Many internet users experience a sluggish connection even with “high-speed internet.” They’ve invested in a good Wi-Fi router, perhaps a range extender, and may have even upgraded to a faster internet plan.
So why do they find themselves frequently frustrated by slowdowns and freeze-ups? What about their devices—or internet plan—causes this underwhelming performance? And what, if anything, can people do to reduce or even eliminate these issues?
The most likely culprits behind poor internet performance are bandwidth hogs—devices and online activities that gobble up too much bandwidth and slow down everyone’s internet access.
The good news is NHTC’s advanced fiber network provides exceptionally high download speeds and the much-overlooked bandwidth capacity that only fiber internet can offer. Combined, fiber’s high speeds and excellent bandwidth can end internet sluggishness.
We discuss bandwidth in greater detail below and explain why every internet customer needs to understand it.
Then, we turn to the most common bandwidth hogs in most people’s homes—devices and online activities—and then explain how NHTC’s fast speed tiers can help resolve any bandwidth issues.
What Is Bandwidth—and Why Is Higher Bandwidth So Important?
Bandwidth can be confusing. Put simply, bandwidth is the amount of information an internet connection can manage per second.
Bandwidth doesn’t measure a particular internet connection’s rate (or speed). Instead, it’s about the volume of online data a connection can “carry” and transfer at any given time.
High bandwidth levels let internet users accomplish activities like streaming TV shows, participating in video calls, playing online games, and posting to social media simultaneously without any slowdowns.
More bandwidth is indispensable for keeping an active online household productive—and happy!
What Exactly Is a Bandwidth Hog?
A bandwidth hog is a colloquial term for a device or online activity that eats up more than its fair share of bandwidth. It hogs too much bandwidth and greedily takes it from other devices or activities. Keep in mind that everyday web browsing typically has little impact on overall bandwidth use.
Some devices are famous bandwidth hogs. So, just by turning on and connecting to a bandwidth hog, a huge amount of available bandwidth on your internet connection will be used.
And certain activities require excess bandwidth to carry out your needs. So when even one (or more) bandwidth hogs are activated, the dreaded slowdowns and freeze-ups can occur, leading to frustration and anger in your home!
Common Household Bandwidth Hogs
Today’s smart TVs feature enhanced technology that displays amazing picture quality.
High-definition, 4K, and 4K Ultra-HD TVs produce stunning imagery and hog lots of bandwidth in the process. Using your smart TV will devour an enormous slice of your home internet’s bandwidth. If you have limited bandwidth capacity, your smart TV could impact other devices and online activities or even slow down a show you want to watch.
By far the activity with the most excessive use of bandwidth is streaming video.
Netflix tends to be the top offender, in part due to its popularity and vast library of content. Many people stream shows and movies on other devices like their tablets rather than just their smart TVs. And if you have more than one person in your household—and multiple tablets and phones in use—your bandwidth can easily be hogged just by streaming shows and movies.
And Netflix isn’t the only problem.
Streaming services like TikTok and YouTube also use lots of bandwidth. Posting TikTok videos also compounds the bandwidth problem because it involves sending information from the device to a server, consuming even more bandwidth in the process.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, video conference calling became a daily part of life for many people. Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and other services allowed people to stay connected face-to-face, even across long distances. But video calls are notorious bandwidth hogs.
Voice, text, and video all combine to devour bandwidth—and that’s why you’ve experienced those ridiculous freeze-frame faces during the call!
And remember, with video calling, you are not just receiving data—you are also continuously sending it back to the server (and then to your loved ones’ devices). That accounts for video calling’s massive appetite for bandwidth and why so many video calls end up frustrating people (unless you have fiber internet!).
Another big-time bandwidth hog is online gaming.
Online gaming is incredibly problematic from a bandwidth perspective because, like video calling, information is shared—from the player back to the server and the server back to the player. It often jams the internet connection for gamers and others in the house.
Higher bandwidth allows this excessive volume of data to transfer with far less latency or other delays. So gamers experiencing lag or freezes will benefit from internet plans and tiers that provide more bandwidth.
What’s the Best Way to Get More Bandwidth?
Well, apart from eliminating bandwidth hogs—the devices and activities you already have and love—your best solution is to upgrade to fiber internet.
DSL, cable, and satellite internet don’t have fiber’s high speeds or bandwidth capacity because fiber’s innovative design and cutting-edge materials allow for data to transfer faster and in much higher volumes.
If you already have fiber internet and would like to improve your internet service, you should increase your plan’s maximum speeds. With NHTC fiber internet, you can select a service tier with 1 or 2.5 gigabyte(s) per second (Gbps).
Both 1 and 2.5 Gbps tiers provide plenty of bandwidth to allow a steady flow of online activity like streaming TV and movies, video calling, online gaming, and social media posting. Just by using fiber internet and upgrading your internet speed, you should easily get all the bandwidth your household needs.
To sum it all up, the more bandwidth an internet connection has, the more information it can send out and get back at any particular moment.
And with fiber’s advanced technology and higher speeds, you’ll have additional bandwidth to disburse throughout your home and among your devices. With fiber’s higher bandwidth capacity, your household can avoid the freeze-ups and slowdowns that still plague so many internet users today.
If you have more questions about how fiber internet and its maximum speeds and higher bandwidth can make a difference in your internet connection, feel free to reach out to the helpful experts at NHTC. And be sure to check out NHTC’s social pages to learn more about our fiber network!