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Is Your Website Ready for Google Fiber?

You’ve already heard that Google Fiber is rolling out to nearly three dozen new cities by the end of 2014.  And you’ve probably already read how Google Fiber has caused Time Warner to preemptively step up their bandwidth speeds in select markets.  Isn’t competition great?  Gigabit speeds for all!  And therein lies the problem:

10GbE 700

In order to download stuff at gigabit speeds, your web host needs to be capable of pushing it out at multi-gigabit speeds.  And a lot of hosts — especially the cheap ones — aren’t.

The average peak speed of a home broadband connection here in the US as of 2013 is 37 megabits per second.  Google Fiber clocks in with a peak speed of 1000 megabits per second — more than 27 times faster.  But what happens when your web host is only serving up pages at one percent of that speed?  10 megabits is a pretty common speed limit among web hosts, and depending on your web host, there’s a good chance you aren’t even moving THAT fast.

So what can you do about it?

For starters, find out how fast your web host is serving up your content.  Ask them.  This is a very straightforward question that any host will be able to answer easily:  “What is my website’s peak connection speed, and how is my connection throttled?”  If your host gives you a vague answer or doesn’t clearly and concisely explain their bandwidth policies, it’s time to start shopping around.

But that’s only part of the story.  Your web host’s network plays a critical role in how fast content gets out.  After all, having a gigabit port on a slow network is like having a Bugatti Veyron on a single-lane mud road.  Here’s why our network rocks:

  • We use a blend of tier I carriers for maximum throughput.  Our Dunmore datacenter uses Level(3), Zayo, Verizon, Comcast, Frontier Communications, and First Communications.  Dunmore also includes direct transit to major carrier hotels including 111 8th Ave in New York City and 401 N Broad St in Philadelphia.  Our Dallas datacenter uses Zayo, CenturyLink, Cogent, TeliaSonera, and Cogent.  No matter where your server is located, we provide fast connectivity to the entire planet.
  • We don’t overload our networks.  We’ve engineered our network to handle the swells and surges of everyday web traffic.  Bandwidth is insanely expensive, so some hosts like to run their networks as close to full capacity as possible.  This is a very bad idea, and we don’t do it.
  • We use reliable, enterprise-class, heavy-duty routers and switches from Cisco and HP.  You know how you sometimes need to reset or power cycle your home router because it locked up or started acting goofy?  Yeah — some hosts use routers like that.  We don’t.
  • Redundant power is always on-site and ready to go.  Both of our datacenters have multiple on-site diesel generators and facility-wide uninterruptible power supplies ready to take over at a moment’s notice.  Because the fastest network can quickly become the slowest network if you cut the power.

Of course, there are lots of factors that determine how quickly your website will load.  If your site is poorly designed or not optimized, the fastest host on the planet won’t help much.  If your web host is using outdated servers, hooking up a faster network won’t help (though some hosts have tried).  And if your server is overloaded or overcrowded, you’re going to have a lot more problems than just poor performance.

Google Fiber is an awesome and much-needed service.  It brings unbelievably fast Internet to lots of unbelievably happy people.  And that’s a great thing.  But the flip side to this is that if your website is sluggish or unreliable, services like Google Fiber are going to make it stick out like a sore thumb.

Seriously:  ask your web host about their network.  If you think your website is sluggish or underperforming, take us for a spin.  I’m so confident that our accelerated web hosting is the fastest web hosting you’ve ever used that if you aren’t convinced within 14 days, I’ll personally and immediately refund 100% of your payment.

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