Does your location affect your internet speed?

Technology has changed drastically over the past few decades. We have moved from dial-up connections to fiber optics. Downloading a movie, which used to take hours can now be done in a matter of minutes. Moreover, providers such as Spectrum are offering 4K video technology with their Spectrum TV for video streaming. Even though services are available to more people than ever, unfortunately, not everyone has access to the same level of services. In some areas, people can get 1 GIG speed while others are stuck with a 3 Mbps connection.

So, if by location and speed you mean the state, city, or town that you are living in & the bandwidth, then “Yes”, internet speed depends upon your location. Because not all bandwidth options are available everywhere.  But if you mean the location of your house from the network and latency then the simple answer to that is “It depends”.

Because there are so many factors that determine your internet speed such as the type of connection or technology that is available in your area, the equipment that you are using, and the number of devices that are connected to the internet simultaneously.

Types of internet technology & the role of location

One thing that determines your internet speed is the type of connection that you have and the kind of bandwidth it can offer. In the US, there are mainly 5 types of connections that are used for internet services.

  • Fiber Optics
  • Cable
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
  • Fixed Wireless
  • Satellite

If fiber optics is available in your area, then that means you are among the lucky ones who can get the fastest download and upload speeds. In the case of FIOS, latency is usually minimum, so your location would not have much impact on your internet speed.
Cable connections offer almost the same download speeds as fiber optics but upload speeds are lower. You might not be able to get a lot of bandwidth options, still, if you have a cable connection, chances are latency would be far better, which means you will be getting a good speed.

affect your internet speed

Your location would be playing an important role when it comes to a DSL connection. In the case of DSL, the distance from the network centralizer would determine the speed that you would be getting. If you live closer to a network centralizer, latency would be lower, but if you live far from it, your internet speed would be impacted. Similarly, fixed wireless requires a fixed and clear line of sight to the nearest network tower from your house. If the line of sight is not clear, you will not be able to get a good speed.

Mostly, satellite connections do not offer higher bandwidth. The maximum speed that you can get with Hughesnet, which is one of the best satellite providers, is up to 25 Mbps, which is pretty basic. On top of that, if the satellite does not have better reception at your location, you will not be able to get even that 25 Mbps.

Ways to increase your internet speed?

Due to the availability constraints of fiber optics and cable, it is not always possible to get the highest speeds. However, some things can be done to make your internet speed better at your house.

Sign up for the highest bandwidth option

To get the best internet speed, the general rule of thumb is to go for the highest bandwidth option available. If you are living in a rural area, get in touch with your service provider and ask them if there is a better option available at your address.

Use the most compatible equipment

Sometimes, we use a modem or a router that is not the most compatible one with the services. That limits the download and upload speeds and in turn, we are not able to enjoy our services at their best. So go for the equipment that is most compatible, usually the one provided by our ISP’s.

Disconnect unnecessary devices

If there are multiple devices connected to your internet and you are not using all of them, then you should consider disconnecting them. Doing so will improve the internet speed as the bandwidth will be used by fewer devices than before.

Use Wi-Fi Boosters

Wi-Fi signal strength can greatly impact your internet speed. Even if you have signed up for a higher speed plan but your device is far from a Wi-Fi router, you will not be able to get a good internet speed. Using Wi-Fi boosters in this scenario improves the signal strength in your house and you can get better speeds.

Final Verdict

Your location does affect the speed of the internet but the major effect can be seen with DSL or fixed wireless or satellite connections. Also, not all speeds are available in all areas, so you should consider using other ways to improve your speeds as well.