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Low Speed Test Results on Fiber. Why Am I Not Getting 1Gbps?

With our newly offer Fiber service we are excited to offer a service plans up to and including 1 Gigabit per second(1Gps). The fiber network is very capable and can deliver bandwidth at this level and even higher.  There are however some things to be aware of though that can impact your speed tests with such a high amount of bandwidth.

1.Overhead – The first thing to know is at best you will generally see a speed test of 960Mbps or so. There is nothing wrong with your connection, this is simply the overhead needed to send and receive data on the TCP protocol. On average the overhead is about 2.6 % to 3.6% give or take, this will be subtracted from the speed test result. Speed tests only measure the payload, they do not include the overhead needed to get it there.

2. WiFi Limitations – Generally, to achieve speed tests above 200Mbps we recommend doing so utilizing a hard wired connection and not WiFi. It is very difficult for WIFI to even deliver 500Mbps but it is possible given ideal conditions which are rarely achieved in the real world.  We generally recommend WIFI for anything up to 200Mbps but even then there are still many more variables involved versus hard wiring the connection.

To achieve high throughput via WiFi you will also need to have the most up to date WiFi technology not only on your router but also on the device you are using to connect to the router. To get anything close to 1Gbps you will need to be using next generation technology in the form of 802.11ax (WiFi 6) and MU-MIMO. The newest flagship phones will likely have this technology but your 5 year old laptop or gaming system probably does not, older generations (802.11a,b,g,n,ac) simply do not have the capability of such high levels of throughput.

You will need to have very good, clean (no interference), short WIFI links and generally use large channels such as 80MHz (Now up to 160Mhz) wide 5GHz channels vs small 20MHz 2.4GHz channels. We know his is all very technical but the good news is if you are utilizing one of our managed routers you will have 802.11ax and MU-MIMO technology and we will handle the configuration, this router is included in all of our plans since 2019. But please keep in mind there are still environmental factors at play, if you are 50 feet outside of your house through multiple walls and windows you will not see 1Gbps simply due to imperfect WiFi conditions.

Calix U6 MU-MIMO

3. Server limitations – 1Gbps service is still a rarity and not every server you connect to might not have 1G of free bandwidth to send your way. Additionally servers providing things like game updates and downloads may be serving hundreds if not thousands of connections and cannot realistically offer 1Gbps to each of them.  This is especially true of speed test servers.  Many of these free servers have a single 1Gbps connection to them, if the server only has 1Gbps and there are other people running tests to it, you will not see a 1Gbps result even if your connection is capable of it. This is why we recommend running multiple tests to multiple sources such as and to ascertain the best picture of how things are performing.

4. Simultaneous Usage – If there is simultaneous usage happening on the network such as video streams or downloads they will be subtracted from your results.

5. Best Practices – 1Gbps service is most useful as an aggregate for multiple tasks such as multiple simultaneous users with wired Ethernet connections.  Achieving a single 1Gbps connection is possible but requires all pipes and servers end to end to have the excess capacity, which is a rarity on the internet as of the time of this writing.  It would be ideal to have 4k TVs hard wired to the router.  If you are a gamer who needs the lowest latency and the fastest console updates, the console should be wired and not use WIFI.  Having these large bandwidth tasks directly wired will allow them to happen at the full potential of your service and not use up your WIFI capacity.

Calix U4 Router

If you are having trouble please reach out to us 24/7 at 888-782-1454 or feel free to email us at during business hours (M-F 8AM to 4PM).

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