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Learn about Internet speed

To ensure that you can reap all of the benefits offered by gigabit speeds, we've put a lot of work into designing devices to help deliver that gigabit experience inside your home. First, we pull a fiber optic connection directly to your home and connect it to a Fiber Jack. Then, the Network Box takes the gigabit connection from the Fiber Jack and distributes the ultra-fast Internet inside your home.

Wired devices

Although Google Fiber provides incredibly fast network speeds, there are a number of situations that can cause your network speeds to slow down. Potential culprits include:

  • Older network interface card

    Most computers, laptops, and tablets that come equipped with 1 Gig network interface cards have the ability to communicate with Google Fiber's network at 1 Gig speeds when connected to the Network Box with an Ethernet cable. Some devices that have a 1 Gig network card may not communicate at that speed inside the computer, which can also affect your overall communication speed.

  • Out-of-date hardware

    The type of hardware you use, the age of the device, the operating system, the web browser, and the other applications running on your device all affect upload and download speeds. When you perform network speed tests, be sure that your device is wired to the network and that no other applications are running. Even running an email application in the background can affect your test results.

  • Slow connections between Google Fiber's network and the websites you visit

    Another thing to consider is that all points on the Internet between Google Fiber's network and the websites you visit (including speed test websites) do not necessarily run at 1 Gig. Even if our Fiber network and your devices are fully capable of achieving 1 Gig speeds, Google cannot ensure that you will receive 1 Gig speeds from end to end. Once your communication leaves the Fiber network, it might encounter segments of the Internet providing slower service—often due to heavy traffic or substantial rerouting delays—at any time. It is our hope that overall Internet performance will improve over time.

  • Peak usage times

    Performance due to these external factors may be lower during peak usage times, which on our network typically fall between 7pm and 11pm in your respective time zone.

  • Video takes priority over data

    Keep in mind that both video and data come into your home through your Fiber Jack, and video takes priority. If you have one or more TV Boxes turned on (even if your TV is off and you are not watching), the video stream is using part of the gigabit bandwidth, and the data stream can use only whatever bandwidth is left. If you do not have Google Fiber TV service or have all of your TV Boxes powered off, the full pipe is available for data.

  • Latency

    In addition to speed, Internet performance can be measured by looking at how long it takes to transmit or receive packets on a network, called latency. Latency is affected by how far packets need to travel, how many networks packets need to travel over, and the quality of the networks the packets travel over. Latency on Google Fiber’s network is usually so small that it’s imperceptible in everyday Internet usage.

    Because latency is dependent on many factors, we can’t perfectly predict it, but we can record the average time it takes for packets to travel between a specific location and a target test node. Here are the mean results of those tests for each Google Fiber service:

    Service Mean latency
    Fiber 100 10.5ms
    Fiber 1000 10.5ms

    Google Fiber users can check latency characteristics they may be experiencing by using Google Fiber’s speed test tool. Please note that these test results will be influenced by factors like the age of a customer’s device, and may not reflect the performance of the Google Fiber network overall. But, they will give a good estimate of how your connection is working with a specific device.

  • Packet loss

    Internet service performance can also be affected by packet loss. Packet loss occurs when one or more packets of data traveling across the network do not reach their intended destination. Like latency, packet loss can have a number of different causes, including network congestion, faulty hardware, poor device performance, or the presence of software bugs.

    Packet loss estimates are generated by taking measurements at certain points in Google Fiber’s network (called nodes) where the probability of packet drops occurring is the highest. Currently, packet loss is not substantially different between Google Fiber’s different broadband product offerings, such as Fiber 100 and Fiber 1000. Here is the target value for average packet loss across the network, and how performance measures up to it on average.

    Target value Average observed value
    1000 Mbps 912 Mbps down/945 Mbps up

Devices operating over Wi-Fi

When you use devices over Wi-Fi, it is unlikely that you be able to achieve 1 Gig speeds. You can improve your speeds by carefully managing any interference from outside sources, which can significantly reduce network speeds for devices operating over Wi-Fi. Learn more about optimizing your wireless network.

A word about the Google Fiber 100 plan

If you have the Fiber 100 plan, your maximum speeds are:

  • Upload: 100 Mbps

  • Download: 100 Mbps

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