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anon que

@rcn.com

Which is most reliable type of connection to Internet?

Which is most reliable type of connection to Internet?

Cable, DSL, Fiber (FIOS/AT&T's U-verse), Cell Phone, Satellite?

And why is it the most reliable?

Thank you



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

1 recommendation

Depends on the providers but generally in this order:

Fiber to the house (FiOS)
Cable
DSL/Uverse (uverse is dsl not fiber to the house)
Cell phone
Satellite

Now depending on your market the cable company might be really bad and therefore the dsl might be more reliable.

Wired (cable,dsl,fiber) will always be more reliable than wireless (cell,sat).



Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Depends on environment too. Here cable is not power backed up or only partially for short term. There are full and partial power outages here fairly regularly especially in hurricane season. The telephone system is fully backed up, and is designed to run on its own long term. Therefore I would have to say DSL is way more reliable here than Cable.
--



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

2 recommendations

reply to anon que

First, it is necessary to define what 'reliable' is...then the question can be answered properly.


BoulderHill1

join:2004-07-15
Montgomery, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

I agree with what John Galt says about defining reliable, but I can tell you my DSL connection from AT&T is absolutely rock solid.

I have had it since 2004 and it has never really been down.

More generally speaking as your question assumes this...

each method of internet access you mention will have a weak link that could be compromised in the event of disaster or accident.

Fiber, cable and DSL could all be interrupted if the wire lines are damaged. Telephone poles can be damaged and the lines they carry compromised. These methods are only as reliable as the infrastructure that deliver them.

Cell phone access has the weak point of the handset itself. If it has a dead battery then no internet, if it is lost, no internet, if it has been broken then again, no internet. Not to mention signal/service issues.

Satellite internet is subject to the issues that plague sateliite reception such as weather conditions.


mitpatterson
Premium
join:2012-09-17
Toledo, OH

2 recommendations

reply to anon que

I aggree with Dib22 for the most part with one exception. In some RARE areas uverse is actually fiber to the house. ATT has started using the Uverse name a generic term more so than any specific product. When they first started I believe it was basically key for Fiber to the Node and then VDSL. Now they use it for ADSL(well 2) as well so its not really a good way to tell any more what it actually is.

And I assume you are talking residential type connections only as things like T1, T3, EoC and Enterprise Fiber all come to mind as very reliable on the business/enterprise side of things.

And as John pointed out it depends on your definition of Reliable, be it meaning little to no down time or if it means consistent speeds(not variable a lot).

Personally I never like a single technology if you want near 100% uptime. My company does load balancing/fail over set ups a lot and the most "bullet proof" set up to me is 3 total connections, #1 Fiber or T1, #2 Cable and #3 Wireless(or DSL possibly). This way the set up is bullet proof short of a power outage at the end user location or the whole area being cut off as a single last mile failure won't hurt you. Now if all the carriers use a single upstream connection and that is severed you are screwed, but so would basically everyone else in the area. Other weak point is the load balancer hardware which is why if it was me I would keep a cold spare on site ready to swap out easily. About the only way to get near 100% uptime. but this is probably WAY WAY beyond the point/budget of the OP.



justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

Regardless of the method of connection the most UNreliable internet is one provided by a poor ISP.
They either oversell, or they have continual issues with the things they must provide 24/7 that go together to make your connection solid.

Expand your moderator at work


anon modem

@rcn.com
reply to mitpatterson

Re: Which is most reliable type of connection to Internet?

OP speaking/replying here.

My definition of Reliable means little to no down time.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by [anon modem :

]OP speaking/replying here.

My definition of Reliable means little to no down time.

I have had Dial, IDSN, Comcast cable and FIOS. I'd say FIOS has been the most reliable (if you remove email from the equation) .
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

That's an open ended question and really depends on the actual environment.

I started with BellSouth DSL as my only high speed option (years and years ago) and it was leaps and bounds better than dialup. It slowly dwindled down to about 256k at best and we were finally able to get cable service through Comcast. Neither of them really had issues with outages and the only "issue" with the DSL was the speed.

My grandfather lived just a couple miles away and has been able to get the fastest speeds BellSouth has to offer (and just recently upgraded to Uverse). He is also closer to the CO than I was which is a native "problem" to DSL and DSL related services that can usually be solved with remote COs.

I've used Comcast in Tucson as well and had occasional issues with outages. Nothing major and it was business class so I usually had it restored very quickly. I've previously used Netmaxx, a WISP near me in West Point and while it was what I needed given we had NOTHING else, being wireless (and the tower was literally in our back yard) it was susceptible to weather related issues. Finally, I'm using Charter now and I've got better speeds now but have occasionally had interruptions for no reason.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to anon que

Anything over SONET.



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

2 recommendations

reply to dib22

None of these by design are any more reliable than the other. None of them have any kind of redundancy.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to anon que

Depends on your area, Some places cable is great some DSL is great. Just remember that cable is always faster than ADSL.(My area is stated by Verizon 3mbit max, Performance package Comcast here is 20mbit and for me has been rock solid.)

One thing to note about power backup, DSL still might not work in a power failure as there is no rule that the telco will keep the data systems of the DSLAM operational and in a large outage may just make it fall back to dialtone only. case of evidence, during the 2003 NE Blackout, We had two lines one had the DSL service and one had just our normal POTS line(we had two TNs from dialup era, when we went DSL we made Line 2 the DSL line and kept it as a secondary voice line.) During the blackout Line 2 was dead, no DSL and no Dialtone. line 1 was active and reliable during the whole event. This was SNET/SBC/AT&T.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to battleop

said by battleop:

None of these by design are any more reliable than the other. None of them have any kind of redundancy.

If you mean cable vs dsl vs fiber then these days I would have to agree to a certain extent. Cable is a more reliable network design wise generally due to the ring fiber networks that the cable companies have had running for decades now. The nice thing about the rings are that when a cut occurs in the ring the data still flows, old telco design would be out until it was repaired. As mentioned by another poster above telco has always been a winner on the power backup side... cablecos would suffer outages during power outages in the past, but they have started adding backup power since they started selling phone service.

If you are also including wireless and sat then I would have to disagree. Wireless can be taken out for miles with a 9 volt battery, or a bad motor, or a mcdonalds sign... anything with that weak of a system cannot in my mind be considered reliable compared to wireline services.

Sat *can* be reliable if you pay the premium... the main problem with consumer grade sat is that they are the bottom of the totem pole... if you want to pay $1000 a gig the sat providers will give you a very reliable system... but it is priced out of reach for most home users.

I was speaking only of my experience with multiple people using consumer grade products from companies in the usa. My rankings are just what I have seen over the years.

If the poster was talking sheer uptime, then as has been stated above, you would want to have at least 2 sources from competing companies and technologies.

If we are talking about total reliability data (hours between failure) then fiber wins... most back-haul is fiber and has been for many many years... but the OP is talking more about consumer grade home service I suspect.

Personal experience many moons ago in Kansas City after a major ice storm, power was down, phone-lines were down, my cable line was literally down in the back yard. After getting the generator going I verified that my multiple sDSL lines were down, phone service was down, after hand splicing the coax in the back yard... cable video and internet were still up


waldoooo

join:2001-12-15
Fountain Valley, CA
reply to anon que

Anything that time Warner doesn't own....lol sorry couldn't resist. Actually I have been with them since 99 and its pretty reliable, they just find ways to raise the price every few months now. Cable connection and its 15-20Mb download but only 1 mb upload, I hotspot to my phone for 4MB up if I have something large to transfer



battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to dib22

Fiber is not as reliable at you think. We see several fiber related outages per week. We manage circuits in at least 40 states across several large carriers and someone is always down somewhere duemto a fiber cut somewhere. Not all fiber is diverse and the average time to repair is not any faster than copper.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

Peak use of cable might get very slow for hours whereas DSL might just hum along same as ever...



why

@qwest.net

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

My input:
- In general the probability of a cable cut is probably going to be the same no matter which medium, assuming it's all either underground or aerial and not a mix.

- Equipment failure (of the DSLAM, CMTS, GPON hardware, or for that matter Ethernet switch if we're talking AE) is possible no matter which medium.

- Power issues would probably be the largest issue.
For DSL: if the DSLAM is in the CO it might (not guaranteed though) have backup power from the CO. If it's a remote it probably won't, but there are exceptions for that too. AT&T VRADs for example do have battery backup.
For GPON or other FTTP: hardware is likely to be in a CO so reliable power will be available (but maybe not used; if they sell phone service off that fiber it should be though). If it terminates in a remote cabinet it still may be reliant on utility power.
For cable: the CMTS is in the cable company's building, but once again this will depend on the cable company whether they have a generator there. If they sell phone service it's more likely.

- Cable would be susceptible to interference from other houses on the node. (not talking about node congestion here, that's a separate issue)

Besides those concerns, it will come down to how reliable the operator is. Example:
- I have Qwest/CL DSL. They don't have battery backup on their remote DSLAM. When the power goes out, my own equipment stays online (UPS) but DSL service goes out.
- Comcast either has battery backup or they're being served differently by the power company (they're pretty close to me though), because when the power goes out here, their service never went out.
- Despite that the DSL is FAR more reliable than Comcast ever was, basically 100% uptime except for power outages.
- You'll need to check out the options in your area and ask around. I'm sure (well, I guarantee) it's the other way around in many areas, with cable being more reliable than DSL. (Probably in places where the cable company isn't Comcast. :P)



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO
reply to battleop

said by battleop:

Fiber is not as reliable at you think. We see several fiber related outages per week.

Sure backhoes happen, but can you imagine if all your lines were physical copper leased lines instead of fiber? All those repeaters all those points of failure...

The ring network concept can be applied to large physical distance networks as well... at at cost.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to anon que

I've only had I unreliable service provider and that was Winfire.
Back when I started out, I had AOL, prodigy, sierra online. All dial up services and all reliable.
I then jumped onto Random access, an all you can eat dial up internet service provider. I left AOL [and 100 plus dollars a month] for 25 bucks a month at Random access.
For a small service, it was issue free.
Then I jumped onto Winfire, because they offered reduce rate or free DSL service. Talk about connection issues. It died and I moved over to Bellsouth DsL. No issues at all.
Now that I'm living in the "north" and AT&T is to high and mighty to roll out their DSL service to me, I'm on Time warner cable. It's been reliable as well.

My experience with satellite is that when ever you get "sever" weather between you and the bird, you will suffer a signal degrading or loss. So, I would say due to weather, satellite would be unreliable.

Never really used cell phone for internet browsing, as I think it would get expensive, like AOL did. Do to metering.

So for me:
DSL, Cable, dial up, fiber are probably the most reliable.
Satellite, the next.
Cell phone the last, mainly due to price, if service is metered.
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

Interesting discussion.

I'll try and prioritize reliability considerations, most important first.

1) ISP management - what capabilities are in place, what are the peering arrangements and how fast are they able to recover from an outage?

2) Fiber is much more reliable then copper. But all are susceptible to errant backhoes, vehicles, trees, ice storms, hurricanes and guns damaging the physical plant. I'm guessing CATV coax is more reliable then telephone twisted pair but it requires active electronics in the field. I don't work in the field so do not have access to actual failure data.

3) Backup power during emergencies. The legacy telephone POTS network has an advantage because backup is centralized at the central office and subscriber device does not require local power. That makes it much easier to manage during an extended power outage. If POTS/DSL is delivered by a remote terminal it has the same risks as Cable. PON FTTP is next because it does not require active electronics in the field. Backup time is dependent on centralized backup power and customer UPS/generator. Probably the worst from an emergency power perspective is Cable, wireless and remote terminals since field electronics needs backup power at many locations.

3) First-Mile circuit Redundancy - a high reliability connection will utilize more than one ISP and route taken by physical infrastructure utilize separate paths. That is very hard to do for first-mile access.

4) Transit redundancy - How does your ISP peer with transit providers and if you are a small country or island nation how many connection to the Internet at large exist.

/tom



luster

join:2009-03-28
Salisbury, MD

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

Reliability means nothing if you can't move around once you're there. Take a peek at www.internetpulse.net and just look at all of the puking routers that keep you from various sites around the net. So, reliability, while a good thought, means nothing if you can't get where you want to go.


mocycler
Premium
join:2001-01-22
kudos:1

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to anon que

I agree with the others that the answer to your question depends largely on where you are. There is no one size fit all answer.

The only thing I can add is that you should avoid third party resellers. They have little or no network of their own and are simply buying wholesale bandwidth and repackaging it for consumer use. This in itself does not make a connection less "reliable" but it does add a layer of bureaucracy if something goes wrong.

It goes like this: Your connection goes down and you call your provider. They in turn call their provider and open a ticket. You then wait while this extra step in the process plays itself out.

My neighbor "hates" AT&T and Comcast, so he signed up with Covad. I wish I was there to see his reaction when the AT&T truck showed up at his house to get him going. Duh.



anon que

@rcn.com
reply to Kearnstd

said by Kearnstd:

Depends on your area, Some places cable is great some DSL is great...

How would one know which is better in my area?

Thank you


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

1 recommendation

said by anon que :

How would one know which is better in my area?

One way is this website, on the front page on the right you will see the 'review finder' enter your zip code there and check the reviews.

You can also ask around your neighborhood.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to mocycler

said by mocycler:

My neighbor "hates" AT&T and Comcast, so he signed up with Covad. I wish I was there to see his reaction when the AT&T truck showed up at his house to get him going. Duh.

Must have been a line problem as COVAD is one of the few that does have their own infrastructure beyond the line connection. (DSLAMs and net connections.)

And by that definition is not actually a reseller (who just resell telco everything), just leasing local lines to get to them.

Though there are sometime differences. Had a BSo reseller years ago called Telocity, who offered static IP while BSo itself did not and a slightly lower price.
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