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Speed Test

Found 1 result

  1. Updating Your Cable Modem

    All,   In a previous thread I gave a somewhat tongue in cheek review of both my cable modem and its installation with Comcast.   Now that I've had the modem for a couple of weeks, I've noticed some significant improvements in the performance of my Internet connection that I thought I would share with you.   First, understand that upgrading your cable modem will NOT increase your bandwidth, as your bandwidth is determined by the tier of your Internet plan.   What upgrading your cable modem could do, depending on the modem you are currently using, is dramatically increase the quality of the Internet plan you are paying for.  The reason for this is that a recently as 3-4 years ago, the way that most of us use the Internet has changed dramatically.  We stream more... lots more.  Something that lots of us have noticed (me included) is that when we try stream media (YouTube, etc.) in HD, we often got the "buffering" dialogue even though many of us have service plans that should easily give us enough bandwidth.  This problem is made worse when multiple Internet-connected devices are operating on your network. If you have an older single-channel modem, it could very well be the source of your problem (as it was for me).   Who benefits the most from a modem upgrade?  Obviously, those of us who are running older, single-channel DOCSIS 2.0 (or earlier) modems.  I was one of those guys who went from a Motorola SB5100 to a SB6121.  DOCSIS 3.0 benefits aside, the real boost in performance that I've noticed has come from what is called "multiple channel bonding".  Channel bonding speaks to the number of Internet "channels" (up and down) that your modem is capable of bonding (tuning) to.  Now, my SB5100 could only bond to one channel up and down at 38-30MB/s.  This means that every packet going through the modem had to flow through a single point.  Now, when multiple devices on a network are connected to the Internet through a single channel, swings in data flow (up/down rate) across many sites and domains can create traffic management challenges within the modem.  It's kind of like one traffic cop trying to manage traffic though an 8-lane, 4-way intersection.  It can be pretty chaotic.   What multi channel bonding (the SB6121 bonds four up and down channels at 100MB/s) does is spread your bandwidth across four channels.  This (in combo with the modem's chipset) enables your modem to manage Internet traffic far more efficiently.  Imagine how much easier it is to get things done when three other friends who are just as strong, smart, and competent as you are come over to help.  If you're that lucky, it can make for some pretty light work.  It is even better when all four are well-led, as they are by the controller in the chipset.   What does this all mean?  I don't have a shred of increased bandwidth from upgrading my modem, but what I do have is awesome traffic management that optimizes the bandwidth I have.  I can now steam YouTube at 1080p and never buffer, even when I watch videos for hours and there are other folks (a.k.a. "kids") doing their youtubing, instagramming (and God knows what else).   So, if you are looking for an improved Internet experience, don't snap to increasing your service plan.  True, it could help, but if your network's infrastructure (modem, router, cabling, etc.) isn't up to snuff, you could be throwing lots of $ down the tubes for very little gain.  My new SB6121 was $70 on Amazon.com.  You may be able to get them cheaper.  Before you leap, make sure you Google your modem's model number (and any revision) to see how many channels it bonds.  If you're running a single-channel modem like I was, chances are you will get a lot more from your current plan if you upgrade your modem (not to mention that you may save some $ by no longer leasing your ISP's modem).  For me, that was $7/mo and my modem will pay for itself in just 10 months.  Totally worth it.   Bottom line.  Upgraded cable modem = improved experience (w/o upgrading my plan) that pays for itself in less than a year and saves me $84/year going forward.  Not bad at all.   war
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