Cable

Internet

Yes, I am thinking about switching! No, not from the Mac, from DSL broadband to Cable broadband. I have used my local DSL provider for 13-14 years with mixed results. I guess you could say it is fairly reliable, but the speeds are not that great. Let me explain.

I pay for 20 Mbps download speed. Of course, that is only a theoretical speed. My real world speed varies from 16 Mbps to 18.5 Mbps. Occasionally, it gets as low as 15 Mbps.

Here is what has typically been happening for the last year or so. For the longest time I consistently got 18.5 Mbps which is pretty good speed for all my needs. However, over the last few months the speed has been degrading to 18.0 Mbps, then in two weeks or so down to 17.5 Mbps then a week or so later down to 16.5 Mbps. This includes restarting the DSL gateway and tweaking my Mac. My Actiontec DSL Gateway is only about 1 year old. Here is what my Actiontec DSL Gateway looks like today:

Cable1

This number should read 20. . . . . ., not 19 something. Sometimes it gets down to 18 something. Of course the lower the Connected number the slower my connection. That Connected number you see equals about 17.5 Mbps real world speed at this time. That is not exactly terrible speed, but if I can consistently get 18.5 Mbps for a year or so why cannot I continue to get it?

This is about where it will stay until I call the DSL provider and complain. Then, they do some stuff behind the scenes and I am back up to 18.5 Mbps for a few weeks. The bottom line is, I am just getting tired of calling them.

Contrast that with Cable in my area. A couple of my friends pay for 25 Mbps (theoretical speed). They consistently get 22-23 Mbps. As far as I know they do not have to call too much. Yes, I know there are problems with data throttling with Cable providers, but at least there are some reasonably consistent fast download speeds.

What are some of your experiences with your broadband provider? I would be interested to know. To make the switch I have to buy a broadband modem and router, both of which can be obtained at Amazon for fairly reasonable prices.

Doug

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