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

  1. #1
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    It can be good to upgrade your internet equipment now and again...

    At the Big Guy's request, here is a copy of one of my blogs:
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    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.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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  3. #2
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    I guess that little tiny modem I rent from my ISP isn't doing me any good. Should I complain to my ISP (charter) that their junk is outdated or just go buy a modem of my own?

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    Me personally I like to use my own equipment. It depends what they gave you, but usually ISP's aren't well known for leasing out great hardware. What I did was look at the approved list of modems from my ISP, then take the higher end ones and check reviews.

    Docsis 3.0 modems are the way to go right now as long as they're backwards compatible. Even if your ISP is still running Docsis 2.0, they'll eventually upgrade to 3.0. The reason that's important is because, like in my instance, Comcast only provides speeds beyond 16/2 (22/5 & 50/10) to Docsis 3.0 modems. So when I can afford to upgrade, I'll be able to.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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    Manufacturer - Ambit
    Model Number - U10C018

    Somehow, I don't think I have top of the line equipment here. It looked well used when I had it installed. Maybe I will look into getting a new cable modem. I often wondered why I never hit download speeds I should be getting.

    Last edited by Stomp_442; 03-25-2010 at 04:22 PM.

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    It looks like that one's a Docsis 2.0 modem, so theoretically it should be getting okay speeds. If you're going through a router (especially wireless) you'll probably lose a few Mb of downstream, that's normal. But if you're direct in or you're losing more than 5 or 6 Mbps than you should be getting, then definitely start looking into it. Could be the modem, could be the lines in your area need repair.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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    I was thinking maybe it's the two routers I'm going through, not WiFi.

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    That is a possibility. Hook up to your modem through an ethernet cable if you can and run a speedtest. If it's still slow you'll know for sure there's a problem somewhere.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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