Cox Cable Modem vs. AT&T DSL

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Kashchei, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Meat Space
    #1
    My wife and I have been using Cox as our ISP for years. Their internet connection can work very well, but it can also have periods when service goes down up to 4-5 times a day. We are currently on their plan that provides up to 15 Mbs download. We recently changed our land line to AT&T and found out that they offered DSL service in our area with up to 24 Mbs download. Does anyone have experience with AT&T as their ISP, especially in Louisiana (Baton Rouge, specifically). Any information that will help us make up our minds will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #2
    I don't live near Baton Rouge or have at&t DSL but I have had Comcast Cable and do have Qwest DSL. My thoughts, cable goes down at least a few times a year and is fairly flaky where as DSL I've had go down once since I've had it in 4 years. The speeds on DSL now are easily fast enough for the majority of the population and don't slow down when everyone else is using it.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #3
    I'm a couple of hours north of you, and I used to have AT&T DSL. The service was good, but I feel sorry for you if you ever do have a problem and have to deal with their tech support. I had it for years at my old house, and it was rock solid, if a bit slow. When I first moved to my current location, the best speed available was 3Mb/s. I decided to live with that, and everything was ok at first. The service was solid, and never went down.

    The problem started when my service started slowing down. At one point, it was around 1Mb/s. I repeatedly called AT&T, and they blamed everything including solar flares. (I wish I were making that up). They blamed the wiring in my house, my DSL modem, and everything but their equipment. The problem is I have been a network admin for years, and know when the problem is on their side. I actually know how to troubleshoot networking issues. I ran new wiring, and offered to show any of their techs my cable test results. They still blamed my stuff.

    Eventually, I got so fed up, I dumped them and went to the other Evil Empire, Comcast. I really didn't want to do that, but AT&T left me no choice. I now get 12Mb/s service for the same price as that terrible DSL service. It has been very stable and reliable for the past few months. Of course, when I called to disconnect, they offered me a big discount on their U-Verse service. I literally laughed at the rep. At that point, they could have offered me a new Ferrari to stay with them, and I would have refused.

    The odd thing is that a few friends in different parts of town have their 6Mb service, and it has been great. Maybe it's just me.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #4
    My AT&T DSL has been solid for the past 1.5 years (since we moved in). Nothing to complain about, other than U-Verse is not available.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    #5
    I agree. A friend of mine had a problem where her desktop wouldn't work, but the laptops did. As part of the troubleshooting, he had her reset the DSL modem. He said he could see it connecting just fine, but he never walked her through the steps to reconfigure the modem (you need to set your own login info in the PPPoE settings). When it still did not work he then concluded that IE8 is not compatible with XP.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #6
    Though not in LA I have At&t Uverse and have had no problems for a couple of years now. We've had tech calls, mostly for the TV and they have always handled our needs in a timely and courteous manner.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Loves2spoon

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Was told not to get DSL in the house due to the copper wiring?

    Comcast drops my internet connection at least 15 times a day... Ordered a new modem, hopes that helps!
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    Hopefully it's your modem. My Comcast Internet connectivity has been relatively reliable.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Meat Space
    #9
    Thank you for the information you provide; I will consider it very carefully before making a decision. We are at the point now that you were at with AT&T. They haven't blamed solar flares yet (that is truly remarkable!), but a kindly repairman did tell us on the downlow that the strength of the signal for our part of the subdivision was known to be low and would only be fixed when it gave out completely. If only I knew where this junction was, I would gladly give it a helping hand towards being replaced.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #10
    That was the frustrating thing. When I first moved here, I was getting almost max bandwidth. In most speed tests, I was getting very close to 3Mb/s, but it slowly went down. The DSLAM is right around the corner from me (less than 1/4 mile following roads, much less in a straight line) so they couldn't use the distance argument. The sad part is the exact same thing happened at my old house. Granted, it was an old house and did have bad wiring, but even after I ran new wiring, they tried to blame me. I had hoped it would be different this time.

    Personally, I am glad to have AT&T completely out of my life. No land line, dumped the DSL, and dropped the wireless back when they were still Cingular. All because of the atrocious customer service. I'm not saying Comcast or any other major company is any better, but I haven't been burned by them yet. But this all just may be me. Like I said, I have a few friends who have the 6Mb DSL and have had zero problems.
     
  11. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    Distance between you and the DSLAM actually has nothing to do with it. The copper coming from the DSLAM might go all the way around the street before coming back to you even if it's across the street, remember, this stuff was installed before internet, much less broadband, in homes was ever heard of and the weird paths the copper takes worked fine for phone lines.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #12
    Yeah, I know how DSL works. It's the line distance, not physical distance. I was just pointing out that it even if it did go all the way to the end of the street and back, it wouldn't be that far of a run. It's a small neighborhood and it's very near me. And in the beginning, I was getting very close to 3Mb/s, so I wasn't losing that much on the trip. Truthfully, having seen the inside of some of AT&T's pedestals, I am amazed anything works. Most of the wiring inside those things looks like a bundle of snakes.

    Edit: As a side note, it seems sometimes AT&T can't even tell the difference in distance. At work, we had a few remote sites that AT&T assured us were within DSL distance. We wanted to move away from the dedicate and expensive dedicated lines (T1 and the link), so this sounded good. We had major problems with some of the DSL sites after they were installed. It turns out they were measuring the distance in a straight line. One site ended up somewhere close to 15,000 ft away from the DSLAM.
     
  13. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Somewhere along the way, every Internet and telephone connection looks that way. That should not influence a subscription decision one way or the other. That said, cable--whether from Comcast, Cox, Road Runner, or whatever--is the way to go unless your phone company is Verizon with FIOS or AT&T with U-verse. In either of these cases, the potential subscriber should carefully consider the alternatives. The only instance where one should go with DSL is if there is no cable modem service available.
     
  14. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Yep. I've seen the inside of a central office before. It's not pretty. But that's just the way POTS works, at some point the wire pairs from each house have to come together and it looks like a big mess.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Meat Space
    #15
    Are you saying that a cable modem from Cox would be preferable to ATT Uverse's DSL (we have both cell and home phone service through ATT)? I'm really interested since these are the local alternatives.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #16
    The biggest gripe I have seen with UVerse is from people who overload their bandwidth by doing stuff like watching multiple HDTVs while streaming video and on the phone. That sort of thing. Their bandwidth seems to be more limited than some of the cable companies. I have seen reports of around 25Mb/s on their stuff, but I don't know if that is accurate. I also have never seen accurate readings on most cable companies. If you want reviews of your local area, check out dslreports. They have forums and reviews of ISPs in most decent sized metro areas.

    Like I said before, I do this stuff for a living, so I know how it works. I keep telling people who complain about a web site being slow to load that if they knew what had to happen for them to even get to that web site, they would be amazed it works at all.

    Anyway, I tend to agree about the services, unless your local cable company totally sucks. One of the national cable companies (Time Warner, maybe?) has a monthly cap of 40GB a month. There is no way I would use that service, no matter how much faster it is. Comcast's 250GB cap kind of bugged me, but I don't really come close on that one. I avoided Comcast for a long time because of their business practices such as throttling bit torrent, the cap, etc, but in the end, AT&T ticked me off so badly I just wanted to get away.

    I've come to the conclusion that the major ISPs are like the major cell phone companies. They all suck, it's just a matter of how much they suck. And customer service is a distant memory at most of them. Heck, Comcast won "Worst Company in America" this year over at Consumerist.com.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    pasdesilence

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #17
    Here in SF, I had both AT&T DSL and Comcast Cable service and let me tell you, Comcast wins by a mile. AT&T's DSL always seemed to be slower than it should be and I was never satisfied.

    I switched to Comcast, but I bought my own wireless router instead of using their stock one and I had great results. I speed test to about a little over half of advertised speeds (which is great near a major University). It's pricey no doubt, but if you need quality, you'll pay for it.

    I say, go with Cox but don't rely on their wireless router. I'm pretty sure they're pushing routers on G standard and you want a router with N.
     

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