Is it possible to reach 10 Gbps with Digi fiber?

Digi and the new 10Gbps connection

Digi has fully entered the list of operators that have updated their fiber network to the XGS-PON standard in FTTH networks, a much faster standard than the current GPON that most operators usually use. This new standard allows us to achieve a speed of up to 9.953 Gbps in download and up to 9.953 Gbps in upload, therefore, we will have a connection that will reach almost 10 Gbps symmetrically for each port in the OLT that the operator has. A very important detail is that in Digi’s conditions it tells us that the average download speed is about 8 Gbps real, and with a minimum speed of 5 Gbps in certain cases. The operator explains that, due to communication protocols, this is the maximum real speed that we can achieve and we will not reach 10Gbps of connection, therefore, we will be hiring a connection of “up to 10 Gbps” as in the old ADSL.

Of course, the architecture of an XGS-PON network is very similar to that of a GPON network, therefore, the flow that goes from an OLT port to our home, passing through different optical splitters and CTOs, is shared with the rest of customers. That is, the speed that we will achieve if there is only one client connected at a certain time is up to 8 Gbps in download (according to Digi), but if there are more clients this speed is shared with the rest, so only at specific times where not having “traffic” from the neighbors we could achieve these speeds.

The operator is going to provide a high-performance router with a 10 G port, the model is the Zyxel AX7501-B0 and we will explain its technical specifications below.

Zyxel AX7501-B0 router for 10G

The main features of this Zyxel AX7501-B0 router are that it incorporates one 10 Gbps SFP + port for fiber connection input, the ONT is integrated into this SFP + module, which is very common in professional switches and routers. This SC / APC to SFP + connector fiber “adapter” plugs directly into the router to provide us with an Internet connection.

The wireless characteristics of this router are that it has Simultaneous dual band with AX6000 class WiFi 6. In the 2.4GHz band we can achieve a speed of up to 1148 Mbps, thanks to its four antennas in MU-MIMO 4T4R configuration. In the 5GHz band we can achieve a speed of up to 4804 Mbps, thanks to its four antennas in MU-MIMO 4T4R configuration and the 160 MHz channel width it supports, ideal for achieving high wireless transfer rates. This model has all the WiFi 6 technologies.

Regarding the wired characteristics, we have a total of 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for LANIn these ports we can achieve a speed of up to 1Gbps as we have always achieved, so we will not be able to make the most of the connection. However, Digi has incorporated a 10G port with the 10 GBASE-T standard to be able to connect a single device via cable and synchronize at maximum speed. With the equipment that we connect to this port, we will be able to achieve speeds of up to 8 Gbps that Digi promises.

The other features are the incorporation of two RJ-11 ports for analog telephones, the power connector and the on / off button of the WiFi router.

What do we need to get 10 Gbps from Digi?

The router already has a 10GBASE-T portTherefore, what we need now is a computer or server with a 10GBASE-T network card, for example, the ASUS XG-C100C It is one of the best 10G port Ethernet network cards you can buy. Once you have a 10G network card, you can connect a quality Cat6 cable directly to the router, and you can get a sync speed of 10 Gbps, however, Our recommendation is that you buy Cat6A or Cat7 network cables which are now quite cheap, these cables will guarantee you the maximum possible speed and you will not have any problem.

If you want to connect more than one PC to the 10GBASE-T port to achieve speeds higher than 1 Gbps that the rest of the LAN ports have, then you will have to buy a switch that has at least one 10G port, in order to distribute this connection, In RedesZone we have a list with the best unmanageable switches with 10G ports, where you will find several models with this type of connectivity so that you can connect several devices and obtain the maximum speed of your connection.

If you already have all the network equipment to support 10G speeds, you should know that in few occasions you will be able to achieve these Internet connection speeds, either because the Internet network itself is not capable of achieving these speeds, or your own PC that it cannot handle this lightning-fast connection.

Why You Won’t Get 10Gbps From Digi Almost Never

The first thing you should know is that you’ll never get the real 10 Gbps from Digi because the operator itself already tells us that at most we will get a speed of 8 Gbps real in download and upload, with a minimum speed of 5 Gbps approximately. That is, our Internet connection will work at speeds of between 5 Gbps and 8 Gbps, but we will never reach the top of the FTTH connection. The second thing you should know is that the 8 Gbps speed is with an OLT port, therefore, the flow is shared with all your “neighbors” that hang from this OLT, so if they are also downloading or uploading data, the speed will oscillate between those 5-8 Gbps that Digi indicates, we do not know how many clients “hang up” from the same OLT, but surely there are up to 32 or 64 clients as usual .

In the event that you get 8 Gbps of speed if you connect via cable to the 10GBASE-T port, you will only get this speed on your own networkThat is, if you do the typical speed test and the speed test server is hosted on the same network as Digi, you will be able to get 8 Gbps. As soon as you do a speed test located in the network of another operator, we will no longer be in the same Digi network, therefore, we enter the world of peering and transit, so it will be really difficult for you to achieve these connection speeds to Internet. Regarding the download speeds with P2P, so that you can download other peers they must upload, therefore, it will be really difficult for you to make the most of this Internet connection because they will use other operators, unless there is just a Digi client also as a peer (and it has this same connection), then you can get high transfer rates.

Other very important aspects are for the wired or wireless clients you use. To manage speeds of 8 Gbps, you need a fairly powerful PC, be it a desktop or laptop computer, it must be really powerful to be able to manage all the network traffic, otherwise, the bottleneck will be in your own computer , of course always talking about the fact that you have connected the computers via cable and not via WiFi. We must also take into account if we intend to download from the Internet at speeds of 8 Gbps is the storage of our computers, only if you use NVMe SSD you can take advantage of these speeds. The SATA3 standard works at a maximum speed of 6 Gbps, and if we use SATA3 SSD we will achieve a real speed of approximately 5.5 Gbps, therefore, the bottleneck will be in the interface of the hard drives or SSD.

If you think get these speeds via WiFi, you should know that you will not be able to get itAlthough we have an AX6000 class router, the maximum real speed that we will achieve in the 2.4GHz band is approximately 600 Mbps in almost ideal conditions, in the 5GHz band this speed could reach up to approximately 2Gbps, but always using WiFi 6 network cards with four antennas, something that currently does not exist. The most popular WiFi card is the Intel AX200 that most laptops have, with this WiFi card the maximum real speed that we will achieve is about 1150 Mbps approximately in the 5GHz band and using the 160MHz of channel width.

In short, achieving the real 8 Gbps that Digi promises will only happen on certain very specific occasions: in its own network only, because outside the operator’s own networks we depend on many other factors such as queue delay, packet processing delay, saturation of intermediate routers and other factors, in addition, you must use a powerful PC that is connected via cable.

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