Internet speeds have increased greatly over the past few years both in the United States and globally. To keep up with the changes, consumers tend to buy more and faster technologies. But in reality, the most important aspect of your speed is within your ISP itself.

In this post, we will take a look at the factors that most affect the results of your internet speed, the problems with internet access in various areas and situations, and how you can increase your internet speed and rates online so that you will get the maximum benefit from your connection.

Average Internet Speeds

Internet speed is defined as the rate at which data or content travels from the web to your computer, smart device, or tablet. It is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

A high-speed internet connection is usually considered “broadband” which means that it has a download speed of at least 768 Kbps with upload speeds of at least 200 Kbps. This higher speed allows people to download files at a much higher rate and also allows them to transfer data from the computer to the internet and vice-versa with record speeds.

In the chart below you can see the fastest ISPs of 2016 throughout the United States, as reported by PCMag. Comcast Xfinity leads the way, with Verizon FiOS right behind them.

However, when looking at top internet speeds around the world, the United States is lagging and doesn’t even make the top ten list. This is according to Business Insider’s latest article and data provided through Statista and Akamai.

Test Your Speeds

You can run this speed test to see how your internet connection compares with the average speeds and so that you can see what should be done to improve your speed and connections.

The use of multiple data channels, more speed can be obtained for Internet systems that allow people to perform activities on the internet at very high rates and save time and money. This is a valuable thing and allows people to take advantage of all of the aspects of the web that they could not access otherwise.

Factors that Affect Internet Speeds

To get the most out of the internet, it is important to be able to know what factors influence internet speeds. Some of the factors that most influence speeds are included below.

  • Website speeds– The speed of individual websites can definitely influence the speed of individual users. Depending on the website speeds of individual sites, this will influence your consumer-end user experience for speed and efficiency. Consumers do not have control over this aspect, but they can contact their favorite websites’ owners to ask if they can increase their speed. Otherwise, consumers will have to look at increasing their speed through other means such as changing their ISP provider or type of connection.
  • ISP speeds– Increasing your ISP speed or upgrading to a faster connection is the best way you can improve the speed of your connection. Think about what you do each day on the internet and how much you need to access various aspects of the internet. Then you can estimate the amount of speed you need to do what you need to do.
  • Type of connection– The type of connection you have is important so try to get the fastest connection you can afford. Most ISP systems allow you to choose your speed as well. The faster, the better. So ask about the options when you sign up for your internet connection package.
  • Third party networks– If any third-party networks are involved with the delivery of your internet connection package, it could slow down your connection. You should read the fine print of your internet access package from your ISP provider and see if there is anything that could be getting in the way of your connection.

Problems with Internet Speed and Connection

Individual internet use is available in every country from a technical aspect. However, many people are still not allowed to access the internet on the level that they should be. Some legislation including previous legislation with the U.S. attempted to control or deny access to individuals based on their location or the amount that they are paying for their ISP service, in some cases.

This is unfair, and the goal for internet should be to allow equal access to everyone so that they will allow a diversity of ideas and inventions to be exposed to the world.

This article points out how the future may include considering restricting access to the internet in the coming months and years a human rights violation. This is because the web has become so important for people to access to make their lives more efficient at work and play. So inhibiting their access to the Internet may be considered a violation of basic human rights shortly.

Internet Costs for Access

When it comes to choosing an internet package that is right for your home or business, there are always going to be a lot of packages to choose from. Through the internet speeds and costs infographic below you can see how much of a difference there is in costs of actually getting internet access around the world.

Even though the chart and data are somewhat outdated, if you look around enough you can find more recent data and comparisons between internet costs and speed throughout the world. Another example can be found below, from the Cost of Connectivity report.

At the same time, internet access and fast speed don’t just happen — it’s also reliant on how well your location is powered and accessible by towers or power companies. One example of low standards is cases where lower energy users do not have equal access. If your electricity usage is under 8,000 kWh per year, you may want to look into a Low User plan with a fixed daily charge. Low User programs are available from your principal residence and are only for private use.

As the world continues to develop more advanced power and technologies, internet speeds throughout the world will continue to rise, while also lowering in costs.

In the light of the current political climate, there is a trend to try to restrict some forms of internet expression on sites such as Facebook and Twitter due to a judgment call on the part of these social media platforms. When this happens, censorship becomes too prevalent, and people begin to lose their ability to use the internet for free expression. This inhibits not only free speech but liberties of other kinds and prevents people from being able to express their individuality.

This recent article from the Washington Post highlights internet censorship around the world. While China is more well-known for their censorship, Russia, Egypt, and Vietnam are also names that should be mentioned.

How to Get the Most Speed for Your Money

Most ISP and telecommunications companies realize the importance of providing the fastest access to their customers. But you should take control as a consumer by checking into your individual speed that you are getting within your system and seeing if there is a way to increase it.

User-friendliness is an important aspect of delivery regarding speeds, and more ISP providers are working to improve the user experience as time goes by.

New Technologies

One of the other factors that are affecting internet speeds is the new technology that is constantly being created and invented. People tend to want to buy the latest tech gadgets as soon as they come out. So every time a new gadget is put out on the market, the technology and speeds online have to be able to adapt to the technologies.

This is a continual challenge for both consumers and producers of new technologies and internet providers. So it is the smart consumer who reads up on these changes and what should be done to be able to adapt your technologies to the speed requirements that these new gadgets require.

To see how your internet connection stacks up with others around the world, check out this speed graph that shows you the average speeds of internet connections around the world in various countries.

Read more: Review: Bioshock Infinite (PS3)