Getting the most out of Google Fiber 2 Gig

When you have 2 Gig internet, you probably want to go fast. Google Fiber 2 Gig is so fast that most devices weren’t built to take advantage of it. While you’ll get fast, reliable internet for everyone in your home and their devices, to get that brag-worthy 2 Gig speed test, chances are you’ll need additional cables or adapters. Here’s some information on how to get the fastest internet speeds possible.

Speed specifics

With 2 Gig, you can get downloads of up to 2 gigabits per second and uploads of up to 1 gigabit per second using a wired connection as long as your cables, ports, and device are capable of the speeds.

  • Using the Wi-Fi 6 router and a Google Fiber Mesh Extender included with your 2 Gig, you can get wireless speeds up to 700 Mbps. Of course, exact speeds will vary based on the devices you’re using, and a few other factors we’ll cover in more detail below.
  • For now, if you’re looking for information about the maximum speeds you can get with Google Fiber, you can find it here.

Speed for your entire household

One of the advantages of 2 Gig is that everyone in your household can do what they want at the same time—whether that’s playing a video game, video chatting, or streaming their favorite show—and still enjoy fast speeds, even in a larger household with more advanced devices, and heavier internet use.

For most of our customers, that’s the big advantage and, without any additional equipment, you should be able to reach the max speed your devices are capable of. But, as one of the first with 2 Gig, you might want to have that super fast file transfer, system update, game play, speed test to brag with — and for that, you’ll likely need a few extra things.

How to go the absolute fastest on 2 Gig

The speed you see on your device in a speed test will be based on the speeds that you’re able to get through 1) your device (and its operating system’s ability to support fast ports), 2) your cables, 3) your Ethernet adapter or port, and 4) the USB port you’re connecting into.

Internet speed depends on your devices

Our 2 Gig comes with whole home Wi-Fi at Wi-Fi 6 speeds. That means if you have
Wi-Fi 6-enabled devices you’ll be able to experience the fastest speeds available. If your devices aren’t Wi-Fi 6-enabled (from, say, 2020 or later), they’re likely not built to go as fast as the wireless speeds that 2 Gig internet offers. If you’re not sure whether your device has Wi-Fi 6, you can check with the manufacturer or search your device’s specs online. 

Keeping your device up-to-date

Sometimes, devices have older operating systems or lack the newest drivers to get the fastest speed through their USB port, into the 2.5 Gb Ethernet or faster adapter and into the Cat5e or newer cables to the router and back. Make sure to keep your devices up-to-date on their system updates as well, as they can slow you down, wired or wireless.

Wired vs. wireless connections

Using an Ethernet connection to connect your device directly to the internet allows you to get a faster and more stable internet connection than you’d get over Wi-Fi.  So, in order to get the fastest speeds possible, you’ll want to plug your device (or devices) into your router (or switch) directly using an Ethernet cable.

Use a fast Ethernet cable

  • If you’re connecting this way, make sure your Ethernet cable is Cat6 or greater (‘Cat’ is short for category, and if you’re not sure what type yours is, you’ll usually see this information printed on the side of the cable. You can also use Cat 6A, 7, etc).
  • Cat5e cables may not be able to reach 2 gigabit per second speeds. You can, of course, use the Cat 5e you have to get a connection—you just won’t get the fastest speeds available.
  • Don’t have a fast Ethernet cable, or not sure yours is the right one? You’ll find a few on our Amazon microstore.

Use a fast Ethernet adapter for wired connections

  • If your device doesn’t have a built-in 2.5 Gb Ethernet port or faster (this is currently rare on laptops, but available as an upgradable component on desktop computers), you’ll need an adapter—also known as a dongle—rated at 2.5 Gb or faster.
  • While the specific adapter you'll need depends on what kind of device you’re using, you’ll find one on our Amazon microstore.
    Remember that not all adapters are compatible with all devices, so be sure to check before you buy it. 
  • Common speeds are 2.5 Gb, 5 Gb, 10 Gb and all of these will be able to help you make the most of 2 Gig.
  • Most devices (e.g. gaming, laptops) max out at 1Gbps. If you'd like to reach 2Gbps wired speeds, you may want to try using one of the dongles enabling speeds greater than 1Gbps.

Connect your adapter to fast USB

Even with a fast adapter, slower USB ports on your device can slow your connection down. So you’ll want to plug your adapter into USB 3.0 or newer - with a USB A or C port.

  • Don’t have those faster USB ports? You can still use 2 Gig to get the maximum speed your device is capable of, but won’t reach 2000 megabits per second.)

Use a fast switch for multiple devices

In order to maximize your internet speeds over Ethernet on multiple devices, you’ll need a device known as a switch.

You’ll need a switch capable of speeds 2 Gig or greater to get the maximum speed available from the router and the adapter. This setup will let you share your wired speed across all devices. You can find one on our Amazon microstore.

Just make sure that the switch you’re using is compatible with multi-gig speeds.

Go faster over Wi-Fi

Here, we offer some tips about how to get fast internet over Wi-Fi.

  • Typically, the closer to your router you are, the faster your speed.  
  • Remember that some building materials used to create walls and other obstacles can block the Wi-Fi signal emitted by your router. So if there’s, say, a cinder block wall between you and your router, you may get a better signal by moving to the other side of the wall. 
  • Your Wi-Fi connection can run into interference from signals being sent by microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors, garage door openers and other devices. So, when possible, connect using your network's 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency, and turn off any devices that may be interfering when you want to go fast over Wi-Fi. 

Other factors that affect speed

Some devices won’t be able to handle multi-gig speeds (like 2 Gig) even with a wired connection, simply because they’re not up-to-date. There are several things you can do to bridge those gaps, including updating your operating system and having a new network card installed. Here are some other variables that may affect your internet speeds.

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