Review by StillLearn
Good "Reliable fast connection, almost no packet loss"
- Location: Streamwood,Cook,IL
- Cost: $34 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "no usenet or web server offering, but that is the norm today"
Overall "Exceeded expectations. Reliable connectivity"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
Original review 2006:
Initially I applied for DSL and cable both, and each was
unavailable. The first that became available was Cable from ATTBI.
It was good. I felt that the fact that it shared a cable was an
advantage in that any outage would affect a lot of people, and so
get fixed faster. It had 1500 MTU. In those days, for DSL you had
to run an application on your computer to do PPPoE. While cable
was more expensive, I felt it was probably better. It did have
packet loss at times, which I learned was due to upstream frequency
ingress. ATTBI was bought by Comcast.
I had come to expect that less than 0.5% packet loss was OK, and
that 1% was tolerable. I wrote my own logging program that would
ping my Comcast gateway, and I later ran Ping Plotter continually
(I still do, but not because of any problem). Near the end I was
getting >5% loss frequently, and two service calls did not fix it,
I decided to try DSL. My expectations were that the DSL would have
some packet loss, and that the Usenet and Email of the DSL would be
DSL very much exceeded my expectations. Packet loss was
non-existent. Theoretically slower (3 MB vs 4 MB, it felt as least
as fast. And while the Usenet and Email were not quite as good as
for Comcast, they very much exceeded my expectations. Personal web
space of Geocities with ads was a step down, but that was not
important. The free dialup for contingency or travel and even some
free 802.11 hotspots is a plus. Newer DSL modems do the protocol
stuff for you, and the 1492 MTU is not significant.
I upgraded DSL to 6MB. That felt similar for browsing, but it gave
faster downloads. Latencies are low. SN margin dropped about 8
dB, but packet loss is only about 0.01% -- less that 1 lost ping
per day pinging every 10 seconds, but up from zero.
I have friends with problem-free Comcast and DSL. The better
choice will vary at different locations. The Ameritech/SBC/ATT
folks are much more forthcoming and proactive with information
about problems or outages, especially at DSL Reports. I just read
of outages. They have not affected me so far.
Update 2008 September 29
Still doing well, enjoying the reliability. Usenet servers do fine with me, altho high-volume users might think otherwise. Email has improved, but the main thing is connectivity. And that is really nice. Incoming email is very good, and I make good use of AddressGuard. There was a problem with SMTP, but that has improved to where I seldom need to use a workaround.
Having customer support available via DSLR is really nice too.
Update 2013: I have moved to ATT U-verse 18 Mb internet going to a higher speed. This review is for the 6 Mb (actual about 5 due to overhead) regular DSL I dropped. Over my 6 or so years with DSL, it was very reliable. The Yahoo email servers were a little problematic for the first couple years, but they have been behaving well. So I raised my services mark. Pings on my fastpath DSL were about 10 ms. On U-verse they are higher because there is always some interleaving. From a normal web browsing, the regular DSL felt peppy as peppy as the U-verse, but the U-verse is better for watching video etc.
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updated 1.2 years ago