websites and other internet services are still a problem, you'll need to check other websites and troubleshoot the computer itself. For website troubleshooting, just see if other websites seem to load at a decent speed. The websites could be under system stress or having their own internet issues.
For your computer's troubleshooting, run an antivirus such as Malwarebytes Antimalware. Contact a business internet representative to discuss service plans, as well as support options for internet issues and for extended support if you need computer repair assistance.