Zipstream/Gigabit Internet Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the most out of my 1 Gbps service? Do I need to buy new devices?

You will need to check the documentation for your specific devices to find out their maximum speeds. Most wireless devices will be incapable of achieving gigabit speeds even in optimal conditions. Devices with a 1000BaseT network interface card may support up to 1 Gbps speeds, although having a gigabit network interface is not a guarantee that the device will have the required performance capability across the rest of its hardware capabilities to support it. A speed test with a result of >800 Mbps is considered acceptable for a 1 Gbps connection.

The next consideration is whether or not your device is plugged directly into the router via an Ethernet cable versus using WiFi service. A direct connection via Ethernet cable is the best way to experience your device’s full speed. If you connect via WiFi, your speed will decrease since wireless connections are inherently slower. Wireless connections can also be adversely affected by extreme distance to the router as well as the number of walls or other obstacles between your device and the router.

Another consideration is the wiring that distributes communication services throughout your office, commonly known as “inside wiring.” Cat 5e or higher cabling is the industry-standard cabling used for 1 Gbps speeds. Anything that is Category 5 (not 5e) or lower will not be able to achieve gigabit speeds.

A final consideration is the Internet itself. Most common Internet destinations do not serve content to users at 1 Gbps speeds. Even though you have 1 Gbps service and you have wired your computer directly into your new router to be able to download at 1 Gbps, you still cannot download from a single location any faster than the server to which you are connected can serve.

How can I test my speed?

Comporium only recommends the use of our speed test server when testing Zipstream speeds (located HERE or by selecting the appropriate Comporium server from speedtest.net). Our system is located on our core network in proximity to our Zipstream service to provide the most accurate reading possible. Many other free speed test services are available on the Internet but often are located in another city or in other countries. This can pose a challenge in determining an accurate reading of Zipstream speeds because the network packets have to travel a great distance over additional network hops to get to the speed test server. The extra time and distance required for this scenario can create a false impression of slower speeds. Comporium technicians will only certify Zipstream speeds using our own speed test servers.

Are there any data caps with my Zipstream service?

There is no specific data cap with Zipstream. However, Comporium reserves the right to engage customers whose data usage is disruptive to other customers in an area.

What minimum computer hardware should I have?

Device specifications can severely limit the achievable speeds for Zipstream. To maximize your Zipstream experience, Comporium recommends a computer (2014 or later) with internal hardware resources including:

  • Minimum of Intel core i5 or equivalent processor
  • Minimum of 4GB of RAM for Mac systems
  • Minimum of 8GB of RAM for Windows systems
  • 1Gbps (1000 Mbps) Network adapter required
  • Solid State Drive preferred

And software resources:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • Mac 10.12 or later
  • Up to date web browser

What is the difference between Zipstream over Fiber and Zipstream over Cable Modem?

Zipstream over Fiber is able to achieve gigabit speeds for both download and upload rates, while due to the physical limitations of coaxial cable, Zipstream over Cable Modem is currently not able to achieve more than 35 megabits per second. This means that while Zipstream over Cable Modem can match Zipstream over Cable Modem for downloading content, streaming content from other servers, or anything that involves consuming data, it will not have the capability for sending or sharing information with the outside world.

Will I need a modem?

If you are using Zipstream over Cable Modem, a modem will still be required. If your Zipstream service is over a fiber connection, you will not.

What type of router should I use?

For the greatest amount of support, Comporium strongly recommends using the router that we provide.

What if I use my own router?

Should you elect to use your own router, please consider the following:

  • Network equipment should have 1Gbps ports. (While the physical port may be 1Gbps, the router may not be able to support 1Gbps throughput.)
  • A router/firewall in which all ports (WAN/LAN) provide 1Gbps throughout the device.
  • Customers with a home/business router may need to make provisions for QoS (Quality of Service) and rate-limiting to ensure optimal performance for all connected devices.
  • The number of on-premise devices utilizing the 1Gbps Internet connection can limit bandwidth for individual users.
  • The internal router firewall must be capable of processing data at speeds of 1Gbps.
  • Only CAT5e or higher Ethernet cables support Zipstream speeds.

Should you experience issues requiring troubleshooting and/or a site visit, you may incur service charges if we determine the source of the issue is related to customer-owned equipment.

Will I get 1 Gbps speeds on a wireless connection?

Wireless performance can be impacted by a number of issues:

  • The physical distance between the wireless device and router/gateway
  • Characteristics of the physical building structure – walls, metal, etc
  • Wireless interference from other wireless devices operating in the frequency spectrum (e.g., other WiFi devices, cordless phones, microwave ovens, etc.)
  • Settings on the wireless router/gateway and the devices connected to it. Early WiFi technologies only supported 11Mbps (802.11b) and 54Mbps (802.11g). Many routers/gateways will limit performance to the lowest common denominator. A printer with WiFi capabilities communicating using 802.11b may limit the entire network to 11Mbps.