What do I need to know about the Internet speeds of my computer and mobile devices?

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Cogeco Support
  • Updated

It’s important to recognize that there’s a difference between the speeds available with your Internet package, and the wireless Internet speed that can reach each of your devices.

Unless connected with physical cables, your mobile devices, laptops and computers access the Internet using Wi-Fi. This technology enables a wireless connection between your devices and your Cogeco modem, giving you the flexibility to access the Internet from anywhere in your home. As you may know, there are multiple factors that can influence the speed of your Wi-Fi connections.

Choose from one of the following topics to jump to a section:

What does a speed test measure?

A typical speed test measures the speed currently available on the device when you’re performing the test. We recommend using one of the following online speed tests: Cogeco’s Speedtest, Speedtest.net or Fast.com.

Keep in mind that since these tests measure the speed to the specific device you’re using at the time, factors such as device limits, signal interference and the number of active devices on your network will affect the result. Refer to our tips to optimize your Wi-Fi network before running a test. You should also close other programs or apps while running the test since they can use part of the available bandwidth on the device, limiting the speed for the test. Think of it like this: your Internet connection is like a highway and your devices are the cars. If there are a lot of cars on the highway, you’re going to move slower until there’s less traffic.

For example, if you subscribe to our UltraFibre 1Gig Unlimited package, you’ll receive the full 1 Gbps speed at the modem, but would only receive up to 850 Mbps on devices using newer Wi-Fi technology, such as AC Wi-Fi. A device with older technology, such as N Wi-Fi, may only receive up to 300 Mbps. If there’s signal interference, these speeds would be even lower.

If you’re using the Cogeco Wi-Fi app, you can also run a test on the speed at the modem. This is a great way to determine if the issue is with your device, or with the modem itself.

How do my mobile device and other devices connected to my network affect my Internet speed?

Depending on the make, model, operating system, running applications and age, different devices are capable of different speeds. Again, think of the Internet connection as a highway. No matter how many lanes or how smooth the road, a minivan still won’t reach the same speeds as a sports car.

The speed of a device can be affected by the following factors:

  1. Type of device: In general, laptop and desktop computers can reach faster speeds because they have more and larger antennas, as opposed to mobile phones, which have smaller antennas.
  2. Your device’s Wi-Fi capabilities: How old is your device? Does it use N Wi-Fi technology or the newer and faster AC Wi-Fi or AX Wi-Fi?
  3. The number of devices online: The Internet speed delivered to your home is shared among all devices. If several devices are streaming or downloading on your network at the same time, you may not have enough speed to go around, and you may notice slowdown across all your devices.
  4. Outdated software: When’s the last time you updated the software on your devices? It’s a good idea to update your devices regularly so you have all the latest updates, and so known bugs are resolved by your device manufacturer.

You can also refer to our tips to optimize your Wi-Fi network for more information on factors that affect your speeds and how to address them.

What are the major factors that influence the speed of my Wi-Fi network?

The speeds you experience on a device can be affected by many external factors. Here are some examples:

  1. Your physical environment: If the Wi-Fi signal has to go through thick walls, large windows, metal doors or mirrors, your Wi-Fi can be significantly impacted, which reduces your overall Wi-Fi coverage and speed.
  2. Modem location: Open spaces allow your Wi-Fi signal to travel and expand for even better coverage. So avoid putting your modem in closed or cramped spaces, such as cabinets, closets or drawers. Your modem should also be in a central location and/or close to where you use your devices. The further you are from the modem or access point, the slower your speeds will be, especially if the signal is travelling through walls or floors.
    • Note: To improve your Wi-Fi coverage for larger households with 3 or more floors (including basement), and 4 or more bedrooms or offices, you should consider getting Cogeco Wi-Fi Pods for the best Internet experience possible.
  3. Interference: Some large appliances and electronic equipment, such as fridges, microwaves, wireless phones and baby monitors, might cause interference at the modem or on the device you’re using. Wi-Fi networks from neighbours (especially in apartment buildings) can also cause interference.
  4. Wi-Fi frequency: Our modems broadcast networks on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies for Wi-Fi. The 2.4 GHz frequency provides wider coverage because it travels easily through walls, but at a slower speed. On the other hand, the 5 GHz frequency provides a shorter range with higher speed and less interference. Older equipment generally uses the 2.4 GHz frequency. Using the 5 GHz frequency is better, especially with newer devices you’re using to stream videos and for other high-bandwidth Internet activities.
    • Good to know: Newer Cogeco modems and Wi-Fi pods make the decision for you, so you always enjoy the best performance.

You can also refer to our tips to optimize your Wi-Fi network for more information on factors that affect your speeds and how to address them.

What Wi-Fi speeds can I expect for my computer and mobile devices based on when they were made?

Wi-Fi speed ranges

  Year Released Potential Wi-Fi Speed
Computers 2015 – Present 500 – 1000 Mbps
2011 – 2014 150 – 500 Mbps
2007 – 2010 75 – 150 Mbps
2006 and earlier 25 – Mbps
Phones & Tablets 2015 – Present 300 – 800 Mbps
2011 – 2014 75 – 300 Mbps
2007 – 2010 25 – 75 Mbps
2006 and earlier 25 Mbps

The above Wi-Fi speeds can be reached under good conditions with a Cogeco Internet package that supports those speeds.

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