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Internet Speed Differance?


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#1
RussellV

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I just called my cable provider to see about their 8meg and 10meg internet and found out I am at 8meg. Apparently they upgraded us and forgot to tell us. Anyway I tried a few speed tests and the best I got was 7407 k down and 537 k up.

Would there be a big difference in the 10meg package? We have 2 computers, my wife's (wired) and my laptop (Wifi), Vonage, and her Wii. We surf around a lot, she plays a few online games (pogo style) and quite a few downloads (game demos, movie clips, etc).

I'm guessing the first thing we should look at is replacing our 10 year old cable modem. Anyone have a suggestion for a new one? The cable company (Suddenlink) has a list of "Recommended Modems" but only requires that it is a CHSI modem.

I am not at home right now but I believe I have the cable modem going to the vonage box, then split to her PC and the WiFi box.

Should I be calling the cable company telling them to get me up to the 8meg I am paying for or replace the cable modem first and see if that does it?

I know this is a lot of info, but I dont know where to start. So thank you very much in advance.
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#2
sari

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Moving this to the networking forum.
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#3
Dan

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Hey RussellV,

Can you please run a speed test over at SpeakEasy -- once the speed test is complete, it will post your information towards the bottom of the page under the Last Result: heading -- please copy/paste that information into your next response.

Please also run a tracert:
  • Select Start
  • In the Start Search field type cmd and press the ENTER key
  • In the new command prompt window, type tracert google.com > C:\trace.txt
  • This command will take a few minutes to complete -- wait for your command prompt to return. Navigate to your C: drive and open the text file trace.txt -- please copy/paste the contents of this file into your next response.
As a general rule of thumb, you're doing pretty well for yourself if you receive around 90% of your advertised speed. With cable, your Internet speeds will vary depending on how many people in your local area are active; both DSL and cable also suffer from Internet congestion. You'll never get 100% of the advertised speed from your ISP, so hoping to get exactly 8meg is a little unrealistic. In your case, any where aroud 7-7.4meg would be quite a good connection.

When you're surfing, do you experience slow loading times? As to replacing your modem -- do you actually feel that your modem is faulty?

And finally, whether or not upgrading to 10meg would be worth it, I feel, is directly proportional to how much extra you'll have to pay :)

- Dan
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#4
RussellV

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My wife is going to do the tests and post them when her download is done.

From what I saw on posts last night the provider speed should be a minimum. I guess I should watch which posts I read :)

For the modem I works like it did 10 years ago, I figure being 10 years old there has to be better technology in them by now.

Occasionally sites like google take a few seconds to come up but not horribly long, just a little longer than the immediate google we are used to.

I notice most of the speed issues from downloading files, 15-50K once in a while I get one up to about 110K and rarely up to 600-625. I know where are a lot of variables in downloading (server sending file, number of hops to server, equipment in the lines, etc) but I think downloading regularly at less than 100-125K on a 8 meg line seems slow.
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#5
RussellV

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On the speed test, the download speed was 6748 and the upload speed was 536.
Here is what you asked to be copied and pasted:



Tracing route to google.com [74.125.45.100]

over a maximum of 30 hops:



1 72 ms 16 ms 14 ms 192.168.11.1

2 11 ms 9 ms 10 ms r74-194-143-1.rsvlcmta01.rlvlar.lr.dh.suddenlink.net [74.194.143.1]

3 14 ms 12 ms 10 ms rsvlsysc02-gex0001.ma.dl.suddenlink.net [66.76.212.189]

4 17 ms 10 ms 11 ms cdm-66-76-212-93.ftsm.suddenlink.net [66.76.212.93]

5 32 ms 31 ms 31 ms cdm-66-76-31-9.lfkn.suddenlink.net [66.76.31.9]

6 33 ms 31 ms 33 ms 66-76-232-37.tyrd.suddenlink.net [66.76.232.37]

7 38 ms 31 ms 30 ms chicosrc01-10gex2-1.tex.sta.suddenlink.net [66.76.232.10]

8 56 ms 30 ms 31 ms 74.125.48.237

9 33 ms 33 ms 32 ms 209.85.250.239

10 65 ms 67 ms 63 ms 72.14.236.26

11 66 ms 66 ms 64 ms 72.14.232.215

12 63 ms 83 ms 74 ms 209.85.253.145

13 65 ms 63 ms 66 ms yx-in-f100.google.com [74.125.45.100]



Trace complete.


Thank you for your help, we appreciate it.

"The Wife"
Julie
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#6
Dan

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From what I saw on posts last night the provider speed should be a minimum. I guess I should watch which posts I read

Most ISP's consider the advertised speed to be a "cap"; so you can get up to xMB/s, etc. At least, that is how it works in Australia; it may be different where you live, although since it's still cable, and since cable works the same way in any country, I'm inclined to think it would be a similar system. With that said, I could very well be wrong -- there's a first time for everything, right? :)

For the modem I works like it did 10 years ago, I figure being 10 years old there has to be better technology in them by now.

Sounds reasonable to me. You've definitely gotten your moneys worth out of that modem, so an upgrade wouldn't hurt.

Occasionally sites like google take a few seconds to come up but not horribly long, just a little longer than the immediate google we are used to.

What Internet browser do you use?

I notice most of the speed issues from downloading files, 15-50K once in a while I get one up to about 110K and rarely up to 600-625. I know where are a lot of variables in downloading (server sending file, number of hops to server, equipment in the lines, etc) but I think downloading regularly at less than 100-125K on a 8 meg line seems slow.

The hard part about downloads is that often times, as you mentioned, it is actually the server limiting the rate at which you can download a file. However, like you say, those speeds are quite low. What sites do you usually download from? Have you tried using a download manager?

On the speed test, the download speed was 6748 and the upload speed was 536.
Here is what you asked to be copied and pasted:

Was that 6748 KB/s, or kbps? I hope it was the first :) It is normal for cable speeds to vary depending on the time of day (READ: depending on how many people in your area are online). You could try doing speed tests at different times of the day, to see if this is the issue (i.e. before 7:00am and after 10:00pm). The downside to cable Internet is that you are, in fact, sharing your ISP's bandwidth with everyone in your neighborhood / general area (including cable TV users). Because of this, your ISP limits the amount of bandwidth any one modem receives, depending on how many users are active. Another factor that determines how much bandwidth you receive is what sort of plan you are on (READ: how much you are paying them :)). So, if you were to upgrade to the 10meg plan, then it is likely that you would receive a slightly larger chunk of the bandwidth (at a slightly higher priority) -- however, whether or not it would be worth the extra cost is debatable.

To be honest, I don't think the 10meg plan would boost your download speeds alarmingly, since it doesn't seem to me like you're actually using the full 8meg at any one time. My recommendation would be to use some form of Download Manager, as these programs split your connection into multiple segments and download different parts of a file at the same time, which will allow you to use more of your 8MB/s than you currently are. Also, depending on what Internet browser you are using, you can perform tweaks to boost the rate at which Internet content is requested/acquired.

Let me know what you think.
- Dan
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#7
bratsk

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We will consider getting a new cable modem and we'll look up the firefox 3 tweaks. Thank you very much. If we need more, we'll be in touch. :)
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