bandwidth

What Are My Options for Broadband?

Episode 1638

Grover from Orange County, CA

Grover isn't happy with his internet service through his cable provider. What are his options? Leo says that bandwidth is shared in the neighborhood. If he lives in an older neighborhood, the internet may be slower because there isn't enough bandwidth to go around. Newer neighborhoods may have laid down more cable and as such, faster internet. Leo recommends going to DSLReports.com and entering the zip code. This will tell not only what is available in the neighborhood, but reviews from neighbors will also show.

How can I measure bandwidth?

Ubiquity Edge Router X

Episode 1631

Travis from Norman, OK

Travis wants to know how he can measure his bandwidth to see if he's getting what he's paying for. Leo says that Windows 10 has a bandwidth monitor built-in, but that will only measure what your machine is using. Modern routers also have bandwidth monitors, but if you've been given a router by your ISP, it likely won't. That's why Leo always recommends buying your own router. He recommends the Ubiquity Edge Router X. And you won't be paying a rental fee on that gear either.

Can I monitor my bandwidth use?

DD-WRT interface

Episode 1617

Dave from Palm Beach, FL

Dave wants to know how to find out how much bandwidth he uses every month. Leo says that if your router supports DD-WRT firmware, you can. But your router may already keep track. So look in your router settings to find out. If not, and your router supports it, you can install DD-WRT firmware. Check out dd-wrt.com. But understand, that flashing the firmware on your router could void the warranty. If you need a new one, get the ASUS router, it uses a flavor of DD-WRT already out of the box. 

Why is My Internet Speed So Slow?

Speed Test

Episode 1607

Ryan from California

Ryan got a new modem because his ISP is now giving him faster download speeds. But when he plugs in his router, it slows down to a crawl. Leo says that since the router is new, it should be fine. Try a different ethernet cable. If the cable is old, it may not handle the bandwidth. Then, try another computer and see if you can replicate the issue. If you can't, then that will point to something on your computer. It may be the ethernet port is too old. Also, update the firmware of your router.

What is a better ISP than Frontier in a remote area?

Satellite dish

Episode 1551

Bob from Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Bob lives in a desert and he's he's stuck with Frontier as an ISP. Leo says that a lot of people are commiserating with him because the access is so bad. They want to charge him $100 for 720kbps. Leo says that's totally unusable. Leo says it's likely because Bob is too far away from the central DSL station. If he had cable internet access, he'd be much better off. He also can't get satellite internet via Dish. Leo says the state of internet in the US is shameful, and Frontier is the worst amoungst them. At best, we have a duopoly, or maybe even a monopoly.

How to Analyze Your Internet Speeds

When testing your internet speed, you may have noticed that the numbers reported can vary quite a bit. Internet Service Providers quote a speed, but if you read carefully you'll notice the phrase "up to", which tells you that's just the maximum possible speed they can give. There are many factors that can contribute to the speeds you actually will get.

How much data do I really use?

Meter

Episode 1506

Ed from Clairemont, OK

Ed can't figure out why he's being notified that he's using 150GB of data every month. He doesn't stream or download things. Leo says it's very easy to burn through 150GB a month. Windows updates are in the GBs now. He can go into his network and internet settings of his computer and see how much data he's using on each computer. His router may be able to tell him as well. He can navigate to his router's address in a browser window and it can tell him. If it doesn't, he can get a new router that can.