December 29, 2023

Multiple Devices & Speed


One common question arises regarding Internet speed: How does it work with multiple connected devices? Understanding how Internet speed works is like skillfully navigating traffic flow on a busy road with several cars at once. Many members wonder whether having multiple devices slows things down or, conversely, why a single device might use less bandwidth.  

Digital Highway

Imagine your Internet speed as a digital highway where data travels like cars. Much like a physical road, this highway has a maximum capacity for handling data flow, known as bandwidth. Different Internet connections can manage varying amounts of data, similar to how other roads accommodate different traffic levels. A road like the interstate can handle substantial digital traffic, while an alley can only allow a few cars at a time. It’s also worth noting that some cars can’t go as fast as the posted speed limit due to slower Internet engines, which we call protocols. These protocols, like road rules for drivers, dictate how efficiently your devices can communicate on the digital road.


However, your Internet speed limit isn’t about how fast each device can go. Instead, it’s about how much traffic (bandwidth) the road can handle. Browsing web pages or sending emails is similar to riding a motorcycle on a flat, wide-open highway with minimal traffic. On the flip side, streaming movies or downloading significant game updates is comparable to navigating a semi-truck uphill, with various cars and trucks occupying a substantial portion of the road.

Consider the traffic coming from the other direction, too. Uploading large files from your device to services like Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox also affects your connection. If your upload speed is maxed out, it can affect your download speed too. The reason behind this is simple: your device and the server continually check to ensure they can communicate with each other, and an excessive amount of uploads can interfere with these checks. This impacts both your upload and download speeds.

When you connect multiple devices to the Internet, each device takes a share of the bandwidth. It’s like having multiple cars on the road – the more cars, the more traffic. This can impact overall performance, so it’s crucial to consider online activities and connected devices to ensure smooth navigation on your Internet road.

Beyond this, various factors can influence your Internet speed, such as interference, distance from the router, and even the age of your devices. Think of these as road conditions – sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. If you ever wonder about your Internet speed or are facing any roadblocks, don’t hesitate to call ITC at 1.800.417.8667.