How fast is your internet?
Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania have the fastestIn a world where time equals money, slow Internet connections have real-life business and quality-of-life implications. Fiber optic connections have proven themselves the fastest way online, but they're still rare-and expensive. Which Internet service providers (ISPs) offer the fastest broadband? And in which state?
After conducting over 200,000 individual tests as part of its third annual study, PCMag.com found that Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic connections are indeed the fastest overall service, and Cablevision's Optimum Online proved itself the fastest cable ISP in the United States. Likewise, Nevada, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are home to the fastest surf speeds-the full state ranking is below. PCMag.com's "Best ISPs in America" list was released on December 2.
To uncover the nation's best ISPs, PCMag utilized the custom-designed SurfSpeed application (a utility that grabs pages from several popular Web sites to measure actual Internet surfing speed) and pored through data from over 17,000 profiles (that is, unique IP addresses).
Cable vs. DSL: DSL and cable lines were for a time synonymous in people's minds, but cable has clearly taken off in terms of sheer speed. Cable connections are 47 percent faster than DSLs. Cablevision's Optimum Online tops the list, with an average nationwide SurfSpeed of 839 Kbps. And 61 percent of users declared themselves satisfied with the service. Even the slowest cable service provider (Earthlink, averaging 565 Kbps) was faster than some DSL providers, from CenturyTel at 520 Kbps down to Alltell's measly 357. FrontierNet is the fastest DSL provider in the nation, averaging SufSpeeds of 724 Kbps. And, perhaps most importantly, just 27 percent of DSL users reported themselves satisfied.
State by State: Analyzing regions offers insight and challenges, but the region with the fastest Internet service-the West-is just 14 Kbps faster than the slowest, the South at 551 Kbps. The difference between states, on the other hand, is shocking, with No. 1 Nevada offering residents Internet more than twice as fast as bottom-ranked New Mexico.
The PCMag Fastest ISPs in America 2008 - State Ranking:
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