Question ISP Max Mbps vs Router Max Mbps Question

NewToThisPCSTuff

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Right so different ISP provide internet plans that reads "up to 200, 400, or 940mbps downloads" where the different numbers depend on price I pay per month. But different routers give me a maximum mbps of 1000-5400mbps. On the router description it is not specific to downloads like it is on the ISP internet plan page.
If I have two identical routers where the only difference is that one has lets say:
1201 Mbps on the 5GHz band
and another has
5400 mbps on the 5GHz band
is there any point at all of me buying the one that has 5400 mbps? My monkey brain is saying "It is pointless to have 5400 max mbps if my ISP will only allow up to 400 mbps". Is that right?
Assuming I'll spend most of my time on the 5GHz band and I buy one of the internet plans within the range I specified above. I'll probably buy the 400 mbps plan in case you want me to be specific.
If you could answer my question that'd be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 
You have 2 issues. First you must decode the marketing lies those numbers are. They do things like add the 2.4g and 5g speeds even though 1 device can not use both. They also do stuff like add transmit and receive speeds. This would be like calling a ethernet cable 2g. There are many other things. In the real world you seldom get over about 300mbps unless you use the newer wifi6 and are in the same room. Some of those systems can get close to 600mbps.

The second issue is that the router is only 1/2 the wifi connection. In almost all cases performance issues are related to end devices. Most end device do not support many of the feature that routers do. You for example not find many end device that can do 4x4 mimo. Also there are very few devices that fully support wifi6 with 160mhz bands so it cuts your speed in half.

In addition most wifi devices have no need to high speed download. Its not like your phone can download 100gbyte games. The speed of wifi is not real important for your more common use like streaming video or web surfing. You will have a hard time using more than say 50mbps and all wifi can do that.

You always want to user ethernet for large downloads and if you play online games.

Now on ethernet even very inexpensive routers can pass 1gbit of traffic wan/lan.

The key thing on routers is do not get sucked into the bigger number is better scam. Your actual speed depends on your house and your end device far more. Spend time to see what the maximum your devices you plan to use can actually support.
 
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NewToThisPCSTuff

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You have 2 issues. First you must decode the marketing lies those numbers are. They do things like add the 2.4g and 5g speeds even though 1 device can not use both. They also do stuff like add transmit and receive speeds. This would be like calling a ethernet cable 2g. There are many other things. In the real world you seldom get over about 300mbps unless you use the newer wifi6 and are in the same room. Some of those systems can get close to 600mbps.

The second issue is that the router is only 1/2 the wifi connection. In almost all cases performance issues are related to end devices. Most end device do not support many of the feature that routers do. You for example not find many end device that can do 4x4 mimo. Also there are very few devices that fully support wifi6 with 160mhz bands so it cuts your speed in half.

In addition most wifi devices have no need to high speed download. Its not like your phone can download 100gbyte games. The speed of wifi is not real important for your more common use like streaming video or web surfing. You will have a hard time using more than say 50mbps and all wifi can do that.

You always want to user ethernet for large downloads and if you play online games.

Now on ethernet even very inexpensive routers can pass 1gbit of traffic wan/lan.

The key thing on routers is do not get sucked into the bigger number is better scam. Your actual speed depends on your house and your end device far more. Spend time to see what the maximum your devices you plan to use can actually support.
I don't know if I should be doing this but I really want to thank you for SUCH an informative answer. I learned a lot. Really excellent thank you.
Since you seem like an expert let me ask this: If I buy the cheapest internet I can buy from Verizon, the 200 mbps download speed, is that exactly what it means? Download speed? If I just get the super cheap internet then plug in an Ethernet cable into a router that can pass 1gbit of traffic like you were talking about, will I see a significant decrease in my internet speed, ping, latency, etc. since I bought something cheap? I am mainly concerned about when I play multiplayer games. If you don't think that buying 400 mbps vs 200 mbps is a big difference for gaming, let me know. I don't really care at all if it takes me longer to download something. Basically I'm asking "If I plan on using an ethernet anyway with a suitable router, would you still recommend I get a ISP plan that isn't the cheapest one I can buy if I care about my online connection performance?"
Also can I just say I was about to buy some dumb expensive router with all of these features that my computer isn't even compatible with. I was going to get one of those expensive Wifi 6e routers hahaha. Thank god you said all that.
 
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Key is download speed has no effect on latency or ping time. A game need way under 1mbps most are under 500kbps. This is because game makers want people with really crappy DSL connection to be able to buy their game. The only time the download speed matters to a game is if you have some other traffic using the bandwidth. Say you only have 10mbps and someone else is trying to watch HD netflix. There is not enough for both and you then would see increased latency and lag spikes in the game due to packet loss.

The latency really is a speed of light distance thing mostly. The equipment in your house will not delays it enough that you can even detect it. The only exception is going to be wifi. Wifi is subject to interference from say your neighbors wifi use. This causes the data to have to be retransmitted which will cause latency spikes. A ethernet cable does not have this issue so you will never see latency issues.

Without getting into the messy concept of serialization delays your latency/ping time is going to be the same no matter what size internet connection you buy.

Now bandwidth does make a large difference on how long it takes to download things. My ISP changed things and no longer offers the plan I have. I can save about $40/month and drop to standard 100mbps or I can spend $30/month more and go to full gigabit. This is one of those things does it REALLY matter if a huge game takes 5-10 minutes more to download. It is really nice to watch those fast numbers but for the number of times I download huge stuff I wonder if the money is really worth it. This is even more true when steam quickly downloads stuff but then takes huge amounts of time installing or whatever crap it doing.

A note on wifi6e. If you can actually get this equipment this is going to be one of the largest things we have seen in wifi in a long time. It is not really any different than wifi6 as far as speed etc. The key difference is it runs on the 6g radio channels. The FCC has allocated a huge amounts of bandwidth. This should let people run high speed wifi and all the neighbors can choose other channels to not stomp on each other. I am sure we will see wifi7 or something that has a single device that attempts to use all the radio channels like we currently do in the 2.4 an 5g bands. But for a few years things should be much better. Wifi6e equipment is very hard to get and not a lot of end devices (ie cell phones) support it yet.
 

NewToThisPCSTuff

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Key is download speed has no effect on latency or ping time. A game need way under 1mbps most are under 500kbps. This is because game makers want people with really crappy DSL connection to be able to buy their game. The only time the download speed matters to a game is if you have some other traffic using the bandwidth. Say you only have 10mbps and someone else is trying to watch HD netflix. There is not enough for both and you then would see increased latency and lag spikes in the game due to packet loss.

The latency really is a speed of light distance thing mostly. The equipment in your house will not delays it enough that you can even detect it. The only exception is going to be wifi. Wifi is subject to interference from say your neighbors wifi use. This causes the data to have to be retransmitted which will cause latency spikes. A ethernet cable does not have this issue so you will never see latency issues.

Without getting into the messy concept of serialization delays your latency/ping time is going to be the same no matter what size internet connection you buy.

Now bandwidth does make a large difference on how long it takes to download things. My ISP changed things and no longer offers the plan I have. I can save about $40/month and drop to standard 100mbps or I can spend $30/month more and go to full gigabit. This is one of those things does it REALLY matter if a huge game takes 5-10 minutes more to download. It is really nice to watch those fast numbers but for the number of times I download huge stuff I wonder if the money is really worth it. This is even more true when steam quickly downloads stuff but then takes huge amounts of time installing or whatever crap it doing.

A note on wifi6e. If you can actually get this equipment this is going to be one of the largest things we have seen in wifi in a long time. It is not really any different than wifi6 as far as speed etc. The key difference is it runs on the 6g radio channels. The FCC has allocated a huge amounts of bandwidth. This should let people run high speed wifi and all the neighbors can choose other channels to not stomp on each other. I am sure we will see wifi7 or something that has a single device that attempts to use all the radio channels like we currently do in the 2.4 an 5g bands. But for a few years things should be much better. Wifi6e equipment is very hard to get and not a lot of end devices (ie cell phones) support it yet.
You have saved me, excuse my language, a metric F-ton of money. I'm 23 years old and I bet without this comment I would be paying for 400 mbps or even 940 mbps internet for my entire life. I'm definitely going with the 200mbps option. I don't even want to think about how much wasted money that would have been over a lifetime. I'm so grateful to you.
<<edited by moderator for language>>
 
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NewToThisPCSTuff

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But you can't brag to your friends on how much you like your gigabit internet compare to their slow 200mbps :)
Hey bill. Not sure if I'm supposed to post on here since its a bit old but I'll give it a shot anyway.
I bought a router per your advice, but now my ISP is saying I need a modem too. Should I look carefully at what I purchase in regards to modems? I know you said what will matter most of all are my end devices, but I don't want to make a mistake in my purchasing. https://www.amazon.com/MOTOROLA-MB7621-Approved-Spectrum-Downloads/dp/B077BL65HS/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=internet+modem&qid=1627350580&sr=8-3
This is something I found while looking around online. Would you recommend I get something like this?
 
A modem is a lot easier it is pretty stupid. All it really is doing is converting the cable signal which runs docsis to ethernet. There is nothing you can configure or set. Even the firmware is upgraded by your ISP.

This modem likely is fine. If you were getting gigabit service you might need one that support docsis 3.1. The ISP has lists of modem that work on different plans so you should check it or call them and confirm.

The main reason for restrictions on modem brands is the ISP supports firmware upgrades on them even when you own them. This is one of the reason you do not see huawei modems supported in the USA even though they are much cheaper
 

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