What Internet Speed is Right for Me?

I don’t know which speed package is right for me.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to broadband speeds. The one that is right for your household depends on a variety of factors, including the number of users and devices, and the type of online activities you do. We can offer some general guidelines:

  • If you use the internet primarily for email, browsing online, and streaming on one or two devices, you should be okay with our package that offers up to 250 Mbps.  
  • If you do a lot of streaming and connect multiple devices, you might want to consider our package that offers up to 500 Mbps.
  • If you’re a telecommuter, stream in high-definition, or are a serious gamer, then our package that offers up to 1 Gbps would be a good choice for you. 

Keep in mind that these aren’t exact numbers — they just give you a general idea of how much speed you might need.

The speed I had before was plenty. I don’t need the faster speed; can I downgrade my package? I like the idea of saving a little extra money.  
Before you think about decreasing your speed, here are a few things for you to consider. Internet usage increases continually as people add more devices to their networks. You might be surprised at how many devices you are using in your household! Phones, tablets, household assistants like Alexa and Google Home, smart plugs and appliances, cameras — all these compete for bandwidth. As technology continues to improve, there will be more and more smart devices, many with higher-definition capabilities. Additional family members using devices simultaneously multiplies the need for speed even more. You’ll want to make sure you have enough speed not just today, but for the future, as well. Your needs are sure to change!

I want even faster speeds.
We can help you with that, but before you upgrade, we want to make sure you really need a higher speed package. The 1 Gig speed is usually more than enough for most users, especially in homes, and it is more affordable. Businesses with high data needs and several people simultaneously using the internet connection are more likely to benefit from the 2.5 Gbps and the 5 Gbps speeds. What is your typical internet usage? (Refer to Question #1).

I just ran a speed test, and I’m not getting the speed to which I subscribe.
Golden West certifies internet speed using company equipment at the wired point where the service enters your home or business. Things like wireless technology and using older devices (laptops, phones, tablets, etc.) running outdated operating systems can limit speeds inside your home or business.

To conduct a reliable speed test as a customer, plug an up-to-date device directly into a Golden West-issued router with a Category 5 or 6 Ethernet cable. An up-to-date device should be only a couple years old and should be running the latest operating system (i.e. Windows 11, Macintosh OS 12.2 Monterey). It’s best to set your devices to update automatically to keep them current and safe.

When running the speed test on a laptop, be sure the laptop is plugged in to an electrical outlet. Likely as a power-saving method, laptops that run speed tests under battery power may not get to full subscribed speeds.

Why must I test using a wired device? I primarily use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet within my home.
A wireless router leased from Golden West should distribute adequate speeds throughout the home. However, a wireless router may not provide speeds as fast as a wired connection, especially at the highest 1 Gbps speed options. A wired connection should deliver all speeds.

Speeds and speed test results can be impacted by:

  • The age and features of the equipment you are using.
  • Multiple devices actively connected simultaneously.
  • Interference from other wireless devices.
  • Your home’s structure or layout and the wireless router’s location.

What can you do to improve my speed?
Golden West will work to maximize your speeds within the limitations of equipment and wireless technology. If the technician determines your home’s structure or layout is the issue, they may recommend moving the router or use of a mesh Wi-Fi extender for a small additional monthly charge to improve performance.

If a customer is using their own router, is it on the list of routers Golden West has texted? Visit goldenwest.com/router for further details.