What is Gigabit Internet & How Fast Is It?

Gigabit internet is a type of high-speed internet service that provides speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits per second (Mbps). This is substantially faster than typical home broadband internet speeds, which range from 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps.

Gigabit internet is an excellent option for households that frequently use data-intensive applications such as streaming apps, and downloading large files, and especially for those who require high-quality internet speeds for gaming. This type of internet connection offers impressive download and upload speeds, which are necessary to support multiple devices being used simultaneously. 

Here are some of the benefits of gigabit internet:

Faster Streaming

Gigabit internet can handle multiple high-definition (HD) or 4K streams concurrently. There’s no need to worry about buffering or degraded quality, even with multiple streams in a household.

Reduced lag

Faster internet can reduce lag (internet latency), improve download times for games and updates, and enhance the overall multiplayer experience.

Smoother video conferencing

For households where multiple members are working from home, gigabit internet can handle several video conference calls simultaneously without a hitch.

Quicker file transfers

If your work involves frequently downloading or uploading large files, gigabit internet significantly reduces the time you spend waiting.

Support for smart homes

For households with many smart devices (such as security cameras, smart speakers, etc.), gigabit internet can accommodate these devices’ data demands without slowing down.

Find how much Internet Speed do you need

Your household may want faster internet speeds.

<50 Mbps

Great for individuals to browse the internet, check email, and other basic browsing.

50-100 Mbps

Great for streaming Netflix, videos, and online meetings.

100-200 Mbps

Great for streaming high quality videos, fast downloads, video games, and multiple devices.

200+ Mbps

Great for doing almost anything at ultra fast speeds.

Gigabit Internet Cost

Gigabit internet can be more expensive than traditional broadband internet. The cost of gigabit internet varies depending on the provider and the location. Typical gigabit internet costs are between $60 – $100 per month. However, there are some providers that offer gigabit internet for less than $60 per month.

  • Xfinity gigabit internet: $70/mo.
  • AT&T gigabit internet: $95/mo.
  • Spectrum gigabit internet: $99/mo.

Gigabit for Businesses

Gigabit internet can be a valuable asset for businesses that need to transfer large amounts of data or support numerous employees. The fast speed of gigabit internet improves employee productivity and efficiency, along with quick access to valuable cloud-based computing systems frequently used by modern businesses. Beyond its employees, gigabit internet is an ideal high-capacity internet solution for companies that offer public WiFi to its guest, clients, and customers.

If you’re looking for a high-speed internet service that can handle your household’s needs, gigabit internet is a great option. However, it’s important to note that gigabit internet is not available in all areas and can be expensive. If you’re not sure if gigabit internet is available in your area, you can contact your internet service provider to inquire about their gigabit internet plans.

What is Latency?

When you’re testing your internet speed, you’re likely making sure you’re getting the download speed you are paying to get from your internet provider. Or maybe you’re seeing if there’s an issue with the connection. Either way, it’s important to pay attention to your connection’s latency. (Or lag. Or delay. Or ping.)

What is latency? What affects it? Why does latency matter? And most importantly, can I improve latency? We’ll look at all of these questions and more in this helpful guide to understanding internet latency.

Table of Contents

Latency Defined

As mentioned above, latency has a few terms associated with it: lag, delay, ping, and ping rate. But they’re all monikers for latency.

Latency is a true measurement of speed. It answers a basic question: How fast can your internet connection deliver a small packet of data from your device to your internet provider’s nearest server, and then back to your device?

The answer: fast enough that it’s measured in milliseconds. But there are extenuating circumstances that might cause high latency, or, slower ping rates.

What is Ideal Latency?

Well, that all depends on what you do on the internet. Some activities work better and cause less frustration with lower latency (faster), while it makes no difference to some others.

Generally speaking, anything under 100 ms is an acceptable ping rate that won’t cause a perceptible delay in response. Web pages load almost immediately or your video stream starts within a couple seconds. Anything over that and you may start noticing a delay, or lag. 

A good rule of thumb? If you notice your frustration level increasing while working online, chances are you latency is high. Or there’s something wrong with your internet connection.

That 100ms threshold is fine for every day use of the internet. However, there are times when a faster response time is beneficial.

Find how much Internet Speed do you need

Your household may want faster internet speeds.

<50 Mbps

Great for individuals to browse the internet, check email, and other basic browsing.

50-100 Mbps

Great for streaming Netflix, videos, and online meetings.

100-200 Mbps

Great for streaming high quality videos, fast downloads, video games, and multiple devices.

200+ Mbps

Great for doing almost anything at ultra fast speeds.

Who Needs Low Latency?

There are a few online activities that benefit greatly from low latency, like those that require real-time communication and rapid response times. 

Video Calls

Work from home? Low latency ensures that video calls are synced and that your connection has minimal delay. If you have decent latency, any delay from other participants is likely because of their connection.

Gaming Online

Online gamers typically covet low lag or latency because delays cause losses and generally make for a frustrating gaming session.

Video Streaming

You don’t need lightning fast ping rates to stream video, but it reduces buffering and allows for better video quality.

What Causes Lag?

There are numerous factors that influence lag. The first is the type of internet connection you’re using. Satellite internet typically has high latency simply because of how far the signal has to travel from your house, to the satellite, to the nearest server, and then back again. Fiber internet has the best latency, due to the lack of impedance of light pulses travelling within glass fibers.

Most latency issues are a result of network congestion. That can be in your home or outside it. When multiple devices and users are sharing a connection at the same time, you will experience slower ping rates. Is it evening and everyone in your neighborhood is online after dinner? This is most common with cable internet, which shares nodes, or relay points, in neighborhoods. If you and many of your neighbors use Xfinity internet, the more likely your latency will suffer a little during peak times.

Little things like having too many apps running at the same time, or running dozens of tabs in your browser can cause lag. However, that will more than likely be due to your device’s resources being overwhelmed.

Can I Reduce Internet Latency?

There are a few things you can do to improve your internet latency, and you’ve probably already guessed a couple of them from the previous section. However, here are a few things you can do to reduce lag:

Use an Ethernet Cable

When possible, connect your device to your router with an ethernet cord. Doing so gives you the fastest and most reliable connection.

Manage Network Congestion

As mentioned, too many active connections on a network cause congestion and lag. Limit connections to vital tasks when better latency is needed.

Use Quality of Service (QoS) Settings

You can automate this on your home network by establishing Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router to give certain types of network traffic (videoconferencing, gaming, etc.) priority. Check your router’s manual for instructions.

Close Unnecessary Applications

While it may not have an effect on your internet connection, closing unnecessary background apps and processes will at least improve your device’s performance.

Got Lag?

The easiest way to see your internet connection’s latency is to perform an internet speed test. It’s quick and easy and gives you good insight into the health of your connection. Got a lot of lag and need better service? Begin your search for the best internet providers in your area.

Best Internet Speeds for Remote Workers

If there’s anything to be learned from the pandemic, it is that most work can be done remotely. This has placed great demand on internet providers, bringing the question, “What is the best internet speed for remote work?” to the forefront. 

There’s no quick and easy answer to this question. The best internet speed will vary from user to user based on digital lifestyle needs. It depends on the kind of work you do and the tasks you perform on a daily basis. 

Are you a content creator who requires a fast upload speed to post photos on social media? Maybe you’re a business owner that’s frequently on video conferences. Does your work require you to log in to multiple cloud-based systems or to be connected to your company’s network?

Whatever your specialty may be, we’ve compiled a guide to determining the best internet speeds for remote workers to keep you connected and productive at home.

Minimum Internet Speed Required for Remote Workers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends a minimum of 25 Mbps for households with more than one user. However, if you’re a remote worker, you’ll want to consider what tasks you perform daily, how frequently you multi-task, and if there are other people using the internet in your house.

While 25 Mbps is an ok speed for general use, we recommend investing in a high-speed internet plan of at least 100 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed for remote work. This should support all online activities related to work, from file sharing, video conferencing, or chat.

If you live in a metropolitan or suburban area, you have a good chance of finding multiple internet service providers that offer such speeds.

What to Look For in Internet Plans

In addition to considering your online activity, having the following features in your internet plan may improve your work-from-home internet experience.

Connection Type

Speed isn’t the only consideration when searching for internet service. Another key element is the type of connection. We recommend cable or fiber internet over DSL internet and satellite internet because they offer faster speeds and many useful features. In addition to faster speeds, there tends to also be better network reliability and overall user satisfaction.

Unlimited Data

When you’re working from home, you’ll be using quite a bit of data throughout the day, even if it’s just reading and composing emails or using Slack. Many plans include data caps, which is the amount of data you are allowed as part of your monthly payment. If you exceed that allotment, service providers can sometimes throttle speeds and charge you overage fees. Take the worry out of this scenario and look for an internet plan that includes unlimited data or allows for an unlimited upgrade.

Symmetrical Speeds

Internet plans with symmetrical speeds have the same download and upload speeds. Download speed is usually faster than upload, because so much of what we do on the internet involves inbound data, like streaming and online gaming. And when you’re shopping for an internet plan, the speed advertised is always the download speed.

If you’re a remote worker or content creator that frequently uploads files to the internet, you will want to pay attention to this feature. Slower upload speeds can make a difference when it comes to meeting a deadline for a project. 

Free WiFi Hotspots

You’re living the remote work life, so why not make the most of it? Since you’re not tied to a physical location, but do need internet access, you have more freedom to work outdoors or in places like coffee shops. Since public WiFi networks can be questionable when it comes to privacy and security, we recommend using your internet provider’s WiFi hotspot. A few major internet providers including Xfinity, AT&T, and Spectrum offer free nationwide WiFi hotspots with their service, which are safer and more secure than public WiFi connections.

Data & Speed Requirements by Activity

The reason internet needs vary from user to user is because everyone performs different types of online tasks. To help you figure out what speed is best for your work-at-home scenario, here is a breakdown of common online activities and the speeds they require.

General Usage

ActivityData Per HourRequired Speed
Basic Web Browsing20 MB1 Mbps
Email50 MB1 Mbps
Social Media150 MB1 Mbps


ActivityData Per HourRequired Speed
Telecommuting1 GB25 Mbps
Online Classes1 GB25 Mbps
File Downloading2-5 MB10 Mbps

Streaming Videos

ActivityData Per HourRequired Speed
SD Video Streaming1 GB4 Mbps
HD Video Streaming3 GB8 Mbps
Ultra HD 4K Video Streaming7 GB25 Mbps

Video Conferencing

ActivityData Per HourRequired Speed
SD Video Calls200 MB1 Mbps
HD Video Calls350 MB2 Mbps
HD Video Conferences1 GB6 Mbps

*Data sourced from FCC.com on 7/16/22.

Your Current Internet Service

Unless you are experiencing major disruptions with your current internet service, it is worthwhile testing your speed before looking for a new plan.

Keep These in Mind Before Running a Test

  • Internet service providers always advertise their network’s fastest speeds that are based on a wired connection.
  • Most devices connect to your home network wirelessly, which will be slower than a wired connection.
  • Different factors and materials can impact WiFi service in your home. If your speed test seems unusually slow, we recommend taking steps to improve your WiFi connection.

If you’ve taken these measures to improve your internet speed and are still getting slower speeds, it may be time to negotiate a faster speed with your provider or look for a new one.