Thursday, February 23, 2006

My brush with low-speed internet

In an effort to save money because of Doug's job, I went about trimming all the excesses. On thing that got hit was high-speed internet. I figured that I didn't work from home anymore so the 3Mbs internet access at $40/month for entertainment purposes only was just a luxury. Saving $10/month isn't much but it's something. Of course I also have Vonage, so I made sure that I still had enough bandwidth to support the switch. Since the phone adapter sits in front of my router, I assumed that it would take the necessary bandwidth before any computing tasks. My Vonage was set to 50 kbs, and the upload speed difference between the 3Mbs and 384 kbs service was 256 kbs to 128 kbs. Since that was well over the 50 kbs I needed for Vonage, I took the jump.

OK, so it was a short jump. I don't think we even lasted a week. Web surfing wasn't so bad, but then I noticed that downloading my requisite podcasts every night sometimes took more than an hour!! Then the straw that broke the camel's back was the phone call that Doug got while a podcast was downloading. He said that the audio kept cutting out. Then tonight, he had another call and I couldn't even IM without breaking up the signal. I immediately called Charter to reinstate my 3Mbs service. Another luxury becomes necessity.

2/24 - Shortly after that, we received another phone call and it came in loud and clear and I didn't have to ask Adam to stop playing Gem Shop. OK, this sounds pretty lame, but if I did have to ask him to stop, there would have been excessive whining afterwards, which would have ruined this important call!

7 comments :

-Quentin said...

Hmmm....the "hidden" cost of PODCASTING uncovered! We were paying for high speed cable and it turned out we had an older Motorola SB100 model....which not only caused problems because Adelphia kept provisioning it inorrectly....but apparently was incapable of highspeed transfers. (but I didn't know it...in fact, I didn't even know we were getting high speed internet!)

I turned it in for a SB5100 and suddenly our transfer rates skyrocketed! When Ichecked into it with the cable company, they said "Oh must have been that old modem you have been renting for 4 years..."

To which I said....you had me paying for high speed cable AND for a low-speed modem for HOW LONG??!!

I'm too far from the Central Office for DSL...so I am sort of stuck. So I cutback to slow-speed cable, and for normal surfing, I'm back to my SB3100 download speed. (I only had high performance cable transfers for about 2 weeks.....but paid for it for about 2 YEARS...eeek!)

Oh well....paint a big "L" on my forhead and send me out into the traffic to play. :-(

moonfever0 said...

I am constantly checking my bandwidth to make sure I am getting what I pay for at: http://bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/ It was back up to 3Mbs shortly after I called.

moonfever0 said...

Oh and with Vonage at $15/month (in actuality $16.94 total) as opposed to very minimal Verizon service at $35/month, I am still ahead of the game! Plus I get all the cool Vonage features that I would never pay for with Verizon - call waiting, caller ID (OK I paid for that since I am a control freak), caller ID with call waiting, 3 way calling, voice mail (for those caller waiting people who I don't answer), etc.

-Quentin said...

Hmmm....I just tried a test and found only 398.1 kilobits per second. Yea, I switched to cheap $24/mo cable access....but I thought the download speed was supposed to be a little faster than that.

I'm not sure what sort of activity there is at 11:00 on a Friday night. Perhaps lots of kids downloading music???

Fast enough for me I guess.

I have considered Vonage, but stuck with POTS (Plain old telephone service). We actually do NOT have a long distance carrier on our line. We pay about $22/mo and use cell phones or a pay-card on the POTS phone for long distance. The phone card I use costs $0.05/minute for long distance....yea, very cheap.

I have it all programmed into the phones so that at the touch of a button the access # is dialed and the PIN as well. (we don't use out hardline phone all that much to make calls)

-Quentin said...

Did the test at work just for the heck of it and received the following:

2.9 megabits per second

Gee, my anemic home home connection makes me feel so inadequate! :-)

moonfever0 said...

OK, I did the test at work and got 1.2 Mbs, as opposed to 2.9 Mbs at home. That's why I go home and do my big work downloads (does my company appreciate this dedication?)

-Quentin said...

Appreciation at work....huh? My experience is that there are two rules for work and reviews.....

1) No one else is going to blow your horn for you. (it's still being humble if you just stick to facts and don't blow things up for effect)

2) Don't give your boss bullets to shoot you with. (if you bring up negatives, only do so from the perspective of how you have fixed them...let them fiind the negatives)

Your work effort sounds like real positive material for a performance review!

Yea, that's what we are all missing in life....our own "front man". The people who go out and "work the crowd" before we enter a room....or "smooth the waves" after we leave.

It would work great at work as well as at home. Oh, life would be so much easier.

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