Internet Speeds

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by fleshman03, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. fleshman03 macrumors 68000

    fleshman03

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    Sioux City, IA
    #1
    Oh Great Ones,

    I have a question regarding internet connections.

    Next week, I will be moving to a rural area with less-than-awesome internet services.

    So far, my only real options are:

    Qwest DSL @ 3Mbps / 768 kbps / No Cap
    Cable One @ 10Mbps / 1Mbps / 100 GB Cap

    I really hate bandwidth caps, so I'm thinking about going with Qwest. Since it's DSL, I should actually be receiving a sustained speed of around 2.75Mbps.

    Now all this is fine, but I'm coming from a 10Mpbs with no cap service. I currently stream HD Netflix and use an airport express to connect my Xbox, iOS devices and three computers. (I'd blow was past the 100GB cap.)

    Am I going to have a horrible life with 3Mpbs? For what it's worth, the 3Mpbs is $20 cheaper a month.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #2
    How many people in your household? That's the big factor. If it's just you I doubt you'll be on the XBox, streaming video and browsing at the same time! So 3meg could be done.

    HD streaming at 3meg isn't that great, but it is do-able with a bit of buffering time. But you may still find yourself going SD out of frustration. However, if you blast through 100GB a month now you would probably have to go SD if you were capped anyway.

    I'd vote for 3, but I reserve the right to change my mind in light of new info! :D
     
  3. fleshman03 thread starter macrumors 68000

    fleshman03

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    Sioux City, IA
    #3
    Thanks for responding!

    The household consists of two people. It is rare for us to use the streaming and computers, but happens once in a while. We have a central computer, but that is used mainly as a backup/iTunes hub. (I'm not saying server, since we never stream audio from it. Besides, that's all local traffic.)

    There is another option, which is 10Mpbs with no cap. It costs $20 more than DSL.

    My thinking is to stick with the 3Mpbs for six months. If I need a faster speed, I'll go to the 10Mbps / no cap.

    We both have iPhones on WiFi and I will have an iPad. Although, I doubt those will suck down enough bandwidth to effect streaming.

    Do you have any experience with 3Mpbs and streaming? Is it a lot of buffering?

    Also - am I correct in thinking DSL is a lot more consistent than cable?
     
  4. Shawnpk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    I have experience with 3Mbps. If nothing else is running, the buffering time is very small. If other things are running is causes longer buffeting times. If I were you, I'd go with the 10Mbps for $20 more a month with no cap. I'm currently looking for a faster connection because my connection speed is terrible. Then again, I am using AT&T...

    And by the way, is 3Mbps the the top of the chart or the bottom? My Internet speed is from 1.5Mbps to 3Mbps but I NEVER get over 1.8 Mbps download.
     
  5. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I don't know much about DSL v Cable, I think we have different lingo in the UK as to me "cable" means super-fast fibre optic!

    Streaming SD at 3meg is fine (in fact less would do), HD is possible provided not much else is using the line, you might just need a couple of mins to buffer, but it shouldn't be hours or anything like that!

    For two people I'd say 3 meg could be just enough. It's probably worth a try like you say to save $20 a month, but if it's not enough 10meg is what you are using now!

    Like Swanpk said, you may find you get less speed than advertised! Have they done a line test to check?
     

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