Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
One area is often neglected when a person is setting up a new network for the first time, or experiencing Internet problems. People get frustrated and disappointed because their new system that they just spent many hours and quit a few dollars on does not meet their expectation or does not even work.
People are caught in the marketing trap for high speed, multiple user networks. Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware. Whether it is a cable supplier of the Internet service, or, a phone line or a wireless network, they all have their sales pitch.
The first trap is the speed of the connection. The products are sold with various speed perimeters. One might proclaim they are the fastest with a 7meg download speed, another may show a cheaper service with 3meg speed. What the suppliers do not make clear is that these speeds are all pretty-much irrelevant. The customer should understand that they usually tell you the maximum speed that a service line can provide and reading further in the fine print you will discover this. The actual speeds vary even between customer locations of the same supplier. Most suppliers expect to provide the customer with a throughput of 75% of their signal maximum, but at times it may be far less than this.
When I tested my 3G wireless connection speed 2 years ago, it usually tripped out at about 1.6 - 1.7meg. Now I am lucky to get .8 on a 3meg. maximum. I have measured my speed down to 64k and 84k on this 3meg. line. As you know, 56k is dial-up speed.
Let us consider a copper phone line where a DSL service is offered. The original design of the telephone lines were never conceived to carry the high speed, digital signals that are running on them today. There are still arguments about this and the quality of the equipment that connects these line first to the main office and points between, determine the quality of the service. The latest of these lines have gone to fiber optic because it is much better for providing the digital service. Even this is a little misleading because some suppliers who have buried fiber lines neglect to mention that the "last mile" is actually copper to your house or business. You need to know this and understand the limitations to make intelligent decisions about purchasing
Another key to making an intelligent decision for purchasing is not only the speed but the bandwidth provided. Internet suppliers are putting limitations on the amount of data you can download. Where as your personal Internet usage may be fine with a 5 gigabyte maximum amount, tomorrow you may decide you want to start downloading full length movies and your usage sky rockets. Consider what will happen when you start a small business and all of sudden you have 15 people all trying to access the same line. Not only will you start splitting the speed up, but also your bandwidth usage will multiply. Suppliers have alternatives such as multiple IP addresses for businesses. Internet service can become an expensive business proposition that needs careful planning. I see questions all the time in the computer category where people are complaining about some sort of hardware or router problems, when in reality the problem may not be in their equipment at all. I have experienced customer support issues where an in-experienced person comes into their office and finds that they have no computers working. There is no IT person on hand and they start troubleshooting their network and calling for support. The real problem is their Internet Service is down and they have already torn up the network connections.
I have also heard a customer complain about not being able to see their remote video cameras data and are running 10 remote locations on 1 line. Their problem is that they had not researched their requirements for the Internet and rather than paying for adequate service, decide to do it the less expensive way.
The bottom line is not only how much it will cost for Internet Service, but will the service actually do what I need it do? Take time to research your Internet provider decisions and make them wisely.
Posted by Dennis... on
May 13, 2011 | Computers & Internet
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