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Slow internet - Five signs you need better internet access

Here are some signs that you need better internet access and that it’s time to switch to a fast fiber internet provider like Ting.


We talk a lot about the benefits of fast, reliable fiber internet. However, if you don’t have anything to compare it to, how will you know your internet is slow? 

1. “Can you hear me now?” takes up most of your video calls

Video calls really came into their own in 2020. Those of us who hadn’t used them regularly before latched onto them as a lifeline to stay in touch with loved ones and discovered what video-call veterans have long known: Video calls are no fun if your internet connection can’t keep pace.

“Can you hear—” 

“Oh, no … you go ahead.” 

“I can hear you … Can you hear me? Oh shoot, you’re frozen.” 

“Maybe I’ll try to go audio-only—” 

“What was that? Hold on, I’m going to try to reconnect.”

If you’re dealing with this oh-so-frustrating symptom, look at your upload speed first. Many internet providers only quote their download speeds, especially when their upload speeds are lacking. With Ting Internet, you get symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Want to see what speeds you’re really getting right now? The Ting Internet speed test will take the guesswork out of the situation.

Upon taking the test, you’ll notice two additional measurements called ping and jitter. These are also key factors in call quality. We’ll talk about them more a bit later.

2. You don’t get HD streaming, and you do get endless buffering

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify and other streaming services allow you to adjust the quality of your media. If you have a slow connection, some services dial video and/or audio quality back for you automatically. So when your 4K movie drops back to HD (high definition) or even to a blocky SD (standard definition), you’re likely suffering from sub-par internet access. 

Netflix buffering gif

If your movie night takes forever to get started because of buffering, or if your experience is interrupted by the dreaded buffering wheel, it’s bad news: This is another sign you’ve got a slow internet connection. The aforementioned trick of manually lowering the resolution may help, but wouldn’t it be nice to have better internet access that allows you to enjoy great-looking movies and TV? For streaming with zero buffering, see if Ting Internet is inTing Internet your neighborhood.

3. Your lag problem is real and not just an excuse for your gaming losses

Lag (the delay between your input and a game or app responding) is the bane of the online gamer’s existence. Interestingly, online gaming doesn't require a terribly high sustained download or upload speed. Your online gaming experience lives and dies by those two attributes we mentioned earlier while talking about video calls—ping and its close cousin jitter. 

Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms) and is basically how long it takes for a tiny data packet to travel from your device to your provider’s server and for a response to come back. The data packets may be tiny, but online gaming requires sending and receiving a lot of them quickly. High ping suggests network congestion at the service provider level and manifests as lag.

Jitter is basically a plus/minus on ping: the variability in your high and low ping. You want this to be low as well. If you’ve got low average ping but it suddenly varies to lag-causing high ping at a crucial moment, your teammates on the now-losing team are going to want your head.

Consider a ping of anything below 25ms a competitive advantage when playing online. Between 50ms and100ms could be considered good to borderline. Above 100ms and you’ve got a problem—you can expect noticeable issues. Once you get to 150ms, you might as well put down the controller, because the game will likely be unplayable. When it comes to jitter, you always want this to be below 30ms. Good fiber internet will often have low, single-digit jitter.

As noted by PC Gamer (and they should know), fiber internet will generally give gamers a better experience. And with Ting Internet in particular (up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download with fiber from our hub all the way to your modem), you won’t find a better connection for gaming. You can read more about speed, ping and jitter on our website under FAQs.

[link url="https://internet.ting.com/speedtest-new" title="Speed test" open="new" type="read more"]Test your speed[/link]

4. You're an expert at the Google Chrome Dinosaur Game

If you’ve spent a lot of time with this little guy, you know the frustration of unreliable, slow internet.

slow page dinosaur

This little dinosaur is the de facto mascot for Google’s Chrome browser. It pops up when Chrome can’t connect. 

buffering game screenshot

If you hit the space bar, the Dinosaur Game begins, and you’re jumping obstacles in a simple monochrome sidescroller until your internet connection comes back. While it can be a fun little distraction, being a regular player means you’re in dire need of better internet access. Before you achieve the bittersweet distinction of posting a high score, you may want to see if Ting Internet is available where you live. (After upgrading to Ting, you can always revisit the game by choice—just type chrome://dino/ into your browser’s address bar.)

5. You know the hold music by heart

If you have perpetually slow internet, you’ve probably tried to call your service provider in search of a solution. Let’s be honest here—if there were a simple fix, it would have been done. So you probably have called many times. You’ve memorized the phone tree (“For billing inquiries, press one. To hear our latest offers and why you, as a long-standing customer, aren’t eligible, press two.” And an agonizingly long time later: “For technical support that definitely does not have a solution to our internet being slow by nature, press eight.”) Worse yet, you know their hold music—that is somehow simultaneously inoffensive and infuriating—so well, you could choreograph an interpretive dance number to it at a moment’s notice. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ija9LOv0UXc

A bit of good news for those who decide to join Ting: We don’t do phone trees, and you’ll always speak to a real person who is incredibly knowledgeable. A bit of better news: You’ll never have to call that person to complain about slow internet since our dedicated fiber internet connection to your home is among the fastest and most stable available.

You deserve better internet

For a fast, reliable fiber internet connection with up to 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds, super low ping and very little jitter, check your address to see if Ting Internet is available in your neighborhood. Better internet access is just a click away!

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