Tuesday Tech Tips

Not Internet Speeds are Equal

Of course, most people are aware of this, but The point is to let you know that there are two speeds to be concerned about when choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The “download” speed, meaning information coming to your computer, is just about the only speed mentioned when ISPs advertise. Here in the Tampa Bay area, one common provider lists 20Mps (Megabits/second). That’s pretty fast! The other major provider has just boosted their “entry level” speed to 20Mps as well, coming up from 10Mps, using fiber optics, and 3Mps or 7Mps using DSL, also called “High Speed Internet (HSI)”.

The other speed, rarely mentioned is the “upload” speed. That’s how fast data is sent from your computer to the internet, outbound from your email box, uploading pictures to online albums like Flicker, or posting on YouTube. For the gamers, it’s about getting your next game move to the game server before the other players that’s the concern, and it fits here.

The cable provided in town doesn’t mention the upload speed, but it generally ranges in the 250Kps (kilobits/second) – 500Kps. “K” is less than “M” speed…The other provider sends data “upstream” at 5Mps or faster using fiber to the home (FTTH). That’s an order of magnitude faster (that means you add a 0 to the speed numbers). DSL upload speeds can be as low as 128Kps, or as high as 768Kps.

If you spend yout time surfing the next and sending basically text based emails, then it really doesn’t matter which provider you choose.

If you are planning on moving a high volume of pictures of videos via email of on sharing sites, then you may want to elect to have a provider that gives you a faster upload seed.

If you’ll only occasionally upload a lot of data, then it still may not be worth the switch, as it will only be an issue once in a while.

If you have gamers in the house and they complain regularly about getting “pwned” by the other players….it’s worth looking at what provider would give them an advantage, of course that’s assuming they have all their homework done.

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