Google Fiber Has Dropped Its Free Tier In Kansas City

Google Fiber is Googles way of providing the internet for a variety of users, with a wide range of choices to help people in all situations. Their $70 gigabit internet access was their most commonly known option, but for those in Kansas City you could also get 5Mbps internet for a small construction fee, or at least you could as it would appear that Google Fiber has now dropped its free tier. The free 5Mbps option is now longer available for selection

The free 5 Mbps option is no longer available for selection, with a new 100 Mbps costing $50 a month and the $100 installation fee waived in exchange for a one-year commitment. Those who are currently on the tier have until the 19th May to say they want to keep it, but with the option also being available in Austin and Provo, the question is will they soon lose the low-cost option.

With the removal being unannounced and no word from Google yet regarding the removal, it is up to anyone’s guess why they have made this move. It could simply be that the days of fiber being considered a luxury experiment are over and with so many people now offering fiber connections for cheap prices, Google fiber may just need to start making money.

UK Needs Faster Internet Says Business Leaders Group

Buffering, downloading, pausing, even trying to make out the shapes on a low-resolution video have become common place for so many people as their internet speed caps out, normally before they are anywhere near their advertised (and purchased) speeds. It seems that we aren’t the only ones annoyed by this though as a group of business leaders have spoken out now, accusing the UK government of creating a “poverty of ambition” for internet speeds.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) is formed from business leaders within the UK, and in their report titled Ultrafast Britain, they state that the UK is lagging behind when it comes to enabling faster broadband connections. The government states that 90% of UK properties have access to superfast speeds, with that reaching 95% by next year.

The IoD don’t think this is good enough, with them calling for speeds of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2030. Currently, the government wants just 10 megabits per second by 2020, a speed which many are already getting.

This isn’t the first time that the internet as a structured provision has been discussed this week, with Ofcom telling BT that its cable network should be opened up to other companies. Currently, BT contains two parts, the core company and Openreach, the part of the company responsible for the cable, fibre and network infrastructure that the UK relies on for its internet.

What is your internet speed? Is it ever what you were actually advertised to be getting? Do you know anyone with super fast/slow internet and does it have a big impact on them?

Republican Senators Argue With FCC Over 25Mbps Broadband

On Thursday, a group of republican senators expressed an issue with the Federal Communications commission, or rather their definition of a service. The item in question is broadband and the fact that in order to qualify in their reports they are now required to provide 25Mbps Broadband.

Citing popular sites like Netflix and Amazon in their letter, they argue that services like these only require a fraction of the speed that the FCC now say is the baseline to classify as broadband internet. The speed in question is 25 Mbps, a speed I know a lot of people would be happy to pay for if it was stable at even a fraction of that speed.

Broadbands definition was redefined as 25 Mbps last year, raising from only 4Mbps. The difference being fundamental to the FCC given that they are required to act if not enough people have access to this service. The reason they stated for the update was because the old speed was “dated and inadequate”, with more devices connected to each household now you could often see several people connecting and using services like Netflix at the same time.

In their latest report, 10% didn’t have access to the 25Mbps speed that was required to be considered Broadband. Something which may be easier to help with if the FCC was consistent across the board the senators argue. While using 25 Mbps for reporting on broadband levels, if you are applying for Connect America Funds the benchmark is only 10 Mbps. These funds are designed to help connect people and allow companies to offer services to as many people as possible, but clearly only offering 10 Mbps is far from the 25 Mbps you will require according to the new standards.

Valve Increasing Steam’s Speed With 100 Gbps Connections

Steam is a global name in video games. As a platform for everything from selling games to networking players, the service enables you to download a small client and regain access to a collection of thousands of games. Not surprising then that they’ve recruited Level 3 communications to increase their network speed.

Level 3 deliver a collection of high-speed connections all around the world, a service that Steam users will be able to enjoy soon as Valve has approached Level 3 to upgrade their network to include their “100 gigabits per second” connection. They state several good reasons for this upgrade, the first of which is the service’s growth year on year. With a 75% increase year on year, you can imagine how their servers must be with new games released causing massive spikes of downloads. 400-500 petabytes of data are downloaded worldwide per month with 4-5 exabytes being downloaded per year, a figure that will only increase with games increasing in average size year on year. With Steam games coming from MB’s to GB’s the “standard” for Steam is roughly 10-40 gigabytes per user download. This is quite hefty given the service has over 100 million users, with users often being online at peak times such as during sales in which it’s not uncommon for millions of users to be online at the same time.

During those busy times, you may quickly notice that your connection stays at peak performance with such an array of upgrades coming soon. Now if only we could all get stable, fast internet at homes it would help make that game time less stressful.

Triple The Speed But US Still Lags In Internet Speed Comparisons

One of the most competitive things you can mention is your internet speed. Being able to download and watch your latest games and movies at the press of a button relies on a steady and speedy connection, something that few have. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have released a report that shows something that might upset some people, even though all it does is say your internet is more than likely faster than it used to be.

The report states that between March 2011 and September 2014 internet speeds within the US tripled, jumping from 10MBPS to 31MBPS. While this may sound amazing, in comparison to other countries like Canada and Japan the US still ranks 25 out of 39 countries as stated by a study in 2013.

While this all sounds amazing you have to remember just how much extra bandwidth people are using on an everyday basis. With the FCC estimating that over 60% of internet traffic is video, estimated to rise to over 80% by 2019, you may need that fiber optic broadband sooner than you think. Don’t forget that the next big thing is 4k, with such a data consuming technology set (or at least many hope) to become the new standard you could soon see speeds of MBPS not being enough to catch up with your favourite shows or watch that new Netflix or Prime movie.

Germany Promises 50Mbps Broadband

With a wide majority of the world using internet on a regular, if not every day, basis, we need to be aware of just how much we use the internet for. While most activities are mundane and almost ritualistic in how we do them each day. There are some which we take a lot of time to do, and can even be in their work life every day. With more and more people relying on the internet for everyday work related activities speed is essential (yes, we understand that you want that YouTube video to buffer a little faster too). Germany has decided that it will take the first step and states that it will promise all users 50Mbps broadband across the entire country.

The current highest download speed (on average) is South Korea with 23.6Mbps, with the average speed in the US only measuring at 11.9Mbps. With initial estimates putting 70% of Germany already connected to 50Mbps connections, the cost of upgrading everyone to this speed is expected to be rather small. It should be noted though that their current average speed is only 11Mbps, a value only slightly lower than the US’s and under half of the current world’s leaders average.

With the public being asked to provide 10% of the cost, with 90% being provided by a combination of German states (40%) and development projects (50%), users could soon see their internet speed jumping.

Thank you The Next Web for the information.

Image courtesy of Gecko And Fly.

Virginia Has the Fastest Internet in the USA

Well here they are, the fastest states in America. A new report from Broadview shows that the average internet speed in the USA is fastest in the state of Virginia and slowest in Alaska. Overall the report shows that internet speeds are slower in the Midwest and southern states with the west coast and north east states having greater speeds on average.

Here is a list of the top 10 fastest and slowest average speeds for all who are wondering what the average speed is where they live, sorry if your state isn’t on the list.

Top 10 states with fastest Internet:

1. Virginia (13.7 Mbps)

2. Delaware (13.1 Mbps)

3. Massachusetts (13.1 Mbps)

4. Rhode Island (12.9 Mbps)

5. Washington, DC (12.8 Mbps)

6. Washington (12.5 Mbps)

7. New Hampshire (12.3 Mbps)

8. Utah (12.1 Mbps)

9. Michigan (11.8 Mbps)

10. Connecticut (11.7 Mbps)

Top 10 states with lowest average Internet speed:

41. Louisiana (7.7 Mbps)

42. Missouri (7.7 Mbps)

43. Idaho (7.7 Mbps)

44. Mississippi (7.6Mbps)

45. New Mexico (7.6Mbps)

46. West Virginia (7.5Mbps)

47. Montana (7.3 Mbps)

48. Arkansas (7.3 Mbps)

49. Kentucky (7.3 Mbps)

50. Alaska (7.0 Mbps)

Now being the slowest with 7Mbps isn’t bad, here in the UK as I type this i’m only on 8Mbps and that’s as fast as I can get without getting fibre optics. So for the slowest state Alaska, you’re really not that slow.

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

Netgear R6250 Dual Band Gigabit Smart WiFi Router Review

Introduction


Over the last couple of years the internet has been going through a radical increase in speed and with some connections passing well over the 100Mbps mark, many people are now looking for the next generation of routers that can keep up with the high-speed connections that are on offer. As part of the connection process, every ISP (Internet Service Provider) tends to provide us with their own branded routers such as BT’s ‘Home Hub’ and Virgin’s ‘Super Hub’ (in the case of the two leading Internet providers in the UK); but let’s be honest, whilst they all claim that their wireless router is the better than everyone else’s – they’re not necessarily the best.

When I took a look at Netgear’s R6300 Wireless AC router back towards the start of the year, the performance that I experienced both on the local network and through the internet was far superior to my BT Home Hub that I was provided with – especially when I saw my connection speed to the internet go up by around 5Mbps. This is generally the same story across the board for many people. We are on the whole demanding more from our wireless routers and the ISP provided equipment is not matching our needs, so it is soon being replaced by after-market alternatives that have so much more to offer. Netgear are one such brand that is considered by many. Having been one the of the industries leading infrastructure manufacturers for many years and the consumer level products have been a major part of their business model, with high customer ratings and renowned reliability proving they are one of the best out there.

As the internet has grown to be faster and faster, Netgear have been pushing to come up with a router that not only meets the demands of today’s heavy users, but with features that are ready for the next generation of wireless devices. After many months of R&D (Research and Development), towards the start of this year, a line of dual-band Gigabit wireless was brought to market and the R6300 was one of these.  Delivering super fast, dual band wireless with speeds of up to 1300Mbps across an AC connection it has soon become one of the best routers on the market. The user interface also saw a massive overhaul with all the connectivity and configuration options that the end-user may need – laid out in an intuitive design. Once you top off the package with USB port(s) for connecting printers and storage devices to, enabling them to be accessed across the network or remotely through Netgear’s ReadyShare functions, it becomes apparent that Netgear are offering a little more than your run-of-the-mill router.

Like many routers, Netgear’s package is simple and to the point. With little more than a DC power adaptor and a CAT5e Ethernet cable to connect the router to a modem needed, a simple pack of paperwork rounds off all the bits that you’ll need to get things up and running.

Netgear XWNB5201 500Mbps Powerline WiFi Access Point Review

Until a few months ago, I had quite a large reservation against the principle of powerline technology and up until this point I was hard fought when it came to recommending it. Thankfully though Netgear was able to change all this with the XAVB5201 kit and since then I’ve been totally converted and I can at last put my trust in the technology.

To move on from the simple principle of wired networking, where else is there to go? well the obvious answer is to eliminate the wires and this then in a way questions why one would want to use a powerline kit. Well in many instances wireless has its downfalls mainly due to signal coverage and speed and this is hence why signal boosters and wireless repeaters are available on the market. Truth be told though, wireless extenders still have their pro’s and con’s, the main one being loss of speed and increased ping. When I looked at Netgear’s WN1000RP, it did great in improving the range of my wireless network, but there was a notable drop in speed at the same time which is something that most repeaters do suffer from in varying degrees.

So this is where Netgear’s powerline WiFi Access point comes into play. Simply put it gives the best of both worlds with a point-to-point wired powerline, but also on the remote end, the plug also houses a wireless module that allows users to connect, well – wirelessly. By having the remote access point connected to the powerline directly, there is – in theory – no major loss in wireless performance.

Accompanying the two plugs that make up the powerline kit, Netgear also bundle in a pair of CAT5e patch leads, an installation guide, resource CD and conformity paperwork.