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.

Wired devices

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. 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.

  • Out-of-date hardware

    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.

  • 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 so many factors, we can’t perfectly predict it. But, we can record the average time it took 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
    Basic 10.5ms
    Gigabit 10.5ms

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

    Because packet loss is dependent on so many factors, we can’t perfectly predict it. But, we can determine the average packet loss across our network. Here is the target value for average packet loss across our network, and how our performance measures up to it on average.

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

Wireless devices

It is very important to understand that you will not get the full 1Gig speed with wireless devices. 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 1 Gig speeds, you can expect much faster speeds than you would get with other types of wireless access. 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:

  • Upload: 1Mbps

    Download: 5Mbps

Was this article helpful?
Enhance your Fiber experience: