My name is Steve and I’m an former Internet Service Provider (ISP) Engineer for UPC. I would like to tell you what you need to think about when you are going to buy Internet from any Service Provider.
I like to talk about Remote Working and what is needed.
As a former Internet Service Provider Engineer and an IT Professional for over 30 years, I would like to say something about this and point out what is really necessary you know about this.
When you are working from Home, Remote Working demands a lot off your Internet. What you are doing extra at Home, in a Lockdown situation and when everyone is at home and using Internet, by Phone, Tablet, Laptop/PC, Game Console and TV. This will demand of your Internet speed a lot.
Use Speedtest to test your Internet Speed first. https://www.speedtest.net
First take note of your ISP.
How does your Internet End up in your Home:
This Picture provides you with an understanding about the internet that you ordered to your Home. It is the same for everyone, also for companies. The Only difference is the contract you’re agreeing on with your ISP. For business are bigger because they demand a lot more connections and speed.
The Network Provider has a BackBone installation, with other Network Service Providers.
The Only thing is between the Phone, Cable, Satellite Company will be more in-betweens before it reaches us at Home
- Your ISP Central HUB, this is where all Internet Starts for your ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Every ISP has a Central HUB, this could be in the Country remote or close to a BIG City.
This is where you see, on that Campus a Lot of Antenna’s and Satellite Dishes and even a very BIG Satellite Dish or even more of these Hughes Dishes.
- From the central Hub, there is a Big Powerful enough cable (should be) to the City HUB.
- From the City Hub there is a cable going or several to the Street HUB
The City Hub or a local AREA Hub, could be something like this
A small building in your City what will be Labelled with a Power Sign, something like this.
The Street HUB.
Will always be a Grey or Green Metal Cabinet in your Street.
The further away you are from this BOX. This means that you are sharing with all the Neighbor’s in that street when they have the same Provider.
The Internet Service Provide Central HUB or the Main Point of Access were all the Internet Traffic and Communication of Service will be coming from.
Will be a Big Campus with a lot of these kind of Antenna’s and Satellite Dishes
Because to get the Internet Speed towards your Home there is a lot of Power Needed and the Signal needs to be Transformed or even cranked up, to keep the signal alive.
As an ISP Engineer, we had tools, to measure this Speed. What we measured, is only available when you have an ISP DC Meter.
When the signal is below this average, a ticket (Request for Measurements) needs to be issued, that the Cable will be checked and measured for a possible damage.
The AOP is your Access Point in House.
This should be a Small Grey or any color box, were the Connections of your TV or Radio is coming from
Also, your cables & connectors are especially important. The wrong cable and connectors can be damping the signal and will decrease your speed. When your cable is too old, you will see a decrease in speed. Coper is a strange metal in cables, when it has Oil from your fingers on it, it will have a damping effect on your signal. Combined with transpiration it will form rust on the coper wire and that will even give signal lose.
These things are very important in the use of Internet. Touching the coper wire or the inner copper core, will be causing signal lose and decrease of speed. Touching anything of coper has effects on the performance of the coper, when this is cables or connections.
Remote working is best done attached with an Ethernet Cable, Wi-Fi is a signal and can be jeopardized by the surroundings, what will have an effect on your Internet Connection.
This is an Ethernet Cable, they come in various sizes and colors.
There are several categories, and they are in varied sizes and lengths. It’s a BIG telephone plug, we call the Plug RJ45 Connector. The Telephone RJ Plug is RJ11 and is smaller than this RJ45 Ethernet Cable Plug.
What is particularly Important are the CATegories, There are 7 in total now. Different Categories are for different types of Network Speed.
Gamers are a good thing to look at, they need to have the best speed and how fast the responsiveness is of your Internet. We call that LAG or Latency; this is the moment you do something (when you action something is always an upload) and it will be received by the server.
This is the responsive time of your upload, which will be received at a Server were you sending this responsive action to. It depends also how you are connected to this Content. When you are connected in an Remote Session or through an Browser, when you are connected by Ethernet Wire or Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi). When your Office is in a BIG city and your office does not have that fast Internet Download and Upload, it could take some time, before the response you send will be received and going back to you. Your screen will be looking like it froze up in time.
In Cable land, we work with Categories, the Cable is also marked with the CAT [number] any good cable will have these Printed on the Cable. When you have an 1Gbps Router/SWITCH or Network, you need at least CAT6. When you are going over 25m or sometimes even below 25m asks for Shielded Cable. Think about when you are living close to an power/train/relay station or antenna’s, shielding all your cables will help with your interference issues. How longer the cable will be, it will act like an antenna. Think about the early days, when the radio, was only connected with the air by an single coper cable, to receive AM Radio.
The Cable length can be variant in transmission speed per length CAT 6 & CAT 8 intended use is Important, when you have 100 meter of CAT 6 or 8 the performance of that cable will be average when you use a max of 50 Meters or lower, performance will be much better.
You will always have interference, when you have a longer cable, when this is Unshielded or shielded. Interference on cable is a common thing, which is why there is [shielded] and [unshielded cables]. Of course, the Shielded are better protected against Interference of outside sources.
That is why the measures are given, to stick to these measures, otherwise you will see a decrease in Performance Speed.
The Shorter the cable the better the Cable Performs, that is of course different with Fiber Optics, because the signal we are sending through the cable is not measured in MHz, but it’s a light beam or accurate to say a short light beam burst.
When CAT is not printed on it with the number it will be CAT 3/5, that is what we started to use with ISPs with Routers & Modems.
The Difference in Routers is also particularly Important for your Speed and the firmware this Router will be having.
A Router has more than ONE Ethernet Connection at the back.
This is the latest UPC (Virgin Media UK/IE) GigaBit Router
This Router is capable of handling 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps. Only the UPC Network needs to be Upgraded to have this fast speeds. The protocol or Interface Cable companies use are DOCSIS. and we in Europe have a different standard than in US, for that it is called EU DOCSIS/EURODOCSIS.
DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification
At this moment we have EU DOCSIS 3.1 what can handle speeds up to 10Gbps. To have this speeds available, ISP needs to upgrade their HUBs and Network.
Check your Provider if they have Gigabit Speeds, that means they are already updated towards faster speeds.
There are different ISP Technologies like.
- Cable Internet (Internet Providers using the Old TV Signal Cabling)
- Satellite Internet (Internet Providers using Satellite Discs)
- ADSL Internet (Internet Providers using the Old Telephone lines)
- Fiber Internet (Internet Providers using Fiber optics Cabling)
All the Internet Service Providers are combining the Signal together with everyone else their Signal towards their Street HUB.
In the Street HUB it will be divided, towards all the houses in your street. This means you will be sharing the Internet Signal with others, when you’re the last house in the street, all your neighbor’s who are before you from the point of the Street HUB, will be getting more than you are.
The best to measure this is, when everyone is at home and see how fast your Internet Speed is.
When there are a lot more neighbor’s using the same Internet Service Provider, you will be sharing the speeds with them.
The Only Internet Provider who has Fiber Optics, means that you are not sharing the Signal with others, because there is only ONE Fiber Optics cable Specially for you connected to your House. Those speeds are also different measured. For Other Internet Service Providers, the Download Speed will be higher than the Upload. With Fiber optics this is the Same because the signal you send and receive is the same light beam.
For MHz signals to be uploaded, towards the Network is an hugh amount of Power needed and the same for you when you want to upload it to your Internet Service Provider. Fiber optics is for this ideal because the amount of power you need is the same in sending and receiving.
An Internet Modem is a quite different device, this is always used with Coper Phonelines
It Modulates the Analog signal, [Phone line is an Analog line] and converts it into Digital Signal.
Modulating and DeModulating Converting back and forward to Analog Signal
The Modem has also less more ports than a Router would have. You also have Modems with just as much Ethernet Ports as a Router.
The best thing is when you have a Modem like this, buy a SWITCH what you can hook up to your modem, this way you have more Ports available.
A SWITCH is a DUMB Router, only be used to passthrough signal.
Router does more than passing through Signal, it also secures your Network Signal and provides all your Systems on your Home Network with an IP Address.
First you need to take notice of your Surroundings, before you order Internet Service.
- Internet Service Providers doesn’t have one cable from their Centrale HUB towards you, the longer the cable from the City HUB to your street, is a decrease of Internet Speed. The Longer the cable is from your Street HUB to your HOME, is a decrease of your Internet speed.
- You are sharing with other people the Internet Bandwidth to your Street HUB, means is a decrease of your Internet Speed. The families around you, are they using the same Internet Provider, will be an problem for you, when you need your Internet Speed.
The Only Internet Service Provider who has a Single Line from their Central HUB to your Home, will be the Internet Service Provider who provides Fiber Optics. It is called FttH (Fiber to the HOME)
What you need to know, there are Standard rules. To provide end users with Internet access a set of rules are implemented, that guards and keeps the Internet working properly. That is why you see Internet Service Providers, upgrading their Network, to provide the fastest speeds.
Internet speed depends on your Resolution of the Data content [Text, Pictures and Videos] you’re Downloading or Uploading. Because the resolution gives you an indication how big that file will be. When it’s [Text, Pictures or Videos] there is always resolution involved
When your Text, Picture or Video Image is FULL HD it will be shown in size 1920 x 1080. What you see her down below, the bigger the better the Resolution is, the bigger the file size will be.
This is also the case for Movies and data you’re requesting from a website, it has all to do with the Size of Information your requesting and Downloading
- Full HD TV 1080P is requesting of your Internet Broadband at least that you have 20 Mbps Download speed. When you have 20 Mbps, your able to see Full HD without any hick ups and colored Dots or Freezing Images/Screen or freezing and jumping forward. But it depends on when you are alone on that Cable to your Home and when your alone using the Internet at home.
- 4K TV watching is a lot more. 4K is 4 x Full HD or 4 x 1080P, when you are watching UHD (Ultra HD) Movies wat 4K is, this already asking 4x the speed of your Internet. 80 Mbps, but to be on the safe side there is 100 Mbps and that would be sufficient to watch 4K, Your Upload speed is low, because it takes less Uploads towards your internet Service Provider to perform an Request.
It’s something Different, when your Uploading an 4K Image or Movie to Internet, than your Upload Speed needs also to be more.
- When you are working from Home, it’s the resolution of Your Laptop and what the Remote Server is setup with, that asks your Internet Speed. Again with a Full HD Resolution 1920 x 1080 your Internet Speed needs to be 2x the speed you’re watching Full HD TV. Why, because you are not only receiving Data (Download Speed) like in watching a Movie, your also Uploading Data and that’s where a lot of people getting jaggy or freezing images. 20 Mbps download & upload is not enough keeping your Data Stream alive. This needs to be at least 1.5 Faster. With remote working from Home, your Download Speed and Upload Speed needs to be more, because for Full HD Image to download you need it also for the upload, because you’re sending the same amount of Data with working from Home.
Some Remote Access Servers are intelligent enough to know, when you are sending Data. Certain Protocols make sure that they receive the same amount of Data what is send and try to fix this with what they already have.
But even with this Protocols in place, your Internet needs to be good for working from Home.
When you have an very good and fast Internet, the best way to test this if your Internet Speed can handles it, is Running an full HD or 4K YouTube video on your Smart TV or when your Laptop/PC is able to show 4K resolution.
Your also able to run it in 4K and see if your Internet Speed is up for the task.
Here is where you can change the Resolution of the Video you’re Watching, for me it’s set to HD as you can see the HD mark is on the Gear.
This is an 4K Movie of Costa Rica.
Press now the Gear and you will see the following Menu, where you choose Different Resolutions.
Try the 4K and go down until you find the right one, what will measure up to your internet Speed. When you get the loading sign in your Video, this means your Speed is not up to show this in real time and needs to download more into his buffer. The Demand is too high on what your Internet Speed is capable of handling.
You see there is more to it working from Home than we used our Internet for.
And to answer the question when your boss needs to pay for your Internet?
Yes, your Boss needs to provide the means for you to do your Job correctly when he asks of you to work from Home. Because this asks of your Internet Connection some speed, what you possible don’t have yet.
When your Boss can’t provide the answers what you need, at least your IT Guru needs to be answering this for you.
But make no mistake, your Home Internet is not designed by you to work from Home. When you are an Nerd like me or Gamer like me, you will have the best Internet at your Home. But even when you have the Best Internet, what I have is 1Gigabit per second.
I will never get to 1 Gbps because of that I’m sharing my UPC Backend from Virgin Media with others in my Street. I’m living at the main street of my city, so I assume the city Hub will not be far away from me or it is.
My speeds can be sometimes
But look at my PING, London is fast in responding.
You can try different Locations, that’s how it works the Internet.
It depends where you are requesting Data from, different locations can have a drop in internet Speed. So can your Company Network, you are connecting with.
It depends on how that company is connected to the Internet and especially their Internet Service Provider.
The Internet Backbone is the important Infrastructure of the Internet
It gives us a good picture, how the Major cities and countries are connected and what kind of Connection it is and what Speeds that connection has.