Can I cut the cable ISP for all cellular?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ArtOfWarfare, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I've been predicting the downfall of cable ISPs like Comcast for well over a year now, saying that they were going to be steamrolled by cellular internet providers within 5-10 years.

    I had been doing my predictions with 500 GB/month as the amount I use the internet at home, since that's the limit of what Comcast offers me, so I was looking at the plans the cellular companies were offering and seeing how much longer until they offered 500 GB/month at a similar price and came up with 5-10 years.

    Today, I decided to actually figure out how much I use my home internet. I used two numbers:
    1 - The amount of data downloaded since my last reboot, as reported by Activity Monitor. 6 GB.
    2 - The length of time since my last reboot, as reported by "uptime" in Terminal. 9 days.

    Extrapolating, it looks like I use about 20 GB/month at home. I'm also on a 6 GB/month mobile plan from AT&T. So it seems that AT&T's 30 GB/month plan would provide me with all of my data needs, both at home and while away.

    Here's all the details I've worked out:
    - My home speed would be increased from about 28 MB/s to 40 MB/s, an increase of 42%, with the potential of improving further as AT&T improves their network to compete with Verizon and T-Mobile. Meanwhile, Comcast believes they have a monopoly on home internet lines and is unlikely to bother improving it at all (they haven't in 5 years, why would they now?)
    - My AT&T bill would increase by $30/month (I get a discount through my employer - without that discount it would increase by $40/month).
    - My Comcast bill would decrease by $30/month (I'm still stuck with them for TV).

    Here's the stuff that I'm not so sure of:
    - I run a small website off of my iMac with around 200 visitors a month. This required me setting up port forwarding on my router. It also relies on the fact that the IP address of my modem from Comcast never changes. How would I do something similar over AT&T's cellular network? I know that I could move my website to be hosted somewhere else, but I really like having near full control of my website, where at any time I can just throw up some new server side code.

    - I play games online a lot - would those work over AT&T's network or would they block the required ports? (Namely, I play a lot of StarCraft 2... I also play on the Wii U sometimes.)

    - I figure I can just use Mobile Hotspot on my iPhone to browse the web and use email on my computers...

    Thoughts? Are there important things to consider that I neglected to think of? Also, does anyone know have any insight into the things I don't know about?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What's the cellular performance compared to comcast, I suspect it will be much slower then broadband.

    Did you take into account the bundling discount with comcast? That is you cannot just see who much your internet service is charging.
  3. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    That was in my post. Comcast is giving me 28 MB/s over broadband (not sure what they try telling me my speed is, but that's what I'm getting according to

    Meanwhile, over 4G I'm getting 40 MB/s over 4G on my 4S. I expect that when my 6+ arrives later this month with LTE, it'll get faster.

    I tried to. They're charging me $80/month for Cable and Internet right now. I figured dropping them down to just Cable would cost me around $50/month.

    I'm feeling really shocked looking around online at how much other people with similar usage to me say they use - all the numbers I'm finding are between 10 and 30 GB/month, which seems to validate my estimate that I use around 20 GB/month. I don't know why, but when I previously ran these numbers, I assumed that 500 GB/month was somewhere in the ballpark of how much I was using at home, given that I regularly stream video at home - something I rarely do over cellular.
  4. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    you're not saving any money. Also, if you drop internet, your video will go up in price because you're dropping a bundle package. If you want to save money on your internet, buy your own modem. I did that and I save over $104 a year.

    I just have internet and use Hulu, Netflix, Redbox, iTunes, and old rabbit TV antenna for watching TV.
  5. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I already have my own modem that I use.
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    LTE would probably have higher latency than your cable modem. Not sure if that would have any impact on the games you play.
  7. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    Then I don't see the point. You save $30, but you cell phone will go up $30. I would leave it at this point

    This is very true.
  8. dorsal macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2002
    It's slower than LTE

    If I connect my Mac through my iPhone 6 I get 81ms ping and 2.88 Mbps download. My phone has an LTE AT&T connection. See attached. Dedicated cable internet would be much faster. Depends on what you need.

    Attached Files:

Share This Page