Broadband

Should I get DSL or cable internet?

Episode 1292

Art from Woodland Hills, CA

Art wants to know if he should bundle with AT&T UVerse or go with Time Warner's bundle. Leo says that generally it's better to go with cable because it's faster overall. It really comes down to how good it is in your neighborhood. Art should ask around and see what his neighbors use and like. Also, Time Warner has been sold to Charter, so it may change. If Time Warner is putting in fiber, that's even better. Another thing to consider is whether or not he'll money on the bundle.

Why is fiber optic DSL the same speed as before?

Episode 1290

Steve from Los Angeles, CA

Steve isn't seeing much of an improvement after being upgraded to fiber optic DSL because he still has copper lines coming into his house. Leo says that Steve should ask for fiber optic directly to the house. Otherwise, it's essentially little difference. Could he upgrade it himself? That's a good question. But buying his own fiber optic switch isn't cheap.

What's the best internet alternative to Frontier?

Episode 1288

Don from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Don is a Verizon customer and they just got bought by Frontier communications and now his FIOS internet speed has been cut in half, which is worse than dial up. What can he do? Leo says that Time Warner cable is probably his best bet for broadband. They just got bought by Charter Communications, though. Cable is usually better than DSL, but it also depends on how it is in his area. As for phone service, he can just keep it or simply cancel it. He should make sure he gets a DOCSIS III modem if he goes with cable, though.

What speed internet should I get?

Episode 1274

Margaret from Burbank, CA

Margaret wants to get on the internet, but she's on a tight budget. Leo says that Margaret already has a cable subscription, so she could get a deal through them. She should ask what their cheapest package is, then shop around. DSL will be slower than cable. And the upload/download speeds they boast will be ideal max conditions. For standard email and surfing with little streaming, she should be fine with 1.5 Mbps up.

Why is my DSL service so bad?

Episode 1244

Jim from Orange County, CA

Jim is learning that having business service is way more expensive than consumer grade service. Leo says that's crazy but all too often true. Jim also says that the DSL in his building is terrible. Leo says DSL often has issues being too far away from the central hub switch, which can slow it down and affect the consistency of the service. The closer you are the faster and better it will be. Going with a third party service like DSL Extreme can be handy because they fight to give you better service.

Is Time Warner Max as fast as they hype?

Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Modem

Episode 1208

Ron from North Carolina

Ron wants to know if Time Warner Max delivers the high speed it promises. Leo says that it should, and it's all driven by Google, who's putting gigabit internet everywhere. Time Warner Cable and AT&T have started to up the performance of users' broadband to compete. But if Ron doesn't have a DOCSIS III modem, then he's not getting the benefit of that faster internet access. Ron should talk to his provider about getting one or he should just buy it himself. In the long run he'll save money by buying it himself, since he's paying to rent that modem anyway.

Test Your Internet Speed with These Free Utilities

When your internet speed seems to slow down to a crawl, it can be useful to put it to the test and find out exactly what speeds you're getting. But it may be misleading to just check one speed test website. This is because some internet service providers actually give priority to certain speed test sites, giving you a faster reading than what is actually true for the rest of your browsing. In fact, some internet service providers encourage you to use only a site of their choosing for speed testing.