Learn about Internet speed
To ensure that you can reap all of the benefits offered by gigabit speeds, we have 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.
Although Google Fiber provides the fastest network speeds available in the home today, there are a number of situations that can cause your network speeds to slow down. Some potential culprits are:
Older network interface card
Most computers, laptops, and tablets that come equipped with 1Gig network interface cards have the ability to communicate with Google Fiber's network at 1Gig speeds when connected to the Network Box with an Ethernet cable. Note that some devices that have a 1Gig network card may not communicate at that speed inside the computer, which can also affect your overall communications speed. (See Can your computer get a gig? for more information.)
The type of hardware you are using, the age of the device, the operating system, the web browser, and the other applications running on your device all affect the 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 1Gig. Even if our Fiber network and your devices are fully capable of achieving 1Gig speeds, Google cannot ensure that you will receive 1Gig 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.
Video takes priority over data
Last but not least, keep in mind that both video and data come into your home through your Fiber Jack, and video takes priority. So 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.
It is very important fact to understand that you will not get the full 1Gig speed with wireless devices. In order to get the fastest possible network speeds, you must connect your computer or other device directly to the Network Box using an Ethernet cable.
When you do use wireless devices, even though you will not get 1Gig speeds, you can expect much faster speeds than you would get with other types of broadband networks. You can improve your wireless speeds by carefully managing any interference from outside sources. Interference can cause significantly reduced network speeds for wireless devices. (See Optimize your wireless network for more details.)
A word about the Google Fiber Basic Internet plan
If you have the Basic Internet service plan, your maximum speeds are: