Understand Internet Speeds (2024)

AT&T networks

We deliver internet to your location through copper or fiber wiring or through the AT&T wireless network, depending on the service you ordered.

  • DSL and lower broadband services are usually wired using copper.
  • Most high-speed broadband services (IPBB) deliver internet through a hybrid fiber and copper network.
  • AT&T Fiber delivers internet directly to your location using a 100% fiber network.
  • AT&T Internet Air and Fixed Wireless Internetdeliverinternet over the AT&T wireless network, using 4G LTE and 5G technology.

Networks can be impacted by the condition and quality of the connection to your home and the geography in which your home is located.

  • Copper networks can be impacted by the distance between your home and the central office from which your internet service is provisioned.
  • Wireless networks can be impacted by your distance from the cell tower serving the wireless network, the capacity and technology of the antennas on the cell tower and on the receiver you’re using, and the number of users connected to the same cell tower.

Home network

Many factors inside your building affect the rate you send or receive internet data. These include:

  • Age of wiring inside your building
  • Distance between the gateway or hub and your device
  • Age and type of gateway, hub, or router
  • Number of devices connected to the gateway or hub
  • Type of connection used: wired or Wi-Fi

Connection types

You can access your internet through a wired Ethernet connection or a Wi-Fi® connection.

Wired connections use Ethernet cables plugged into the Ethernet port on your wall or Wi-Fi gateway. These connections provide the best performance, consistently. We recommend using a Cat5e or better Ethernet cable.

To reach speeds above 1Gbps, you must use at least a Cat6 cable plus an Ethernet port rated for multi-Gbps speeds. Some older Ethernet cables, ports, routers, and gateways may not be capable of supporting speeds above 1Gbps to a single device. This includes Ethernet wiring in some older buildings.

Speeds are shared among all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi gateway or All-Fi Hub. So more devices connecting at the same time may result in slower speeds.

Wireless (Wi-Fi) connections let you move throughout your building but aren’t as fast as wired connections. Wi-Fi connection speeds depend on the Wi-Fi technology in your device and in your gateway or hub. You get the best Wi-Fi signal closest to your gateway or hub, with fewer devices running, using the latest Wi-Fi technology. Older devices and older gateways use older Wi-Fi technology, which run at slower speeds. Wi-Fi speeds are shared among all the devices connected to the gateway or hub by Wi-Fi, so more devices connected at the same time may result in slower speeds.

Type and number of devices

Internet devices come in all shapes and sizes. Each device has a maximum internet speed it can reach. But, that speed might not be as fast as your possible internet service level. For example, if your older laptop or tablet only supports 11Mbps and you have 1Gbps internet service, your laptop will never be able to reach the more than 11 Mbps.

When a device connects to your network, it uses a portion of your allotted speed. Several devices sharing your internet connection can affect the speed each device experiences.

TV and internet speed

In some cases, your TV and internet may enter your location using the same terminal. Using both services at the same time consumes more available bandwidth and can affect internet download speeds. For example, in certain speed tiers, watching multiple HD TV shows at the same time as heavy data internet usage, such as downloading an entire HD movie file on your laptop, will lead to reduced internet speeds as compared with such speeds when no other uses are placed on the network.

Other networks and websites you visit

Even though you purchased a specific speed and the AT&T network is highly reliable, the websites you interact with may not provide their services at the same speeds. Things to consider as you surf websites:

  • Websites may not have the same network speeds as you.
  • Website server capacity can impact your Internet speeds.
  • Website owners may use other ISPs to deliver content back to you. These network serving arrangements can also impact your internet speeds.
  • Visiting sites during their peak hours may also result in slower speeds.

Additional impacts on internet speed performance and speed test results

As noted, many factors can affect service speeds and test results. These include:

  • Your equipment
  • Connection type
  • Network issues
  • Internet usage

In addition, protocol overheads, such as IP overhead in IP technology, reduce internet speed and speed test results. Overheads means the various control and signaling data (for example, transmission control protocol (TCP)) required to achieve the reliable transmission of internet access data.

Understand Internet Speeds (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated:

Views: 6621

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dan Stracke

Birthday: 1992-08-25

Address: 2253 Brown Springs, East Alla, OH 38634-0309

Phone: +398735162064

Job: Investor Government Associate

Hobby: Shopping, LARPing, Scrapbooking, Surfing, Slacklining, Dance, Glassblowing

Introduction: My name is Dan Stracke, I am a homely, gleaming, glamorous, inquisitive, homely, gorgeous, light person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.