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It can good to upgrade your internet equipment now and again...

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by , 03-22-2010 at 01:57 PM (1336 Views)
I've been having connection issues for a few years now but because my previous job kept me away from home so often, it wasn't until recently that I became aware of it. For the last couple years my ISP was purported to have bumped my connection from a 5/1 tier up to a 12/2 tier (that's 5Mbps/1Mbps and 12Mbps/2Mbps down/up respectively). As I've become more active in certain scenes, I've become increasingly aware that I wasn't getting near that speed.

In the course of getting another issue resolved with our cable tv, it turned out Concast (Freudian slip? I think so) is running a little deal so I upgraded to a 16/2 tier connection for $6/month cheaper than the 12/2 for a year. Good deal I suppose.

The speeds still weren't happening. The absolute max I could pull out was 6/1, now less than half what I should be getting.

After doing some reading on this whole Docsis thing, I realized my modem was lagging behind the times. I've been using this particular Linksys modem for nearly a decade, and don't get me wrong, it was still chugging along heartily, but I had a hunch it was time to make a switch. It turns out my particular version of the modem is the original model, and non-upgradeable beyond Docsis 1.0.

Now I wasn't certain changing modems would make a huge difference, and in fact I did just have a cable guy out to the house today checking out the underground lines saying they need to get them fixed up. He's set up another truck to come out and they intend to do repairs to the line.

Anyways, I had already made the investment on the modem, a Motorola SB6120, and since this one is Docsis 3.0 I'm set up for the future if/when I can actually afford a faster plan. To reiterate, my previous max connection was 6/1. Here's a speed test I just took:

This was done wirelessly on my laptop, with the Linksys router and new Motorola modem about two rooms over on the other side of the house.

I'm currently on a 16/2 plan, but with Comcast you get a "Powerboost" speed bump on the first 10MB of a download, which is why the increase. Also when plugged in straight with the ethernet cable the down speed does increase about 3Mbps, which is about right. And after testing downloads from a few different sources I can say with certainty this speed test is pretty accurate to my actual current speeds.

The most significant part of this experience to me is that the only thing I changed here was the modem. Is it a ridiculously fast speed by today's standards? God no, I wish I lived in Sweden or Japan for that, but updating my modem has made a HUGE difference in my own interwebbing.

So anyways I just wanted to say to whomever reads this, it's okay to update your internet equipment once in a while. Maybe don't wait a whole decade,
like me.

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  1. emuhack's Avatar
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    Intresting..... I will have to look at my modem..... Thanks ithian....
  2. Ithian's Avatar
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    That's an interesting article Stomp. I should hope by 2020 America will have tackled a 100Mb connection to the average home. Reading that made me curious, so while I was listening to the video I found this article from 2009:

    World’s Fastest Broadband at $20 Per Home - Bits Blog -

    To sum up: One company, J:Com, in Japan provides a 160Mbit connection for $20/month while most in the United States currently offer at most a 50Mbps connection (some at roughly 7 times the cost).
  3. mauifrog's Avatar
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    Living in BFE sucks at times. I get 3000kbps down and 500kbps up, and there is no fast plain to buy. This is with dsl

    When I had cable I was using an sb5100 with sigma x2. I was board on day, so I changed my mac and uncapped, max 16000kbps down. That still sucks compared to the average speed people get.
  4. Ithian's Avatar
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    Here the max right now is 50/10, but they charge $100/month for it - way too much and more than I can afford. I'll admit it's tempting to try and pull a MAC id swap and uncap myself, but I know I'd be the one to screw it up and get my service cut.
  5. Ithian's Avatar
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    Ha. I just realized I forgot to add the word 'be' to the thread title. It can good indeed.
  6. mauifrog's Avatar
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    I had mine uncapped for 5min before I turned it off. Just wanted to see if it would work, and how fast it would go.
  7. SuD's Avatar
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    lol you are near paradise! here in Brazil we can pay $100 for a 4mb/512k dsl (it's 200,00 in brazilian money, and our average salary is 500,00, so, almost half average salary) and believe me, you NEVER get this 4mb speed! i pay $60 (almost 120 brazilian) for a 1mb/300k ^^