When we’re online, we want what we want fast – and now. Streaming video that stops for buffering, trouble downloading files from your company’s cloud, and speeds that suffer when multiple people are using your wireless are all very annoying. Have you ever been aggravated by any of the following scenarios?
You’re watching Avenue 5 in the living room, your husband is in the basement with a pile of laundry and Letterkenny, and the kids are upstairs either watching The Office for the umpteenth time or binging some cartoon about space cowboy bounty hunters on their really specific anime streaming service. Or maybe they’re watching both, because suddenly you’re waiting
for your show to buffer. Is it too much to ask to watch your show without a whole lot of ugly visual artefacts and Hugh Laurie’s snappy dialogue ruined by screen stutter? And wait, are your kids also browsing YouTube while watching their shows?
The Software Update Traffic Jam
Your family is married to one digital ecosystem, so when Apple pushes an iOS update late Sunday night, a small fortune in iPhones, iMacs, and iPads cease their functioning and attempt simultaneous security patches. Now nobody has a functioning phone, your slide deck for tomorrow’s meeting is somewhere in the inaccessible cloud, and tonight’s dinner
might remain uncooked if you can’t liberate the recipe from your busy iPad.
Working From Home Is Nice, If You Can
Your company is having more people work from home sometimes, so why not try it out? The reduction in traffic jam time turns your workday from ten hours into eight! But you need to be able to access the company cloud. And you need to be able to download large files (a 20 GB file will take almost 5 hours if your internet speed is 10 Mbps, 28 minutes if it’s 100 Mbps and just 3 minutes if your speed is 1 Gbps) as well as upload them. And your
co-workers need you to collaborate on files with them in real time. And video conferencing technology will become a very important part of your life. Wait, are all these things turning into barriers? Will you be prevented from working in pyjama bottoms all because crappy internet can’t render video conferencing properly?
Extended Family Comes to Town
There’s no togetherness like extended family togetherness. Once upon a time that meant air mattresses on the basement floor, two extra card tables at dinner, and nineteen people politely trying to avoid each other’s bathroom time. Now, it’s still all that, but it also means sharing a WiFi password, which ends up feeling like everyone trying to fit through the
bathroom door at the same time.
New Game Night Goes Bust
You’ve installed a new graphics card, you’ve bought new peripherals, and you’ve pre-ordered Half Life: Alyx. Now all you have to do is install that sucker and play the day away. Of course you expect to wait an hour or so for it to download and install. An hour that could be better
spent trying out the game’s new gravity gloves. Or it could take more than an hour to download. Wait, how big are VR games? Like, much bigger than other games? Oh, and it’s in 4K. Oh, no.
While there are workarounds to relieve the bandwidth bottleneck in all of these scenarios, the easiest solution is simple – get more bandwidth. These days, affordable packages with high-speed connections up to 1 gigabyte per second are just a phone call away. Sometimes you don’t even need a modem switched out – you just can get a better plan on the spot.
Check with your provider to see what’s available.