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Internet service for dummies?

Old 02-23-11, 12:46 AM
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Internet service for dummies?

I have a Vizio internet-abled TV and have found I need faster internet service to get the most out of it (I can't get HD quality on Amazon VOD and Vudu's HDX won't play without stopping every few seconds. From about 7-11 PM I can't even play their regular HD without it stopping a few times.) I'm still mostly computer-illiterate though and don't know what I really need other than the desired speed should be about 5 mbps. I think I get about 3.something now from AT&T.

Is there an easy way to find out what the fastest and most affordable internet service available in my area is? If I just call up AT&T and ask for "faster service" they could just try to sell me something overpriced that I don't need since I'd probably sound like I don't know what I'm talking about (which would be mostly true.) I don't have a ton of money right now so I'd go with whatever the most affordable option out there is, whether it's with AT&T or another company (though I don't want to have anything to do with Comcast given they've already been caught blocking people's internet usage.) If the upgrade isn't what I can afford then I'll just stick with what I've got. Doing a Google search for internet service in my area brings up companies that actually don't serve where I live when I click on them.
Old 02-23-11, 09:55 AM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

Did you try signing into your ATT account online and check what other options are available?

If you have DSL (rather than UVerse), it looks like you have the Pro package (3mb). I'm seeing the Elite package (6mb) is available for $5 more a month.
Old 02-23-11, 12:24 PM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

I'd go for the Elite package if it's available in your location.

If you can't upgrade and have cable running to your house, the cost of limited basic + high speed internet (Comcast, for instance, is 12mbps downstream) is about $10 more than AT&T DSL (here at least).
Old 02-23-11, 02:38 PM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Doing a Google search for internet service in my area brings up companies that actually don't serve where I live when I click on them.
That's going to be a problem for most searches, since the knowledge on the search engine is going to be limited

DSL Reports has an ISP search based on zip code:
http://www.dslreports.com/search

The FCC also just released a broadband map, that you can search by street address. It seems to be specific down to the given block you're on:
http://www.broadbandmap.gov/

The FCC map also lists advertised speeds of the providers (typically a range). It also lists cell providers. The data's about 9 months old, but that should be recent enough in most cases.
Old 02-23-11, 10:57 PM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

AT&T's "Elite" DSL is 6Mbps? Seriously?

I have a standard Road Runner account (not "Lite" or "Turbo") and I regularly test out at 25Mbps down (and a crappy 365kbps up, which sucks, but you can't have everything). This is... $49.99/month, IIRC.
Old 02-25-11, 01:59 AM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

Broadbandmap says the only faster carrier here is Comcrap, who I don't want to support. It also says AT&T only goes up to 3mbps and I get a little more than that from them right now, so it can't be too accurate. I'll just have to call AT&T and see what I can get- 6 mpbs is good and $5 more won't break the bank.

Why does my service slow down from roughly 7-11 PM? Is AT&T doing it intentionally, or is it just because a lot of people are using it at the same time?
Old 02-25-11, 06:23 AM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

if you're stuck with dsl, youll just have to live with never getting good enough speeds

what other cable options do you have?
Old 02-25-11, 07:09 AM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

Originally Posted by Rex Fenestrarum View Post
AT&T's "Elite" DSL is 6Mbps? Seriously?

I have a standard Road Runner account (not "Lite" or "Turbo") and I regularly test out at 25Mbps down (and a crappy 365kbps up, which sucks, but you can't have everything). This is... $49.99/month, IIRC.
On ATT UVerse internet, Elite is the second option of five. The fastest, Max Turbo, is 24mb down and 3mb up.

Their "crappy" upload speeds is one of the reasons I canceled Road Runner. Mine was .5mb and it was causing dropped connections with my Tuesday night gaming.
Old 02-25-11, 07:13 AM
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Re: Internet service for dummies?

I feel for you OP. I was stuck with Qwest DSL at 1.5 mpbs down (if I was lucky) for a long time.

A new cable provider just moved in and now I get 30 mpbs down and 5 up. The best part is I went from paying around $65/month for that crappy dsl and basic phone, to paying $75/month and now I get fast internet, full phone package, and HD cable with HBO and a DVR.

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