Ten Lessons for 2Gbps Home Networking

Michael Sharpe
8 min readJan 11, 2024
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Introduction

For some time, 1Gbps was the top speed you could get from an ISP. Now, some ISPs are offering 2Gbps options. Long story short, I recently moved, and my new plan is a 2Gbps plan. A number of computers/devices I have support >1Gbps speeds. My main computer has a 2.5G ethernet card. All good! It was not all that easy to actually see greater than 1Gbps speeds on my devices. This article looks at why things were difficult.

Lesson 1: Most ISPs that offer a plan with speed X often word it as “up to speed X.” It's rarely a guarantee/promise that the plan offers at least speed X.

This means that a consumer may never see the speeds that they pay for. Assuming the ISP has actually deployed equipment capable of delivering speeds that support the plan, it's often dependent on what other users in the area are also doing. At some level, other users in the locality share the same “wires/equipment”, and those wires have limitations which are shared by all. There are times when the shared components do get saturated. Good ISPs will monitor this and deploy more equipment where necessary.

Measurements

The most accessible mechanism to measure speed is speedtest.net. This was initially a browser-based app. Nowadays, they have native apps on most devices/computers. When…

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Michael Sharpe

Senior Software Architect located in Houston, Texas