Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I told you!

I am a bit of a tech freak. And I like a fast download. As it is now we have BrightHouse cable access. Since I use the awesome Lingo for VoIP (nobody else can beat them with their free calls to Sweden, and after 6 years of excellent service I am NOT switching), I am excluded from BrightHouse's fastest Internet option, which is 15 Mbps. You have to have cable TV, Internet AND VoIP with them to get that. Grrr....

So I have 10 Mbps. Well, I have noticed using various speed tests lately that I am not even close to getting up to 10 Mbps, more like 5. I have optimized my machine, and I have run diagnostics, which shows they are providing the service they say they are. Hmmm. So something is not right, but I still felt a bit stupid calling for help about this. I always heard you never really get the speed that is advertised, but half that speed?

So the technician came and stayed for a few hours yesterday. He was impressed that I had provided him with all the diagnostics, which saved him some time. It turns out I was right. Something IS wrong! And pretty bad too! The outside cable is apparently so damaged it is barely hanging in there, so it has to be replaced (could be a lightning strike, we have had a direct hit and a few close ones), and the cables from the outside that goes inside our attic were pretty bad too. So tomorrow a team is coming over to replace those. And I will be surfing at double the speed in no time. So I guess it can be good to speak up if you think something is off.

But I am still going to switch to Verizon FiOS when we get a new TV; they offer 20
Mbps at the same price we are paying for 10 Mbps now, the fiber optics should also give a super crisp picture on the TV as well. Verizon actually offer up to 30 Mbps, but we will start with 20 I think. After all, that will be 4 times faster than what I have right now...

If you want to check if your service provider is supplying you with the speed they say they are, or to see if you have a potential problem on your side, run your own test. There are tons of them out there, just Google speedtest+ broadband. I can recommend the US government's excellent Diagnostic Server at Argonne. It only serves one user at a time, so it is very accurate, and it also gives you a lot of additional information about your system that can be helpful to know, but it is not always accessible, so be patient.

I am so jealous of my cousin back home on Gotland. He is soon to get a 100 Mbps connection!

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