[Home Networking] Earthlink Connection Issues ~ Looking for help
SELF intro ~
Okay, so first of all I am not really a professional at these sort of things and I am more of a self taught person when it comes to computer stuff. I have always solved my own technical problems with research but this one just keeps frustrating the crap out of me because I never had this issue and it is affecting me very much, to the point where I finally have to post somewhere to hopefully figure this out because as usual calling a company they make me do mindless things, which I know they are required but yea... enough venting...
INTRO to Problem ~
So I used to have AT&T until a few+ months ago, they decided to put a limit on internet usage and apparently my family was going over their normal dsl limit (which uverse has a higher data limit but I still went over that). My family consists of 2 hardcore online gamers (mmos, fps, rts whatever) So lots of downloading for patches and what not for games. Lets just say I hate lag, but due to where I live I can only get DSL... We are also 2 students, and I am a graphic design student so I am constantly downloading large image files, programs, and what not for my work. Then there is my father who streams Netflix all day on a Wii, which has settled down, but I assume that was eating up most of our data.
So my problem is when I could not keep paying the charges for going over AT&T's internet usage limits... I had to switch. With At&T I was fine, no problems with my network, wiring, phone, modems etc etc etc. When I got earthlink the first day on my online game I lagged out, and I thought it was just a simple game server issue. As usual/typical I would check the speeds (I have the 3mbps plan) and would get around 2. something download speeds which I know is enough. I started to check more randomly/often and it would fluctuate within the same minute, when people were home and even when people were not home and I was doing nothing to use up the bandwidth at the times of checking. Then I started to realized everytime I would lag out, and by lag out I mean I would be playing my online game and my character would just stand still running into a wall for 10-15 seconds and then all of the sudden it would fast forward catch up cast a million spells and I might be dead or just somewhere else... As for my father, he consistently is losing connection to Netflix, it wasn't loading properly consistently, or freezing his stream up (he is wirelessly connected through a Wii) but he loses it when we load something up. I came to realize it was when someone else would loadup something on our network Like my mom opening up firefox, or my brother goign to check his email etc. Everytime someone loads a new page of content it just lags the others out, they suck the bandwidth up from the rest of us. I mean I would understand if we were to setup some huge download or something, but even when we were using the bandwidth way more on our last ISP this did not even happen I now feel bad when I have to download a large image because I know it will cause my father to lose netflix sometimes, or cause my brother to die in his game, lag out or something. (and that is frustrating for pretty competitive gamers!) Regardless what bothers me is I had the exact same set up with AT&T and never had this issue... sure we would lag and ping would go up... but it was consistent and playable, not freeze/choke up (not sure how to describe it).Nowadays I will be talking on Skype/Vent (or similar programs) and then everyone tells me I lagged out badly, all because again... someone simply loads a simple webpage intricate or not. Even my At&T 1mbps dsl did not have this issue...
I tried all the basic stuff, and earthlink is telling me to directly hook up to the modem and see if I have the issue still... which will be hard to test because its other people doing something on the network that affects me the moment they load... but I can still try to test myself. I tried switching back to my super old speedstream modem that AT&T gave me rather than use their new Zyxel one, and still the problem remains. I have a Belkin wireless N1 router, but I am directly connected to it with an Ethernet cable etc.
I know everyone gives me crap about my NIC which is a Realtek PCI GBE internet card thingy, but like I said I had this set up with my last ISP and never had this issue.
Sorry if the explanations are confusing or horrible! Never have really posted something and when it comes to technical things I am not very strong at understanding Network problems on my own... but if given explanation am able to do/accept it.
Not really sure what else I can say.. just looking for tips, guidance, etc, or is this just how Earthlink DSL is? Anyway I will give whatever information I can and thank you in advance for the help!