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What Is Gigabit Internet? How Fast Is It and How It Can Work For You


If the WiFi network (or, the "internet connection") in your home handles everything from HD video streaming and web surfing to music streaming and online gaming, it may be time to consider Gigabit Internet service also called Gig-speed and ultra-high-speed Internet. The promise of this next-generation high-speed Internet — capable of delivering speeds up to 40 times faster than the typical home connection, based on the FCC benchmark for what constitutes broadband speeds — is allowing users to optimize their home Internet speed and Internet use across all devices.

Gigabit Internet service transmits data up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) — or 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). With that rate of speed, you can download a full HD movie in just a few minutes, update your smartphone’s operating system in seconds, and join videoconferences with ultra-high definition video, just to name a few.

How Gig-speed Internet works

Gigabit Internet service can be delivered to your home using either fiber-optic cable or the coaxial cable currently used to deliver your TV, Internet, and phone service.

Most home Internet service delivers faster speeds for downloading vs. uploading, due to average consumer needs. For example, the data speeds needed to download an HD movie are much greater than the speeds needed to load a link in a web browser. However, gigabit service over a fiber-optic network can deliver the same speeds uploading as downloading, or the same "upload" speed and "download" speed.

Gigabit service can also be transmitted over traditional cable wiring, which does not require a fiber-optic line (or "fiber internet") running to your house. Xfinity Gigabit Internet Service, which uses the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, can download data up to 1 Gbps, and upload data at 35 Mbps.

Gigabit to Mbps conversion information

Wondering how Gigabit to Mbps converts in the real world? Here's a chart for your reference:

Gigabit per second Megabit per second
1 Gbps 1,000 Mbps
2 Gbps 2,000 Mbps
3 Gbps 3,000 Mbps
4 Gbps 4,000 Mbps
5 Gbps 5,000 Mbps

... and so on.

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Tips for using Gigabit Internet

If you’re able to get gigabit service to your home, here are a few tips to get the most out of your connection:

  • Check your router. Make sure you have a Gigabit WiFi router, which uses the protocol called 802.11ac (and can support speeds up to 1.3 Gbps).
  • Consider Ethernet connections. With bandwidth-hungry PCs and video streaming devices, consider using wired Ethernet cable connections rather than WiFi. The reason? Internet speeds won’t be affected by interference from other wireless devices (such as smartphones and tablets) in your home. Ideally, you’ll want category 6 Ethernet cables, which can support speeds up to 10 Gbps. Older category 5 cables (100 Mbps max) cannot deliver Gigabit Internet speeds.
  • Place your router strategically. Wireless speeds drop off as you get farther away from your WiFi router. To get the top possible speeds over WiFi, make sure your router is placed in a central location.

If your family loves to stream movies and TV while playing bandwidth-hungry games and downloading the latest apps on your smartphone — all at the same time — Gigabit service could provide a major improvement in network speed and reliability.

To learn more, visit What is Xfinity 10G.

With Gig-speed from Xfinity, waiting for files to download and movies to buffer could be a thing of the past, with super fast Internet speeds that provide quick uploads, downloads, and beyond. See how these 5g speeds stack up when comparing 5g home internet versus cable.