Author Topic: Internet Speed?  (Read 8070 times)

hermoninny

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Internet Speed?
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:56:13 AM »
I was just looking online at our internet bill, and noticed that we have a $15 discount that's due to expire next month.  We currently have a plan that's supposed to give us "Downstream speeds up to 24 Mbps" for $71/month.  It's the second-fastest speed AT&T has.  We use the internet for streaming Amazon/Hulu to the TV through the blu-ray player, plus DH works at home so he streams music and also transfer large files to/from his FTP site.  I'm completely ignorant of internet speeds and what they mean.  All I know is that I don't want our bill to go up $15 next month!  There's not much competition in the area and prices are comparable.

The next plans down are:

Downstream speeds up to 18 Mbps - $61.00
Downstream speeds up to 12 Mbps - $56.00
Downstream speeds up to 6 Mbps   - $51.00
Downstream speeds up to 3 Mbps   - $46.00

What do you think the actual internet speed we would need to maintain our streaming usage is?


Thanks!


GGNoob

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 12:05:27 PM »
Can you call and request a new promotion? I have CenturyLink DSL and the normal price for my plan is $77. Since I got CenturyLink in 2011, I have never paid more than $41. Each time my promo is about to end, I call them up and speak with the Customer Retention Department and I ask them what they can do for me. Each time they give me another 6 or 12 month promo. Right now we are paying $25 a month. I also have the fastest speed they offer.

So your problem may be solved by just a short phone call. I will never pay full price for internet again.

gimp

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 12:06:16 PM »
So the issue is that internet companies lie. Or, technically, it's not a lie - it's "up to" 24 mbps. Which means you might get 30 at 3am and you might get 10 at 7pm when everyone else is streaming...

The result of this is that there's a balance of results vs cost and it matters a lot on how critical your usage is. In my opinion, and maybe our resident expert IP has better knowledge since this isn't my area of work...

For streaming, music takes almost no speed at all (usually 50 kbps - approx 1/500 your theoretical maximum speed). Video takes a lot but it's not too bad due to peering (essentially amazon/hulu deliver content directly to AT&T instead of through weird channels), which means you can use less there as well. On the other hand, downloading files from FTP might actually be noticeably slower.

Personally, I err on getting the higher end of reasonable speeds; for you, I would say 18 before 12, but 12 is fine too. I wouldn't get anything less than 12 given your usage.

For comparison, I have 25 at home, and have used anywhere between 6 (terrible) to 100 (amazing, especially since I got a real 80 during peak hours).

Oh, yeah, your modem / router is often the weak link anyways - plenty of times you might pay for 24 but you're incapable of using more than, like, 16 or so.

With all that said, you can always call them, say you're thinking about canceling. Get that nice promotion again.

Daley

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 12:07:25 PM »
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/msg230578/#msg230578

This pretty well covers it, and spells out why you don't really need more than 3Mbps.

All that's left is determining how important speed is on data transfers for work, and working out a cost value for it.

hermoninny

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 12:13:43 PM »
Thanks!!  That post is what I was looking for when I searched the forums, but I must have given up too easily.  :)

I actually just checked competitors, and there's a special for Charter for $39.99/month for "up to" 60 Mbps and a free modem (we're apparently paying $7/month for that).  Like was said though, how much of that 60 Mbps are we really able to use? 

I will definitely call AT&T and see if they'll give us another discount.  I wonder if they'll give us Charter's price, lol.

Daley

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 12:23:43 PM »
I just noticed your location tag, Hermoninny. If you're in Los Angeles, you should seriously look into Sonic.net Fusion. So long as you bring your own equipment, the fastest providable DSL connection (up to 20Mbps) and phone service with unlimited nationwide long distance is provided for around $55 after taxes (that long distance will help you to lower your mobile phone bills as well). Buy your own DSL modem (they're cheap), and tell AT&T to screw.

Oh, one last thing to consider with internet connection speeds... if your husband's doing data transfers off your system to a remote server, upload speed matters more than down.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 12:28:13 PM by I.P. Daley »

slugline

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2014, 12:24:49 PM »
Is this U-Verse, and if so, do you also use the U-Verse TV service? If you do, keep in mind that the TV service behaves like a streaming video application that occupies download bandwidth while you're using it.

This is only a real concern if you have someone watching live TV at the same time that another person is doing something like Netflix-streaming elsewhere in the home.

gimp

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2014, 12:26:24 PM »
Dude... you can buy a modem for like $30. Or a really nice one for a hundred. Don't pay 7 a month for that shit...

But yeah, Charter seems like a better deal.

IP, I politely disagree with your conclusion of 3 mbps being an acceptable end result. I've been there, done that, and while it used to be fine back in the day, I couldn't stream videos for shit at speeds that low. I'm more than happy paying 30/month for 25mbps down. I'd be much more happy paying google for a gig, of course. (Then again, I also do a lot of development, some that needs fast connection speed; saving ten bucks a month to waste hours of my time would be at best idiotic.)

Daley

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2014, 12:33:32 PM »
IP, I politely disagree with your conclusion of 3 mbps being an acceptable end result. I've been there, done that, and while it used to be fine back in the day, I couldn't stream videos for shit at speeds that low.

I do a lot of web development work myself and have done plenty of streaming at 3Mbps without any problems. Patience is a virtue, and the bandwidth reminds me not to develop overly bloated sites. :)

As for video quality, we've never had problems at those speeds, and I know plenty of people who can comfortably stream Hulu to this day over a 1.5Mbps connection. If you're having that much problem with a slower connection and video streaming, I think you're either too much of an HD snob, or there's some unsavory data throttling or bandwidth overselling occurring with your specific provider.

hermoninny

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2014, 01:23:25 PM »
Is this U-Verse, and if so, do you also use the U-Verse TV service? If you do, keep in mind that the TV service behaves like a streaming video application that occupies download bandwidth while you're using it.

This is only a real concern if you have someone watching live TV at the same time that another person is doing something like Netflix-streaming elsewhere in the home.

Yes, it's U-Verse, but we don't have the TV service.  :)

hermoninny

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 01:24:44 PM »
I just noticed your location tag, Hermoninny. If you're in Los Angeles, you should seriously look into Sonic.net Fusion. So long as you bring your own equipment, the fastest providable DSL connection (up to 20Mbps) and phone service with unlimited nationwide long distance is provided for around $55 after taxes (that long distance will help you to lower your mobile phone bills as well). Buy your own DSL modem (they're cheap), and tell AT&T to screw.

Oh, one last thing to consider with internet connection speeds... if your husband's doing data transfers off your system to a remote server, upload speed matters more than down.

I'll check it out, thanks!  We're in Burbank, so a lot of things available in LA aren't available to us, but it's definitely worth a look-see!

hermoninny

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2014, 01:25:53 PM »
Dude... you can buy a modem for like $30. Or a really nice one for a hundred. Don't pay 7 a month for that shit...


Yes.  We will definitely be looking into buying our own modem!

hermoninny

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 01:29:46 PM »
DH did a test, and he's currently getting 10Mbps.  So obviously he works just fine at lower speeds. 

I'm tempted to lower to 12 just to see if it affects the streaming via TV very much.  We're won't be watching much Hulu till the fall TV starts at the end of next month anyway.  I already tested out HD vs non-HD on some of the shows we've been watching on Amazon VoD lately and proved to DH that we don't *need* HD at $1 more per episode.   Helps with the internet speed, too, I'm sure.

gimp

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 02:05:43 PM »
I do a lot of web development work myself and have done plenty of streaming at 3Mbps without any problems. Patience is a virtue, and the bandwidth reminds me not to develop overly bloated sites. :)

As for video quality, we've never had problems at those speeds, and I know plenty of people who can comfortably stream Hulu to this day over a 1.5Mbps connection. If you're having that much problem with a slower connection and video streaming, I think you're either too much of an HD snob, or there's some unsavory data throttling or bandwidth overselling occurring with your specific provider.

All of the above, mate. I prefer downloading my movies for just this reason; I got a nice monitor to do all my dev stuff - 4k - and as a plus side, it makes a great tv. (Technically it's a tv first, but who cares what they say? It's my monitor.) So I download 720 or 1080 usually. But even when I was using my shitty laptop screen, where 720 was more than enough... streams often were like a third of that, and I could tell very much. That, and throttling like crazy. I hate comcast.

I never worried back in another life when I was doing web stuff. There days it's more fucking around with various web protocols. Writing servers, crawlers, implementing new hardware to talk to something... testing that out definitely saturates however much bandwidth I'm allotted, so the more I get, the happier I am because tests run faster. And then some applications just saturate everything they're given during normal application. Most testing is done locally, thankfully, so I can usually saturate my router / modem instead of the outside pipe. Anyways, with monthly bandwidth usage occasionally getting into the terabyte range, I can't imagine using a slower pipe. But that's personal shit, not really relevant to the discussion at hand, and I only bring it up as an example of why I disagree with your blanket statement.

Daley

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2014, 02:22:31 PM »
But that's personal shit, not really relevant to the discussion at hand, and I only bring it up as an example of why I disagree with your blanket statement.

Just remember... hedonic adaptation, etc., etc., and seeing Bobby DeNiro's mole hair doesn't make Heat a better film. ;)

Villanelle

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2014, 02:36:34 PM »
You'd be surprised at what you can get used to after a few months.  Germany (where I live) has shitty internet.  I am by no means in the middle of nowhere (>10 miles from a major city).  At my house, cable internet isn't even an option.  Yes, really.  We get ~ 1.5mb, on average. 

We stream (lots via Amazon), we download, we even use a Slingbox.  It's fine.  Things are a bit slower and there is the occasional glitch, but it's perfectly serviceable. 

Daley

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2014, 02:57:19 PM »
Follow-up for Hermoninny. It looks like Sonic.net has taken to making their $6.50 equipment rental fee mandatory even if you BYOD... granted, that was part of the still reasonable ~$55/month quote for what's provided, but it is worth noting.

That said, DSLExtreme offers Fusion in the same areas that Sonic does (they're technically partners - and yes, Burbank is included). However, they offer the same service (including the option to switch to Annex M which increases the possible upload speed up to 3.3Mbps) for $35/month plus taxes. Sonic.net has Burbank's taxes (and equipment fees) set at $17.96. DSLE has theirs listed at $14.69. DSLE also technically provides a free modem lease (consider that a "benefit" of the mandatory $2.88 SSE that's included as part of those taxes and fees). Figure about $50/month with DSLExtreme, versus $58 for Sonic.net.

hermoninny

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2014, 03:00:27 PM »
Follow-up for Hermoninny. It looks like Sonic.net has taken to making their $6.50 equipment rental fee mandatory even if you BYOD... granted, that was part of the still reasonable ~$55/month quote for what's provided, but it is worth noting.

That said, DSLExtreme offers Fusion in the same areas that Sonic does (they're technically partners - and yes, Burbank is included). However, they offer the same service (including the option to switch to Annex M which increases the possible upload speed up to 3.3Mbps) for $35/month plus taxes. Sonic.net has Burbank's taxes (and equipment fees) set at $17.96. DSLE has theirs listed at $14.69. DSLE also technically provides a free modem lease (consider that a "benefit" of the mandatory $2.88 SSE that's included as part of those taxes and fees). Figure about $50/month with DSLExtreme, versus $58 for Sonic.net.

Wow, thanks!!!!

Christof

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2014, 03:34:25 PM »
Germany (where I live) has shitty internet.  I am by no means in the middle of nowhere (>10 miles from a major city).  At my house, cable internet isn't even an option.  Yes, really.  We get ~ 1.5mb, on average.

Really depends on the location... Here we have 100 MBit down and 20 MBit up in a small town with about 75,000 inhabitants (near Hamburg).

daverobev

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 08:08:20 PM »
Can attest 7Mb DSL is fine for Netflix.

$28 here in Ontario, going non big-name FTW.

urover

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2017, 02:29:04 PM »
Can attest 7Mb DSL is fine for Netflix.

$28 here in Ontario, going non big-name FTW.

What's your provider? Curious as a resident of Toronto.

daverobev

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2017, 08:11:19 PM »
Can attest 7Mb DSL is fine for Netflix.

$28 here in Ontario, going non big-name FTW.

What's your provider? Curious as a resident of Toronto.

You're replying to a three year old comment!

Anyway, we use Velcom (.ca). Does the job. We're actually on the 15 down plan now. It is fine - and would be fine on 6Mbps - if not for the crappy upload speed. Oh well.

urover

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2017, 06:48:14 AM »
Sorry, I was scouring the forum for Internet speeds and happened upon your post. Hit reply without looking at the date. Thank you!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 08:54:23 AM by urover »

Christof

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2017, 02:49:13 PM »
Neither internet speed nor price has changed, though, which is kind of sad given that this was over three years ago....

JLee

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Re: Internet Speed?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2017, 02:52:33 PM »
IP, I politely disagree with your conclusion of 3 mbps being an acceptable end result. I've been there, done that, and while it used to be fine back in the day, I couldn't stream videos for shit at speeds that low.

I do a lot of web development work myself and have done plenty of streaming at 3Mbps without any problems. Patience is a virtue, and the bandwidth reminds me not to develop overly bloated sites. :)

As for video quality, we've never had problems at those speeds, and I know plenty of people who can comfortably stream Hulu to this day over a 1.5Mbps connection. If you're having that much problem with a slower connection and video streaming, I think you're either too much of an HD snob, or there's some unsavory data throttling or bandwidth overselling occurring with your specific provider.

If by "too much of an HD snob" you mean "realizes it's not 1997 anymore", then absolutely, I'm an HD snob.

3Mbps is abysmally slow today.  Not quite so bad in 2014, but still. :P
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 03:03:00 PM by JLee »