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Surviving the Internet On Low Speed DSL

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the why-when-I-was-a-boy dept.

The Internet 277

toygeek writes "Earlier this year my family and I moved out into the woods, where high speed is simply not available. We traded in high speed for high latency, clean air and peace and quiet. We've made it work, and can even watch Netflix and Hulu while I'm off in another room working from home full time. Read along as I share some tips about how we've made it work, and the compromises we've had to make." It can be done; low-end DSL from AT&T is also what I somehow muddled through with for most of the last 18 months; though the connection often failed and the followup support was terrible, it worked well enough most of the time, and sure beat a 56K modem.

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277 comments

How is this news? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45716899)

How is this news?

Re:How is this news? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717011)

Because shut up.

Trials and tribulations of the first world! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717221)

Man has first-world problem and somehow manages to survive. Film at 11!

Re:Trials and tribulations of the first world! (3, Funny)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 4 months ago | (#45717885)

Cool - Slashdot has broken through to the third world market and they are posting!

We have our films at 10 in the first world :)

Re:Trials and tribulations of the first world! (1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#45718375)

I've been to the central timezone of the US, I don't really think I'd call that the first world, perhaps you're thinking of 11pm as it is in the Eastern timezone ... where civilization actually lives.

Re:How is this news? (1, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#45717679)

It's not news. It's a guy trying to generate click revenue on his blog.

His solutions aren't even that good. They are overcomplicated and unelegant.

Re:How is this news? (2)

twocows (1216842) | about 4 months ago | (#45718609)

DSL. Hah. I lived on DSL for the better part of a decade, from the early 00s well into 2008. I've lived with dial-up several times in the past few years alone (see here [slashdot.org] for a detailed post about that and how I coped if you care). I sure as hell didn't try to submit it as an article, though. Maybe I should start a blog with a fancy newsy-sounding name and submitting every entry to /. at the rate articles are getting greenlighted these days.

You poor baby (4, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | about 4 months ago | (#45716925)

OMFG how ever will you survive on 1.5mbps?

5 years ago where I live finally got DSL at 768bps. 2 years ago it actually got bumped to a maximum of 3mbps. WTF are you whining about?

Re:You poor baby (4, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 months ago | (#45717021)

Amen. Until I moved 7 months ago I was on 1Mbps for the last 10 years, and actually - it ain't that bad. File downloads go a bit slower naturally and some video streaming stuff didn't work great (Youtube worked fine though), but in general web browsing was absolutely fine at that speed and online gaming wasn't an issue either.

When I moved to my current home my local ISP has a host of plans available - from a minimum of 10Mbps to a max of 110Mbps. I took the bottom plan at 10Mbps and I've still not found any major reason to go faster. Don't get me wrong I'm a big techie and spend tons of time on my computer, but I haven't yet found a need for some of the crazy internet speeds available these days.

Re:You poor baby (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 4 months ago | (#45717489)

I'm still on 6 Mbps down and 0.5 up - and I live in what is technically classified as an urban area. There are higher speed plans available from other companies, but the QoS from them is notoriously terrible.

My crummy little DSL might take a while to download a large file and has an occasional burp if two people try to stream at once, but the connection itself is otherwise rock solid. I'm connected to the line via an Ethernet cable since I'm the gamer in the house, but everyone else does just fine on wireless connections.

Re:You poor baby (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#45718401)

I'm not a fan of waiting, I value my time, and waiting for a 20GB Steam game to install on a 1mb connection would drive me nuts. I only have so much time on Earth and I don't want to spend it waiting for a progress bar.

Everyone has opinions and priorities, and this is just a reflection of how I feel on the subject.

Amazon Prime ships faster than that (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#45718491)

waiting for a 20GB Steam game to install on a 1mb connection would drive me nuts

To put it into perspective: 20 GB (160,000 Mbit) at 1 Mbps is about two days if you don't do anything else with the connection. Amazon Prime ships faster than that.

Re:You poor baby (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45718497)

Big downloads run overnight, just as they always have for me. Still faster and easier than driving to the store. It's not like I'm staring at the progress bar while downloads happen.

Re:You poor baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718649)

You know you don't have to sit in front of the thing and stare at the progress bar, don't you? Do something else while it downloads.

Re:You poor baby (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#45717035)

The fact he works from home certainly raises the stakes.

Secondly, what may have been OK 5 years ago is not necessarily OK today. When tech is available, it tends to become implicitly mandatory. There are now many jobs where it would be frowned upon to not carry a cell phone, for example. Expectations rise - not just our own expectations but those placed upon us. I don't think this is recognized enough among people who always feel we should be "thankful" for everything.

Re:You poor baby (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717079)

Unless he's working from home in a media-intensive industry such as photography or video editing or something, I can't really fathom the need for a high speed connection. I work from home with a 3mbps link in a pretty media-heavy industry: video game development. I never really thought about download times as being excessive for all the content that I end up downloading.

Granted I'm not moving content continually, and I do initiate large syncs at night so that I'll have them when I need them. The majority of my network needs are pretty minimal text-only transactions. (Chat, VCS transfers, web browsing for API docs.) But there's still plenty of bandwidth for voip calls too.

Re:You poor baby (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#45717147)

KVM switches need lots of bandwidth
in our old office with a few T1's every time i would fire up the KVM switch app on my PC the networking guys would call right away

Re:You poor baby (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#45718473)

In the modern world ... people use RDP which is extremely lightweight, or VNC, which isn't horrible. Both are far better than streaming video. What app do you speak of that was so bandwidth intensive?

Re:You poor baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717305)

Unless he's working from home in a media-intensive industry such as photography or video editing or something, I can't really fathom the need for a high speed connection.

Very few people need a lot of bandwidth all the time.

In my case there are occasionally situations where it is of interest to transfer a 200MB+ disk image for some "embedded" system or similar.

If someone along the line have a customer on the phone waiting for a problem to get fixed then that extra bandwidth could be really good for PR.
Heck, sometimes it is better to have a problem and fix it on a short notice than to deliver something that works flawlessly.

Re:You poor baby (4, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 4 months ago | (#45718669)

nothing much has changed in 5 years that would make working from home any harder on such a link. Unless he is into high end photo or video editing it just means it is slow to surf utube during breaks. I CURRENTLY regularly work via a 500kbps link and it is perfectly fine, most people have an overinflated view of what you actually require for bandwidth which has come from multimedia intensive sites and streaming video.

Re:You poor baby (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717037)

The article is pretty lame, and appears to merely be ad click-bait.

Up until 3 years ago I was limited to 768kbps down, and I made do without all the weird crap that is mentioned in the article (other than AdBlock). Even now -- I just checked -- I only get 3mbps down. I never really thought about this as being slow. I guess I don't stream enough videos simultaneously in resolutions higher than my monitor supports?

Re:You poor baby (4, Funny)

robot256 (1635039) | about 4 months ago | (#45717093)

The article is pretty lame, and appears to merely be ad click-bait.

Well, he does work from home. Be a sucker and click on a link so he can have a cup of coffee.

Re:You poor baby (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#45717413)

Yeah, most people don't really need internet that's that fast. 5-10 Mbps should really be more than enough for most home users. This gives you enough bandwidth to stream a couple videos at the same time. The big problem that I have is that with my current ISP (and all others in my area) is that the pricing structure is set up all wrong. You can either pay a low price for 5 Mbps, but be limited to 15 GB of transfer, or you can pay more for higher transfer speeds (up to 150 mbps), and then be given more higher transfer limits, but it still tops out around 150 GB. I would love to be able to purchase extra throughput, without having to pay for higher speeds at the same time, but such a plan doesn't exist.

Re:You poor baby (4, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 4 months ago | (#45718041)

Ugg, metered Internet... there is no future in that, the sooner ISPs drop that idea the better...

I live in Texas and have Verizon FIOS, 150 down 65 up, and it is wonderful. Works all the time, amazingly fast, low latency.

Downloading large media files or games from Steam, normally I get over 18 megabytes per second. That is faster than I can write to a lot of USB flash drives! :)

We use a lot of streaming media in our house and while 150 down isn't required for that, it sure makes the experience nice for multiple users. The 65 meg up also helps for remote VPN connections (I work from home a lot).

Re:You poor baby (1)

McGruber (1417641) | about 4 months ago | (#45717161)

OMFG how ever will you survive on 1.5mbps? 5 years ago where I live finally got DSL at 768bps. 2 years ago it actually got bumped to a maximum of 3mbps. WTF are you whining about?

+1

I live within 4 miles of the center of a major US City and the best DSL I can get is 0.65 Mbps down and 0.10 Mbps up.

Re:You poor baby (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 4 months ago | (#45717545)

I have friends 15 miles from Washington D.C. who are on dialup (or Verizon wireless cards) because it's apparently not cost effective to run cable or DSL to their neighborhood. My folks live in Montana. They don't even have good dialup. Forget 56k, they're falling back to 14.4kbps.

I'm in suburban VA. No DSL and my Comcast loop is so saturated that I don't even bother trying to use it at prime time.

Re:You poor baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717257)

I've been on 1.5Mbps since 2006. It would be great to get higher speed, but Comcast will never get a cent of my money.

Re:You poor baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717343)

OMFG how ever will you survive on 1.5mbps?

5 years ago where I live finally got DSL at 768bps. 2 years ago it actually got bumped to a maximum of 3mbps. WTF are you whining about?

Well, they won't...eventually. It seems that more videos are being stream at 720p. That doesn't work so hot with only 1.5mbps. So while it's adequate for the time being, it won't be long before you will need 3, 4, 5...n mbps.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Re:You poor baby (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45717463)

Nature abhors a vacuum.

I think it's more the case that internet providers abhor someone who isn't paying top dollar for their top "Super Duper Fast" tier.

I'm still at 2.0up/0.2down - AT&T (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717497)

AT&T says we can't get anything faster where I live. I only have DSL with AT&T. To get faster I'd have sell my soul to them for UVerse shit or get ComCast shit. There may be some other ripof...cable company where I can get overcharged.

Well, my wife has to use a program called OptiTime in Paris. We're in GA. When she is on there for work, ALL internet activity has to cease or she'll get a bunch of time-outs. So having only 2.0/0.2 (according to SppedTest [speedtest.net] ) limits our use.

Streaming video has to have its quality lowered to show many times.

Although, hats off to NetFlix! You guys did a nice job.

Youtube is just atrocious.

See the thing is, bandwidth is like memory and other computer resources - developers and content makers assume all of us have top of the line hardware and bandwidth.

I can go on a rant here about how every damn piece of software and its updates has to install shit to 'C:' drive and I'm running out of space - no matter how much clean up I do.

And the fact that content providers seam to think we all have First World internet access. I'm in that States! I have shit access!

Re:You poor baby (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45717519)

I lived on no better than 320k DSL until 5 years ago when I moved out of the US. I presume higher speeds would have been available in the same areas now, but I don't have to worry about it.

Re:You poor baby (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 4 months ago | (#45717779)

I'm whining about the fact that downloading an ISO is an overnight event. This is 2013 and we live in the richest nation in the world. There's absolutely no reason we shouldn't have had this entire country wired with fiber a decade ago. Wait, there is - we spend tens of billions of dollars dropping bombs on innocent people in the middle east only to spend billions more rebuilding their countries instead of spending it on infrastructure to improve our own country.

Re:You poor baby (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#45718477)

Fiber to every home? That's ridiculous. Who pays for that? Even if you get a fiber backbone you still won't have fiber for those last few hundred yards. The only way it happens is if the customer pays exhorbitant fees, like $100/month. No ISP is going to act as a charity.

Plus you don't need fiber. 768Kbps DSL is adequate for the vast majority of people, and yet we don't even have that available to the majority of the people. Stop whining about your streaming being bumpy when there are people who can not recieve or afford anything better than dialup.

Re:You poor baby (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 4 months ago | (#45718083)

Then you both have crappy Internet connections. It is easy to say, "what are you complaining about, it's fine" when you've never had a good connection.

However...

Once you've had one, you'll never go back...

My office has 75 down, 35 up, and I can tell the difference between that and my home which has 150 down, 65 up. Not a huge difference, but there is one.

My Mother is still with AT&T on DSL, 6 down, .768 up. Complete crap experience all the way around, but she doesn't know it because she's never used my connection.

Re:You poor baby (1)

hey! (33014) | about 4 months ago | (#45718091)

He's a regular Daniel Boone, leading a life of simple-but-rewarding chores: loading logs into the log splitter as he waits for his iTunes movie to download; snow blowing a clear path for the UPS truck to deliver their Amazon groceries; or just whittlin' a shim to mount the high gain yagi antenna to the mast so he can check his Facebook down at the fishin' hole.

Whaaa! (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about 4 months ago | (#45718111)

Lets get real here for a moment. It’s 1.5mbps DSL. It isn’t going to be fast. There’s nothing you can do but work around it and not try to make it something it isn’t.

Oh, whaaa! You may not be able to stream 1080p SuperHD from Netflix or HDX from Vudu, but this is fine for just about everyone. Most of my friends who are on DSL are on 768k, and I got a few friends on cable and UVerse at 1meg and 1.5 meg. They watch YouTube and Netflix, they download torrents, they play games.

Truthfully, if you are still close enough to an exchange to get DSL, you are probably in an area where you can get wireless internet (microwave). I have friends who live way out on ranches and stuff who have microwave internet and 40Mbps speeds with unlimited transfers. And if you are really out there, there is always HughesNet and CenturyLink.

Yeah, I may have 20meg at home, but I don't think I would be complaining about having to deal with "slow" 1.5, as you have options pretty much anywhere in North America to get faster via satelite, and I could make allowances (such as downloading versus streaming) to compensate if I want to do HD. I had 1.5Mbps for years up until about 7 or 8 years ago, and it was fine.

80ms ping rate isn't bad either. It's not great, but up until about 3-4 years ago, that is what I was getting on most things. So it takes a few extra seconds for facebook to load up. Whaa!

Worse, the article is really poorly written. It sounds mostly like a rant from someone who thinks he is entitled to fiber or something.

Re:You poor baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718255)

Heck I am still using a 1.5mbps line. And up till this sunday I am damn positive my provider was throttling youtube as we couldn't stream ANYTHING from them no matter what I did for the past year. Where as before it was a rock solid connection and 360p was fine if you let it buffer, where as untill sunday no amount of buffering will save you.

Really it only be a story if he figured out a way to do this on dialup with all his games on steam while keeping them all up to date for online play.

Re:You poor baby (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#45718391)

Just a case of geeks feeling entitled to internet. 1.5mbps is great for almost all uses, more than most people actually get, and all you need as long as you don't go in for bandwidth hogging uses (streaming video).

Re:You poor baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718667)

OMFG: I've got TWC basic broadband that's a meager 512/256 and it's enough for my modest needs because I use a god damn host file to block bandwidth wasting connections to ad-servers. Works well for me.

Fast Turtle
Posting AC due to mod=rules

What about super high latency/packet loss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45716939)

My mother is in the same boat too, whereas I moved to the city. The ability to load up webpages at her place is pretty unreliable.

https://zdware.com/wp/1-month-later-the-first-report-from-ping-collector/

slow and reliable vs. fast and not (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 4 months ago | (#45716941)

Dollar for dollar, I'd gladly trade 1/3 my current speed with bursts of large numbers of dropped packets (esp. packets over 4000-5000 bytes) in exchange for almost-no-dropped packets.

Due to bursts of high packet losses, ordinary web browsers typically abort long downloads after 20-40 minutes. While SSL web pages typically load fine with the occasional glitch that requires re-loading, other secure data connections fail unless the application has a good recovery mechanism.

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717005)

Why aren't you using a download manager? Anything taking longer than 20 minutes shouldn't be downloaded with a browser.

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#45717053)

Because of all those horrendous sites that force you to use the browser...
I pine for the days when download links were direct links to files which you could cut+paste to wget.

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717399)

You can still use a download manager. Take a look at GetRight.

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717909)

I have yet to meet a download I can't do from either wget or youtube-dl.

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 4 months ago | (#45717349)

large numbers of dropped packets (esp. packets over 4000-5000 bytes) in exchange for almost-no-dropped packets.

hmmm... try playing with MTU, packets over 4000-5000 bytes?

I have an MTU of 576 in similar setups. VOIP works flawlessly and I have 0 dropped packets. Using qdisc, I use htb, to do traffic shaping is recommended too. The important thing is to keep your cable-modem empty...

http://luxik.cdi.cz/~devik/qos/htb/manual/userg.htm [luxik.cdi.cz]

to bad Comcast cable tv sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717379)

I have att dsl and directv now with weather nation tv (it has weather and not the shit on the nbc weather channel)

comcast hsi is faster but there cable system is so far behind other cable systems much less dish / direct

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#45717583)

Similar to this, I'd gladly trade 2/3 of my current speed to get unlimited (or very high) throughput. Currently with my provider you can't get higher throughput without upgrading the speed, which increases the price quite a bit.

Re:slow and reliable vs. fast and not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718515)

Well, if you cut your current speed by 2/3, your maximum throughput (not counting the effects of compression) is by definition 1/3 of your current speed, whatever that is. So the question is:

Would you trade 2/3 of your current speed for a throughput of 1/3 of your current speed (ignoring the effects of compression)?

I'd love to have DSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45716943)

We moved 5 years ago out to the country. We are within sight of town but all that is offered to be is a 4G card from Verizon. No DSL (across the street they have it). No cable (houses to the north are the last ones on the line), no WISP (too many trees close to me), no fiber (main trunk line is across the street but no branches). I feel for you ... not!

Re:I'd love to have DSL (2)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 4 months ago | (#45717065)

We moved 5 years ago out to the country. We are within sight of town but all that is offered to be is a 4G card from Verizon. No DSL (across the street they have it). No cable (houses to the north are the last ones on the line), no WISP (too many trees close to me), no fiber (main trunk line is across the street but no branches). I feel for you ... not!

I also have the tree issue (100' Douglas firs) but I've found a WISP that uses the 900Mhz Motorola Canopy system that works pretty well through the trees. The other end is about 2.3 miles away. It gives me 1.3Mbs which is not a speed demon by any stretch but it does beat the pants off of 33Kbs dialup.

No streaming and remote desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45716947)

If I found myself in the same situation I'd locate my "real" computer somewhere else with better bandwidth, sneakernet the big stuff, and then finally find out how much it would cost to put in a high speed microwave link between me and someone with more access.

Usenet & Gmane (3, Informative)

wispoftow (653759) | about 4 months ago | (#45716957)

I have found enjoyment reading the (text!) news groups and RSS feeds via Usenet, gmane, and gwene. (I prefer emacs and gnus)

Although they are no match for the information of the entire web, I find that there are more than enough high quality posts on different topics to keep me entertained during my personal "surfing" time, and the text groups load in an instant and can be easily browsed and responses written in "unplugged" mode.

Re:Usenet & Gmane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717301)

I have found enjoyment reading the (text!) news groups and RSS feeds via Usenet, gmane, and gwene.

Another "hipster" ...

Latency (2)

thetagger (1057066) | about 4 months ago | (#45717001)

Well, to begin with, for Netflix latency doesn't matter. It's streaming. As long as there is sufficient bandwidth and not too much packet loss it's going to work.

The poster's experience with the Internet is probably as bad or better than what people have to live in most of the world that isn't the US or Europe.

Even slower (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about 4 months ago | (#45717039)

Until recently i had to make do with 0.5mbps dsl, and there are people who are still forced to use much slower links than this...
This is one of the reasons i immensely dislike streaming services, i would much rather schedule a download to occur at night when i'm sleeping, streaming over 0.5mbit would be very poor quality but i can download a 720p movie or tv episode while i sleep.

Re:Even slower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717473)

Yeah 1.5 Mb isn't that bad. Besides the ping times aren't that bad. I spent almost twice as long to ping google (142 ms) even though I have a 20 Mb DSL. This works great for everything I need and I haven't even considered it crippled ping times (I might think otherwise if I played ping sensitive online games). 1.5 Mb transfer rate appears to cover the needs for streaming.

Nevertheless this is a good article on how to minimize the internet connection, which is good both for limited bandwidth as well as for people who pay for bandwidth usage. What it doesn't mention at all is unstable connections which makes me believe this isn't a problem for the writer. I have been on a location with horrible bandwidth (way less than 1 Mb) and where the connection dropped every 10th minute. I think the problem was the wifi hotspot and not the DSL connection, but the result on the usability on the connection doesn't care for the cause. In fact that connection was next to useless. Stability is way more important than bandwidth as long as bandwidth is high enough to support streaming.

Re:Even slower (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 4 months ago | (#45718115)

Where are all these sub 1.5meg DSL connections?

In 2000 I had a 1.5meg DSL connection from SBC in Dallas, that was considered the "baseline" for DSL back then, when did someone install slower?

Re:Even slower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718713)

DSL degrades with line quality and noise. just because you have a theoretical 8Mbps connection or a 24Mbps ADSL2 connection doesn't mean that is what you get. plenty of people paying for those services are getting sub 1.5Mbps.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717043)

Low Speed DSL survives without YOU!

Noscript is your friend (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717049)

Annoying ads, annoying plugins, and annoying ajax crap are the major slowdowns when browsing the web.

So much faster without them - and I'm on a fast fiber connection :)

Get off my lawn (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 months ago | (#45717051)

Back in my day we had 14.4 kbps modems and it took forever to download games with EGA graphics. And we liked it. So shut up and get off my lawn, kids.

Re:Get off my lawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717513)

Back in my day, we had 300 baud modems, and we had to dial the # manually. Plus, no graphics.

I weep tears (5, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#45717057)

Tears that used to weep at the blinding speed of 300 baud modems after my early 110 baud modem days.

You poor poor thing.

Hint: use the mobile website and turn off images.

Re:I weep tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717283)

BinDere DunDat

Re:I weep tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717329)

You had 110 baud, in the old days we had to listen on the phone ourselves and then enter the data that was transmitted. I tell it was hard work, BUT WE LIKED IT. Now get off my lawn.

Re:I weep tears (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#45717405)

Well, I wasn't going to be mean and suggest he use punched cards and put them in a manilla routing envelope to send via UPS ...

Re:I weep tears (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 4 months ago | (#45717731)

You had UPS? I remember having to wait weeks for the results of our FORTRAN cards to come back to us students.

The teacher brought the stack of punch cards into the room, and I'm guessing he must have driven a Chevrolet Suburban to get to school.

Re:I weep tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718011)

I'm a youngster (25) and I love FORTRAN. FORTRAN forever!

Re:I weep tears (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#45718383)

We coded in hex. And we liked it.

Remember when you sent data tapes on cassette. And it was just a typical 30 minute cassette tape?

there are ways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717069)

Our dsl with max 20K down just got bumped to 90K, and yeah most streaming can kinda work. Throwing money at the problem with satellite, 3g with active repeaters etc I now have a bonded vpn faster than the 35mbps fibre just 2 miles away. The high latency sat n variable 3g/h+ can be a ball ache in open source but it can be done. £180 sterling a month, for personal use.

More productive, too (4, Insightful)

Nemosoft Unv. (16776) | about 4 months ago | (#45717071)

I bet you are being more productive too. Having a low speed forces you consider what to do/watch/download, and simply not click on every thing that comes into your mind or pops up in your mailbox/twitter/facebook/whateversocialmediayouaresubscribedto. So less distraction. I also like your batch-download; rather than drumming your fingers for 15 minutes until that file is finally downloaded, you queue it up and continue with whatever you were doing.

Re:More productive, too (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 4 months ago | (#45717295)

Even with fast internet access that seems like a sensible thing to do. Sure, if I have nothing to do I might be okay with waiting for that download, but otherwise just let it run in the background. Preferably without disturbing everything else (such as video streaming, voip calls, gaming, timely communication with remote server, etc).

moving to the woods and then worrying about slow (1, Funny)

ajdub (520241) | about 4 months ago | (#45717075)

internet is "doing it wrong."

Re:moving to the woods and then worrying about slo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717827)

At least he's somewhere nice. I'm suffering with less than 1 Mbps in downtown Seattle. Comcast is at capacity on the block and won't upgrade so I'm stuck with CenturyLink. It makes me wish I hadn't moved here from the bay area where people actually cared about the Internet. Here, many of my coworkers that are developers don't even have access at home. It just isn't a big thing in this area unless you're talking about an Amazon.com employee.

First world problems.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717091)

Ahh....

Get your bits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717117)

Posts like these make me want to ride out to the "country" and rip that dsl out of their hands and replace it with my 600 baud modem

Unnecessary trade-off, IMO .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 4 months ago | (#45717169)

I live in a small, rural community myself ... yet we have both the local cable provider AND Verizon FiOS available to most homes and farms in the area.

If you *really* have your heart set on living literally in the middle of nowhere, that's one thing (and at that point, I'm not sure one can even expect DSL service?). But we've got clean country air and plenty of peace and quiet in our town of 5,000 or so people -- while still having enough customers to apparently make broadband offerings viable. (A number of people complained that we can't get a Redbox video rental kiosk in town because our population is too low to meet the corporate requirements though.)

Re:Unnecessary trade-off, IMO .... (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#45717871)

I wonder what the minimum size requirement is for Redbox.

You would think they could get those things down to pretty bare-minimum maintenance. I don't think they take cash, so the only thing really left to maintain would be the movies themselves.

You would think they could almost boil that down to some kind of maintenance mode where the disks to be removed could just be bulk ejected and then the new disks just fed in. They could almost hire someone locally to do this once a week and just have them Express Mail a box back and forth with returns and new disks.

It's not like the disks themselves are any kind of significant investment.

Any real maintenance (broken mechanism, etc) could just be done when it was actually needed.

High Latency? (2)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about 4 months ago | (#45717197)

I don't remember my 1.5Kbps DSL having high latency.

Re:High Latency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717337)

When you're trying to stream "HD" quality Netflix with low-grade DSL, there's plenty of latency between the constant buffering pauses.

Wireless Might Help.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717241)

If you have a view, or access to a place with a line of sight path to another location (or set of them) with a commanding view, you might find that wireless is a good way to go. I am using rather inexpensive Ubiquiti equipment to get between 50 and 100 MBit/s speeds, even on multiple hop links of many miles. Solar panels are getting cheaper all the time, so you don't actually need power at your view sites.

don't understand the "problem" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717319)

T1 service is available in "the boonies". Mine works great. It's "expensive", but everything else (taxes, etc) is "cheaper enough" to make it a wash.

We're not really rural (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#45717351)

But it's rural enough that the neighbor's cows had to be chased out of our yard more than once.

Anyway... even here, we've got 25mbps down / 5mbps up cable internet through Comcast - and I could get 50 or 100, if I chose to pay for that. But we can see our neighbors, and perhaps the poster is living out more in Kaczynski territory.

The world, it's a changin'.

Oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45717461)

30,000 Amazon workers in Germany just went on strike demanding low-speed DSL.

Squid (1)

hduff (570443) | about 4 months ago | (#45717465)

He needs a squid proxy and also block the ads there.

Another speed tip: Use the mobile version of the website.

Cry me a river: try 56K (3, Insightful)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about 4 months ago | (#45717857)

It's an interesting article, but I have trouble sympathizing with anyone "suffering" with low speed DSL. I lived and worked in Benin, West Africa for four years, with a DSL connection that was barely any faster than dial-up. I even got myself a dial up connection as well, to compare, and found them nearly equivalent during most of the day.

Here's what I learned about it: http://www.therandymon.com/index.php?/166-Life-in-56K.html [therandymon.com]

I can tell you one thing, the idea of downloading an ISO and burning it just disappears. Youtube is not an option (I don't even bother clicking on the links). And most crappy webpages stuffed to the gills with scripts, javascript, counters, ad displayers, and the like, are useless. I did a lot of websurfing with Lynx, which I'm surprised to say was a better experience for many sites, including sometimes this one.

Good luck with your DSL, buddy. I hope you don't suffer too much during the drone wars.

Re:Cry me a river: try 56K (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718223)

Many folks over the years with 56k modems never even got the 53k that was the established max due to the nature of the phone lines. Large numbers of us back when were stuck with a 28.8k or so connection even on a "private line" cause the pair of wires was not dedicated to just our phone number and it was actually was a "shared pair", essentially a party line with addtional switch filters to make it "private" essentially limiting the connection to 28.8ish connection.

Modern time nonsense of trying to put caps back in is especially ridiculous when it gets as bad as a GB/month which you can burn in one night at Hulu, YouTube, etc or pay x5 to download OpenSUSE's current 4.7GB DVD distribution or similar. Might have to bring back highly active LUGs for install fests and disc copy creation if that gets too widespread? Heck with penny loafers, we need USB loafers! New sneakernet?

Don't worry, I won't be here all week, will hit cap again before then.

Good morning, America (1)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about 4 months ago | (#45717945)

You know, just noticed something about most of the responses to this article: most people saying "I live near a major city and still only have X.Y bandwidth" are American.

This seems to be a reminder that lots of the world has awesome broadband (S. Korea anyone?) while the United States of Dysfunctional America is still struggling with crappy bandwidth and monopoly provider ISPs.

You'd think the NSA would lobby for better bandwidth so they have more interesting stuff to listen to.

Re: Good morning, America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718241)

Ghgq had or has a fibre tap 20 miles from here but BT needs millions off the gov to hook us to it. Tax money and priorities...

Re:Good morning, America (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 4 months ago | (#45718299)

You'd think the NSA would lobby for better bandwidth so they have more interesting stuff to listen to.

Then they would need a LOT more storage, which means a LOT more money. They're trying to stay off the radar of congress....

Satellite and 4G (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718363)

At least you can still get DSL. I have to resort to Satellite and 4G, not actually terrible expect for the monthly caps and overages. I would kill for Hulu and Netflix.

300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45718499)

Those of us who started with 300 baud acoustic couplers and were delirious at the introduction of 9.6k laugh at the term "low speed DSL"! ;-)

where can you even get modem anymore? (1)

rewindustry (3401253) | about 4 months ago | (#45718559)

when you can afford either a phone or the internet, like me, it turns out, apparently, that i cannot get a phone line that will support a modem at all, anymore. it all goes digital shortly after it leaves my space anyway, i am told. yay. only wish i was living in the "third" world, fiber is cheaper than copper, and for my worth i would get a much better connection out there - i imagine - than anything the fubar over pots my north of merkin world is prepared to shaft me for here.

I have Verizon DSL, 1.5Mb down, 350Kb up (1)

Control-Z (321144) | about 4 months ago | (#45718575)

It's not so bad. I can stream Netflix OR download stuff OR play games. Not at the same time. Latency is good, about 50ms at best.

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