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How Fast Is Gigabit Internet? Everything You Must Know

What Is Gigabit Internet & Is It Fast?

Gigabit internet is the internet of the future. Speeds 1 Gigabit and higher have been increasing in demand over the past few years, with customers needing the higher bandwidth to work from home, stream video, game and more. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of Gigabit speeds—but you may not know exactly what that means.

Gigabit internet is incredibly fast, allowing you to download, stream, and browse the web at lightning speed. If previous internet speeds were like a two-lane highway, gigabit internet is like a superhighway.

How Fast Is Gigabit Internet?

Gigabit is a computing term equal to one billion bits—this means that gigabit internet delivers speeds of 1 billion bits or faster per second. Many internet speeds are measured in megabits, which means millions of bits per second.

In comparison, one gigabit per second is one thousand megabits. Because of the amount of data it can transmit, gigabit internet is perfect for people who stream 4K videos, who work from home and have video calls, and people who want to use VR gaming.

As gigabit internet grows in demand, more companies are offering these speeds in order to help their customers get the most out of their internet connection. However, gigabit internet isn’t available everywhere. If you have DSL, satellite, or fixed wireless, you likely won’t be able to buy gigabit internet due to the limitations of the technology.

For customers with cable internet, speeds of up to a gigabit are possible, but they are not symmetrical. This means that the speeds of information coming into the home (download) are not the same as the speeds of information leaving your home network (upload).

For best performance when uploading files, making video calls and gaming, having higher upload speeds is necessary. Fiber internet service is usually symmetrical, making it ideal for customers who want to maximize the benefit of gigabit speeds.

What's the difference between Mbps and Gbps internet speeds?

Many people have internet speeds that are measured in Mbps. Although megabit speeds are much faster than what most customers have had access to in the past, gigabit speeds are exponentially faster. For example, 10 megabits is 10 million bits.

At this speed, streaming will buffer, and files will take a long time to upload. 10 gigabits, on the other hand, is 10 billion bits. At these speeds, you could run HD streams on every device in your house while downloading large game files and sharing your live gameplay on a social networking site—and never experience an interruption.

Understanding the difference between megabits and gigabits can help make sure you understand what you are paying for. Knowing the difference in these speeds and bandwidths also helps you to make sure you are choosing the right internet plan for your home.

how fast is gigabit internet

The Benefits of Fast Gigabit Internet

Gigabit speeds have many benefits:

Speed is the most obvious benefit when it comes to gigabit internet. Being able to make large downloads quickly, being able to upload photos or other files, and being able to stream TV without interruptions are all things that can be done when you have gigabit internet speeds.

Many gigabit plans offer symmetrical upload/download speeds. This is great for video conferencing as it eliminates video buffering and lag when you are both downloading the video from the other person on the call as well as uploading your own sound and video.


Gigabit internet is generally very reliable. This is because the high bandwidth allows you to avoid problems such as network congestion caused by too many devices trying to use large amounts of bandwidth at the same time. With gigabit internet, there is plenty to go around.

Low Latency
Low latency is another benefit of gigabit internet speeds. Low latency is a must on every gamer’s wishlist when it comes to the internet. Latency is another word for delay, or “lag.” Having as little lag as possible, especially on multiplayer games, improves the gaming experience by making sure you never miss what your teammates are doing.

Smart Homes

Smart homes may benefit from the increased bandwidth provided by gigabit internet. This is especially true for people who are using things like video doorbells and video baby monitors (or pet monitors!) as these devices often upload large amounts of video to the cloud for future viewing.

Future Proof

One major benefit of gigabit internet speeds is future-proofing. While not everyone is streaming on multiple TVs or working from home, the amount of devices in the average home is steadily increasing. Each of these devices uses bandwidth, so the more devices you have—the more bandwidth you need. As more and more appliances and devices connect to the internet, making sure you have enough bandwidth for the future becomes crucial.

Potential Downsides of Fast Gigabit Internet

Gigabit internet also has downsides:

One of the downsides of gigabit internet speeds is the cost. Although many companies offer affordable gigabit plans, some areas are still catching up. In these communities, gigabit speeds may be so unaffordable as to be out of reach for many.

Gigabit speeds are not supported on all infrastructure. Because of this, some areas may not have access to gigabit speed internet. In these areas, the only options may be slower speeds, such as those provided by fixed wireless. This also depends on the terrain.

How Much Does Gigabit Internet Cost?

Most gigabit internet plans are priced between $60 and $100 a month.

This is on par with many internet plans available. Some providers offer low speed plans for very low prices. These plans generally do not have symmetrical upload and download speeds, and may cause buffering when trying to watch video or even listen to music.

What Equipment Do You Need For Gigabit Internet?

For gigabit internet, you will need a router capable of delivering gigabit speeds. Look for a tri-band 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6e) router. Many ISPs provide these routers with gigabit service, either free or for a small monthly fee.

EPB Smart Net Plus service includes the right router professionally installed, network set up optimized for maximum Wi-Fi performance and anytime expert support for just $17.99 (plus tax) per month. However, if you want to purchase your own, gigabit routers are available for sale at most major retailers.

gig internet explained

You will need to make sure you have the correct ethernet cables in your house. If you have a gigabit router, but use a Cat 5 or Cat 5e cable to connect your computer to the router, you will not get the full benefit of the speeds you are purchasing.

You will also want to make sure the devices you use regularly have a Network Interface Card (NIC) capable of using gigabit internet speeds. Most modern devices are gig-capable, but older computers and gaming devices may not be.

How To Tell If You Need Gigabit Internet

Gigabit internet can be a good option for many customers. This includes large households, who will have many connected devices vying for bandwidth. This also includes content creators, home businesses, and employees who work from home—all of whom may need to regularly upload large files or video chat.

Students who take classes from home may benefit from gigabit internet as well, especially if they are taking synchronous classes that meet on web-conferencing applications. Competitive gamers and VR enthusiasts are also customers who may want to choose gigabit internet speeds.

Finally, anyone who has a smart home set up with many connected devices could likely benefit from gigabit internet speeds.

Is Gigabit Internet Good for Gaming?

Yes. Gigabit internet is ideal for gamers. This is because many, if not most, gigabit internet plans offer symmetrical upload and download speeds, allowing you to communicate instantly with friends while playing multiplayer games.

Gigabit internet plans also have low latency, meaning you’ll rarely experience lagging or freezing during gameplay.

Is Gigagbit Internet Good for Streaming?

Yes. Gigabit internet is great for streaming. Gigabit internet can support multiple streams in your home, meaning the whole family can watch different shows on different devices at the same time.

Don’t worry about buffering or sound lag, as gigabit internet ensures you always have the best streaming experience.

Is Gigabit Internet Good for Working From Home?

Yes. Gigabit internet is great for working from home. People who work from home can benefit from gigabit internet as it reduces time needed to upload and download files, and the symmetrical speeds available in most gigabit plans provide the best experience for video conferencing.

Is Gigabit Internet Good for Families?

Yes. Gigabit internet isn’t just about the speed sent to one device; it’s also about the amount of bandwidth available to share between devices.

If you have a large family, you will likely need more bandwidth to ensure that every device gets the speed it needs. This makes gigabit speeds a great choice for families.

Is Gigabit Internet Worth It?

Gigabit internet is more popular than ever as the service becomes more widely available and people become aware of the value of the higher bandwidth and speeds.

Whether you’re a casual internet user or someone with a full smart home setup, gigabit speeds provide the resiliency, speed, and future-proofing necessary for the digital age. As more and more devices come online, gigabit speeds will only increase in necessity.

From your toaster oven to your TV, it seems like everything is connected to the internet. Although this means it’s easier than ever to find a show to watch, or to figure out why your coffee-maker is on the fritz, it also means that your bandwidth needs are increasing. Gigabit internet is a must for making the most of your connected devices.

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Finding the Best Gigabit Internet Service Near You

Finding gigabit internet near you is easy. Search “gigabit internet” and the name of your city to see what companies have these plans available near you. Once you have found providers, you can read reviews on websites to make sure they provide the speeds they advertise and to learn more about their services.

For residents of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and surrounding areas, EPB offers Fi-Speed Internet with speeds of a gigabit or higher. Get symmetrical upload and download speeds, unlimited data, and local 24/7/365 technical and customer support, all for just $67.99 a month.

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