Does the Type of Computer You Use Affect Internet Speed?

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The most important factor in Internet speed is what plan you choose. Choosing a high-speed Internet plan with more Mbps (megabits per second) will result in a faster Internet connection for your computer and other web-enabled devices.

Generally, people choose a PC or a Mac computer based on the tasks they perform regularly. For instance, Mac computers are better for web design work, and PCs are generally chosen by those who work with Excel on a regular basis. For the basis of this article, PC computers refer to those that run a Windows operating system.

Macs and PCs differ in several key ways, and users should take these differences and their own personal preferences into account before they purchase one computer type over the other. A few of the key ways Mac computers and PC computers differ are as follows:

  • Price – Few Mac products retail for less than $1,000, while there are dozens of PC models that fall below that price point. Mac prices often depend on what software the consumer adds, such as expensive design software.
  • Number of choices – Apple only offers a few models for consumers to choose from: the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, the Mac mini, the Mac Pro and the iMac. PCs, on the other hand, come in a variety of models within different price ranges and performance levels.
  • Availability – In most cases, Apple customers will have to shop at designated Apple stores in order to buy a Mac computer. In some cases, Apple will partner with certain retailers like Best Buy or Office Max. Alternatively, PC computers are available in many retailers worldwide.

Despite these differences, it’s not well known if one type of computer – a PC or a Mac, affects Internet speed and performance. Certain computer features could affect a computer’s perceived Internet speed:

  • Processors – Processors affect background Internet tasks. Macs generally have faster processors than PC computers, so you may experience faster perceived Internet speeds with a high-end Mac.
  • RAM – RAM directly affects website loading speeds, especially when you have more than one page open at a time. While Macs tend to have faster processors, PCs take home the gold for RAM space.
  • Hard disk drive – In addition to less RAM space, Macs tend to have less hard disk drive space. Hard drive space is important for Internet speed, because hard drives are constantly reading and writing, whether actively uploading and downloading files or simply storing temporary data for your browser.

Other factors could affect your Internet speed, including how many computers are connected to the network, existing computer viruses or outdated computer software. Use a speed checker website to check Internet speeds in your home or contact your Internet service provider to find out what is a fast Internet speed in your area.

The bottom line is the type of computer you choose does not affect the speed of the Internet connection you receive from your ISP; however, it could affect how fast your Internet appears to be. Depending on the processors, RAM, and hard disk drive of the computer you are using, your Internet could seem very different – even when it’s connected to the same network.


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This post was written by the Beacon team.

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