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The Quest for 10Gbps Internet: Unlocking the Secrets of Super Broadband

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Guys, I did it! I recently upgraded my home to a 10 Gigabit Fiber-optic broadband plan via Sonic. Yes, that's 10Gbps Internet or ten times the speed of Gigabit.

And no, it's not expensive, just $40/month (no contract required), which is very reasonable, if not cheap, in the USA. To put things in perspective, I've been paying almost double the amount for a Gigabit Comcast Cable connection.

So, where I live, in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sonic Fiber-optic is a great deal. I'd recommend it. And that's the good news. The not-so-good is, well, there's more, a lot more, to getting 10Gbps than just the broadband subscription.

This post will talk about that and set some expectations. But in a nutshell, 10 Gigabit Internet is literally the Gigabit broadband ten times over—in all aspects.

Most importantly, this so-called "quest" for 10Gbps Internet is to satisfy my fabricated vain achievement—so I can brag I've hit that milestone. Above certain Gbps, the broadband speed makes zero difference in real-world usage.

Dong's note: This piece is not a review of Sonic 10Gbp Fiber-optic broadband, but it includes my brief real-world, hands-on experience with the Internet service.

Asus RT-AX89X 2
10Gbps Internet: With two 10Gbps ports (one Multi-Gig and one SFP+), the Asus RT-AX89X is an excellent choice for super-fast Internet, but by itself, the router is far from enough.

10Gbps Internet: Broadband is no longer the bottleneck

For years, the sub-Gigabit broadband connection has always been the bottleneck in our connection to the outside world—it still is for many, if not most, citizens of the world.

No matter how fast your Wi-Fi is, if your Internet is 100Mbps, you can't download anything faster than 100Mbps, on a good day.

Then we have Gigabit-class Internet—something that's between 500Mbps to 1Gbps. But at the same time, we also have Wi-Fi 6/6E that can deliver up to 2.4Gbps of local speed—via the current dual-stream (2x2) at 160MHz client—or Gig+ sustained real-world rates.

As a result, it's always been incorrect to use an Internet speed test to gauge your Wi-Fi speed—chances are the former is the bottleneck. I ranted long and hard about that in this post on speed testing.

Data transmission speeds in a nutshell

As you read this page, note that each character on the screen, including a space between two words, generally requires one byte of data.

The phrase "Dong Knows Tech," with no quotes, requires at least 15 bytes, and likely more since the formatting—such as capitalization and font—also needs extra storage space.

Byte—often in thousands or kilobytes (KB), millions or megabytes (MB), billions or gigabytes (GB), trillions or terabytes (TB)—is generally used to convey storage space to total data usage. For data transmission, we use bits.

One byte equals eight bits.

One million (1,000,000) bits = 1 Megabit (Mb).

Megabits per second (Mbps)—the number of megabits being manipulated in one second—is the standard unit for data transmission nowadays. Based on that, the following are common terms:

  • Fast Ethernet: A connection standard that can deliver up to 100Mbps.
  • Gigabit: That's short for Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and generally means transmission speeds in Gigabit per second (Gbps), currently the most popular wired connection standard. 1Gbps = 1000Mbps.
  • Gig+: A connection that's faster than 1Gbps but slower than 2Gbps. It often applies to 2x2 Wi-Fi 6/6E or Internet speeds.
  • Multi-Gigabit: That's multiple Gigabits—a link that's 2Gbps or faster.
  • Multi-Gig: A new BASE-T wired connection standard that delivers 2.5GbE, 5Gbe, or 10GbE over CAT5e (or a higher grade) network cables, depending on the devices involved, and is also backward compatible with Fast Ethernet and Gigabit.

Multi-Gig explained: Faster-than-Gigabit and beyond.

A 10Gbps—that's 10 Gigabit Ethernet, a.k.a 10GE, 10GbE, or 10GigE -- broadband connection changes all the above. The Internet is now the fastest pipe in your home. But it also brings about other issues for those wanting to get the absolute most out of their world-bound connection.

The question is, how do we know we actually get 10 Gigabit Internet? Let me break it right away: we can't.

At best, we can only get close 10Gbps since the equipment has overhead, and 10Gbps is the highest ceiling speed grade any home router or switch can handle.

In other words, if you want to see a real 10Gbps sustained rate, you will need equipment that can handle 20Gbps or faster. I guess we'll get there at some point, but for now, that's still way too far in the future.

And even when you're happy with a "sorta 10Gbps" connection. Things can be challenging, too. I speak from experience.

Let's start with the hardware that I use.

Speed Test 10Gbps Broadband via 2.5Gbps Adapter speed
10Gbps Internet: Here's my general Internet connection these days, via a 2.5Gbps wired connection. And no, it's not what it really is.

10Gbps on the client end: Wired only, and it’s tricky

Above is a screenshot of my current Internet speed on my work computer. It's fast, alright, but you'll note that it's not 10Gbps, but just about 2.5Gbps. Did I get ripped off? Nope.

My desktop computer used for the test—a relatively compact gaming machine powered by the Asus ROG Strix Z590-I motherboard—has a built-in 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig network adapter. And the Internet connection saturated that multi-Gigabit connection.

Eventually, there will be a motherboard with a built-in 10Gbps network port. For now, the only way to get a 10Gbps on a computer is via a PCIe add-on Ethernet adapter.

That was not an option with my Z590-I since I already used its only qualified PCIe slot for a gaming graphic card.

Upgrading a desktop computer to 10Gbps Multi-Gig is similar to upgrading it to Wi-Fi 6/E. You get an add-on card, assemble it on a qualified PCIe slot and install the software.

The biggest and only difference is a 10Gbps NIC card requires a four-lane (x4) or faster PCIe slot instead of a single-lane (x1).

On most desktop motherboards, the only qualified PCIe slot is the 16-lane, generally reserved for a dedicated graphics card. In this case, you can only upgrade if you use the computer's basic integrated (onboard) graphic processing unit (GPU).

How about Wi-Fi, you might ask?

As I mentioned above, even the best-to-date Wi-Fi connection can't go over 2.4Gbps of ceiling speed, which translates into Gig+ sustained real-world speed on a good day. So it's virtually impossible to experience 10Gbps via Wi-Fi—not even a quarter of that.

GT-AXE 16000 Internet Speed
Here's the fastest Internet speed I've gotten so far via a Wi-Fi connection—between a top-tier Wi-Fi 6E router that hosts 10Gbps broadband and a top-tier (2x2 at 160MHz) Wi-Fi 6E client at a close range within a line of sight. In this case, the Wi-Fi adapter is the bottleneck. Generally, when you have unlimited broadband speed, you can expect between 500Mbps and 1.2Gbps on a Wi-Fi client.

When (or if) 4x4 Wi-Fi 6/6E clients are available, we'll get some 4.8Gbps of ceiling speed out of Wi-Fi, still less than half of 10Gbps.

Wi-Fi 7 might change this but that remains to be seen.

So, if you want to experience 10Gbps, upgrading your computer to a 10Gbps wired adapter is the only way for now. And for my testing, I've had a couple of machines running these adapters for a few years.

But even then, that's only half of the equation. You need a router and possibly a switch of the same caliber, too.

Sonic 10Gbps Fiber optic ONT
10 Gigabit Internet: My Sonic Fiber-optic ONT in action. Note the lit 10Gbps indicator light. (I took this picture during the daytime, but the place where I put my geek stuff is a messy yet well-organized little room in the basement with no window.)

10Gbps Internet on the router end: Limited options

There are about two dozen home Wi-Fi routers that come with Multi-Gig wired capability. And, not to brag, I've reviewed them all except for the latest eero Pro 6E, which I deliberately avoided.

There will be more in the future, and the link below will keep you updated with the latest top options.

Best multi-Gigabit routers and mesh systems to bring home today

10Gbps and home routers

A router needs more than just a couple of 10Gbps Ethernet network ports to deliver (close to) true 10Gbps. It also requires high processing power and applicable firmware to handle this bandwidth.

Generally, consumer-grade Multi-Gig routers and switches do not deliver true 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) throughputs. After "overhead", they sustain between 6.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 6 hardware) to 8.5Gbps (Wi-Fi 7 hardware), give or take. Often, a router's traffic-related features, such as QoS, security, etc. when turned on can impact its bandwdith.

Many home Wi-Fi routers support the entry-level Multi-Gig, which is 2.5Gbps and can deliver close to 2,500Mbps in real-world speeds.

And 2.5Gbps is plenty fast.

Of those, there are currently just four that are 10Gbps-capable, including:

Again, there will be more options in the future, but for now, the rest of the Mult-Gig home routers on the market can only handle the 5Gbps or 2.5Gbps speed grade and are clearly out of the question in this glorious quest.

If you don't care about getting the most out of a 10Gbps broadband connection or have slower Multi-Gig internet, also consider Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12 or Asus GT-AX6000. Each has two 2.5Gbps ports.

Of the four 10Gbps-capable above, only the Asus RT-AX89X and QNAP QHora-301W have two 10Gbps ports—we'd need one for the WAN connection and the other for the LAN side.

Considering the Asus RT-AX89X is a much better router in hardware specs and features, it was the only sensible option in my case. I picked it.

Extra: Skip the QNAP!

The QNAP QHora-301W is not suitable for 10 Gigabit Internet.

I tried it briefly, and it proved a terrible choice for Multi-Gig Internet. There was an option to use its first 10Gbps port as the WAN port, but the process was extremely buggy.

On top of that, then, there was no option to make another Gigabit LAN port as the second WAN for a Dual-WAN setup. Port configurations on this router are half-baked at best.

Overall, this 10Gbps router has terrible firmware and feels like an afterthought as I mentioned in the review.

The Fiber-optic ONT Sonic put in my house, like most ONTs, used a Base-T RJ45 port, so I used the RT-AX89X's 10Gbps Multi-Gig port for the Internet connection; the WAN side was straightforward.

Extra: BASE-T vs. SFP+

The BASE-T (or BaseT) port type refers to the wiring method used inside the network cable and the connectors at its ends, which is 8-position 8-contact (8P8C). This type is known via a misnomer called Registered Jack 45 or RJ45. So we'll keep calling it RJ45.

But there's also SFP or SFP+ (plus) port type, used mostly for enterprise applications, that's different physically but has the same networking principles as Base-T. SFP stands for small form pluggable and is the technical name for what is often referred to as Fiber Channel or Fiber.

An SFP+ port has speed grades of either 1Gbps or 10Gbps—the older version of SFP can only do 1Gbps. The two share the same port type. That's all you need to know about SFP. Base-T is the more popular by far.

Some Fiber-optic providers use ONTs with an SFP+ port. But, nowadays, most ONTs use a BASE-T Gigabit or Multi-Gig port, and Sonic is one of them.

Generally, you can get an adapter to use a BaseT device with an SFP or SFP+ port. Still, in this case, compatibility can be an issue—a particular adapter might only work (well) with the SFP/+ port of certain hardware vendors.

On the LAN side, things were a bit more complicated. I had no computer with an SFP+ port and didn't want to get an adapter. That, plus the fact I'd like to use more wired Multi-Gig devices, meant I'd need a switch.

Asus RT-AX89X 10Gbps Internet 1
10Gbps Internet: Here's my Asus RT-AX89X with the 10Gbps Base-T Multi-Gig port connected to the Fiber-optic ONT and the 10Gbps SFP+ connecting to the Zyxel XS1930-12HP Multi-Gig switch. Note the router's default Gigabit WAN port (Blue) that is free for now.

10Gbps-capable switches: Still very expensive

While Gigabit switches are a dime a dozen and relatively affordable, Multi-Gig switches, especially those capable of 10Gbps, are still scarce. And they are all expensive.

And I needed one that has an SFP+ port. Of all switches I've reviewed, the Zyxel XS1930-12HP is the only one that fits the bill, so I used it—I've always used it, and a couple of others, since their reviews.

If you wonder, this switch's current price is around $1000—less expensive than many of its peers. There are more affordable Multi-Gig switches, but they primarily have lower-grade ports (2.5Gbps or 5Gbps).

Multi Gig Switches Performance
10Gbps Internet: None of the Multi-Gig switches I've tested sustained at the full 10Gbps (10,000 Mbps) speed. But that might be the case with all home equipment at this grade.

It's worth noting that all switches have overhead, and the Zyxel didn't deliver the full 10Gbps in my testing. The chart above shows the performances of all Multi-Gig switches I've reviewed.

That said, so far, on the equipment front, I've used the following:

I've gotten these devices for review and testing purposes over time, but if you buy them today, that'd cost you some $2000.

What I haven't told you yet is I also used a pair of ZenWiFi Pro ET12 as my Multi-Gig Wired mesh satellites. These have a 2.5Gbps WAN port for the incoming wired connection, not as good as 10Gbps but still faster than any Wi-Fi link.

And that brings us to my actual Internet speed out of my 10Gbps Fiber-optic broadband, using this souped-up set of equipment.

My real Multi-Gig Internet speed

Upon completing the installation, the friendly Sonic technician did a test at the ONT with his special equipment.

"8 gigs down and 5 gigs up," he said, "It'll probably get faster once the ONT has been updated. Give it a day or two. It'll be different."

And he didn't lie. During the next few days, I generally got speeds between 6Gbps to 8.5Gbps in both directions when testing directly at the ONT.

Via the equipment mentioned above, though, I got up to 6Gbps at best.

Those weren't exactly 10Gbps but, to be fair, they might have been the speed of any of the parts involved, be it the router, the switch, or the network adapters. Also, I wired part of my house with CAT5e, which can do 10Gbps but not as well as CAT6a or higher-grade cables.

In any case, I could eliminate the go-betweens and other devices that might be using the broadband connection by connecting one of my 10Gbps-capable desktops to the ONT directly to do a real test—the way I've been advocating. And I did think about that. But the idea proved to be too much work due to the layout of my home. Among other things, I couldn't run long cables willy-nilly and risk having my children, or worse, my wife, tripping over them.

Most importantly, I didn't care. Even on my office "work" desktop mentioned above, 2.5Gbps is already crazy fast—that's more than 2.5 times the speeds of Comcast on the download pipe and hundreds of times faster on the upload. Anything above that is ridiculous.

And "I don't care" is my actual new Internet speed. You know, that level when you've already turned things up way past 11. You probably wouldn't bother either.

10Gbps Fiber optic Broadband speed
10Gbps Internet: My Internet speed on a desktop with a 10GbE network adapter. I did this test without unplugging other active network devices, including my servers.

Fiber-optic broadband is so much better than Cable, by the way. The speed aside, I consistently get ping and jitter values, which determine the quality of a connection, below a few milliseconds. In many tests, they were at zero.

My Comcast Cable connection generally pings at 15 milliseconds and imposes a monthly data cap of 1.25 terabytes—I receive that dreadful message saying I've almost used up my limit practically every month.

Sonic has no monthly data cap, and the feeling of freedom comes with that. I no longer care about my Internet usage because I don't need to.

Multi-Gig Internet and its hidden benefits

10Gbps or not, my broadband connection is now easily in the Multi-Gig realm. The crazy speeds, apart from being fast, also brings in some advantages you can't have with sub-Gigabit.

QoS is (mostly) no longer applicable

The first is that you don't need to use Quality of Service anymore. I wrote about QoS in this post, but it's a function that prioritizes the broadband connection to prevent a device from hogging all the bandwidth.

Considering most devices have Gigabit or Wi-Fi at best, the network adapter is now the bandwidth guardrail.

For example, if you host a BitTorrent client on a computer with a Gigabit connection, the client can use no more than 1000Mbps of Internet bandwidth at any given time. Supposedly, you still have some 9000Mbps for other things—it's a matter of bandwidth.

If you use multiple clients like that, then it might still be a good idea to use QoS. But you get the idea.

Bandwidth vs. speed

When it comes to a data connection we tend to think of speed, as in how fast data move from one party to another, generally measured in bits per second.

For a slow connection, we use kilobit (Kbps), for faster ones, we use megabit (Mbps) or Gigabit (Gbps).

When you get a broadband plan, the number of bits also indicates its bandwidth. A Gigabit plan (1000Mbps) allows two devices to connect at 500Mbps simultaneously. With a 10Gbps plan, you can do that on 20 concurrent 500Mbps-capable devices.

That's why fast broadband is still applicable when there are only slow devices within a network.

And by the way, in my case, the Fiber-optic also improves real-time communication a great deal, likely thanks to the better connection quality mentioned above.

Sonic Order
Here's my Sonic order form. Again, you only need the ONT.
A bit of digression: I almost busted laughing seeing what Sonic offered as Wi-Fi equipment for its 10Gbps Internet. The mentioned hardware can't even deliver Gigabit of real-world speed! Seeing how it couldn't be any worse a choice, I made the screengrab. But the initial doubt about the provider's real broadband speeds slowly melted away after over a week of real-world experience.

A new level of personal server

Thanks to the much faster upload speed, you'd note that all personal remote server applications work much better.

My business partners and I use several Synology NAS servers in multiple locations and sync data between them as off-site backups. The super-fast broadband—and the omission of a month data cap—makes this much better. At least on my end.

And if you use a personal media server, such as Plex, content streaming from a remote party is now just like using Netflix or Hulu in terms of speed and video quality. Actually, it was better in my trial.

With 10 Gigabit Internet, the broadband speed test is now applicable for local Wi-Fi testing

This part applies directly to what I do on this website. From now on, I can confidently use the Internet as the base to test local Wi-Fi, and I've tried that with the Netgear WAX630E.

I'll keep my current test methodology but knowing that the Internet is no longer the bottleneck will make my work much easier.

Among other things, I'll be able to determine if a router is consistent on both LAN and WAN sides, if its WAN port is truly Multi-Gig or not, etc. Rest assured that I'll add this new information in future reviews.

The takeaway

Again, it's impossible to get a real sustained 10Gbps connection—we need faster equipment to have that. It was likely for that reason, Sonic told me that my broadband was "up to" 10Gbps.

And so far, that proved to be a genuine promise. The connection has been fluctuating above 6Gbps when tested at the ONT but for the most part, again, I don't really care if it's truly 10Gbps at all times—it's probably not.

As long as the work desktop mentioned above gets 2.5Gbps out of a speed test, which it consistently does, I know the connection is good—the machine never uses the broadband connection exclusively.

So 10Gbps broadband is great. And it's super-great if you have it without sacrificing your arm or leg. But be aware of the hidden costs if you want to truly experience all or even just most of it—chances are you can't no matter what.

But ultra-fast broadband is still nice—or it doesn't hurt—if you keep your existing Gigabit equipment.

In daily usage, though, any Internet connection faster than 1Gbps makes no difference in all cases—the remote party or those in between them and your home will be the bottleneck anyway.

The 10 Gigabit Internet pipe only means you can have multiple Gigabit connections simultaneously. And if something is slow, you can say with confidence, "it's the other guy!"

As I said before in the post about Gigabit Internet, it's not how fast a connection is but what you do with it that matters. The point is that you should appreciate and make the most of what you have. A 10Gbps link put the latter a bit upside down—don't kill yourself trying to make the most out of it! There's simply no need.

Speaking of making the most, I'll still keep my "slow" Gigabit Cable connection for now. Dual-WAN has its unique benefits, and that'll be another story. Stay tuned!

Dual-WAN vs. Link Aggregation: They are two different things

In the meantime, if you're curious about how fast your Internet is, hit the Go button below to find out. And don't be jealous!

⏱️ Dong Knows Tech custom Speed Test transfers data between your device and an Ookla test server
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81 thoughts on “The Quest for 10Gbps Internet: Unlocking the Secrets of Super Broadband”

  1. Dong,

    You are the multi-Gig guru so I will invoke your help. Just got 10G fiber optic from Brightridge which is 8G real throughput at the ONT. However, my Asus RT AX89X is throttling this to 1.6G at my pc; wi fi speeds are fine: 2G+. If I direct ethernet (CAT8) the ONT to my pc via 10G NIC, I get 6-7G speed so it’s not the cable or NIC. I have ONT to router via SFP+ as WAN and router to pc via 10G BASE T as LAN. Is it the router? Should I get the Netgear wi fi 7 20G router?

      • Dong,

        Finally figured it out after monkeying around with router settings all night, disabling various things and checking Ookla speeds! When I disable qOs, voila, 7G/4G down/upload speeds, up from 1.6G! Needless to say, I’m not paying for 10G speeds to be throttled to 1.6G!

        • QoS and IPS/IDS (intrusion prevention/detection system) both need very powerful routers to handle 10Gbps traffic. No residential or prosumer routers will handle that. You usually don’t need QoS with a 10Gbps connection though.

          • Dong,

            Absolutely! After the qOS disabling “fix”, I read up on qOs and everything says with fiber connection, no need for qOS! Apparently the 10G saturates/overloads the cpu with packet inspection that slows down speed significantly!

  2. Hi Dong, next month finally my fiber will be upgrade from 1 to 10Gbit. What’s your advice today for the best 10Gbit router today? Is it better to wait the WiFi 7 development during 2024? Thank you!

  3. Hi Dong,

    I know the post it’s over one year old, anyway it wold be interesting to explain how your 10Gbit fiber is delivered, I think there is an XGS-PON fiber like 99% of residential users worldwide.
    In PON technology a single fiber is shared/splitted with other users, one fiber (10Gbit in XGS-PON and 2.5Gbin in GPON) come by POP and splitted in different split ratio up to 256 users in XGS-PON (128 in GPON), here in Italy the ratio is 1:64.
    It means that 10Gbit speedtest can suffer to others 64-128 or 256 other users that use the same fiber/pipe at the same time.
    There are many others aspect involved in these high speedtest like ISP peering, IX bandwith, etc, but it’s better to understand and know that the fiber isn’t dedicated for every users.

      • I suspected! Another fascinating thing is that in the same Fiber it’s possible to deliver both XGS-PON and GPON at the same time, due to a different optical wave length of the two PON’s variants.
        It’s a great thing by ISP side because they can deliver the new XGS-PON standard over the old GPON standard in the same fiber with only an ONT replace by customer side. Sorry for the OT, but fiber and (more) PON are an amazing technology!

  4. Hi Dong,

    I have the Sonic 10Gb fiber and Asus RT-AX89X router too.

    I connect the Sonic ONT 10Gb Port to Asus AX89X 10Gb WAN RJ45 port.

    And use the 10Gb SFP+ on the Router connect to my 10Gb SFP+ port on the PC.

    But I unable to get the download speed over 1Gb.

    The speed test on web browser only have 300Mb Down / 4,000 Up.

    If i use the speed test app on Windows it double the down and up speed. The result on the app is 800Mb down / ~8,000 Up.

    I configured the speed on both Base-T and SFP+ to 10Gb on the router but still the same.

    Can you advise how to get the max download speed on SFP+ port ?

    • I have my 5gbit (different provider) coming in through the rj45 wan and out to my computer via the SFP+ (using a rj45 transceiver). And have no issues getting full speed on the tests.

      For the tests themselves, using the app is the right thing to do for the best consistency vs web browser. (Also do not use the test in the router as can’t handle speed much over 3mbit and may just lock up as mine does.) But you want to make sure you are selecting the test servers, not letting it automatically do it, as most can’t handle multi-gig speed. Which ones are you selecting for the results you are getting?

  5. Hi Dong,

    Do you by chance use any extra layer of anti-virus security software installed on your computer with your 10Gig ISP?

    I have 2Gig Internet and I had to uninstall all Internet Security software in order to obtain my full 2300Mbps download speed. I had Bitdefender installed and obtained anywhere from 1500-1900Mbps. As soon as I uninstalled it I got my full 2300Mbps back using the Speedtest app.

    Next, I tried Kaspersky. It was the same results. A little better. I got around 1700-1800Mbps. I uninstalled Kaspersky and my 2Gig speed came right back.

    Next, I tried ESET and got the exact same results.

    Right now I am using Windows Defender. Yes, I know, I know. People say “Windows Defender is all you need now days,” but I really like having something else installed. I really like the web protection these other security vendors offer.

    It would be really could if you investigated this subject and wrote about it. I think it’d help a lot of readers as more folks get faster and faster Internet!

  6. Great report as always, Dong.
    I have an ONT with a 10Gbps Base-T port that I connected with Cat8 cable to an ASUS AX86X WAN.
    From the AX86X I ran another Cat8 RJ45 from the router’s 10Gb port to my Asus Z790 Extreme’s Marvell 10Gb port.
    My network settings all show 10Gb speed, but I can’t get over 950Mb +/- using Ookla’s speed test.
    My ISP, Brightridge, is sending a tech tomorrow to see if they can diagnose the problem. I couldn’t figure it out.
    As usual, Asus tech support was non existent.
    Thanks again. My hardwired home setup was all based on your posts, and it works great with 2 AIMesh routers on the main and upper floors. My work computer is in the basement.

    • I’d say it’s likely your ONT, Edgar. If you get around 3Gbps and not more, then I’d say it your router or something in between. Good luck! It’s very hard to get over 5Gbps WAN consistently using a home router.

    • Do you mean the AX89X? There is not AX86X and the AX86U doesn’t have 10gbit ports.
      If you do mean the AX89X, the fact that you didn’t mention using a SPF+ rj45 transceiver makes me think you have your ONT output plugged into the RJ45 WAN port of the router and that WAN port is 1gbit. The only way to get multi-gig in and out of this router is to use both the 10gbit rj45 jack and the 10gbit SFP+ port. One as your WAN input and one as your LAN output.
      A ~940gbit speed test means a 1gbit link which would also point to you using the 1gig WAN port on the router. (also note that you should not use the internal test for speed test, only the desktop app to a known-good multi-gig speedtest server).

      • Also, the ethernet cable rating are not the issue. You don’t need cat 8 for anything unless you are running a data center (but then you are probably running fiber links anway) so save your money on any future purchases with using cat 6. You can even do 10gig with standard cat 5e over at-home distances without issue.

  7. Wow, that is a crazy good price for even 1gbit internet! They must have a rather unique cost structure.

    Where I’m at I’m fortunate to have a fiber provider so I don’t have to use Comcast. They (Ziply) just lowered their 2gig and 5gig price from $120 and $300 to $90 and $120 because they are about to launch 10gbit (I’d guess closer to the 300 that 5gig was).

    One interesting (but not impactful) thing about the Asus Ax89x is that its built in Speedtest app does not seem to handle more that ~3gibit. On my 5gbit service it will even lock up the screen most of the time instead of completing. Someone said that it may have to do with routers that use the speedteest-cli linux package instead of the official speedtest package from ookla will max around 3gbit.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Paul. It actually just got cheaper for us by $10 per month by opting for email or text-only support (no phone), which is great because I’d use email or text anyway.

      What you mentioned about speed testing is true in all Asus routers. I guess 10Gbps Internet is so rare that the firmware cap the speed testing speed to 3.5Gbps.

  8. Dang Dong, 10GbE internet, probably 10x times of most people’s home LAN, not to mention WiFi.
    Interesting article, I can relate to that nerdy need/itch to tap the true potential of 10Gb/s connection speed.

    It still amazes me that the AX89X is ~3 years old and still has the best specs around.
    When I bought mine about 1.5 years ago I thought to myself, man, that thing is so over-speced, especially with the 2x10Gb/s ports and 8x1Gb/s ports and that hasn’t changed much since then.

    I recently made the move to Multi Gig LAN with 2.5Gb/s with ET8 and RT-AX89X which feels an overkill with a 1Gb/s internet connection and at all, going to 10Gb/s is a few folds of an overkill.

  9. Had never heard of Sonic and I’m right here in the Bay Area! Thank you Dong! I can’t get Sonic but att does have 5Gb available. Don’t need either atm though. Very interesting to see you hope through the hoop to do 10Gb with consumer equipment–that’s a torture I would never put upon myself, lol.

    • Hi Dong love your content!
      I’m still on 1200mbit cable modem but I upgraded to a 25/10gbit Mikrotik CCR2004-1G-12S+2XS router. So everything is setup with minimum 2.5gbit but will change those for 10gbit sfp+ once wifi7 comes out for the access point.
      Now, it took some effort to configure the router. The wizard was easy but for open service ports and firewall was more enterprise type of setup. But VERY good price and fast 64bit ARM.

  10. Hi Dong ,

    First of all great write up. A few questions here. Sonic 10G fiber is finally available in my area in downtown San Jose. I have an install scheduled for this Monday.

    I was following your guidelines above, and have purchased all the required hardware.

    I ended up purchasing quantity x 2 of the ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6E
    Router (GT-AXE16000 and the Zyxel switch. I plan on setting up both router as mesh.

    Wondering with only two 10gb ports on the routers. Do run the setup as such . ONT to router via Ethernet 10GB than 10GB SPF to switch and from the switch 10GBSPF to secondary router 10GBSPF ?

    Let me know if the setup should differ otherwise .

    Appreciate the help here !

  11. I got a TP-Link ER8411 a week or two ago and can confirm that I get around 8200Mbps down, which is around the same as if I connect to Sonic’s ONT directly. It’s pretty decently priced at $350. There’s only two 10Gbps ports though, and they’re both SFP+, so you’ll need an SFP+ 10GBase-T module to connect the Sonic ONT. I’m using the other SFP+ port to connect to a MikroTik 10Gbps switch (CRS312-4C+8XG)

    • Good to know! And those business routers are generally better than their home counterpart. Thanks for sharing the experience, Daniel.

  12. Have you tried any of MikroTik’s routers, like the CCR2004-1G-12S+2XS? I’d like something that can be rack mounted. Sonic is going to be rolling out in my area within the next few months.

  13. My setup for 10gb:
    Dell precision workstation running pfsense (quad core) with quad sfp+ card for Wan, Lan,Lan2, Lan3

    Trendnet switch with 4 sfp+ ports/24 1 gig ports

    Linux workstation with Mellanox sfp+ card

    8800 mps tested with cli program (the web version did not give accurate results for some reason-only came in at 2400 mps)

    • That looks like a great setup, J. How about the heat and the space requirement? My little closet is a bit small. Thanks for sharing the XP.

    • I hear you, Mike. You should try doing an “upgrade” by pretending to sign up again VIA xfinity WEBSITE, chances are you’ll get a lower rate. Good luck!

  14. Thanks, Dong. We recently installed the same Sonic fiber as you.
    The plan is to run 3 wires from a switch to each of 3 Deco X5700’s placed throughout the house (one of the X5700s connected via coaxial w/ 2.5Gbps MoCA adapters; the other two via CAT5e/CAT6). Though I share the ambition for a juiced up 10Gbps setup also, we’ll have to settle for 2.5Gbps. 😉

    To get as close to 2.5Gbps as possible, should the switch be rated 2.5Gbps? Or something higher (for ex., 5Gbps)? Your point about equipment overhead has me re-thinking my 2.5Gbps switch setup.


    • You generally need a higher grade to get the full speed of a lower grade, James. For your case, though, getting a 5Gbps or faster would make no difference since the X5700 has a 2.5Gbps port. Still, I’d go 10Gbps. The TRENDnet TEG-S750 will fit your case well and it’s not too pricey. But you need a router with two Multi-Gig ports, though, as mentioned in the post.

  15. Hi Dong,

    Love your reviews, I learn a ton from them.

    I just got Sonic 10gig Fiber in Oakland, am trying to make the most of it, and could use some help.

    My equipment:

    Router: asus rog rapture gt-axe11000 (wifi 6e, 2.5gig)
    Switch: NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming SX10 (10gig)
    Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS MASTER (10gig(

    I have a CAT 8 cable plugged in from my Sonic modem directly into the Asus routers 2.5gig slot. The most download/upload speed I’ve seen from online tests for wifi is about 600 mpbs.

    What do I need to do to see speeds closer to 2.5gig on my wifi 6e?


    • I don’t know where to start, Adam. You should read this post again and follow the related links. But to point you in the right direction:

      1. You CAN’T get Wi-Fi speeds faster than Gig+, for now. PERIOD. Whatever otherwise you’ve heard is wrong. The related posts will explain why (and what Gig+ means). Hint: use the site search.
      2. You need a router with at least TWO 10Gbps ports. Use one for the WAN side (your Fiber-optic ONT) and the other for the LAN side (your switch).
      3. Your current setup’s Intenet is capped at 1Gbps. That’s ONE-TENTH of 10Gbps. You won’t get above that.

      Seriously, give this post a SERIOUS read. That’s part of the rules before asking any question anyway. And yes, you should read the rules, too. 🙂

      • Hi All,

        Recently upgraded my router to the Rog Rapture GT-Axe16000 and have achieved 8 gig up and 8 gig down when plugged dirctly into my gigabyte z690 aorus master motherboard. Put my GT-Axe11000 downstairs and got a single ZenWiFi Pro ET12 AXE11000 for the backyard. Now blanketed with fast wifi6 all over.

  16. I’m crossing my fingers they come down the Peninsula with that 10gbps soon! Just got 2.5gbps from AT&T.

    I’m now trying to figure out my network gear upgrade path here. I’m thinking waiting might be best given the lack of 10gbps capable equipment. Even if the stuff has a 10gbe doesn’t mean it’s going to get it. Many devices simply don’t have the processing power and few list switching capacity.

    Really curious about your thoughts on the most cost effective setup. Also if it’s worth waiting on wifi 7.

    • I don’t think it’s worth the investment in hardware, Tom. If you only need a single router, that might be OK, but if you need to connect multiple wired devices, the cost will go up fast, and the issue is there’s not much noticeable in return other than the good feeling. I’d say wait until you really have use for it. But it does NOT hurt if you can afford the hardware, and 10Gb is still great if you can only use 1Gb. Cost aside, faster is always better on this front. 🙂

  17. You know how great we were feeling over in the UK having just got Gigabit internet (1000Mbps)? 10Gbps! Most impressive! Congratulations!

  18. Congrats on the upgrade Dong! Just curious, does turning on any of the VPN features on the RT-AX89X (e.g. IPSec, Instant Guard) severely drop the d/l and u/l wired speeds on your end? I’m getting just over 1 Gbps when I do that as opposed to 8-9 Gbps with VPN off. Turning on the Ai Protection feature also hits wired speeds but not to the extent of when the VPN features are activated. I’ve reached out to Asus Tech Support on this but they don’t seem too interested in doing anything about it…However, as per your advice, VPN is only on (if I remember to) when I’m out and about.

    • Thanks, Richard.

      I can confirm that my test results shown in the post were done with Instant Guard (no active client, though) and AiProtetion turned on. And I tested just now again on my 2.5Gbps machine and got the same result. But generally, features like those (especially QoS) can adversely affect the speed, especially if you don’t configure them correctly or appropriately. If you’re in doubt, back up the settings, reset your router, try the testing with none of those turned on, then turn them on again gradually.

      • Thanks for confirming that Dong. I’ve tried switching to my Gigabit fiber connection only and that doesn’t seem to be affected by the activation of the router’s VPN or Ai Protection features. Suspect it may be something to do with the ISP using a passive optical network for Gigabit as opposed to the active optical network for 10G. The former (Gigabit) has a modem before the router while the latter (10G) directly connects to the RT-AX89X’s 10G SFP+ port from an ISP-provided long range tranceiver. I couldn’t get a straight answer out of the 10G ISP’s tech support either so guess I’ll have to leave VPN off for now until I need to use it…

  19. This is great. I have the exact same set up after getting sonic a couple weeks ago. I’m also in SF. Bought that route because of your review so thanks!

    It IS a bit more involved. Sonic tells you you need your own equipment to take advantage of the speed as the only router they provide is 1g.

    Question- did you use a transceiver for the spf port? If so, what did you get?

    • I mentioned that in the post, Kevin. It’s an ONT with a 10Gbps Base-T port — I included a picture. That’s the only device you’d need. After that, just plug your router’s WAN port in and you’re game. More here. I’m actually in Oakland. 🙂

    • Oh I see now you used a fiber cable to connect to the switch. For now that port goes from the router to the PC (with 10g nic). I don’t have a Nas with 10g so no need to invest in a switch for now.
      Btw you can’t connect the ONT directly to the PC. It will stop working if you’re using the other ONT port to a router

      • Yes, you can connect the ONT directly to a computer, Kevin, and that’s the only way to truly test your broadband connection as I mentioned in this post. But then you can’t connect any other devices to the Internet. More in this post. If your ONT has two ports and you get TWO separate Static IPs then yes, you can use both of the ONT’s ports for two devices (two routers or two computers). In most cases, you can only use either the 10Gbps or the Gigabit port of the ONT. Many ONTs have just one port anyway.

        • Thanks. I am getting down and up speeds just north of 3gps here. The technician who installed it used some device connected to a laptop to test the connection and that device was showing around 8.5gps – he showed me… a lot is getting lost somewhere…

          • Yeap, as I mentioned in the post. But 3Gbps is already too much, no? I’m happy with 2.5Gbps on my work desktop.

  20. Lucky you. I’m sure less than .0001% of the US has access to ultrafast fiber, let alone for $40mo.

    I have fiber- FIOS. I pay $62mo for a 1GB connection, and I consider myself lucky. They are going to be rolling out 2GB soon but charging $120mo for it.

    No thanks.

      • SW Boston suburbs.

        Good thing about have two service providers available (Xfinity and FIOS) is that they’ll compete over you as a customer. Ultimately I was able to lock in a deal with FIOS as a new customer for $62, no contract after switching back and forth a few times, If I modify my service plan in any way I lose that deal forever. 2GB is tempting but not for double the price.

        Rather have 10GB for $40 tho.

        • Altice/Optimum is charging $49.95 for a Gig in NY and NJ. They’re also competing with Verizon, but for new customers only. After a year or two, the promo price usually ends.

          • The promo price game is what is usually played with isps. I always make it a point to find out how much the service is without all the gimmicks and then make my decision based on if I can stomach that.

    • That’s not bad. I don’t think you’d see much of a difference when you have 2Gbps. Not enough to justify the hardware upgrade.

      • I just did some upgrading for a homebuilt NAS. Two Mellanox connectx3 cards cost me $40 on eBay and an old H3C 24port switch with 4 SFP+ ports for $60. DAC cables were $10ea.

        It’s amazing how affordable 10GB networking has become.

        Good for file transferring but I still can’t justify (or afford) the $120mo for 2GB.

  21. Here in Switzerland you can get 25gbit Fibre connection for 70 usd. They share the backbone with 20 – 30 connections.

    • Very cool. I knew there were places in Europe that already had 10Gb, but 25Gb is just crazy impressive. I guess you have to have 40Gb or a 100Gb to really use that speed. Datacenter in the home anyone? lol.

  22. Thanks so much, Dong! You are truly the forerunner in this field. I find your articles incredibly educational, informative and inspirational! You have put a “smile on my dial” today with insight into the future. Cheers from Boo in Melbourne, Australia

  23. I think too often we equate bandwidth with just speed. I just can’t see why anyone would need that much capacity. Maybe some time in the future as we add more devices and compete with more traffic, but for most data hungry consumers these days, 300 to 500 MBPS is more then enough. We are also seeing the advent of more efficient clients, graphic applications, video codecs, etc. However, as far as some business applications are considered, the sky should be the limit. I’m just fine with my 300/300 Fios plan, but 40 bucks for gigabyte speeds, now that’s what I call a real bargain for bragging rights. Unfortunately, I just don’t see those kind of prices offered by any of the major ISP’s (IE: Verizon, AT&T, Altice/Optimum, Comcast.) anytime in the near future.

    • Yeap, Ian. I remember you were advocating Fiber-optic, and I was saying Cable was cheaper. When I got Sonic installed, I actually thought of our previous “conversation.” I stand corrected. And yes, Fiber should be cheaper since it can be. Hopefully, that will be the case soon across the country (and the world, for that matter.)

  24. Excellent info! Thanks. Just checked to see if fiber is available in my area. As soon as it is, I’ll be upgrading.


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