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60's Kid

DSL or Cable Modem?

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60's Kid
:thumbsup: I want to change my internet provider and while I am at it, I may as well switch from regular dial-up to broadband. The options available here are:$39.95 for "DSL Lite" from Bell South (256K download and 128K upload)$49.95 for regular DSL from Bell South (1.5 MB download and 256K upload)OR$28.95 for the slower cable modem option from our cable TV provider (128K download and 64K upload)$49.95 for the faster cable modem option from our cable TV provider (2000K download / 256000K upload)I am not concerned about connection speed -- they're all faster than I have now. I'm looking for "expert" advice about the quality and reliability of the connection. What do you guys think? And does anybody have experience with the attractively priced "lite" options?

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Stonegiant

No experience with lite options here. I'm a dedicated online gamer :D and, as such, have always gone with the best speed possible.I had Bell South DSL in Jacksonville FL for a few months before I moved to South Georgia. I think that's your regular one. Sounds like a USB DSL modem setup (1.5 Mbps). I never tried it, but I've heard that is a PAIN to network your connection. Supposedly, only a few routers will work with it (unverified personally). DSL (theoretically) has the same bandwidth regardless of the number of DSL users in your area. Cable shares with everyone in the area. That could be good, could be bad. When my brother (tbird9768) moved into his present house and got cable, he was virtually the only one in his neighborhood with cable modem web access. As such, he has had nearly 1 MB/sec download speeds (that's megabytes, not megabits per second). That's blazing fast. Outages seem to be arbitrary. I have had cable more often than DSL. It seems to be a little easier to deal with in the short and long runs, IMHO. :thumbsup:

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epp_b

Well, for an opposing viewpoint....I think it probably depends on your situation (and, what you're willing to pay :lol:). Basic pros of cable are that it can be provided basically anywhere you can have high-speed Interent without the distance limits of DSL. Cons are that, the more users in your neighborhood using cable, the slower the connection will be.With DSL, you have to be within 3 - 5 Km's of the nearest service building, or you're out of luck. But, if you happen to live within the service, you'll benefit from consistent bandwidth speeds. Also, setting up DSL isn't nearly as finickey as it used be.Wow, $39.95 for DSL lite? Are those USD or CAD prices? I pay $35.00 (CAD) a month for about 384 Kbps down/128 Kbps up (I think that's the up, anyway). My service provider (MTS) offers a DSL lite package for $25.00/month for 128 Kbps download speed (I don't know the upload speed, but it's probably somewhere from 32 - 64 Kbps).

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Ed_P

Well I have cable and it's 3Mbps. It used to be 2Mbps until recently. While adding more users to a neighborhood can reduce the effective speed that doesn't take into account the ISP's ability to add more service to the effected area.I have experienced local DSL service when I work on client pcs. My cable service is noticeably faster. My location is right at the edge of what my CO would support for DSL therefore service was going to be questionable. When I asked if I would be able to get a refund on the $100 install if the service proved to be unacceptable I was told "no". I immediately called the cable company and haven't looked back.I think I have had at most 1 problem a year with the service. Some resulted in the problem being my software some were due to unusually heavy storms in the area.If your pc has a NIC I would skip the ISP's USB NIC and connect the modem directly to the existing NIC. I would also recommend you put a router between you and the cable modem for better security. I have such an arrangement, and I also run ZoneAlarm.

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ebrke

If you go with cable, DON'T install any crappy customized software from your provider. Opt for a self-install if offered, it's not that difficult, and I agree, don't use USB connection for cable modem if you have NIC--I know several people who had real problems with USB.

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Stonegiant

The 'consistent bandwidth' is nice in the ideal world. However, in the real you still have server latency and general internet traffic. Your local ISP server could be wide open for your bandwidth requirements, but if the rest of the web is slow... :lol: :lol: :)

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ziggie

Well 60's kid, you hit the jackpot.As i'm now trying both $49 dollar versions of DSL bellsouth and Comcast cable.Cable is almost twice as fast and is never ever down (at least not till now :-)).I've had a terible time with Bellsouth mail being down 2-3 times a week for hours at a time and even there surfing connection is down at times.I'm going to cancel the Bellsouth account this month and stay with cable.

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Rons

Whether you go with Cable or DSL - I wouldn't add the provided software. :shifty:

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Ed_P

You need only 4 things to set up your new ISP service;a user ida user passwordthe name of the email server for sending email (SMTP server)the name of the email server for receiving email (POP3 server)You should be able to find the latter from the Support page of the ISP you select. The 1st two will come with the install package. As noted above you do not need any proprietary software to be installed.You should also keep your existing ISP service for 2-4 weeks after installing the new service. That way you can send out emails to everyone of your new email address and update all your newsletters and forums :shifty: and etc. If you forget anyone or someone forgets you will be able to catch it before turning off the old ISP service.

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havnblast

I had to have the Primary and Secondary DNS here along with those 4 things.

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Ed_P
I had to have the Primary and Secondary DNS here along with those 4 things.
Interesting. I don't have those but my IP settings are set to Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically.

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havnblast

I have DSL - maybe that is why?

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Rons

2 different account typesDynamic - obtain a auto IPStatic - ISP assigns you permanent addressing

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Gus K
Cable is almost twice as fast and is never ever down
That's BS.

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Stonegiant
Cable is almost twice as fast and is never ever down
That's BS.
Perhaps he meant for himself and not a generalization?

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ziggie

My Outages (for the last month) Re-defined:Cable = NoneDSL = e-mail server down 13 times over 4 week period. Connection to the internet for web surfing (different than mail) down 2 times. :)

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teacher

A computer I am frequently called on to work on is cable. After the hurricane, and after phone, cable, and everything else was restored, it took one month to get the cable internet restored. :). I also know that they have had 3 outages of a week or more in the last year. This was with Cox Cable. My Sprint DSL never went down. I have had it for 1 1/2 years and have had one time where it was down for a few hours. Usually if it is "down" it is because of a power outage or something that caused the router and the box not to be restarted in the correct order. Putting both on a UPS took care of that problem. My speeds are much slower than others though with cable and it is enough to make me consider switching now that they are starting to move cable into my area.Best thing to do is talk to folks in your area to find out what their experiences have been. Your service is only as good as the local folks providing the service.

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Stonegiant
Best thing to do is talk to folks in your area to find out what their experiences have been.  Your service is only as good as the local folks providing the service.
Exactly!

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Prelude76

I vote DSL, but for a different reason. I down know how it is in your area, but in Canada, Cable is controlled by one company in any particular area. So it's a pure monopoly, and their rates seem to be around $45/month or more. DSL has about a dozen or more ISPs in any particular area, so what i do is i jump from one to the other (they all offer about $25/month promotions for 4 or 5 months, so i switch every 4 or 5 months. :teehee: . Having tried probably 4 different DSL and one Cable provider, i can say this; research each company! look at comments on the net. on DSL in particular (Primus) advertised 1.5mbs line, but their fine print said min could be around 380Kbs service, and guess what, i was getting around 500Kbs max. pathetic! with Look DSL, my current provider, i might stick with them if they give me a good bundle offer (i get TV from them too, Digital Wireless TV). I'm getting a consistent 1.3+mbs speed, and they recently bumped up the standard 256kbs upload to 512kbs upload. My cable experience wasnt too good, but it could be because it was a newly developed area. I had frequent outages, some that lasted over 2 days. the Cable ISP's solution? They bumped by free Dial-up included account of 10hrs to 50hrs for the month! :teehee: basically, morale is avoid Monopolies. not sure how it works in the U S of A. :teehee:

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Prelude76

oh, one more thing: never ever install the bull-load of software ISPs give you. they try to hijack your browser, homepage, and more. and also, if you use DSL, give this a try: (not sure if it applies to Cable too)http://www.raspppoe.com/It's a free much improved PPPOE protocol. I used to get sporadic hang ups and bad connections when trying to connect to DSL provider, both with the custom Dial-out program they give for Win2000/Win98, and with XP's built-in PPPOE protocol. But once i loaded RASPPPOE drivers, i can be online for days without hang ups, and the overall speed seems to be a lot spiffier. :teehee:

Benefits of RASPPPOE:Although there are several other PPPoE implementations for Windows, this one still has its unmatched strong points:    * Seamless integration into the operating system. This protocol makes Ethernet network adapters appear as "modems", allowing PPPoE to be easily used within the standard Dial-Up Networking framework.    * Compatibility: This protocol supports Internet Connection Sharing (including on-demand dialing), power management (Standby and Hibernate) as well as multiprocessor systems.    * Completeness: This protocol can not only act as a PPPoE Host (client), but also as an Access Concentrator (server), fully implementing RFC 2516.    * Compactness: The complete protocol is less than 250 KB. Yet no concessions were made in the implementation.

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LilBambi

Definitely do not need their software. They all have websites to set up your email accounts and find out what their DNS servers (if using static IPs), mail servers for pop and smtp, (master account is the username and password given or chosen when you signed up).Most any broadband you choose will be better than dialup LOL!But if you are into gaming (particularly hi-end gaming), the latency can be a bear on DSL.I personally prefer cable. I have set up cable and DSL for our clients and cable is just so much faster overall, at least in this area.Cable used to go out a lot in the area where my clients are but is very stable in the last year. Cable just works, regardless of the router you use.DSL is relatively new in this area and you need to have particular routers if you ever need help. Other areas and countries are different in this respect. If you have PPPoE, you will need a router that has Keep Alive and has support for login for PPPoE.Each area is so different, and the different Cable and DSL providers have varying degrees of expertise. You really need to talk to folks in your area and find out about downtime, consistency, customer service, etc.Either way, if I could get Cable/DSL in our area (which we can't yet), I would not have broadband without a hardware router with NAT or other firewall built in. Some very good ones from Linksys, D-Link and others.And given today's spyware, trojan horses, worms that drop trojans, etc., I would make sure I have a way to monitor outgoing traffic.One of the best ways to monitor traffic on the computer(s) (since the router will not tell you about outgoing traffic), would be to use a software firewall in addition to any hardware router that you have.There are two really good ones for free: ZoneAlarm and Sygate Personal Firewall. Both of these have 'free for personal use' versions.These combinations work great for our clients.Just a few thoughts on this.

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Rons

Fran - nice.................Every area and region is so very different. Even with the same company. I got so disgusted with poor cable quality and service that I had mine totally disconnected - does that mean cable is bad ? No, just in my area alone.I now have DISH network for the tube and SBC for DSL. For me it works. But for others cable may be a very viable alternative. :)

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LilBambi

You are so right! I know some folks with good (supported) routers that are absolutely thrilled with their DSL (with Verizon in my client's areas) and the fact that the pricing was at least $10-$15 a month less expensive than Cable in their area was a great selling feature.

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SonicDragon

Yea, cable (comcast) sort of has a monopoly out here too. I've been pretty unhappy with comcast, but i know other people have had really good experiences with them. I agree, never install any of their software. B)

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ziggie

It's probably a area thing but it's No BS around here.I've just ran a D/L speed test via "www.numion.com" for my DSL and Cable connection a few mins ago and the result's are:Cable= 618 kbpsDSL= 373 kbpsWell, it's not twice as fast but...!!!!

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Rons

Just ran my DSL from the site listed - 540 kbps

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SonicDragon

Maybe it didn't work right. I got 10935 kbps (on cable by Comcast).

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LilBambi

Ah, come on...do ya have to rub it in LOL! :w00t: Even that 'low' DSL= 373 kbps looks pretty darn good! :thumbsup: ---off to write some more emails to Charter and Cox Communications AGAIN! :) :)

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Grasshopper

I vote cable even though I know that each situation is different. Like StoneGiant said, I've hit nearly 1 MB/sec on a sustained download once.....once. It was 0.98 MB/sec at the end of the download. That's 7.84 megabits. Other times I would get into the 500-750 Mb range, mainly connecting to Microsoft. But....that was a few years ago with Road Runner and now I'm with Cox due to a hostile takeover or something. Now I run a max of 400 mb/sec. Plenty. I don't spend my time downloading files for the heck of it now. One of the banes of getting older.I used to be one of the only people in the neighborhood with cable. I know this because I spoke with the installer. This was right after the May 3rd, 1999 tornado that ripped thru Moore, OK near my neighborhood at the point when it was the strongest recorded one in history. They had to reinstall all the cable in that area due to the tornado. They had just put it up because that area had just finished the process getting cable available to homes. Doh! I still think that there are only a few people in my area with it. I know a couple of my neighbors won't pay for bandwidth....(washes mouth out with soap) and are still on dialup. My service is rarely down and speeds really are only dependent upon the speed of my connection with a remote machine...their upload. DSL, to me, is for someone that does not either:a) want a truly high speed connection.:thumbsup: care about the latency that I've only heard about with DSL (cuz I've never had it)c) cable is not available (tear forms at corner of eye)d) hate the look of coaxial cables2 cents

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