Discuss: Changing Internet Speeds

Hewlett-packard / Hp pavilion g6 notebook p...
May 4, 2012 at 05:42:35
Specs: Windows 7, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about a recently released report showing average Internet connection speeds are declining. Discuss here how your own Internet speed has changed over the years, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.

Thanks!
Justin


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#1
May 4, 2012 at 06:07:55
The decline in speed is inevitable as more users climb aboard. The internet in it's current form is approaching saturation point so something has to be done to cope with the ever-growing demand.

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#2
May 4, 2012 at 09:56:02
I live in Tanzania
Total population approx 40 million.
Only 30% get electricity(unreliable power).
Less than 15% own computers, less than 10% have internet connection(unreliable internet).
Those with internet connection like me use 3G Modem and the highest speed is less than 300 kb/s, all 7 ISP's can't keep up.
One ISP is selling 3.75G Modem(Huawei or ZTE) and people are buying thinking that their connection will improve.
The highest speed i have seen so far is 1mb/s(not with modem).

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#3
May 5, 2012 at 06:53:24
We're fortunate in that we have Virgin cable (60Mb) and they are the currently the fastest available supplier in the UK, but because BT is gradually increasing their speeds Virgin have been giving free upgrades to keep their title.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd


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Related Solutions

#4
May 5, 2012 at 07:52:47
When I first got my Tandy machine in 1990, you only had dial up. You could have Compuserve or AOL. If I remember correctly, I had a 28K connection. The very first picture I downloaded from the Net took at least 5 minutes to finish. Needless to say, most web pages were text based. I had Verizon DSL for a few years and it sucked. Where I live i could only get 1.5 mb and it crashed a lot. I finally switched over to our local cable company and got a package deal. I now have a 5 MB connection and I love it. For what I do on the computer, it's more than adequate. Also, at my age, I'm in no hurry anymore to do anything. I'm not that old, I'm just not in a hurry.

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#5
May 5, 2012 at 10:36:06
@Johnr
No piratebay for u.

@grasshopper
Are u talking about 5 mb/s? If yes then u are in hurry.

Today i got 3.75G modem from a friend for 10 bucks, it is locked to one network and i will unlock it later.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#6
May 5, 2012 at 10:49:13
Hey Kuwese, yes it's 5 mbps. It is fast and I'm thrilled, but they offer much higher speeds if you want. What I'm saying is that 5 mbps is more than enough for me.

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#7
May 5, 2012 at 12:01:27
The internet situation here in Canada is improving. I upgraded from 15mb/s to 50mb/s a few months ago, and 250mb/s is available from the same ISP (Shaw). Upstream still sucks.

HTPC | Pentium M @ 2.82GHz, 2MB L2) | 4GB | 1.0TB | Radeon HD5750 | Blu-Ray
Win 7 Pro | Modified PowerMac G4 QuickSilver case


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#8
May 5, 2012 at 14:40:02
@jackbomb
That is freaking fast, do u stream a lot?

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#9
May 5, 2012 at 15:37:05
I started with a Win95 system that had a 33.6k ISA hardware modem & used AOL. As speeds progressed, I tried various 56k modems (PCI software type & ISA hardware type), eventually ending up with an external 56k serial port modem (DIAMOND SupraMax) & switched over to a local ISP. That worked the best when I was on dial-up.

When Verizon offered 768k DSL for less than $20/month, I jumped on that & loved it. After about a year, I was offered a free upgrade to 3Mb at no extra charge, & that's where I'm at right now. I know I could save a few bucks by switching to cable & dropping my landline altogether, but I dislike cell phones & use them as little as possible. And whenever there's a major storm in my area, it seems like cable is always the 1st thing to go out. I don't recall ever losing landline/DSL service.


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#10
May 5, 2012 at 18:05:33
No data caps?

http://www.tigo.co.tz/internet/pack...
1 US Dollar = 1,584.85 Tsh

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#11
May 5, 2012 at 22:41:18
"do u stream a lot?"

I don't do much streaming; instead I download my TV shows in 720p MKV format. They actually look much better than the compressed-to-hell mess that is satellite TV.

HTPC | Pentium M @ 2.82GHz, 2MB L2) | 4GB | 1.0TB | Radeon HD5750 | Blu-Ray
Win 7 Pro | Modified PowerMac G4 QuickSilver case


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#12
May 6, 2012 at 03:21:18
Hi,

here in the UK, there is talk of bringing in legislation to stop ISP's giving misleading statements regarding the speed of their service, in order to attract users.

For example, quoting *UPTO* 24 meg, but no user actually receiving that speed.

I think possibly at least 10% of users are going to have the quoted speed, for it to be considered legitimate.

Despite my isp (TalkTalk) promising an upgrade to (upto) 24meg, my connection remains at (upto) 8meg. Testing the connection shows generally around 6meg.

However, no complaints, and this should not be regarded as slow. Frequently we have 3 pc's connected, with one watching European tv, and another with video Skype etc. There are no appreciable speed problems.

A good configurable broadband speed tester can be found here:-

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/

Regards - Mike


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#13
May 7, 2012 at 10:09:35
Like riider, I started with Win95 and AOL dialup. Went through a series of FREE dialup ISPs that all closed down after a short time. Then went to Comcast cable and now have WOW.

I think my service is supposed to be currently at 16Mbps. PC Pitstop test I just ran showed about 8.5 Mbps down and 1+ up using all 4 available servers.

I can't complain. No caps either.

Someone just last week tried to switch me back to Comcast Xfinity, which claims blazing speeds for a lot less cash. I am skeptical.


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#14
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#15
May 7, 2012 at 12:27:34
Before I say anything else I have to say this. One does not measure network capacity in terms of "speed". The correct measure is "bandwidth" and speed is meaningless on a network. You measure the velocity of a car, a truck, a plane or even a person walking in terms of "speed". Bandwidth measures how much data can flow past any one point in a network in one second. A 100 Mbps network can carry ten times as much data as a 10 Mbps network. It's not ten times faster. All copper transfers data at the same rate as does fiber optic. Believe it or not, a 1000 Mbps transfer on copper moves at the same speed as a 10 Mbps. What varies is the amount of actual data moving. Now, having said that...............

My first connection was a 1200 baud modem on dialup. I remember clearly buying a 14.4 baud USR Sportster modem.....man, that was fast.........for its day. Needless to say, things are improving.

When speaking about networking there are a few things to keep in perspective.

First, you'll never get 100% of your bandwidth as, on average, about 15% is taken up in overhead. Which is to say, if you had a 10 Mbps connection, expect to get (again, on average) about 8 Mbps throughput.

This will of course vary with the vagaries of a contention based network. Briefly, in a contention based network all users must vie with each other for access. The internet is a contention based network so during peak usage hours, downloads and streaming will be slower than during non peak hours because you're competing for bandwidth with everybody else on the internet.

Also, a highspeed internet connection as provided by an ISP is not like their enterprise network connection (or the ones I have here at work) that they share out to their clients. The highspeed network your ISP has is capped and limited. Compare your download rate to your upload rate and you'll see what I mean. Also, you have to share your access with everyone else on your segment of the LAN and all ISP's oversubscribe their highspeed segments in order to make more money.

Still, one can't complain when comparing to dialup.

The major carriers who own the big fiber optic backbones running around the world only spin up new fiber as they need them. It's sensible from the business side of things. When they pulled their big cables across continents and oceans the pulled bundles with hundreds, and even thousands, of fiber optic cables in them. They didn't however get all of them working at once. As they need them, they bring up new ones. The reason for this is, the equipment to run them isn't cheap and it doesn't make sense to have equipment (money) sitting unused collecting dust just waiting for the day it'll be used. Smarter to bring it up as you need it.

Bandwidth isn't going to decline on an international level. However, as long as ISP's oversubscribe their segments you'll have a lot of contention within their highspeed networks.

But again I say, it's still a whole lot better than any dialup connection and if it takes me 90 seconds to download a file instead of 45 that's still about 1000 times faster the 56.6 baud dialup.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#16
May 9, 2012 at 00:09:11
Oh man I remember the "free" ISP days with their banners and random down time. I still have cds from netzero, freei, juno, and I think it was blue light or blue something from kmart.

Likely


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#17
May 9, 2012 at 06:25:45
I forgot who my first ISP was. I had an Intel 486dx-33 running DOS5.0 & Win 3.11. I had Compuserve for internet services. I think the dial-up modem was 9600. The service was so slow that it took probably 2 minutes to fill the screen on a 14" monitor with a B&W weather map. I never did get the hang of sending & receiving files while using Compuserve.


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#18
May 9, 2012 at 07:14:51
I forgot who my first ISP was.

I remember mine very well. Back in the day I ran a BBS (Bulletin Board System). There were a buch of them in the city and all us "SysOps" (system operators) got to know each other. I became pretty close with one of them and he and another fellow decided to start their own ISP.

I helped them install/configure their NT 4.0 servers and workstations. I helped them setup their domain and the digiboard with the modem pool. In return, I got a free dialup connection for many years until highspeed drove them out of business.

In those days I was running a 486 SX-33 with DOS/Windows 3.x.........lol

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#19
May 11, 2012 at 00:38:27
good point by Curt R regarding speed v bandwidth. A subtle difference but one that can cause misunderstanding if the two terms are misused.

Speed is a measurement of time/distance and from the UK to the west coast of the USA that is usually about 150 ms. Which is fast for a distance of around 5000 miles(8,500 kMs). Close to the speed of light of around 300,000 kilometres per second. It will vary very little with bandwidth as the infrastructure in between is the determining factor.

Bandwidth is a measurement of time/quantity and at the moment I am getting 15 Mbs Five years ago I would be lucky to get 4 Mbs and that is with BT.

Which is a whole lat faster than the 300 bps I got with an acoustic modem the first time I ever connected to a remote computer.

My first ISP was AOL. I used them because at the time they were the only ISP offering unmetered dial up in the UK. As soon as other companies started to offer unmetered dial up I left AOL never to return.

Stuart


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