I Feel The Need For Speed!

I have been using DSL as my broadband network connection for many years. It is not the fastest connection, but has been fairly reliable; until recently that is. Since I was having some problems I decided to look into going with a Cable connection. Here is what I decided.

The Connection

My DSL connection typically gets between 16-18 Mbps. I pay for 20 Mbps, so the actual real world speed is not too bad. However, recently I have been getting very eratic speeds, sometimes 16 Mbps, then it switches to 6 Mbps for a while, then back again. The support people were not able to do much so I ended up replacing my DSL modem. This did not fix the issue either.

I had been thinking of going with Cable broadband anyway so I started looking into it. I discovered I could get a Cable Internet account (no TV or other stuff) for about $60 a month, about what I was paying for DSL. But, the thing that sold me was the speed!! Yikes! I could get a 75 Mpbs or 150 Mbps account. Are you kidding me? I opted for the 75 Mbps speed, way more than I need for sure. Here is how things transpired.

Setup & Testing

I opted to go with Comcast xfinity. I have never had cable at my house before so the installer had to run a very long cable line from the cable box to my house. Then he installed the outdoor cable connector box and wired in the modem in my office. Next came the actual modem installation itself. It is an xfinity modem with several Ethernet, USB and phone ports on the back. Check it out:

The thing is huge!! It has to be about a foot tall! The tech installed it and showed me how to set it up (the tech was very good, very knowledgable). Once we got it setup we did a few tests at Speedtest.net.

Click for larger image

Whoa! I could not believe my eyes! Instead of coming in at a “real world speed” of 70-75 Mbps it consistently was logging in the high 80’s, more than I am paying for for sure. I should have done this a long time ago. And, check out the Upload speed. My typical upload speed for my DSL connection was 0.86 Mbps. The Cable 6 Mbps is excellent. That will be a big help when I am uploading changes to my blog and other websites that I maintain.

Overall Observations

Overall I am very pleased with this swtich to a Cable connection. Comcast was very professional in all their dealings with me and the price was right as well. The modem setup went flawlessly. Of course, I had to connect a bunch of devices to my new network which took a while. That includes my Airport Express in my livingroom. If anyone thinks that “Extending” a network with an Airport Express does not make much of a difference, guess again. Before getting the Express going I ran Speedtest.net on my new iPad Pro. It clocked in at 69 Mbps. After setting up the Express I got 89 Mbps on the iPad. Very nice.

Conclusion

I don’t know what broadband options you have available in your area, but if you can, check out the cable company. I know people have problems with Cable and DSL connections, but I don’t think I will have any more problems than before and the speed increase is beyond incredible.