What is 10/100/1000 Ethernet? And what do I need?

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Wifi and the home or office network that sits behind it has fast become an Utility that we cannot do without. Read below about the latest developments in Wifi in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

You may see numbers on the back of your home router or switches. You may also have heard the term Gigabit – but what do they mean? The networking standard used to be data rates of 10 Mbps (megabits per second) – hence Ethernet 10. That quickly became 100 Mbps and that is sufficient for most current applications. However, the emerging standard that is future proof is Gigabit Ethernet. This allows for data rates of 1000 Mbps.

How fast is 10 / 100 / 1000?

10 Mbps equals 1.25 Mb / s (Megabyte / Second). So 100 Mbps = 12.5 Mb / s and Gigabit Ethernet = 125 Mb / s. To transfer 1Gb of data will take approximately 13 minutes at 10 Mbps, 1:30 minutes at 100 Mbps and just under 8 seconds at Gigabit speeds (calculator link).

But what does actually mean? Netflix quotes the following minimum requirements to watch TV and Movies using their system:

  • 5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality
  • 25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD quality

Why do I need 1000 Mbps on my home network?

You should be aiming for Gigabit Ethernet throughout your home network from now on. Not only to future-proof your wired home network as 4K video streaming becomes more prevalent. Also your home network needs to be able to cope with multiple users using heavy data within your network and streaming from and to the internet. Make the pipes in your home as wide as possible and then nothing will be slowed down by it…

I have fast internet but some sites are slow – why?

Although the data rates (bandwidth you have purchased from Du or Etisalat) can be high there are 2 further factors. Firstly, the data that you are accessing over the internet has to come from a Server somewhere. There can be any number of bottlenecks between you and that server. Secondly, the physical distance between your home network and the server you are requesting data from will have a delay as information can only ever travel at the speed of light and it has to be processed several times before it gets to you. Although this delay is very small and measured in msec – it is still relevant and is termed ‘Latency’. Because the UAE is a fair distance from the USA the Latency for some information can be high. A latency above 200 msec can be enough to affect Skype calls.

How do I get Gigabit Ethernet throughout my home?

Everything you buy from now on should be Gigabit; from Routers to Switches. Not only will it improve data rates around your home. It will save you having to re-invest in the next technology round.

If you want help with choosing the right equipment contact Aquila Wifi at betterwifi@aquilawifi.com.