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Why Buying Gigabit Broadband Doesn’t Always Deliver 1Gbps

Sunday, December 27th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 21,600
Internet Download High Speed Concept Illustration. 1 Gbps in Focus. Global Broadband Networks Speed 3D.

The problem here is that if you attempt to run a web-based broadband speedtest when there’s additional (hidden) network load being placed on that line, then you’re likely to get a slower result than expected. We say “hidden” because unfortunately many broadband routers don’t make it easy to see how much total live traffic is passing over your local network to the ISP.

The simplest way around this is to isolate all of the connected devices (i.e. switch them off and disable WiFi), except a single laptop or desktop computer and then run the test on that (ideally after checking that no updates are running in the background).

5. Web-Based Broadband Speedtests Are Unreliable

Most broadband speedtests were designed to cope with much slower connections and, as connection technologies have improved, some of those services have adapted better to the demands of the gigabit era than offers. Suffice to say that even if you’re setup to test properly then some testers will struggle to deliver a reliable result at levels of 1Gbps or faster.

All sorts of reasons can exist for this, such as the location of the server being used to conduct the test (if you have the option then try a few different ones and you’ll see what we mean), the type of test being conducted (single vs multi-thread tests can produce different results) and the test server itself simply being too congested with load to give an accurate result. But problems with accuracy aren’t always centred on under-reporting performance.

For example, a number of people on 1Gbps FTTP lines who have tried Netflix’s tester – fast.com – have boasted about getting results of 1.2Gbps or 1.3Gbps, which is despite the fact that such speeds may not even be possible on the setup they’re using (e.g. no.3 above and speed profile caps imposed by the ISP). Suffice to say, accurately testing gigabit speeds can be very tricky and don’t even get us started on multi-Gigabit lines.

6. Few Internet Services or Servers Can Harness 1Gbps.

Some people tend to assume, mistakenly, that once they get a 1Gbps broadband line then everything else online will automatically be able to harness all of that speed. In reality every online service will manage traffic in different ways to ensure a fair Quality of Service (QoS) and very few will actually be able to make full use of such speed.

Websites are a simple but useful example of this because, in order to balance performance between many users, the web servers often implement a degree of Traffic Management control over their bandwidth by capping the maximum amount that any single connection to the site can consume at once. This is partly why going from a 30Mbps to 1000Mbps line won’t make a whole heap of difference to website loading (plus websites are usually too small to tax a 1Gbps line in the first place).

Similarly, when you’re downloading the latest video game updates or software patches, the servers for those services will often manage their traffic to you in a similar way to ensure fair use (i.e. sharing capacity). Obviously big updates can raise the global demand and cause slow speeds for all, which will occur no matter how fast your line might be capable of going. Once again, this is the fault of internet servers and not your ISP.

On top of that the content you are consuming could have an upper performance limit. For example, a 4K video stream might require an average download rate of 25-30Mbps, so even watching several of those at the same time isn’t going to remotely tax a 1Gbps broadband line.

Likewise anybody using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) should remember that they need to pass your traffic requests through their own servers, which can significantly slow down your speeds.

In short, even if you live in a busy family environment with multiple demanding (high traffic) users at the same time, then the chances are that you may in reality only ever be able to use just a small part of the available broadband speed.

7. Ethernet (LAN) Cable as the Bottleneck

Most people tend to assume that one network cable is much the same as another, but that is a mistake. In fact when you connect a computer to your broadband router via a wired LAN cable then it’s often wise to check for the little writing near each end, which should tell you what “Category” (i.e. standard) the cable is. This is important because older categories may physically limit the speed of your wired link to the router.

Generally speaking, anything older than Category 5 (CAT5) Ethernet cable will NOT be able to handle speeds of even 100Mbps and it’s all too easy to plug-in an old LAN cable, often without realising that you may have seriously limited your network performance. As a rough guide..

NOTE: 1 Gigabit per second = 1000 Megabits per second.

Ethernet LAN Cable Categories

CAT 1 = 1Mbps

CAT 2 = 4Mbps

CAT 3 = 10Mbps

CAT 4 = 16Mbps

CAT 5 = 100Mbps (under 100 metres)

CAT 5E = 1Gbps (under 100 metres)

CAT 6 = 1Gbps (under 100 metres) or 10Gbps (under 55 metres)

CAT 6A = 10Gbps (under 100 metres)

CAT 7 / 7a = 10Gbps

CAT 8 = 40Gbps (under 30 metres)

In short, on a 1Gbps line you really want to ensure that the LAN cable being used is at least CAT5E, but preferably CAT6A. Yours truly ran 6A under the floorboards of our house some years ago and it’s still working well today (moving files around the LAN at multi-Gigabit speeds is no trouble). But we’d skip CAT7 completely as it lacks conformity with prior cable standards and has proven to be unpopular.

8. Upload Speeds Aren’t Always Symmetric

In an ideal world when you purchase a 1Gbps package then you’d get the same speed for both download and upload (symmetric), but sadly some ISPs continue to conceal the fact that their upstream performance is asymmetric and often significantly slower than downstream. One example of this is Virgin Media, which boasts about their Gig1 package but only gives you an upload speed of around 52Mbps.

Admittedly upload speeds are less important than downloads to ordinary domestic users, but nevertheless if you’re buying 1Gbps then you’d perhaps rightly be expecting more than a 52Mbps upload. Sadly, the same also happens on some full fibre (FTTP) ISPs and as such it’s always worth checking around sites like ISPreview.co.uk (see out ‘ISP Listings and Comparison‘ database) to see the upstream performance before you buy.

9. Network Faults

We probably don’t even need to mention this one, but suffice to say that your ISP or their suppliers may – from time to time – suffer network, routing or other faults that can result in significantly slower speeds until the issue is fixed. As such it’s wise to keep an eye on your connection, conduct the occasional speedtest, and make sure that any such issues are immediately notified to your ISP.

10. Underpowered Router CPU / Ethernet Power Saving / Computer

Finally, we should consider that some gigabit providers today still make the mistake of bundling some extremely cheap routers with their packages. Often such devices may make big claims about their features and performance, but in the real-world they may end up under-delivering because the processor (CPU) could struggle to handle all of the load you place on the device (especially in a multi-user environment).

More often than not you’ll notice this more via an increase in device connectivity problems (via wifi or otherwise) than a clear loss of usable service speed, but nevertheless it’s something to be mindful of. One way to reduce this problem is to plug a separate Mesh WiFi system into your router.

Similarly, we also want to sound a warning about Ethernet (LAN) power saving modes. You may see this setting on some routers, but in our experience it can cause Gigabit LAN ports to run at much slower speeds (often reducing them to 100Mbps) and so, unless saving a truly tiny amount of power is a really big deal for you, then we’d recommend disabling power saving modes on your wired connection(s).

One other thing to add here is that sometimes the end-user’s main device (computer, tablet, Smartphone etc.) may also be hobbled by the use of an older storage drive (HDD – Hard Disk Drive) that is simply not fast enough to keep up with a 1Gbps line (i.e. unable to write the data at that speed), which is not really an issue for modern kit. One good example is when you try to download a file directly to an older USB2.0 flash drive, which are much slower.

Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve found this article useful. The lesson in all this is simple – if you’re lucky enough to have the option then you can choose 1Gbps today and be very.. very happy (while also future proofing yourself). But often the better course may be to pick a “slower” mid-tier, like 300Mbps or 500Mbps, because these will probably be able to give you more performance then you’d currently be able to harness and can save money.

Demands are constantly rising and so there will soon come a day when you can harness 1Gbps to it’s full potential in a greater number of ways, but for now it’s more in the “nice to have” category than “necessary,” due to the real-world limitations that can affect the performance of your internet connectivity.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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47 Responses
  1. Avatar Jordan says:

    This is a good article, i have 1gb with VM and i get around 970mbps on my computer with a Ethernet cable. On WiFi on my iPhone 11 i get around 680mbps.

    1. Avatar Deron Galloway says:

      Yes, my neighbours learned this the hard way, they were expecting the full 1150mbps, but were shocked that they could ‘only’ get 930mbps or so.

      They downgraded back to the 550mbps package.

  2. Avatar Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry says:

    Jumbo frames aren’t likely to work so well over the Internet. If you’re not transmitting large files to other devices on the LAN, you’d probably be better off disabling them to avoid fragmentation at intermediate hops. Our hosting providers tend to limit to a standard size.

    The server issue is one of the more restrictive ones. Depending on exactly what is being done, delivering a 100Mbps+ compressed and/or encrypted stream could tax a CPU core. Database replication streams could be less than 50Mbps. Large amounts of data are likely to be on HDD; so if it’s not already in RAM, it can be very slow to retrieve files, especially small files. Even a server using a RAID array can struggle to deliver more than a few hundred Mbps from HDD.

    1. Avatar George says:

      I dont know how true this is,in my experience my laptop cannot handle a 1Gbps speedtest.net test, it max’s out at 230Mbps down however using the app it reaches 940Mbps. Cpu im running is a Amd A4 9125. Even my xbox can only achieve 640Mbps download running a speedtest. Can anyone confirm my suspicion. Hyperoptic is my ISP

    2. Avatar Kim says:

      Jumbo Frames are expected work well on IPv6 because of Path MTU discovery. If your traffic is mostly IPv6, enable it!

    3. Avatar Chris says:

      The point of jumbo frames is to ram out more performance from high speed lines as there is less frame headers per given amount of data. High speed interconnects used by ISP’s will support jumbo frames as it’s more efficient.

      Most HDD (usb-c WD elements in this example) will read ~150Mega Bytes per second (MBpS) which is ~ 1200Mega Bits per Second (GbpS)

      HDD RAID arrays will read faster but a single HDD can more than saturate a 1GbpS connection data streams can be as fast as the collective hardware is capable of supporting, multi gig streams are common with the correct hardware.

      I frequently saturate 1GbpS down and up to my home NAS nfs RAID on an ancient ts440.

    4. Avatar Chris says:

      @George

      Some OEM Laptop HDD’s can be very slow especially with age, that could be the bottle neck

      Maybe upgrade that to an ssd or newer HDD

    5. Avatar Matthew says:

      The AMD A4 CPUs are pretty anemic it doesn’t suprise me that that laptop struggles with the speedtest sites.

      One of the newer ryzens or a recent intel i3 or better would probably get a faster result

    6. Avatar Spurple says:

      Jumbo frames wont leave your LAN. They raise latency for others with very little performance gain to show for it. Consequently your ISP almost certainly won’t accept jumbo frames from you, and in the case of DSL you’re getting even lower frame sizes than the usual 1500 bytes for ethernet between your router and it’s default gateway.

  3. Avatar G Cot says:

    Signing up for a dedicated test box https://samknows.com/signup could give a more accurate measurement of what your house can actually receive. As the article says, your router and cabling and ISP will all have an impact, but a white box will remove the WiFi connection, and ‘busy’ OS parts from the equation.

  4. Avatar Rajeev J says:

    My area recently got upgraded to FTTP meaning I can now access these “Ultrafast”/ 1Gbps speeds.

    So why is Sky’s Ultrafast package maxing out at such a low speed:145Mbps
    https://www.sky.com/shop/broadband-talk/ultrafast-broadband/

    It’s still fast but not quite up there in the 500-800 region which I would like if I’m upgrading.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Sky does plan to add faster packages, but we suspect they’ve been busy sorting capacity and conducting negotiations in the background before putting those live. Some ISPs simply aren’t yet ready to support the top tier via Openreach.

    2. Avatar ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ says:

      @Mark Jackson Can you please link a source for this?

    3. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Internal Sky UK source speaking to me a few months back.

    4. Avatar Wayne says:

      In some cases the LLU operators like SKY and TTB only have a 1gbps ‘backhaul’ connection to an exchange. This has been OK for ADSL and FTTC subs, but bring FTTP into the mix 1 sub at 1gbps could consume the complete backhaul. The LLU providers are upgrading their backhauls to 10gb plus but its going to take time, and rather than have to check each order, its easier to run blanket products across the whole asset base until 1gbps FTTP is available in the majority.

    5. Avatar illiad says:

      apparently SKY thinks ‘ultrafast’ is 145 MBPS..
      https://www.sky.com/shop/broadband-talk/ultrafast-broadband/

    6. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I think you’d find that most of the industry agrees 100Mbps+ to be the accepted start of “ultrafast” definitions. It’s been that way across much of the world for quite a few years. The exception is Ofcom, which was influenced to choose the loopy figure of 300Mbps+.

  5. Avatar Jonathan says:

    Stop this rubbish with Cat7 and Cat8. Both require special plugs and sockets for use otherwise they make things worse than Cat6a. Second there is no IEEE standard for Ethernet that requires the use of Cat7. Thirs the use case for Cat8 is point to point in the data centre, there are zero products on the market and direct attach cables and fibre will likely be deemed sufficient in the data centre.

    In short only fools buy Cat7 or Cat8 cables

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Hence why I’ve only really promoted CAT 6A above, but I will add a brief mention of the CAT7 issues as that’s absolutely fair (it’s best avoided). But CAT8 is another matter and seems better supported (albeit shorter range), plus you can get that with an RJ45 connector (last time I checked), so I’m not inclined to lump all of the same baggage on to it.

    2. Avatar Jonathan says:

      You can get Cat7 and Cat8 cable with RJ45 connectors on but to actually comply with the standard you would need either Terra or CG45 connectors to terminate the screen properly. If you don’t then you have incorrectly terminated coax cable and that’s not good news for signal quality. You basicaly go from a balanced pair in Cat6a and below to coax on Cat7 and Cat8. Nobody should be using it, the numpties who do use it are all using it in domestic environments at distances much shorter than max length so despite degraded signal get away with it. No reputable site should ever prompt its usage.

    3. Avatar Anonymous says:

      I don’t get your statement.

      CAT8 is MEANT for shorter distances than cat6 and below, i.e. up to 30M for up to 40gbs.

      It has much better screening in the cables than others to help prevent interference.

      The cat8 cables are now rife for sale from major players too. If it was “a con” and didn’t work because of termination then why are they for sale in such bulk?

      I agree with the general point that virtually everyone at home can easily get away with CAT6A (even 5E) and most buy when they don’t need to. CAT8 really for data centres because its cheaper than fibre with excellent performance and easy to use, or where you want the security of extra shielding from interference in the cable having know the limitation in length vs speed.

  6. Avatar chris conder says:

    I think the main point in having a gigabit connection is the fact that multiple devices can grab their share so that none are buffering. In a home with teenagers this is very important. I don’t see the point in upgrading all your equipment to do fancy speedtests. On my gig connection with ethernet I can get 980 on desktop, 938 on laptop, 200 on wifi on one ipad, 40 on the other. My phones vary from 20 to 450 meg on wifi due to their age. The best investment anyone can make is to get a mesh and get quality wifi through the property. To do a speedtest make sure you use an app like ookla, don’t use web based testers. As the article says, most people serving you content aren’t going at gig speeds, so even the cheapest meshes will cover your home fast enough for stuff to work.

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      Good points.

      However, the main issue still is this as pointed out in the article:

      “around 34% of the UK are within reach of a 1Gbps capable network”

      This is bad enough, it gets worse when you consider that many of these 1Gbps capable networks are asymmetric, often with pathetic uploads speeds which are a far cry from 1Gbps. This is especially true for VMs coax lines.

      Anyway, the majority of this country can only dream of a decent Gigabit network! This country is many years of where it should be.

  7. Avatar Meadmodj says:

    There are seven factors for FTTP but the same principles have always applied to other technologies:
    1. Connected Devices – Switches/APs/PCs/IoT (age/functionality)
    2. Network cabling
    3. Network Device capability (ONT Out and Router)
    4. OLT line capacity (GPON 2.488Gbps or 10GPON 9.95Gbps)
    5. Number of users sharing the OLT link capacity (typically 1:30)
    6. ISP Back haul capacity
    7. Content delivery capacity (including test servers)

    To achieve the maximum you would need all these to be capable with no other user contention but each element will introduce its own overheads. As more user contention occurs (at each level) speeds will be a lot lower. Guaranteed speed/priority can be set but this is likely for business not domestic. Lower speed products can impact the service to higher speed products.

    That is why I have an issue with the Government talking about “Gigabit Capable” by 2025. The first wave of investment OR/Altnet can only provide Gigabit for a small percentage not the promised 85%. So it needs to be clear that we hopefully will all have access to high performing Ultrafast later this decade which should be more than enough for most us within the cost envelope we would want. However it should not be sold as Gigabit (or inferred) in my view. Any thing less that 1Gbps after overheads is Ultrafast and are not Gigabit products.

    Those that need guaranteed speeds should look to Business grade products and devices (ONTs, Routers, Firewalls, Switches etc.)

    I have written to the DCMS select committee on this subject.

    1. Avatar DCMS says:

      Hopefully they’ll treat it appropriately and file it into the bin when they get to:

      ‘However it should not be sold as Gigabit (or inferred) in my view. Any thing less that 1Gbps after overheads is Ultrafast and are not Gigabit products.’

    2. Avatar John says:

      You keep making that ridiculous arguement/comparison.

      There’s probably not a VDSL2 DSLAM in the country with enough backhaul to give every customer 30Mb/s 24 hours a day.

      So by your logic they shouldn’t be allowed to sell it as SuperFast because not everyone can order SuperFast (30Mb/s) and get full speeds all at the same time.

      Home Broadband is a contended service.
      GPON isn’t supposed to have enough bandwidth on the PON for everyone to order gigabit.
      Not everyone will order gigabit.

      On average less than 1 person every 3 PON’s is ordering gigabit.

      You could have a couple other users on your PON taking gigabit and you wouldn’t notice.

      PON’s are easily upgradeable.

      You want OpenReach and CityFibre to deploy GPON with such a low split rate that everyone can order gigabit with 1:1 contention ratio on the PON from the get go.
      It’s ridiculous.

      Nobody builds their network like that.

      GPON is more than sufficient for current use and can easily be upgraded if it bottlenecks, which is very unlikely for years to come.

    3. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      @John. No it is about honest statements and expectations for the forecast investment. Everything is upgradable and 100GPON is on the horizon.

    4. Avatar John says:

      So why do you constantly point out that the network isn’t capable of everyone’s taking a gigabit package, when in reality almost nobody orders gigabit?

      It is absolutely gigabit capable, and for anyone that wants it.

      If a PON on the network is oversubscribed it can be easily upgraded.

      It would be ridiculous to build the network so that everyone could order gigabit on day 1.
      Networks aren’t build for the present, but with the future in mind, with incremental upgrades along the way.

      You criticize GPON on every single OpenReach thread because it doesn’t have enough bandwidth for everyone to get gigabit.
      It isn’t supposed to.

      Nobody is going to build 100% capacity for everyone to have 1:1 contention gigabit.

      It isn’t necessary for you to point this out on every article.

      Dialup, ADSL, VDSL2, G.Fast and GPON are all contended services.

      I could hit full throughput 24/7 on VDSL2 despite the cabinet not having bandwidth for everyone to do that all at once.
      The same goes for GPON, I get full speeds 24/7.

      It’s by design.
      It isn’t a shortfall.
      It isn’t poor planning.
      It IS gigabit capable, for anyone who wants it.

      You can’t please everyone.

    5. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      @John. I am not complaining. We are finally moving forward with FTTP at pace. The current plans will provide an effective reliable service for the decade ahead.

    6. Avatar Jonathan says:

      So 1Gbps Ethernet is not gigabit then? Thats the stupidest thing I have heard in a while.

    7. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      @Jonathan. I take that point. However it highlights the importance of the labels we place on things (consumer and technical community).

      Ultrafast broadband is defined by Ofcom as broadband that offers download speeds of at least 300 Mbit/s and they appear to classify Gigabit as “of up to 1 Gbit/s”.

      Yes for IEEE 802.3z we have chosen to use the term 1Gig to describe it but instead of 1000Base. This is, of course, device to device with no third party contention.

      Broadband however by definition is a shared service (demand/cost). So my case is what actual infrastructure will the UK have come 2027, what will it actually support for the vast majority of users and therefore what should we call it.

  8. Avatar Brian Storey says:

    The point about Web based speed test is a really good one just based on how the PC/Laptop resources consumed by a browser are managed.

    On a 1Gbps FTTP I get very different results running a test directly from speedtest.net via Google Chrome in comparison to the dedicated Ookla app. The latter handling substantially higher throughout results by quite a clear margin. I think it was typically 300Mbps difference.

  9. Avatar John says:

    Jumbo Frames allows an MTU to be set up at 9000 on the internal LAN.
    This can make a big difference to file transfers on the LAN.

    It makes next to no difference over the internet.

    The standard MTU over OpenReach is 1500.
    Talktalk and Sky who use DHCP use 1500 MTU.
    Anyone who uses PPP will usually use 1492 MTU, with the other 8 bytes being wasted on PPP.

    OpenReach NGA fully supports RFC4638.
    RFC4638 (Baby Jumbo Frames) allows you to nudge the MTU to 1508 if PPP is used, to make up for the 8 bytes that PPP uses.

    RFC4638/Jumbo Frames does not allow speeds to jump from 930Mb/s to 970Mb/s over the internet.
    Neither does IPV6.

  10. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

    Virgin Media Gig1 customers have hub 4s which receive more than 1Gbps (according to SamKnows) but deliver at most 940Mbps through the LAN ports due to the inevitable overheads. Some of them bitterly complain about being short-changed but, when challenged, cannot say how they have been adversely affected by the loss of 60Mbps.

    1. Avatar Spurple says:

      It’s like false advertising.

      The hardware provided cannot even deliver the service sold. I have no idea why they are selling it as 1152mbps. They could just call it 940mbps, or 1gbps* — with a caveat about overheads.

    2. Avatar Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

      Closer to 160Mbps, given Virgin builds quite a big margin into its rates.

      It turns out you *can* get over 1Gbps if you use the hub in modem mode with an external switch supporting balance-rr:
      https://www.cableforum.uk/board/showthread.php?p=36058878#post36058878

      This could be extended to 2Gbps service and beyond, though it’s unclear how many people have a practical need for it (perhaps a few more with home working). I could see it as a viable business offering, albeit one eating further into leased lines.

  11. Avatar CerealKiller says:

    It’s an interesting discussion about how to drive the gigabit capable connection to near line-rate speeds.

    Ultimately it’s about application behaviour; can you make the applications you use behave in a the way that fits your usecase by having gigabit connectivity?

    Whether that’s a household of teenagers all accessing different 4K netflix content, a housefull of gamers trying to get the lowest possible latency, or just make business applications you’re trying to access from home work like they do on your office LAN.

    You can have line-speed gigabit connectivity yet still have poorly performing applications.

    I’m surprised there was no mention of Long Fat Networks or latency-sensitive applications.

    I’d prefer to have less bandwidth if it performed in a way that better supported my apps.

    But, of course, I’d rather have both. Cake and eat it! 🙂

    1. Avatar Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

      Yeah, if they implemented Low Latency DOCSIS 3.1 that could go a long way towards improving things. Of course this was talked about here 18 months ago, no sign of it yet. I understand upstream channels are still 3.0 even for Gig1 customers, and even if it were 3.1, it’s an optional part of that specification:
      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/06/docsis-3-1-tweak-bringing-ultra-low-latency-to-cable-broadband.html

  12. Avatar s says:

    Could you update the table to include the distance limit for 10G over cat5e please? 1Gbps (under 100 metres) or 10Gbps (under 45 metres).

    It will need decent termination to do this, but so does cat6 and above, and that’s a lot harder to install and terminate correctly than cat5e (maximum bend radius is wider for cat6 so you often need to ‘sweep’ round corners which would work with a tighter bend with cat5e; it’s more important to maintain the twisting right to the termination point; cable is thicker and less flexible).

    Cable runs in an average sized house are often not more than 30m or so and there are usually no upsides, only downsides, to running a higher category than 5e for this.

    1. Avatar Jonathan says:

      10Gbps is not certified for any distance on Cat5e. Might work for really short distances, but you need Cat6 and even that comes with lots of limitations, though in a domestic environment probably adequate.

    2. Avatar Kaitlyn says:

      hear, hear. if your LAN is 1G then 5E is more than sufficient, and about twice as easy to terminate yourself. when I wired up my flat one of the cables I had salvaged turned out to be 6, the one right at the end, and I was at first confused as to why my crimp tool was suddenly giving me trouble. I got it done in the end, didn’t want to run a new cable again, but it was indeed a PITA.

  13. Avatar Bill says:

    I really do not see the need for 1Gbps speed apart from pure marketings aspects.
    Most households will struggle to max out 200Mbps. Unless you do a lot of P2P.

    Although it does force isp to actually upgrade their backhaul an increase in our speeds in peak times. (ok maybe not virgin).

    I do find it a robbery, that we get anaemic upload speeds on “full-fibre” products at least give us 100 up.

    1. Avatar JItteryPinger says:

      It does seem like a marketing ploy, for instance Virgin Media shows no interest in upselling this product to new or existing customers.

      It remains hidden for most part of the online ordering process and once added to a package removes all offers and discounts.

      I’m on a package currently that would increase by £54 per month for the upgrade from M350.

  14. Avatar j karna says:

    Use of a VPN will present a decrease in speed.

  15. Avatar Jay powell says:

    5g is the future

  16. Avatar Jay powell says:

    5g is cheaper than virgins gig 1 service but its not avalible in my postcode for both but i downgraded from m500 to m350 to save money

  17. Avatar JP says:

    Reading through this article again and whilst the discussion in the comments is all about Virgin’s Gig1 (for good reason) the articles particulars do appear more influenced by FTTP services.

    I was hoping to use this article as a short cut to explaining how bandwidth is divided on Virgins network but its very much gets no where near the actuality of how many users shared dedicated bandwidth on Virgin’s HFC network.

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  • Onestream £22.50 (*27.99)
    Speed 45Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
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Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Vodafone £26.00 (*29.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £29.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: EASTERSALE
  • TalkTalk £29.95 (*39.95)
    Speed: 145Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Giganet £35.00 - 59.00
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
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