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i understand that data send/receive among networked computers would be faster on a gigabit router but would there be a speed increase for internet connection?
would it make a difference for a program like skype to have a gigbit router?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

No. Generally, a network is as fast as its slowest link, which -- unless you have an extraordinarily fast internet connection -- is going to be your broadband link, which is likely a theoretical maximum of 6-15 Mbps, nothing close to the (again, theoretical) maximum of 1000 Mbps on a gigabit network. As you note: data transfers on your LAN will benefit tremendously. Skype, etc. will not.

Actually, this is true for all data paths in computing, which is why it's really useful to memorize the important parts of a bandwidth chart like this when you're starting to performance tune something.

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It doesn't have to be close to the 1000 Mbps of a gigabit router. It just has to exceed the 100 Mbps speed of the 100BaseT router (even outside of places like Japan, there are residential connections of 120Mbps or more). Additionally, you may have a 100BaseT router with 4 ports, but that doesn't mean it has 400Mbps total throughput. It may only have about 150Mbps or less. So if someone is transferring a large file from one computer to another, it could potentially slow down your internet speed--especially if it's to the same computer that you're using Skype on. – Lèse majesté Apr 16 '12 at 6:33
but if it was just 1 computer on a T100 router then it prob. wouldnt make much of a difference for internet connection? – t q Apr 16 '12 at 15:44

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