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Hank

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I pay $99 a month for a gig. I have a TV, PS4 an a shield hardwired. I have four TVs, two laptops, two PS4s, two tablets, one X-Box and five smart phones connected to the WiFi. Between kids, grandkids, the wife and myself, all devices are sometimes used at the same time for gaming and streaming movies/sports. 

Question 1: am I paying too much for the gig? 

Question 2:  could I get by with a lower service?

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8 hours ago, Hank said:

I pay $99 a month for a gig. I have a TV, PS4 an a shield hardwired. I have four TVs, two laptops, two PS4s, two tablets, one X-Box and five smart phones connected to the WiFi. Between kids, grandkids, the wife and myself, all devices are sometimes used at the same time for gaming and streaming movies/sports. 

Question 1: am I paying too much for the gig? 

Question 2:  could I get by with a lower service?

1 gig is way to much for that usage, 100mbit is way enough, if its 100 down and up

So yea, indeed your paying way to much.

Edited by MODO Hockey

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2 hours ago, MODO Hockey said:

1 gig is way to much for that usage, 100mbit is way enough, if its 100 down and up

So yea, indeed your paying way to much.

We have 75mbit and its plenty fast for our house. I think we pay 60 a month or 70. My wife pays that bill

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I'd rather have the Gigabit over 100 Megabit, the latter of which I have at home.  $99 is a good price, not necessarily competitive, but you're not being taken advantage of, either.

Each wireless device is capable of about a 20Mb draw on the stream (due to QoS and wireless tech limitations - obviously this number will vary based on a variety of factors), but probably only use less than a 5Mb stream, depending.  The HD, 2K, 4K movies are what'll eat up bandwidth quickly.

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4 hours ago, MODO Hockey said:

1 gig is way to much for that usage, 100mbit is way enough, if its 100 down and up

So yea, indeed your paying way to much.

We had Verizon 1 gig with 5 TVs and and two Xbox and it worked great. Then they jacked the price up an extra hundred a month so we switched to spectrum at 100 or 300 I don’t remember which(they had three levels we got the middle one) and it struggles to say the least. There’s a lot of lag when playing games on line and streaming services buffer a lot now when they never did before.  Everyone I know has problems with spectrum internet so it’s probably them lying about the speeds. 

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I'm not going to quote.  But threads like this will undoubtedly have a lot of interesting takes on what the problems are and where they lie.

First, you never need a gig.  Very few people do.  It's marketing. 

Second, you are unlikely to have synchronous service, so you may get a Gig for things you download, but you probably don't have the same sending upstream.

Third, all Internet service providers operate on contention ratios. This is why all their advertisements say "up to".  If you don't operate on a contention ratio, you have dedicated service and it's extremely expensive.

Fourth, the contention ratio varies by provider, by area, etc.  Contention ratio is the number of subscribers who share an upstream port on the network path.  If the ratio is 10:1 then 10 people connect into a single upstream port.  Your traffic is aggregated at that port.  The odds are extremely good that port is also 1Gbps.  So, if the aggregated data usage of those 10 people is above 1Gbps, there will be network degradation.

The number of devices you have connected to your network will impact your network performance, especially if they are all on at the same time and doing different things. In addition, if you use the router that your ISP provides it is usually not rated to handle that many devices.  As such, the RAM/CPU on the device gets overrun and its ability to process network packets is hindered.

If you are connecting to the device via the integrated WiFi, the problems get even more complex and yes, if you are using your ISP's integrated wireless you are also doing yourself a major disservice.

So, Spectrum is not lying about their speeds.  You are getting "up to" whatever you pay for.  In addition, gaming and streaming traffic do not mix on networks.  Gaming is comprised of a lot of small data packets.  Streaming uses a lot more data in a single packet.  Gaming data needs to be transferred rapid fire to a server and data needs to return just as fast. Latency naturally plays into that, but latency can be impacted by a great many factors, not the least of which are the other devices on your network.  It's even worse if you use wireless as only WiFi 6 truly handles disparate network packet streams without significant WiFi impact. 

It's also worth noting that if you have an older wireless device, say one that only uses 802.11g.  When it connects to your WiFi it will force the WiFi to automatically drop to 54mbps maximum throughput for all devices that are going through the WiFi network.  Another reason to invest in newer devices and spend a few hundred on an upscale router.

I can go on... 🙂

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On 9/12/2019 at 5:00 PM, LTS said:

I'm not going to quote.  But threads like this will undoubtedly have a lot of interesting takes on what the problems are and where they lie.

First, you never need a gig.  Very few people do.  It's marketing. 

Second, you are unlikely to have synchronous service, so you may get a Gig for things you download, but you probably don't have the same sending upstream.

Third, all Internet service providers operate on contention ratios. This is why all their advertisements say "up to".  If you don't operate on a contention ratio, you have dedicated service and it's extremely expensive.

Fourth, the contention ratio varies by provider, by area, etc.  Contention ratio is the number of subscribers who share an upstream port on the network path.  If the ratio is 10:1 then 10 people connect into a single upstream port.  Your traffic is aggregated at that port.  The odds are extremely good that port is also 1Gbps.  So, if the aggregated data usage of those 10 people is above 1Gbps, there will be network degradation.

The number of devices you have connected to your network will impact your network performance, especially if they are all on at the same time and doing different things. In addition, if you use the router that your ISP provides it is usually not rated to handle that many devices.  As such, the RAM/CPU on the device gets overrun and its ability to process network packets is hindered.

If you are connecting to the device via the integrated WiFi, the problems get even more complex and yes, if you are using your ISP's integrated wireless you are also doing yourself a major disservice.

So, Spectrum is not lying about their speeds.  You are getting "up to" whatever you pay for.  In addition, gaming and streaming traffic do not mix on networks.  Gaming is comprised of a lot of small data packets.  Streaming uses a lot more data in a single packet.  Gaming data needs to be transferred rapid fire to a server and data needs to return just as fast. Latency naturally plays into that, but latency can be impacted by a great many factors, not the least of which are the other devices on your network.  It's even worse if you use wireless as only WiFi 6 truly handles disparate network packet streams without significant WiFi impact. 

It's also worth noting that if you have an older wireless device, say one that only uses 802.11g.  When it connects to your WiFi it will force the WiFi to automatically drop to 54mbps maximum throughput for all devices that are going through the WiFi network.  Another reason to invest in newer devices and spend a few hundred on an upscale router.

I can go on... 🙂

No. Spectrum does lie about their speeds.  They will come to your house and show you a rigged speed test and tell you you’re getting this exact speed. But if you use any other test it shows that you aren’t getting anywhere close. If you call them out on it they start making excuses. Watched them do it at my parents, my brothers, and my house. Pretty much the entire neighborhood. We switched to Verizon and all the tests matched with what they said. Spectrum lies all the time just google it. There’s plenty of stuff 

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On 9/12/2019 at 5:00 PM, LTS said:

I'm not going to quote.  But threads like this will undoubtedly have a lot of interesting takes on what the problems are and where they lie.

First, you never need a gig.  Very few people do.  It's marketing. 

Second, you are unlikely to have synchronous service, so you may get a Gig for things you download, but you probably don't have the same sending upstream.

Third, all Internet service providers operate on contention ratios. This is why all their advertisements say "up to".  If you don't operate on a contention ratio, you have dedicated service and it's extremely expensive.

Fourth, the contention ratio varies by provider, by area, etc.  Contention ratio is the number of subscribers who share an upstream port on the network path.  If the ratio is 10:1 then 10 people connect into a single upstream port.  Your traffic is aggregated at that port.  The odds are extremely good that port is also 1Gbps.  So, if the aggregated data usage of those 10 people is above 1Gbps, there will be network degradation.

The number of devices you have connected to your network will impact your network performance, especially if they are all on at the same time and doing different things. In addition, if you use the router that your ISP provides it is usually not rated to handle that many devices.  As such, the RAM/CPU on the device gets overrun and its ability to process network packets is hindered.

If you are connecting to the device via the integrated WiFi, the problems get even more complex and yes, if you are using your ISP's integrated wireless you are also doing yourself a major disservice.

So, Spectrum is not lying about their speeds.  You are getting "up to" whatever you pay for.  In addition, gaming and streaming traffic do not mix on networks.  Gaming is comprised of a lot of small data packets.  Streaming uses a lot more data in a single packet.  Gaming data needs to be transferred rapid fire to a server and data needs to return just as fast. Latency naturally plays into that, but latency can be impacted by a great many factors, not the least of which are the other devices on your network.  It's even worse if you use wireless as only WiFi 6 truly handles disparate network packet streams without significant WiFi impact. 

It's also worth noting that if you have an older wireless device, say one that only uses 802.11g.  When it connects to your WiFi it will force the WiFi to automatically drop to 54mbps maximum throughput for all devices that are going through the WiFi network.  Another reason to invest in newer devices and spend a few hundred on an upscale router.

I can go on... 🙂

I'm gonna quote! 🙂

He doesn't mention, but FIOS does offer (almost) 1Gbit up and down (it's like 960Mbit down/920Mbit up or something). And your point about contention ratios is valid, although with FIOS I have an independent link to the local switch. The uplink to the next network device likely isn't sized to carry the full bandwidth for every port on the switch; my guess is it's larger than the individual interfaces though, since 10Gbit is cheap these days. I'll have to test and see what I really get.

But yes, it's unlikely most people need a gig for any reasonable (<20) number of household devices they use at the same time. Mostly because the providers aren't streaming stuff to you at that high a rate because it doesn't scale. Youtube apparently does around 40Mbit for 4K videos, which is probably the most bandwidth-intensive thing an average person does. So you could run 20+ concurrent 4K videos on a 1Gbit network. Almost anything else is peanuts in comparison, music is 1-2Mbit, full-DVD quality video is <10Mbit, the max for 1080p bluray is 40Mbit (I mention those as examples of really high-quality streams). I think NHL.tv is a few Mbit for 1080p.

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5 hours ago, Kr632 said:

No. Spectrum does lie about their speeds.  They will come to your house and show you a rigged speed test and tell you you’re getting this exact speed. But if you use any other test it shows that you aren’t getting anywhere close. If you call them out on it they start making excuses. Watched them do it at my parents, my brothers, and my house. Pretty much the entire neighborhood. We switched to Verizon and all the tests matched with what they said. Spectrum lies all the time just google it. There’s plenty of stuff 

Sigh.  I work in the business (not for Spectrum) and I'm well aware of what goes on and how it all works. 

A "speed test" is a joke in and of itself.  First, it doesn't even measure "speed" it measures throughput.  Second, throughput varies by destination.  The only test that matters is the throughput you get on a particular service flow.  Having 100M of throughput doesn't make anything faster unless you have a single flow of 100M open to a destination, and then it reduces the time it takes to transfer the data overall, but it all moves at the same speed.

And regardless of what anyone says and complains about, all providers offer "Up to X..." and anything you get is "up to" so, they are not lying.

If you are getting better performance from another provider, then that's awesome.  Use them, be happy with it. I have had Spectrum for 20 years (TWC, etc.) and the only times I've had problems were when there was an equipment issue down the street that caused signal levels to drop. Every service provider faces a point where they enhance infrastructure or play the contention game.  Every, single, one.  Because no one (consumer) will pay for the level of service required to avoid them.

1 minute ago, MattPie said:

I'm gonna quote! 🙂

He doesn't mention, but FIOS does offer (almost) 1Gbit up and down (it's like 960Mbit down/920Mbit up or something). And your point about contention ratios is valid, although with FIOS I have an independent link to the local switch. The uplink to the next network device likely isn't sized to carry the full bandwidth for every port on the switch; my guess is it's larger than the individual interfaces though, since 10Gbit is cheap these days. I'll have to test and see what I really get.

But yes, it's unlikely most people need a gig for any reasonable (<20) number of household devices they use at the same time. Mostly because the providers aren't streaming stuff to you at that high a rate because it doesn't scale. Youtube apparently does around 40Mbit for 4K videos, which is probably the most bandwidth-intensive thing an average person does. So you could run 20+ concurrent 4K videos on a 1Gbit network. Almost anything else is peanuts in comparison, music is 1-2Mbit, full-DVD quality video is <10Mbit, the max for 1080p bluray is 40Mbit (I mention those as examples of really high-quality streams). I think NHL.tv is a few Mbit for 1080p.

Right, you can't truly offer 1G because of overhead on the line.  Spectrum offers 940Mbps downstream as well.  We offer 1G GPON service in our customer base as well.  It's not truly 1G of course.  

Your BW estimations for services are accurate.  Netflix quotes you needing 25Mbps per 4k stream.  YouTube is likely using less compression (they also have a hell of an infrastructure).  Even if you have 1G of throughput and you want to stream, those throughput speeds are based on optimal packets.  The fact is that the interfaces can only handle so many packets and if you are sending smaller packets through the port it will get congested.  In addition,, network devices have certain constraints.  Fiber remains far more efficient than HFC and Ethernet in terms of packet handling, etc.

This is a good reference i found on a quick Google search.. I've read numerous articles, information such as these.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/security-center/network-performance-metrics.html

 

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1gig for that type of usage is plenty.. and $99 is a good deal.

That said, your bottleneck will be your local wifi network, not the uplink.   

Make sure you're on a good channel and all devices have a strong enough signal to maintain adequate throughput (based on use case).

I'd recomment testing your througput from all rooms in your house, and deploy range extenders as necessary.    I use Orbi with 1 satellite upstairs, works fantastic.    

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On 9/12/2019 at 5:00 PM, LTS said:

It's also worth noting that if you have an older wireless device, say one that only uses 802.11g.  When it connects to your WiFi it will force the WiFi to automatically drop to 54mbps maximum throughput for all devices that are going through the WiFi network.  Another reason to invest in newer devices and spend a few hundred on an upscale router.

I can go on... 🙂

Well, there's a little nugget of information I wasn't aware of. 

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48 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

Well, there's a little nugget of information I wasn't aware of. 

If you are having speed issues, you can have a primo network in the house with the good wifi access point, and a second low-rent wifi for the older devices. Not trivial to set up, but not too hard either. That being said, I've been lazy and only have my FIOS-provided router right now; It's almost directly below my laptop on the first floor right now, and the quoted speed in the adapter properties is bouncing around between 300 and 600 Mbit right now. I'm not shy about attaching devices to it, although I don't have anything truly old here either.

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54 minutes ago, TrueBlueGED said:

Well, there's a little nugget of information I wasn't aware of. 

It's also true that if you touch it wrong, you get warts.  You've been warned.

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47 minutes ago, MattPie said:

If you are having speed issues, you can have a primo network in the house with the good wifi access point, and a second low-rent wifi for the older devices. Not trivial to set up, but not too hard either. That being said, I've been lazy and only have my FIOS-provided router right now; It's almost directly below my laptop on the first floor right now, and the quoted speed in the adapter properties is bouncing around between 300 and 600 Mbit right now. I'm not shy about attaching devices to it, although I don't have anything truly old here either.

Yea I'm not having speed problems as I don't have anything connected that's old enough to matter. I just had no clue the entire network was limited by a slower device. For curiosity's sake, am I correct to assume that doesn't translate across bands? So if I put a "slow" device on the 2.4Ghz band, it won't also neuter the 5Ghz band? 

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3 hours ago, LTS said:

Sigh.  I work in the business (not for Spectrum) and I'm well aware of what goes on and how it all works. 

A "speed test" is a joke in and of itself.  First, it doesn't even measure "speed" it measures throughput.  Second, throughput varies by destination.  The only test that matters is the throughput you get on a particular service flow.  Having 100M of throughput doesn't make anything faster unless you have a single flow of 100M open to a destination, and then it reduces the time it takes to transfer the data overall, but it all moves at the same speed.

And regardless of what anyone says and complains about, all providers offer "Up to X..." and anything you get is "up to" so, they are not lying.

If you are getting better performance from another provider, then that's awesome.  Use them, be happy with it. I have had Spectrum for 20 years (TWC, etc.) and the only times I've had problems were when there was an equipment issue down the street that caused signal levels to drop. Every service provider faces a point where they enhance infrastructure or play the contention game.  Every, single, one.  Because no one (consumer) will pay for the level of service required to avoid them.

Right, you can't truly offer 1G because of overhead on the line.  Spectrum offers 940Mbps downstream as well.  We offer 1G GPON service in our customer base as well.  It's not truly 1G of course.  

Your BW estimations for services are accurate.  Netflix quotes you needing 25Mbps per 4k stream.  YouTube is likely using less compression (they also have a hell of an infrastructure).  Even if you have 1G of throughput and you want to stream, those throughput speeds are based on optimal packets.  The fact is that the interfaces can only handle so many packets and if you are sending smaller packets through the port it will get congested.  In addition,, network devices have certain constraints.  Fiber remains far more efficient than HFC and Ethernet in terms of packet handling, etc.

This is a good reference i found on a quick Google search.. I've read numerous articles, information such as these.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/security-center/network-performance-metrics.html

 

So then saying you’re getting this exact speed when you’re not is telling the truth? Interesting.

 The ad may say “up to” but they (call center and technician at the house) tell you that you are getting this exact speed when you aren’t is a lie. 

Edit- A few of my employees work for spectrum (and Verizon) in the offseason and have confirmed that spectrum lies about speeds. One of our accounts is a large spectrum office and pretty much every employee will say that they lie. 

Im not in the business so I can’t get technical but you saying speed tests are a joke goes to show that they are shady if they use them to prove they’re getting a certain number even when other tests show a different number.  Shoot last week they had an outage in my area and denied it for hours over the phone even though the technicians on the pole said there was 

Edited by Kr632

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I'm not in the business, nor have any direct knowledge, but it wouldn't be too hard to set up Quality of Service to prioritize certain types of traffic, such as speed tests. That being said, a lot of peoples network knowledge is up to the person yelling SHOOOOOT during 3-on-3 at center ice, to draw a parallel. It's a bit of both. The speed test is probably a little rigged (or "optimized"), while people think the local network is slow because catvideomp4.org doesn't download at > 90MBytes/s.

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FWIW, my old-ish (2011) Mac Mini (next to the laptop, so ~14ft through a floor to the router) is getting 97Mbit down 83Mbit up on Spectrum's test (Oxford MA) (I'm on FIOS). fast.com reports 78Mbps, although it briefly showed 220. Verizon shows 150/180 from my device and 947/928 from my router to the Verizon's server in NYC.

From verizon:

What does a “Good” router test result mean?

Your router speed: 947/928 Mbps

A good result indicates that you are getting a result close to your subscribed speed.

The speed to your router indicates the total bandwidth available to all devices combined. For instance, your result of 947 Mbps download bandwidth indicates that you could have 94 devices connected at the same time, each streaming 10 Mbps of content simultaneously.

Edited by MattPie

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