They don’t call it the internet superhighway for anything. That is exactly what it is, a giant freeway where everyone can drive on it, and everyone does. All internet companies use this superhighway to provide their subscriber’s internet service. How they get them there from the user’s home is called their network pathway. These are the roads that lead from the home to the highway; these too are also shared.
So, with a shared network and a shared superhighway filled with millions of users all sharing the same internet, conducting in the aforementioned internet activity, things can get quite busy. Just like regular freeway traffic can get congested and slow down, this highway can be slowed down by a variety of factors.
- Those limited by their plan. Think of this as the slow lane—those who can only go so fast. Your connection needs to work around other connections.
- Network outage. Road construction, an accident, or other detours can cause major delays. When an internet connection sees an outage, it has to reroute its signal to compensate, slowing your signal.
- This is especially applicable to wireless signals. Weather plays a major factor in how well a connection performs.
- Connections between you and the network. This, by far, is the most important of them all. It is how many stops a connection makes between your home and the internet. They are commonly called ‘hops.’ The more ‘hops’ a connection has to make, the slower the connection speed, called latency, will be. Think of them as stoplights you hit before you get to the freeway. Most internet companies have dozens of these red lights before they reach the highway.
The more traffic and congestion with internet users like remote workers, remote learners, video streamers, and general internet surfers, the internet superhighway gets backed up faster than the interstate at rush hour. But there is a solution to your rush hour blues.