ADSL vs cable : Java Glossary

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ADSL vs cable
Which should you get ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology) or cable. I just switch myself from cable to ADSL. My main complaints with cable were:
  1. Very slow speeds e.g. 4K Bytes per second during the day. It is quite spritely late at night though when I often work.
  2. Having to reboot the modem and run ipconfig sometimes several times a day when the modem went south.
The kicker was the phone company offer me Internet service for  $10.00 CAD less. a month. I did not know this in advance, but it turns out that ADSL is faster at night and much faster during the day. Neither company would guarantee throughput.

How do you decide between ADSL and cable modems for Internet access? Here in BC, these are the differences. In your area details may vary. Best to measure actual subscribers. Sales literature presumes theoretically perfect conditions and then stretches the truth a bit further.

Benefits of ADSL vs Cable modems in BC Canada
ADSL Cable Modem
$30.00 CAD /month including modem $40.00 CAD /month including modem
consistent bandwidth availability Speed varies drastically by time of day since you share a cable with your neighbours.
My Speed with cable
__ __ no permission from Telus IP (Internet Protocol).
62 158 BroadBandReports Speakeasy, in Seattle, midnight
62 137 Numion, 7 PM
62 143 Toast, 7 PM
__ 155 Pitstop, 7 PM
My Speed with cable
56 240, in Vancouver, midnight
55 182 BroadBandReports Speakeasy, in Seattle, midnight
30 99 Numion, midnight
57 76 Toast, midnight
__ 74 Pitstop
__ 50-60 Typical late night, Opera browser
__ 4-50 Typical daytime, Opera browser
private line to phone company. shared line to cable company, fairly easy for other subscribers to snoop on your traffic.
3 email addresses, you can also have aliases, but they all forward to the same account. You get them via the add product menu as if you were ordering new services. You can freely access via pop3, smtp or webmail from a non-Telus ISP (Internet Service Provider). 3 email addresses. You can only access via webmail from a non-Shaw ISP.
5 static IP addresses for the small business package, 2 dynamic IP for home users. You get a different IP every time you reboot your router. 2 dynamic IP that stay stable for months even when you neboot the router.
Install requires windows software, IE (Internet Explorer) and ActiveX enabled (arrgh!). Install insists on using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). no special software required.
2 weeks wait for install. 3 weeks wait for install.
10 MB for your personal website seven 10 MB personal websites
fast newsserver. Keeps a months of backlog newsserver too slow for on demand use; must queue up a batch. Keeps only a week or so of old posts.
Two account names with two passwords(usually the same) and should not duplicate any email id or be easily guessable. The OCA (Online Customer Access) account is for registering your MAC (Media Access Control) address, the globally unique ID burned into your Ethernet card. The login account is for administration of email, your website etc. You cannot change these. In addition there are 3 user-changeable email accounts. These can each have aliases, that are automatically forwarded to the actual account. You have also your phone number and your account number. In addition each email account has three account names. Telus use the word account for all of these names. It is mind boggling. Some consistent terminology, with a glossary would help: phone number, billing account, OCA account, Internet account, email account, alias name. A numeric account number; a customer care account name and the modem serial number also acts as an account id. In addition each email acount has a name.
transparently shares your phone line. transparently shares your cable TV connection. (If you don’t have one, it is $10.00 CAD extra.)
online database claims services is available, but you discover it is not when you talk to a human. New ADSL equipment allows sites formerly disqualified to be used. online database claims services is available, but you discover it is not when you talk to a human.
Heavily advertises the service. May move into entertainment content using the same link. Heavily advertises the service. Phone service available through companies like Vonage over the same link.
Speeds vary drastically by district. In some, ADSL will be faster and in others cable. If you can do a speed test on your neighbour’s machines before you sign up.

Comparing Costs

To compare costs, check if the modem is included and what the one time installation costs are. Often they suck you in with a low or even free introductory rate and won’t tell you what the rate will eventually rise to. Your actual download and upload speed will be considerably less because the speed of the server you are talking to, net delays, delays in the ISP ’s computer you are directly connected to and contention for access to the coax cable connecting you to your ISP. Before you purchase, try measuring competing services in your area on someone else’s machines at the time of day you do most of your work.

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