More Bandwidth Doesn't Guarantee Better WiFi

Broadband Providers and Resellers vs WiFi Providers / With WiFi it’s the last mile that counts!

For those WiFiers who are heavy users and buyers of WiFi for events, multi dwelling units, hotels, or even at home, where download/upload lag is your nemesis, marketing would lead you to believe that it’s the speed of your bandwidth. Stop throwing your money away, it’s just marketing hype! WiFi strength and usability is not just determined by the bandwidth connection between your device and your Internet Service Provider. When deploying home or large scale WiFi, there is a beginning, middle, and end. Bandwidth Providers and Internet companies are the beginning of the process, followed by the gateway routers/modems and firewalls that transfer the data request, and lastly the user’s device of choice. That connection is often referred to as the last mile, as illustrated in

wifi bandwidth

While in many cases it won’t be an actual mile, its WiFi management companies not Bandwidth resellers that specialize in understanding device limitations, usage expectations, and most importantly what bandwidth internet connection is most appropriate.

All of these factors must be in sync for WiFi to work at its best. Ignoring any of these parts will slow down the data transfer or worse cause connection loss altogether. Bandwidth providers and resellers have taken an unjust position stating that good WiFi deployment is caused by supplying more bandwidth, that they just so happen to be selling. This is the least effective approach to delivering successful WiFi. Bandwidth companies make their money by providing a very high-speed (and very expensive) internet connection. Internet wholesale companies or Internet Service Provider’s get paid by renting little "chunks" of that high-speed connection to consumers who don't want to spend thousands of dollars each month for a large pipe that is required for delivering bandwidth. The term broadband is shorthand for broad bandwidth or large amounts of capacity, not large amounts of speed.

Large Bandwidth Providers and ISPs use the terms 'bandwidth' and 'speed' interchangeably, and they shouldn't because the more bandwidth you buy the more money they make, NOT the more speed you will receive. ISPs claim to deliver blazing speeds if you buy their highest bandwidth services. These advertisements mislead WiFi consumers into assuming that a higher bandwidth connection will automatically deliver a faster user experience. In fact, bandwidth is but one of a half dozen factors that affect user response time (a.k.a. speed).

What bandwidth providers don’t want you to know is that there are numerous ways to connect laptops, desktops, mobile phones, gaming consoles, e­-readers, and tablets to the Internet. They just want to sell you the type that they resell. It is important to understand the distinction between each type of bandwidth connection. Here are a list of the most commonly used bandwidth types and anyone of them may be suitable for your situation, but typically only one type is sold by any one provider. Types of WiFi/Internet Bandwidth Connections are wireless, mobile, hotspots, DSL, Cable, Optical/Fiber and satellite. There are quite a few other Internet connection options available, including T-1 lines, T-3 lines, and other DSL technologies (ADSL, SDSL, VDSL).

So which one do you use for your WiFi connection? The answer really depends on the user’s priorities and needs. For example, hotspot access may be enough for those who use WiFi for only a few hours a week. If someone uses the WiFi heavily in a densely populated area or needs streaming capability for a video, the connection may be better using Fiber than Cable bandwidth. Also some of the options don’t work as well as others depending on location, i.e. near water or in a thick cement building, this and more will play an important role in selection.

With a WiFi company there’s no guessing and no extra costs. WiFi companies have a strong business connections to many bandwidth companies and their aggregated purchase makes the cost many times lower than you would be able to purchase directly or they will negotiate a discount for you for the correct amount of bandwidth. What’s most important is their allegiance to the WiFi customer not the amount of capacity they can sell or the type of bandwidth technology they are provided with. WiFi company implementations are based on what you want to do with your device, how the data is transferred, how many people are connected simultaneously, what type of construction surrounds the WiFi, and the cost implications of the different bandwidth types. In most cases saving you a ton of money and even more aggravation.

Secret Tip: Just ask your bandwidth provider if they guarantee the upload and download speed they are selling. They can’t. Unlike Bandwidth companies, a WiFi Provider will have reporting capabilities to show if you are getting what you are paying for and how to maximize your usage with less bandwidth. At SLICE Managed Solutions we don’t just report, we have SLICE which actually aggregates bandwidth from several providers, controls the amount of bandwidth each device can use, and offers a portal so your WiFi can be branded, collect data, and create revenue opportunities.

NEXT WEEK! The half dozen factors that affect user response time!!

Key Terms to Understanding Cable and Internet Modems

  • Broadband: A type of data transmission in which a single medium (wire) can carry several channels at once.
  • DSL: Refers collectively to all types of digital subscriber lines, the two main categories being ADSL and SDSL.ISP: Short for Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the Internet.
  • Modem: A modem is a device or program that enables a computer to transmit data over, for example, telephone or cable lines.
  • ISP: Short for Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the Internet.
  • Firewall: A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.

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