The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing terms

My phone works on 5G. I also just saw a bunch of ads about 10G. Is it twice as fast? Our local internet company, Ziply Fiber, just announced a 10Gig plan. It’s the same?

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here we break down the important differences so you can make an informed decision.


Internet plans are marketed with speeds in Gigabits per second (Gbps) or Megabits per second (Mbps). Gigabits (also known as Gigs) or Megabits are how many things (videos, music, games, social content, email) can go through at one time.

Most residential customers use plans between 50Mbps and 1Gig. Giga-speed Internet means that a plan offers download speeds of 1 gigabit per second, or 1,000 megabits per second.

Upload/Download Speed

A little-known fact is that most companies only list and market their download speeds, so if you see a cable internet provider listing 200Mbps for example, that’s just the download speed. However, upload speed is just as important – it’s how fast you send things to the internet, like your picture and voice during a video call, and it’s usually only a fraction of the download speed. When download and upload speeds are lopsided or erratic, you may hear people say that your video is stuck during a call or that your audio cuts out and cuts out, which means your connection is likely causing problems.

Fiber-optic Internet plans, like those from Ziply Fiber, are symmetrical, meaning they always offer the same upload and download speeds. This means better performance without lag or buffering.

For the best internet experience, look for symmetrical upload and download speeds.

5G = Fifth Generation Wireless

5G simply stands for 5th Generation and is the technology standard for cellular broadband networks today. When you see the 5G symbol on your phone, it means it’s connected to your provider’s fifth-generation network.

5 doesn’t mean 5x faster and it doesn’t mean 5 gigs. In fact, according to Ookla, the wireless carrier with the fastest 5G speed test for Q1 2023 had average download speeds of just 220.70Mbps, a fraction of the speed consumers can access compared to a typical giga speed fiber plan.

10G = Network name

There’s been a lot of marketing for it lately, but let’s be clear, unlike 5G, 10G doesn’t mean 10th generation because there was no 7G, 8G or 9G. It’s simply what one cable company called its network.

At this point, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) promoting 10G often allude to speeds that are still under development and confuse the public as to what speeds they can offer by making it appear as if they have 10Gig plans. In most areas, plans advertised on a 10G cable network currently outperform 1 Giga download with much slower upload speeds, because many of these networks run on older copper-based technology designed to send TV signals and not the modern Internet that a fiber-to-the-home is designed for.

10 Gig = ultra-fast speeds

If 1 Giga = 1,000 Mbps, then 10 Giga = 10,000 Mbps. This is the latest speed level from Ziply Fiber, recently named fastest ISP in the West by CNET, as they launched the first 10 Gig fiber home network in the regions in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

10Gig residential fiber internet is brand new, and those who want to take advantage of its blazing speed today are likely serious content creators. It also makes gaming and high-definition video streaming a blast.

What speed do I need?

Not everyone needs a 10Gig or even a 5Gig plan. Ziply Fibers’ most popular plans are the 2 Gig and 1 Gig fiber plans, which offer ultra-fast, reliable, and symmetrical upload/download connectivity so you can do whatever you want online seamlessly across multiple connected devices.

If your needs are minimal, then a basic fiber plan like 100/100, which offers download and upload speeds of 100Mbps, provides a quality connection suitable for checking email, browsing and streaming at a very affordable price. cheap.

Bottom line: On fiber-optic Internet, you won’t experience aggravations like buffering wheels and peak-hour slowdowns. And remember: not all G’s are created equal.

Dan Miller supports Ziply Fiber’s communications efforts in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. More information about the company and its work to bring fiber to Northwest communities can be found at or by calling (866) 699-4759

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