"Up to 15Mbps" a meaningless term?

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  #1  
Old 01-01-15, 11:31 AM
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"Up to 15Mbps" a meaningless term?

It's a rather moot question, as I'll finally be jumping ship from DSL to cable this month anyway, but before I call the fast talkers at Time-Warner to get the bundled TV-internet-phone deal, I'd like to be able to predict what the realistic service will be like. I know there will be an improvement over my DSL internet that AT&T advertises as "up to 1.5 Mbps" but usually tests out at 0.4 to 0.8Mbps.

I also know that some of the factors are (1)how many subscribers are on my line, (2)peak usage times (3) distance from "node" (4) condition of co-ax line/connections (5) using all services at once (TV, internet, phone) and I'm sure many others.

Would it be reasonable to ask if a technician can test the access point at the nearest utility pole to get a reasonable estimate of what download speeds I can anticipate during peak usage times and with TV & internet being used at the same time?
 
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Old 01-01-15, 12:11 PM
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I don't think most installers have the ability to check the speed and even if they could they can only check it when they are there. Most systems bog down early evening for several hours. Most cable companies provide what they advertise and you may just experience a few slowdowns at peak times.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 12:18 PM
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I dont think they advertise as "up to" speed. The speed they say is the speed you get with cable...

Im advertised as 50 down and 25 up. This is what I get..

[ATTACH=CONFIG]44148[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:06 PM
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You would be better off talking to one of your neighbors who has Time Warner. Is FIOS in your area? I've had good luck with FIOS in NY. I really don't like cable service. I had Comcast when I was in Floriduh. Let's go back to the beginning. What's the problem with your current provider? Why do you want to change? If it's speed, try TCPOptimizer from speedguide.net before you sign any deals with the devil.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:21 PM
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Cable has always been much better IMO than DSL. I'm no expert but the system doesn't seen to slow down nearly as much at peak times, for whatever reason.

The one thing I like about almost all cable plans I have is that there is no contract. My neighbors have Sat TV and DSL and constantly tell me their speeds really suck, and they aren't power users.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:25 PM
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I don't know about other areas but where I live "up to" means just that. They also slip into the fine print that speeds are not guaranteed. Most times you will get the advertised speed or a bit higher but there is no recourse on your part if the speeds are slower.

Also, and I think this is more true of cable Internet, the ISP will use a burst that makes the initial connection significantly faster for a few nano to a few milli seconds. This will often give the appearance of a higher speed but when the speed is averaged over time it will be about what is advertised. This REALLY means that the speed will vary quite a bit from significantly higher than advertised to significantly lower than advertised with dead times of varying lengths between packet transmissions. Generally not a problem with text-based or still picture data but it can really screw up VoIP and movies.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:28 PM
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His original provider is DSL. If it's as reliable there as it is here I don't blame him for dumping it.

I had cable here.... couldn't wait to send it packing. Now I have FiOS. I have fifty up and fifty down at all times.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:55 PM
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When I had cable Internet service doing a simple speed test almost always showed a speed higher than advertised. But when I did a detailed VoIP test I saw the anomalies I previously mentioned and also that the "quality of service" measurement was sometimes so low as to not be measurable. My VoIP telephone service was hit and miss, often dropping calls or providing only one-way voice service. Once I switched to FiOS all those problems went away.

Here is how I would rate Internet service.
1. Dial-up. Only if nothing else is available. Least expensive, some areas have free service.
2. DSL. Better than dial up but the farther you are from the telephone company "central office" (switching center) the poorer the service. Price is generally reasonable, a bit higher than dial-up but less than cable.
3. Satellite. Expensive but if you can afford it and DSL is unavailable it is better than dial-up.
4. Fiber optic all the way to your home (FiOS). Only in limited areas but definitely the best you can get. Cost, where available, is generally comparable to cable service but generally much higher quality.

Just my opinion.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:14 PM
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Thank you gentlemen, yes it's rather moot because I don't have fiber here so it's DSL or cable. I realize I could pay for higher DSL speed but I'm already paying $85.00/month for just lowest tier internet and phone. For that price I can get "standard" internet (yes, the ad says "up to 15Mbps"), "standard" TV (the mid-tier between basic off-the-air channels and premium movie channels) and phone with caller ID etc. from Time Warner.

Should I lease their modem/router for extra $ or use my own, if compatible? (After replacing AT&T's "2-Wire" brand modem twice within 3 years back in the early 2000's, I got a D-Link and haven't had a problem since.)

Not much help from neighbors, of those we know either don't have internet, or use DSL...the only one we know on cable says they don't use it much but it does "OK".

I wonder if there is a way to see the distribution network in map form online showing the various "nodes" and statistics. Probably not as it would be proprietary info.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:39 PM
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I'll keep this simple since I'm not an expert. I think you will be impressed with a cable modem and never go back. Buy your own modem and a gigabyte router. The only way I would rent a modem and router from them is if you aren't up on networking and they provide support free of charge.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:49 PM
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A cable modem is different from a DSL modem, the two are not interchangeable.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:53 PM
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Here... the cable company supplies a modem and the router is your responsibility.

Although now our cable company has a new gimmick. They are giving their customers a wireless router for free. Hoorah! What they aren't saying is that one half of the router is yours and the other half is dedicated to their customers for WiFi access. Your home gets added to their system as a WiFi access point.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 03:03 PM
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A cable modem is different from a DSL modem
Yes, OP wants to switch to cable. No way would I let my home be an access point though. I say buy your own modem and router. Windows 7 and other programs make it pretty easy to hook up a home network even if you have little experience.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 03:20 PM
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A little light reading.

About the Wireless Gateways

Info for Residential Customers Using VPN with New Modems | Comcast in Washington State

Comcast customer surprised to learn new router is also public hotspot | Ars Technica

IF you are going with the ISPs telephone you probably will be required to use their modem. I personally would go with an independent VoIP provider.
 
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Old 01-02-15, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rstripe
For that price I can get "standard" internet (yes, the ad says "up to 15Mbps"), "standard" TV (the mid-tier between basic off-the-air channels and premium movie channels) and phone with caller ID etc. from Time Warner.
TW advertises it for $89, but you won't be paying that. Expect to pay quite a bit more during the introductory period after fees, taxes and equipment. When the intro period expires it will about double.
 
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Old 01-03-15, 04:39 PM
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Furd: Thanks for links & pointing out that I can't use my DSL modem for cable.

TWC approves just 2 modems for speeds under 50Mbps, one of which is a Netgear I can get at Fry's for $55, so it pays for itself in 9 or 10 months. They approve a whole bunch of other modems if you go more than 50Mbps, but I presume these are more expensive.

Is there such a thing as a cable modem and wireless router in a single unit, or do you always have 2 seperate boxes? (My Dlink is a DSL modem and wireless router in one unit.) Which makes better economic sense? I'll only ever have 2 computers (back to back, so they can be hardwired) but wireless would be needed for ipads etc.
 
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Old 01-03-15, 06:00 PM
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rstripe I donít have one of these and Iím not enough of an expert to recommend one anyway, but here is a combo cable modem and router. It looks like itís for higher end stuff. I donít have a router, just a cable modem. I havenít thought about it that much but I donít think I would want the combo. I guess they are more of a space saver than anything else?

But it seems to me it creates a single point of failure (well I guess really technically depending on the design of the device). It seems to me if you have the modem separate from the router if the router fails you still have the internet. But if the combo fails you have nothing. At least thatís the way it seems to me. However, maybe modem and router failure rates are so low they are not relevant. (I know my cable modem seems to go on and on like the energizer bunny. lol)

(I was a software guy involved in custom system/network design and development back in the Stone Age. My have things changed.lol)

The other guys probably can say more about the wisdom of using a combo device and if your provider allows it. Good luck!

https://secure-fly-beta.cnet.com/pro...e-cable-modem/
 
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Old 01-03-15, 07:11 PM
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Personally I would stay with 2 separate units. Gives you a bit more flexibility and allows cheaper replacement. I don't think I've even had a modem fail...but I know I've replaced 2 routers.
 
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Old 01-03-15, 07:30 PM
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I suppose for troubleshooting purposes 2 units would be better. A bit more wiring, tho...
 
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Old 01-03-15, 08:04 PM
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Just one cable and the power supply? Can always direct connect to the modem.

I just like one machine doing one job I guess.
 
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Old 01-03-15, 08:28 PM
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zoesdad, If I understood you correctly, you PC is connected directly to the modem which means the PC has an external IP address. If that's the case, I hope that you don't have file sharing enabled.
 
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Old 01-03-15, 08:56 PM
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I also prefer separate router and modem, for all the reasons already expressed.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 09:10 AM
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zoesdad, If I understood you correctly, you PC is connected directly to the modem which means the PC has an external IP address. If that's the case, I hope that you don't have file sharing enabled.
Right! Just me and my trusty little modem and my single pc. No need for router and no sharing anything with anybody no way no how,lol.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 11:50 AM
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It's still not a good idea. Sharing may be enabled & you don't know it. Run ipconfig, make a note of your IP address, open a command prompt & following my spacing type
nbtstat -A ipaddress & press enter. Make sure that the A is upper case.

If you see a <20> in brackets, file sharing is enabled.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 08:52 PM
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Well Iíll be. The Machine Name Table does show a <20> so I guess that identifies the name as a File Server and thus implies that File and Printer sharing is enabled. So I checked via the Network and Sharing Center and File and Printer Sharing actually is in fact enabled! I donít remember if that option was displayed when I installed Windows7, but it seems ludicrous that it would be the default. If I enabled it at setup I sure donít remember and I have no idea why in the world I would have done that. (But at 70 the senior moments are becoming longer and longer, lol)

The only saving factor I see is that Properties->Sharing for all the Files and Folders indicates that people must have a user account and password to access any of these Files and Folders, which makes sense I guess since under Network and Sharing Center ďPassword Protected SharingĒ is on. Also Share-With is set to Nobody for all files and folders.

But Iíll disable all this sharing crap. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-05-15, 07:26 AM
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zoesdad, That's exactly what I wanted you to see. There is a good chance that it was the default You're right about that outsiders may have been greeted with a login prompt but it still allows for a possible dictionary or brute force attack. Unlimited attempts might also be the default on Windows 7. I'm not sure.

If you haven't disabled file sharing yet & rebooted, go back to the command prompt & type:
netstat -ano with the spacing that i have & press enter. That will tell you what connections are current. Look at the foreign address column for an IP address with a port after the : over 1024 or port 21 or 80.
 
  #27  
Old 01-05-15, 06:00 PM
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I see a lot of ports in the 57200-57800 range on the loopback IP address 127.0.0.1 in the Foreign Address column. I guess those are ports in the temporary or private range if I understand correctly and it seems like those would not be of concern and would correspond to normal usage, especially on a loopback IP address. At least thatís the way it seems to me.

I do see some port 80ís that come and go but if I understand correctly thatís the port number used by http so those would also seem to be normal and temporary. So I guess when I get my browser to access some pages I guess I would expect to see http activity and thus the appearance and disappearance of port 80 . At least that seems to me to make sense. But I donít know.

I donít see any port 21ís (I guess those are FTP control commands?). But I normally donít look down to this level.
 
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Old 01-05-15, 06:32 PM
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zoesdad, That's correct. Port 80 is the web. Don't worry about the loopback although it wouldn't hurt to end those processes. It sounds like you're machine is okay although trojans may block connections being shown on the netstat -an output. I would update & run malwarebytes, for good measure or whatever you like to use.
 
  #29  
Old 01-05-15, 06:56 PM
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OK - thanks Pulpo. I have a little work to do.
 
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