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07 Aug

All you Need to Know about Internet Speeds

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Internet Speed Tips

No matter what kind of internet user you are, serious gamer, Netflix binger, or a professional who does a lot of their work online, you need good internet speeds to be able to properly meet your needs. If you are yet to get a connection set up at your place of residence or employ, simply Googling “internet providers in my area” does not cut it. Before checking out the available options, you need to get a good idea of the kind of speeds you are going to need on a regular basis. Following is a look at the things you will need to know.

Terms to Be Familiar with

  • Ping: This is a test used to figure out whether or not a server can be reached. To ping a server, a data packet gets sent to it, and you wait for it to come back. If it does, that shows the server can be reached.
  • Ping Time: This is a measure of how responsive your connection is, which equals how fast the data packet moves in both directions. The basic unit of ping time is milliseconds. If the data request does not register inside a second or two, the connections is bound to be characterized by lags, which can be off-putting if you are trying to play a game, upload a file, submit a lengthy form, etc.
  • Latency: This is basically how fast data moves from source to destination, or in other words, the delay which occurs in communication. Latency needs to be low if you want to enjoy the best the internet has to offer, and you should keep this in mind while Googling “internet providers in my area”. Gamers find this affects them a lot, especially when playing games with someone on the other side of the globe.
  • Mbps: This is a unit used to measure internet speed, and is short for “megabits per second”. It is a measure of the bandwidth of the connection, which refers to the amount of data that can possibly be transferred in a second.

Difference between Download Speeds and Upload Speeds

These are two things, which you are bound to see after you Google “internet providers in my area” and start checking out options. Download speed is the speed at which data gets transferred from server to you. This is pertinent to downloading files, loading websites while browsing the internet, and streaming video or audio. Upload speed is the opposite of this, in that it is the speed at which data flows from your computer to a server. Although often overlooked, upload speeds are important when sending emails, files, etc., and also for gaming and video chats.

For Gaming

Most people normally go about finding the right connection for their gaming needs by initially Googling “internet providers in my area”, and checking out the ones that offer sufficiently high speeds. With regards to gaming, you need to remember that upload speeds are as important as download speeds, because your device needs to send information to the gaming servers. That, as well as latency and ping time, matter here. Following are the things to pay attention to.

  • Best speeds for gaming online: Normally, gaming online requires speeds of around 1-3 Mbps, but for the experience to be consistently satisfying, you might want to go with something to the tune of 10-25 Mbps. The ping time is the most important factor to consider, and while dependent on the upload and download speeds, it is more heavily impacted by internet latency.
  • Best internet for gaming: Cable and fiber-optic internet show up right off when you Google “internet providers in my area for gaming”, mainly because connection type each allows for low-latency connections that enable superb gaming experiences. Satellite internet falls behind in that department, because despite high speeds, the signals need to move a great distance between source and destination.
  • Best internet in rural areas: Assuming you have access to it, fixed wireless internet would make the best option for gaming out of a rural area. It ensures lower latency than what you can expect from satellite internet, owing to the much shorter distance that signals need to travel to and from the local tower. The best part is that fixed wireless speeds almost match those of DSL and cable.
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Video Streaming Services

  • Using satellite for gaming: This can go either way based on the type of game you choose to play online. Satellite internet does not have the rapid data-response times required by shooter or sports games, but manages to provide a satisfying experience if you choose RPG, strategy, card, or puzzle games.
  • Does using satellite internet get you blocked from online games? Satellite internet users experience a lot of lag compared to other internet consumers, allowing them to use this as an advantage of sorts when they are gaming. For this reason, many shooter and sports games refuse admittance to satellite internet users, so that the gaming experience among different participants remains fairly equal.
  • Speeding up your internet for online gaming: It is possible to make you internet at home faster by a slight degree, such as through boosting the Wi-Fi signal to reduce latency. You could also try moving the router to a position that stabilizes the signal. If your gaming device is placed a good distance from the router, consider setting up the Wi-Fi repeater, or even an extender. Google “internet providers in my area that provide repeaters”, and you will see a list of companies that help with bolstering your internet signal.

For Streaming

  • Speeds you would need for Netflix: The service generally recommends having speeds of at least 3 Mbps to load videos, but this can vary with the quality of the stream you wish to watch. For standard definition videos, you would need no lower than 3 Mbps in download speed. HD videos require 5 Mbps speed to stream, while streaming HDR or 4K would entail a connection speed of 25 Mbps.
  • Speeds you would need for Hulu: This service recommends having 3 Mbps speed for people who wish to watch on-demand programming of the best quality. Live TV viewing requires at least 8 Mbps.
  • Speeds you would need for DIRECTV NOW®: For steaming video of minimal quality on DIRECTV NOW®, the service recommends 2.5 Mbps speed, but if you wish to enjoy HD video streams on a mobile device, you would need access to speeds to the tune of 7.5 Mbps. On your computer web browser, the same would take no lower than 12 Mbps.
  • Speeds you would need for YouTube TV: When streaming standard definition videos on YouTube, your connection needs to have at least 3 Mbps download speed so that the video does not buffer. For HD videos, you would need around 7 Mbps, and if you were streaming on multiple devices, you would need access to about 13 Mbps download speed.

For Working from Home

The internet speeds you need to comfortably work from home would vary based on the kind of work that needs to get done. If it involves frequent downloads and uploads featuring large files, you would need a really fast connection with speeds of around 40 Mbps. Basic use, such as emailing and using small PC programs, would require 3-4 Mbps speed. If you have a lot of Skyping going on, no lower than 10 Mbps speed would be needed. It is wise to pick speeds that exceed the requirements of the program you use, because at-home speeds invariably fall short of what is advertised. Multiple devices can further hog the bandwidth.

  • Advisable home internet speeds: What you need in terms of internet speeds at home would depend on your internet use. 15+ Mbps would work fine for a family with multiple users who are frequently online.
  • Fastest speeds you can get: At present, the fastest internet speed offered for home use is a whopping 2 Gbps, which XFINITY® provides in select areas.
  • Figuring out the internet speed you currently have: A simple online test can show you how fast your internet connection is. It would also show the ping time and latency, as well as other details.

Benefits of High Speed Internet at a Small Business

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High Speed Internet

For many businesses, especially SMEs, it is imperative to keep operating costs as low as possible, so that profit margins stay high. Starting out as the owner of such a business, you may take the path of Googling “cheap internet providers in my area” and picking the best option you find. However, giving up speed to save on internet expense might not be the best idea, especially in the long run.

Faster internet can set the stage for increased productivity as well as other benefits. This is the main reason why most every successful business has a fast connection serving their offices, whether it has a thousand employees or fewer than twenty. Following are the top benefits you can expect if you take the same route.

  • Better productivity: Imagine your employees having to work with slow internet, and how it could delay or even stall many of the tasks, which need to get done inside the course of the day. Findings from some studies say that every year, around a full week of work can be wasted this way, and that is just for a single user at a computer station. From the productivity perspective, this can be costly for a business, and even more so if it relies on a portal or website to draw in customers or clients. One survey says that 8 out of 10 online customers tend not to return to a slow-loading website, while 2 out of 10 said they would wait a maximum of 5 seconds at each page, and leave if it did not load.
  • Lower stress: For most employees, there is stress accompanying the prospect of waiting for a site to load over a snail-paced internet connection. The reality of this issue only properly dawns when you realize that WHO has placed annual stress-related workplace costs at an estimated $300 billion. Even the tiniest bit of that is a lot, and your company would be saving as much by ushering in a relaxed work environment featuring reliable and fast internet.
  • Space for more users: Even a business with less than 10 employees could face office struggles stemming from a slow connection, because said connection needs to be shared between multiple users. Before long, it can become all but unusable. A high speed broadband connection, on the other hand, would supply the office with enough bandwidth to ensure every device and machine gets access to the speed it requires for smooth, uninterrupted work.
  • Ease in certain tasks: For businesses that require a lot of video conferencing to be done as part of their daily operations, speed is an important factor. This also holds true for cloud storage, online streaming, and cloud-based software use, which require fast internet so as to render a seamless work experience. The more you rely on these things, the higher the importance of a high-speed broadband connection.
  • Smoother downloading and uploading: Many modern business-related activities include sharing files through downloads and uploads. Each operation needs to be completed without interruptions, but a slow connection, which frequently times out can throw a wrench in the works. No one appreciates having to start over repeatedly, which is why a high-speed connection that eliminates this need is essential. Higher download and upload speeds can even make a difference in timesavings when handling small files, especially if you regularly move these to and from a shared storage space. To get set up with a connection that works well in this area, look up “fast internet providers in my area”, and then check out your options.
  • Lower costs: This makes sense when you look at things from the productivity perspective. A decently fast broadband connection can also bring savings in other ways, such as by eliminating the monthly cost of a traditional phone service because VoIP is now a reliable option.
  • Improved collaboration: You find SMEs aplenty that are ready to collaborate with far-placed partners, suppliers, and associates, because a fast internet connections eases this considerably. IT is much simpler to share files, send information, and make changes in shared platforms like Dropbox and Google Docs.
  • The chance to provide better customer service: Since the dawn of time, the customer has always been right, and that will never change. As a business, it is much easier to keep your clients and customers happy as long as you have superior tools to work with, and fast internet is definitely one of those.
28 Mar

Comcast® Reveals How X1 Voice Remote Helps Derive Consumer Insights

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X1 Voice Remote

Comcast® is deriving customer insights through the queries cable customers make via the X1 Voice Remote. The Comcast® Vice President of Research and Development, Amit Bagga, talked about this at an event held in Austin, titled ‘2018 South by Southwest’. He said that customers made voice queries while streaming the 2018 Winter Olympics through Comcast’s NBC broadcast network. To be specific, a customer of the cable giant could use the voice remote to stream live content on Xfinity® TV, search info pertaining to the games and athletes, and replay a highlight they may have missed.

“We doubled the number of [voice] commands from Rio, which was a Summer Olympics,” Bagga said. “And the Winter Olympics are not as popular, or as watched, as Summer Olympics. That just gives you the scale in terms of how many people used voice to actually discover the [Winter] Olympics’ content.”

He also added that the voice command would affect how Comcast® customers discover content and how they would stay interactive not just while programming but even when ads air on the TV. While the best internet provider has employed an array of communications methods in order to illustrate the usefulness of voice-controlled navigation of X1, many customers will query about something that interests them at a given time.

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Voice-Controlled Navigation

Bagga said, “A lot people do ask those questions. And people will try and see if it works. And that allows us, in turn, to gather the data and build some of the feature developments. We do look at the data we are getting.”

For instance, a query which a Comcast Xfinity® customer often voice out to their voice remote includes a request to order a food item while watching the TV. As an example of that, the VP of Comcast’s Research and Development said, “Pizza is one [thing] a lot of people will ask for: Ordering pizza, because a lot of people want pizza with it. That’s one that a lot of people ask for, and it’s something that we plan to support at some point.”

It is not possible always for a particular brand to satiate the requests from a Xfinity® customer, but figuring out what consumers need from the service throws cues to customer behavior and how Comcast® can derive strategies in the future based on that.

26 Mar

Comcast® to Open an Xfinity® Store in East Brainerd

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Xfinity® Retail Store

Comcast® is set to open an Xfinity® retail store at 1926 Gunbarrel Road soon in order to give customers accesses to broadband, X1 platform, Xfinity® voice services and home products. The new Xfinity® outlet will replace Comcast’s service center in their headquarters and an Xfinity® store at Hamilton Place shopping mall once its lease period gets over.

“With the introduction of this new, larger retail space across the street, we will not need the existing location at the Hamilton Place mall,” said Sara Jo Walker, Comcast’s Director of PR. “This new location provides easier access for customers and visitors, and more space to offer a better customer experience.”

The new Comcast Xfinity® outlet feature HD televisions with seating areas for customers to experience X1 and an iPad bar so that customers can trial Xfinity® Mobile applications and its streaming and other functions. The move from Comcast® is part of a nationwide strategy to better the customer experience. “This investment is just one way we are re-imagining the experiences we deliver to our customers,” said Comcast’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Vic Pascarelli. “Our new storefront brings the same approach of innovation and simplicity that our customers love about our products.”

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Xfinity® Voice Services

The Xfinity® outlet at 1926 Gunbarrel Road is anchored on the former site of Yessick’s Design Center, and will also comprise of 3 new restaurants yet to open. Its developer, Bassam Issa, said that the spacious center spanning over fourteen thousand square foot should be open next month. The Xfinity® store opening soon will stay operative from Mondays to Saturdays from 09:00 am to 07:00 pm and from noon to 05:00 pm on Sundays.

Alongside getting assistance on Comcast’s products and services from the in-house sales consultants in the Xfinity® store, the respective subscribers of Comcast® can pay bills in person, as well as collect and return equipment.

The best internet provider invests over millions in Tennessee alone as part of network expansions. In the last two years, Comcast® has rolled out 10 gigabit network for Chattanooga’s business community, deployed both 1 and 2 gigabit residential internet services, and launched Xfinity® Gigabit Pro in the area. In addition to that, Comcast® has added more than ten thousand public Wi-Fi hotspots throughout great Chattanooga in the past.

15 Jan

Charter Communications® Reveal New Plans for Spectrum® Content

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Charter® Spectrum Shows

Recently, Charter Communications® revealed their plans for Spectrum® after hiring Katherine Pope as the Senior Vice President and Head of Original Content. She joins Charter® from Studio 8, where she previously headed their TV division. Before that, Katherine was the production executive of NBCUniversal’s Television Studios.

“We see original content as a way to further differentiate the Spectrum customer experience,” said Justin Venech, who is Charter’s Group Vice President for External Communications. “We have previously announced our co-production plans with AMC and Viacom, and we will continue to explore opportunities for the development of original content. We have no comment beyond that at this time.”

Charter Communications® also said in the announcement of hiring Katherine Pope that she will monitor the deals the company signed with AMC Networks and Viacom for producing original content. “Katherine’s creativity, strategic prowess, and wealth of industry knowledge will play an instrumental role in positioning Charter® as an industry leader in the creation and distribution of high-quality, original entertainment that will further differentiate Charter’s market-leading video products in ways that create value and drive subscribership,” said Senior Executive Vice President, David Ellen.

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Development Of Original Content

Katherine Pope will report to David Ellen and will work out of Charter’s base in Los Angeles. She has a decade-long experience of heading TV Studios of NBCUniversal, and has produced some of their top-rated series such as “Heroes”, “Houses”, and comedies like “The Office,” “Will and Grace”, and “30 Rock”. Other series she spearheaded and monitored for NBCUniversal comprise of “Battlestar Galactica” and “Friday Night Lights”.

Charter Communications® announced the tie-up with AMC Networks in April last year. AMC Networks will coproduce executive shows for Charter Spectrum®, and both companies are expecting the shows to premiere on the Spectrum® brand this year. Further, as per the mutual agreement between Charter Communications® and AMC Networks, the former would have a window to premiere the shows for U.S. audience, while the latter’s studios would get back the right to premiere after that alongside the international distribution rights.

Charter® officials say that the original series of AMC Networks would be a different experience to the subscribers of Spectrum® broadband because of the tons of experience Katherine Pope has in the area. However, only time will tell how the deal fares for the Telco.

28 Aug

Comcast Business® Extends Gig-Speed Network To Northeast And Mid-Atlantic Regions

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Extends Gig-Speed Network

Comcast Business® has declared that it has extended its DOCSIS 3.1 based broadband services to several businesses in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country. The company is also extending these services to various other areas under its national network. Currently, Comcast Business® has already deployed the DOCSIS 3.1 based broadband services across Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Huntsville, Detroit, and Miami. This new extension of Comcast’s “Business Internet 1 Gig” and “Business Internet 500” will allow business customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to access the network.

DOCSIS 3.1 broadband internet service has become the preferred choice for businesses due to its cloud operations capability, high-performance connectivity, and heavy-duty capacity. The introduction of this service will allow businesses to access gigabit internet speeds in their locations. The gig speed network offered by Comcast Business® is ideal for use by businesses operating in numerous areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, retail, etc. due to its speed and cost. Comcast® is also considering cap-free best internet service tiers in the regions that offer 500 Mbps upstream and 1 Gbps downstream speeds.

Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of Product Management at Comcast Business® said, “Comcast® is building the nation’s largest gig-speed network. We have been at the forefront of DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and today’s roll out further demonstrates our commitment to bringing this transformational technology to all businesses in our footprint. Our gig-speed network allows businesses to quickly and easily scale network capacity at their locations to suit their individual needs and to support new technology applications on-site or in the cloud.”

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DOCSIS 3.1 Broadband Internet Service

Comcast® will be able to extend the gigabit service to more areas in its network through its Business Internet 1 Gig and Business Internet 500 tiers. These can also work together with the already available Gigabit and multi gigabit services such as Comcast Business® Ethernet. Through this latest extension into the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, Comcast Business® aims to launch its Gig-internet services to other crucial service areas by the end of the year.

Comcast® has announced that the prices for these services will differ based on the location of the business, the number of locations to serve, and the services subscribed currently by the business. The general pricing for these service starts from $499 per month for the 1-Gig service and $399 for the Business Internet plan.

24 Aug

CenturyLink® Offers High-Speed Internet Service In Neah Bay Area

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High-Speed Internet Service

Makah Reservation and Neah Bay are situated in one of the remote coastlines in Washington and these places will now have access to high-speed broadband internet service. The high-speed internet service from CenturyLink® that offer speeds between 25 and 40 Mbps will offer reliable internet service to the Makah Tribe.

Chairman of Makah Tribe, Nate Tyler said that the introduction of broadband internet would allow the Neah Bay area to offer improved healthcare, emergency services and education together with faster oil response. “Broadband access will open the door to providing better services faster,” Tyler said. “In order to protect our way of life at Makah, security and safety are paramount.”

As per a recent news release, about sixty percent of the Americans on the tribal areas do not have access to high-speed broadband internet. “It’s a huge step in bringing the Makah Tribe into the 21st century,” said Crystal Hottowe, who leads the tech team of the tribe. The introduction of the high-speed broadband internet was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting, salmon bake, and demonstration of the service at the Makah Community Hall.

Many guests attended the event including the U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, State Sen. John McCoy, Stan Speaks, who is the Director of Regional Bureau of Indian Affairs, and David Throop, who is the administrator of U.S. Coast Guard District 13. Cantwell live streamed the complete event on her Facebook page, which was a salute to the high-speed broadband internet. She described her and McCoy’s vision of offering improved internet access to the Native American Tribes.

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Latest CenturyLink® Offering

While on the podium, Cantwell recalled the moment at which they decided about this. “We looked at each other and said, ‘We need more broadband access in Indian Country in the state of Washington. Let’s make it happen.’”

McCoy said that the next step is to address dead stops so that everyone on the Makah reservation will be able to participate in the “wonderful occasion.” He has spoken with CenturyLink®, the tribe, and Microsoft on making use of white space t to get rid of dead stops in the internet connection. “We have the players,” McCoy said. “We just need them to say, ‘Yes, we will do it.’”

Neah Bay area is a part of the Connect America Fund (CAF) of CenturyLink® for 2017.

08 Jun

CenturyLink® Wins 2017 Hewlett Packard Global Service Provider Of The Year Award

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Service Provider Of The Year Award

CenturyLink® Inc., the pioneering telecommunications conglomerate, has won the prestigious 2017 Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Global Service Provider of the Year award. Presented at the Global Partner Summit organized by HPE, the award recognizes the excellent performance and accomplishments made by CenturyLink® in the telecommunications sector that has elevated the standards for business excellence and customer satisfaction.

HPE confers the award for companies that strive to implement meaningful and productive business ventures that provide excellent results for shared customers with the company. Bill Corbin, Senior Vice President for Alliances and Strategic Partnerships at CenturyLink® said, “We are honored by HPE’s recognition. As a global communications provider, we bring together technology, services and expertise that connect many of the world’s largest brands to the power of the digital world. Our strong partnership with HPE has helped us provide many of these crucial connections.”

Apart from providing the best internet service to millions, CenturyLink® is one of the most reliable collaborators with the HPE Partner Ready for Service Providers program. It is offered across solution providers, service providers, ISV, resellers and OEM’s. Through this program, the telecom giant has made available many of its services such as cloud, storage, managed hosting, big data solutions, application services and collocation.

Nearly all of these services are provided on many of the HPE infrastructure solutions and technologies. By relying on these services, organizations looking for implementing hybrid IT solutions are offered with good value and results in all their business ventures. In the HPE portfolio, CenturyLink® has made a much wider contribution through its various hybrid solutions and services that enable businesses to deliver good output and agility.

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Partner Ready For Service Providers

One of the major services offered by the company in HPE’s Partner Program is CenturyLink® Cloud Application Manager. It is an efficient cloud management program that provides companies in their various requirements pertaining to the management of applications and workloads in many of the hybrid hosting environments.

Steve Dietch, Vice President of Worldwide Service Provider Business at HPE said, “As businesses map out a path to the cloud, they need flexibility in how they consume IT services. CenturyLink® services, powered by HPE, enable clients to more effectively leverage a cloud environment in lockstep with their business strategy across infrastructure, information and critical applications, and we are delighted to acknowledge CenturyLink® for its leadership in this area.”

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