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ISPs Offer Faster Speeds, Why Don't We Get Them?

jdreed1024 Re:my dsl, my test... (688 comments)

(BTW, go here if you want to see what your speeds are... It's a test site to see if your connection speed supports VOIP. Mine BARELY could.)

I have 3Mbit down/384k up service (and was getting 3Mbit down and 360k up on their test, and it still told me I couldn't use VoIP with good QoS, yet I use VoIP all the time on my network and get quality equal to or better than my cell phone. It's not clear to me that their test is all that useful - or their metrics are screwed up. If they consider 33 ms ping times bad, I'd like to know where they can find a better residential connection.

Really though, this whole story is a non-issue. I have yet to see an ad for any residential serviice that doesn't say "speed not guaranteed". The speeds they quote you are always "up to this number", not "you always get this number". For cable it's a shared medium between other users on your head end, so unless you're the only user, you're not going to be able to max out the line. 802.11b is supposed to be 11 Mbit per second, but I rarely get that, because it's divided among the other users of the access point. It doesn't mean Avaya and Enterasys are scamming consumers because their access points don't always give 11Mbit/sec. DSL is very sensitive to your distance from the CO and quality of the wiring, so of course it's not guaranteed. Even a LAN is not guaranteed. For short and medium transfers, I rarely get 100 Mbits out of my local network. These "connection testers" are mostly useless - a better test is to download large amounts of data (BitTorrent, for example) and look at the average throughput.

more than 8 years ago

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