Internet Speed Glossary: 20 Internet Terms You Need to Know to Get the Fastest Speed

internet speed
Calender Icon Jul 24 2022

How fast is your internet speed? Getting the fastest internet is usually everyone’s top priority when choosing an internet provider and shopping around for the best deals. But what do the numbers really mean? Let’s learn about the 123’s and ABC’s of your internet speed, and find the perfect number for your needs and budget.

What is Internet Speed and Why it Matters

Simply, your internet speed indicates how much data can be transferred online on an internet connection. The numbers don’t lie—the higher your internet speed, the faster you can complete tasks online, like watching videos, streaming music, sending emails, joining video calls, and playing games.

More Than Speed: Internet for Everyone at Home

There’s more to internet speed than your browsing and streaming habits. The fastest speeds aren’t just about lightning-fast loading times. While you may do some of these tasks at the minimum speed, the fastest internet speeds allow for a more stable connection that can support multiple devices and users.

This is why when choosing an internet plan, you need to consider not just your everyday habits but also the number of devices and users sharing the connection. Do you live alone or with family, each connected to the same Wi-Fi network? How fast is fast enough for everyone’s needs, from work to play?

Get to Know the Internet Connection You Pay For

Understanding the different internet speeds and internet terms that your provider uses is the first step to getting the best home internet plan for all your needs. 

Internet speeds that are too slow can be frustrating for the entire family—there won’t be enough bandwidth for everyone to stream, play, work, and study all at once using the same internet connection. But when it’s too fast and more than enough for your everyday needs, you might end up overpaying for internet services. Keep in mind that the best internet plan is a balance of the fastest internet speeds for your everyday needs, at the best value for your budget.

20 Internet Terms, Defined

Choosing your internet speed? Start by knowing your internet terms—the ABC’s of internet speed, how it works, and how fast is fast enough for your everyday needs:

All About Internet Speeds

  1. Download: Most often, the advertised speed in internet plans, download speeds indicate how quickly data from external online sources is received over your internet connection.
  2. Upload: Typically slower than download speeds, uploads refer to how fast data through your internet connection is sent to external networks, such as uploading a file to the cloud or sending an email.
  3. Mbps: Megabits Per Second—how internet speeds are measured, indicating how much data can be sent each second.
  4. MBps: Megabytes Per Second—refers to the file size in terms of how much data can be transferred each second.
  5. Bandwidth: The capacity of a network connection to handle browsing, streaming, gaming, uploads, downloads, and more. Higher bandwidth means more data can be transferred, and more devices can connect to your network.
  6. Broadband: Broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access, or the transmission of high-bandwidth data, through a range of different technologies such as cable or fibre optics.
  7. Latency: Delays in data transfer that occur more with lower internet speeds, and are reduced with a faster, more stable connection, like fibre internet.
  8. Data cap: When you don’t have unlimited internet, a data cap is the monthly limit on your internet use based on your plan.
  9. Throttling: A strategy used by some internet providers to slow down internet speeds when you exceed your plan’s data limit, or frequent certain websites and/or activities.

Nuts and Bolts: Hardware Terms

  1. Router: Connects devices to your in-home Wi-Fi network.
  2. Modem: Connects devices in your in-home Wi-Fi network to the internet. Oftentimes, both a modem and a router are housed within the same device for convenience.
  3. Extender: Also known as a Wi-Fi extender, a device that connects to your router to extend or strengthen the internet signal into areas of your home that are Wi-Fi “dead zones” due to walls, furniture, and size or spacing.
  4. Wi-Fi: Short for wireless fidelity, the technology that allows devices to connect wirelessly to the internet through a router and modem.
  5. Ethernet: Ethernet refers to a number of different technologies, all of which use a wired connection to connect devices to a Wi-Fi network.

Types of Internet Connection

  1. Dial-up: Widely regarded as a type of legacy internet connection using a phone line instead of broadband, making it the slowest internet connection.
  2. DSL: Short for Digital Subscriber Line, this type of internet connection uses copper wires to support broadband and is faster than dial-up, but not by much, capping out at just 3Mbps.
  3. ADSL: Asymmetric Direct Subscribe Line is similar to DSL, but it typically offers a higher download speed than upload speed.
  4. Cable: Internet powered by coaxial cables, the same ones used by cable TV, with high-speed capabilities, though susceptible to lower speeds due to multiple households sharing the same cables.
  5. Satellite: Internet that doesn’t use wires or cables, but relies on data sent through the air and received by satellites, which can sometimes slow down due to long distances and bad weather.
  6. Fibre internet: Uses fibre-optic cables that can handle large amounts of data, resulting in the fastest available internet speeds.

Choosing the Fastest Internet Speed for Your Needs

Did you know that it takes just 25Mbps for an internet speed to qualify as high-speed? But these days, this minimum speed isn’t fast enough for frequent internet use—especially with multiple devices and users simultaneously browsing, streaming, downloading, uploading, and more. You need the fastest internet to work, learn, and stay connected at home.

Your Everyday Internet Use

Take a look at how much data you use for your everyday activities online—and how fast your internet speed should be to keep up:

  • Browsing and email: 1Mbps.
  • Social media: 1Mbps.
  • Streaming videos: 3 to 40Mbps, depending on the video quality.
  • Gaming: At least 4 to 8 Mbps, but 10 to 25Mbps for stable use.
  • Online learning (i.e. via Zoom) and working from home: At least 25Mbps for a single user, but it’s generally recommended to have at least 100Mbps for multiple users and devices, simultaneously downloading and uploading files and joining video calls.

Upgrade to the Fastest Internet Speed from Comwave

Are you tired of buffering videos, disconnected video calls, and slow loading times? It’s time to upgrade your internet speed. With Comwave, you can find the best and fastest internet speed for your everyday needs, for everyone at home. 

Enjoy maximum productivity while you work or learn from home during the day, and stream your favourite shows or catch the latest news and events online. Get the right internet speed that keeps everyone at home happy and connected, at the best value for your budget.

Need an upgrade? Browse our home internet plans and bundles for working from home and staying connected 24/7. Find your speed—the fastest internet for your needs and budget, only from Comwave.

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