Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why 1 Gbps Isn't Presently a Big Deal

You've probably read at least one story about Google Fiber, the 1-Gbps symmetrical fiber to the home network in Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan.

I have not been recently in Kansas City, but have had a chance to work on a 1-Gbps connection. It did not change my life. It did not even seem to materially affect my normal use of the Web. As always is true, your local connection is but one element of end-to-end application performance.

What happens in between you and a remote server, and the set-up of the remote server's local connection, obviously controls the amount of data that actually can flow between two communicating computing devices.

Until most of the rest of all servers you interact with can match a local 1-Gbps connection on your end, one doesn't really see much difference, on a local gigabit per second connection, compared to using a much lower speed connection.

Granted, I wasn't uploading or downloading large files, using BitTorrent or watching YouTube. But you get the point. Had I not been told, I wouldn't have noticed anything special about the connection.

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