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  #1  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:53 AM
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Jacket Jacket is offline
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Default Home wireless networking

Do we have any guru's in the club? The demand for bandwidth in my house is growing rapidly as the kids grow up, with things like movie streaming, online gaming, and file download/upload killing our current DSL. Any one activity works fine, but if two streams need to occur concurrently - no dice. Worse than dial up. If Sam is watching Netflix in the basement, then I can't watch Tim Cameron flip his buggy on Youtube - no bueno.

I know that with DSL service you can upgrade your speeds if you're willing to pay for it, but I'm not ready to go there yet.

The other thing I'm wondering about is the router in use. It is a black box to me - I know that I can plug an ethernet cable into it, or enter a username and password to access it wirelessly. That's where my knowledge ends. I don't know what machine we are using at present, but it is several years old and was the standard issue from Qwest at the time.

So my question is whether upgrading to a new/different/better router would result in significant performance improvements in our shared bandwidth, or will I still be constrained by the DSL service I have (I think it's 1.5 GB) and any router upgrade would provide minimal improvements?

I'd also be happy to hear debates about DSL versus cable versus other options to get the internet into my home, particularly if I can do much better with performance and pay the same or less than DSL. We don't have cable, so that is not presently an option.

Thanks. Skool me.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:06 PM
Phrog Phrog is offline
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Default DSL speeds

I've had good luck calling Qwest (now Century Link) and getting
free speed udgrades - that is, higher speeds without a higher
monthly charge. Depending what speed you currently have, you
may however need to upgrade your modem.

Give Qwest a call, tell them you need more speed and are considering
going to cable, and see what they can do for you.

-Phrog
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:17 PM
spectre6000 spectre6000 is offline
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Who is your provider? 1.5 Meg is pretty low by modern standards (1.5 Gig is unheard of fast), and even worse when you consider that with most providers it's an "up to" number (meaning you'll never see but maybe half of that). Additionally, some providers, namely Qwest/Century Link (who I'm unfortunate enough to be limited to) have a DSL protocol that essentially chokes the bandwidth down in cases of network loading (everyone gets ****ty service instead of a few going down temporarily). The problem with their setup is that once it bumps you down, it can't bump you back up. I spent a month at a max of 6k because their system is so incredibly terrible. You have to call them (and get someone who has a clue) to have them manually bump you back up to the bandwidth you're paying them for. Go to speedtest.net and see what bandwidth you actually have. If it's appreciably less, call your provider and have them bump you back up.

If you look at the label on your router, it should tell you your limitations. Chances are if it's less than 5 years old or so it's not your limiting factor. If it's older than that, I have one you can have.

I'm SUPPOSED to be getting 3 Meg, but have never seen but maybe half a Meg. That's still enough for my wife and I to simultaneously stream low res video should we so desire.

Check your actual speed, but my money is on your provider not making good on the 1.5 Meg promise (even though they only say "up to").
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:23 PM
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smslavin smslavin is offline
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If your DSL is 1.5gb you should have plenty of bandwidth. My guess would be your wireless setup. You can check your bandwidth here...

http://www.speedtest.net

Run it with no one but you online then try it again with multiple users. Do you know what brand of router you have? Netgear, DLink or something else?

Since I'm in Broomfield, I'd be more than happy to swing by and take a peek at it for you or help you set up a new router/access point.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:34 PM
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bag dsl and go to cable internet
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:42 PM
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60wag 60wag is offline
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I used to have 1.5Mbps Century Link DSL. I could do a single Netflix feed and it was barely ok. I bumped it up to 10 or 12Mbps and I can do multiple video feeds at the same time with no problem. I tried at first with the old router/modem and it would work most of the time but then randomly lose the connection. I finally gave in and moved to a newer model and it has been flawless.

I'm no guru but I think the router's speed for both wireless and wired ethernet is many times faster than the DSL connection to the internet. i.e. your home network can move data faster than your connection to the outside world.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:14 PM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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We had DSL in the old house with Qwest. It rocked, but then again they'd rolled out FTTP and we had a bonded 40Mbps connection. I routinely got ~3.5MB/s actual downloads on ~38Mbps connections. We were only qualified to 7Mbps at the new house and so we went with a cable modem. It's OK, but shared bandwidth sorta sucks. Slow like molasses in January around breakfast and dinner times. The rest of the day we get around 3/4 of our rated 20Mbps, but it varies widely which is something a DSL won't do. I really miss having DSL.

To add another $0.02, 1.5Mbps (which is what you have, not Gbps, you'd have to be a tier 2/3 ISP to even think of having connections that fast and you'd be buying bandwidth from a tier 1 provider with an OC-24 pipe) is really pretty slow by today's standard. On top of that your router is not configured to efficiently use this, so one streaming movie will hog what little you have. To get a full quality Netflix stream requires a minimum of 5Mbps connection and ideally should be 7Mbps. That assumes a solid circuit. Your internal network is probably 100Mbps and your wireless stuff is probably running at 54Mbps (or an actual of 22Mbps with FEC). It's possible something really old on your wireless is dragging it to 802.11b, but even that is an order faster than your DSL.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I like the idea of calling Qwest as a dissatisfied customer and seeing if they'll bump me up. I've done that several times with Directv and it works 100% of the time for getting discounts and free hardware.

I'm still not hearing conclusively that the router has much affect on things? In my 10 minutes of checking on the internet, I see routers for $30 and routers for $200 - what's the difference?
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:06 PM
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Matt,

Get the model number off the DSL modem...Likely to be an Actiontec

Do you have the DSL modem AND and a router, or just the modem? I have the modem but then come off that to a Linksys router. From there I have my computer hooked up and then use the Linksys wireless capability for the other devices in the house. Our house is older and not wired with Cat5 cable everywhere so wireless is the name of the game. If you don't have a router I would suggest getting one. Wireless on my Actiontec modem (Qwest provide) was spotty at best and required what seemed like weekly booting. My old Linksys router on the other hand worked flawlessly (both wired and wireless) for a long time before giving up the ghost. It was 802.11G capable. I bought a 802.11N capable modem from Sharkbait and it is in fact noticeably faster, especially when using wireless.

I'll stay out of the cable vs. DSL and Qwest/CenturyLink sucks debate because that is as bad as politics...But I would second or third or whatever giving them a call and telling them that you are contemplating moving over to cable for faster internet and see what they'll do. You can go to the CenturyLink home page and find out what speeds your home qualifies for and unless you are in the sticks you should be able to get somewhere in the 3-7MB range. What I've found is that a customer's satisfaction with DSL or cable modem depends a lot on where they live and what the provider has built out in your area. My buddy here at work had cable modem (Comcast) in Lakewood and said it sucked. He switched over to DSL when it came available and hasn't looked back. On the flip side though he loves his cable TV so go figure.

The deal with cable, as I understand it, is that you and your neighbors in your "node" share the bandwidth. I don't think this is as much of an issue anymore as it used to be when Comcast didn't have the infrastructure to support everyone working off the same node at maximum speed. DSL is a dedicated circuit with shared bandwidth from the RT to the switch. Anymore, in the urban areas the transport from the RT to the switch is fiber so their is no "choke". Where you run into problems is the limitations from the RT to the house on copper and your distance from said RT.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2012, 08:35 PM
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Your 1.5 Mb/s service is the real problem. When we had it we couldn't reliably stream Netflix alone, let alone do anything else simultaneously. When I called CenturyLink I learned that I could get 20 Mb/s service and bundle it with my phone service for a net decrease in monthly expense. I jumped on it and now I'm a happy camper:



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