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Old 11-19-2010, 11:24 AM   #31
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Yeah there are many things to be figured in. Especially on an ISP like Comcast where you are part of a cluster. Our household uses alot of bandwidth a month with 5 laptops, 2 ipods, 2 xboxes, a wii and 3 media centers and will give credit to Comcast in my region for their internet but not their cable or phone.

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #32
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Exactly.

There seems to be a roaming misconception that Mbps is a metric that has anything to do with 'packet speed.' Even I find myself doing that sometimes to make things easier to understand for the listener.

But it's more like this: Mbps is a metric for measuring bandwidth. It's the amount of bits that can be pushed across a medium per second, plain and simple. For all the electricians in the audience, consider the principle of allowable amperage on a length of romex and you're... well, kind of close. I'm not great at analogies.

In any case, if you want to talk about 'speed', then you're probably thinking of (RTT) latency. That is a whole other animal, because the now you're getting into UDP versus TCP packets, geography and routing through intermediate hops. If speedtest.net tried to give you a report on that data, you'd have no idea what to do with it.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:38 PM   #33
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Well maybe Elvis and Jim Morrison really aren't dead and we didn't really put a man on the moon!

For better or worse ISP providers market their various service levels first and foremost on download/upload speed as measured in Mbps. Therefore us consumers only have that to go on as a relative measure regarding the value of one service vs. another. And from a consumer perspective value is entirely the performance as experienced by us. People are interested in (hopefully objective) means to evaluate internet performance...that's the goal here. And performance in this case is primarily latency or lack thereof (ie. press enter and get back what you expect). And it's all just bits coming through so a bit speed metric would appear to be most relevant.

Sure one can shoot holes in anything if you try hard enough...and possibly very legitimate holes at that. And there may indeed be many limitations to something like speedtest.net..but it is what it is ...no more no less. So if folks REALLY want to be of assistance to others...feel free to shoot holes and tread down into the depths of technology and electronics...but if you REALLY want to help... please articulate a better practical solution or alternative to achieve the stated goal...for which I for one would be most grateful.

(Lastly, apologies to the OP if I helped hijack this thread...but hopefully this is a collectively useful dialogue.)
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:09 PM   #34
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For better or worse ISP providers market their various service levels first and foremost on download/upload speed as measured in Mbps. Therefore us consumers only have that to go on as a relative measure regarding the value of one service vs. another.
And PC manufacturers market their computers on how many Gigahertz they have. Auto manufacturers market their cars on horsepower. It's a relevant spec but only in a proper context.

Quote:
but if you REALLY want to help... please articulate a better practical solution or alternative to achieve the stated goal...for which I for one would be most grateful.
For starters, let's dial back the clock here to page one where the very first suggestion I pitched to you (upgrade your firmware) resulted your coming back to report a net improvement to responsiveness. I'm not out to prove people wrong just for the sake of being a jerk.

That said: The reason I'm making it a point to clearly define the function of bandwidth is because the fundamental problem is that 9-10Mbps of actual negotiated throughput for a single host across an 802.11g session apparently isn't acceptable on the grounds that your ISP has allotted you 16. There are indeed ways to improve that, but please consider a few items:

1. Not every connection you make to a remote host will utilize 100% of the bandwidth allotted to you by your ISP, nor should it.

2. Packet loss, high latency and other factors that take place between the gateway and client PCs will result in a lower negotiated throughput between said PCs to remote hosts. This is perfectly common, particularly in in the case of wireless networking where higher latency and noisier connections than copper are just a fact of life.

3. Wireless is a complement or a workaround to copper runs - not a substitute. Unless there's some other factor slowing down internet connectivity for that PC, 10Mbps of throughput sounds pretty darned good on paper.


My advice? If nobody in the house is complaining, squeezing another 6Mbps of bandwidth for a single wireless PC falls squarely into "ain't broke, don't fix it" territory.

But, since you asked:
-Wireless-N might indeed do the trick if you have 802.11n equipment on both sides of the connection. It's been my experience that the frequency band and MIMO tech pierces right through areas with ludicrous amounts of interference.
-On that note, identify sources of interference. Do you have 2.4GHz cordless phones in your house? How many sheetrock walls does the signal have to penetrate?
-Directional or aftermarket antennas can be an inexpensive fix if it works for your particular structure.

Realistically, the only resolution that I (or anyone) can totally guarantee will work would be a Cat5e run.

Last edited by RedHelix; 11-19-2010 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:53 PM   #35
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Thanks. I did not mean to sound ungrateful....I just think for all its limitations speedtest.net is the best thing that I know of anyway to do at least some relative testing. I basically agree with your assessment that I've got a configuration that is running as would be expected given all constraints. Upgrading the firmware seems like it might have helped..though the day after the upgrade the wife was complaining that she thought things got slower...take that with a grain of salt. I HAVE noticed since the firmware upgrade that my 2GB NAS drive that is ethernet cat5 connected to the router seems to be performing much better. Changing to an N router with gigabit ethernet will hellp that too....but for now I agree...it ain't really broke so will hold off for a while on moving to dual band N with gigabit ethernet. I'll have to check the phone...don't recall if it is 2.4 ghz or not. Cheers.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:56 AM   #36
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If you want a better idea of your true speed, find a large file to download, like a linux live cd for example, and watch the speed on the progress bar of the download. That'll give you a much better idea of you true speed over an extended download that using a speed test will. It's a simple method to try.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:23 PM   #37
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I use Comcast with their RCA modem and a Linksys router. I didn't know you could use your own modem. As from what I understand, the modem is what's turned off if you're late on payment and/or have internet connection problems.
They can diagnose problems via a phone call w/o sending out a tech.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:56 AM   #38
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They can do that with any modem. They provision it with their own firmware update when you first call them with the new modem information.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:31 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
why would you guys recommend a wireless router that is only B/G compliant? what about N?

Is there a reason to not use an N compliant router?
here is what I use with the modem that was recommended above on my Cox, can't beat the combo, high speed indeed.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...&Tpk=dir%20655

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Old 02-14-2011, 11:39 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by gychang View Post
here is what I use with the modem that was recommended above on my Cox, can't beat the combo, high speed indeed.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...&Tpk=dir%20655

gychang


I have the same N router and have for a few years now. It works flawlessly with my Compaq and Acer laptops as well (obviously) my Dell desktop. The added speed is a big deal and in the neighborhood, gets less interference from phones, etc.

Definitely recommend it and would say that 802.11n is the only way to go at this stage of wireless development.

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