Netflix Shows Google Fiber Is Better (Barely)
It's true Google Fiber continues to post the fastest streaming rates, according to Netflix's monthly report, but the difference between Fiber and other providers just isn't all that much.
The streaming service today (May 13) released its Netflix ISP Speed Index for April, which showed Google Fiber (still available only in Kansas City, Mo., but Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, are in the works) on top with a speed of 3.41 Mbps, but ahead of second-ranked Cablevision Optimum by only 1 Mbps.
Overall, the rankings haven't changed much since the beginning of the year: Verizon FiOS (No. 6) and Comcast (No. 8) both dropped a notch in the list of 17 U.S. ISP providers.
Google Fiber promises a connection speed 100 times faster than today's broadband, and no matter how you look at it, 3.41 Mbps isn't 100 times faster than 2.41 Mbps.
The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from around 36 million Netflix members who stream more than 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies each month. The listed speeds represent the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network. [See also: Is Netflix the Next HBO? ]
Netflix concedes that the average performance is below peak performance possible through the various providers and says a number of variables are to blame, including its own coding, the devices used by viewers and home network conditions, such as routers.
The good news is you can stop envying those in Kansas City who subscribed to Google Fiber . But you may still have room to improve your own Netflix experience, using the devices and service you already have.
- Regardless of the Internet-connected device you're using, make sure Netflix is the only app or program running.
- Try repositioning your router so that it's closer to you and not obstructed by floors. Sometimes, moving your router just a bit or turning it can make a noticeable difference.
- Netflix runs a little differently on each of the many devices it's compatible with. And, PS3 users received a Netflix update today that should make playback smoother. Test Netflix on different devices to see which gives you the best experience.