George wants to know if he can create his own bandwidth. Leo says that bandwidth is created by a network of devices that provide it's share of bandwidth.The more devices, the more bandwidth. Netflix, for instance, has more bandwidth because it has far more distribution to handle the streaming of video data. And there's other networks that interconnect with each other to create more bandwidth and switches. You can't really create bandwidth at home. The only way he could generate more bandwidth is to pay for it.
Sondra just bought a new computer at Best Buy, she's thinking of getting DSL Extreme. Is it good? To figure out what would be best for Sondra, she should understand the differences between DSL and cable internet.
Sheryl has DSL with an external router, but it's overloaded by phones, laptops, and streaming via the Roku. All she wants is fast internet that works. Her cable company won't give her separate internet, they want her to bundle with cable TV. Leo says that she can buy better service, but the price will go up. And since the FCC has given the cable company and the phone company virtual monopolies, she's really limited by the options she has, which is DSL and cable. She can request "dry loop" DSL, but as Sheryl has found out, it's not super fast if she's farther than 1km from the central hub.
Betsy likes to play online poker. Leo says that the best way to learn how to play poker is online, although you can't play for money anymore in the US. Betsy says she's having trouble getting online and doesn't have internet in her building. Can she use her cellphone? Leo says that Betsy can use a MiFi card from Verizon. Then she could use that to go online via 4G.
David is a voice over artist who uses an ISDN line to do his job. But when he asked for one at the phone company, they looked at him like he was crazy. Leo says that if he lives in a smaller town, they may not offer it or may just be surprised he's asking to get one. It's a speciality line and the phone company simply doesn't want to do it because of broadband. It's not required by the FCC to offer it, and because it requires a separate switch, they just don't want to do it.
Sam can get DSL from Verizon, but he's so far away, he can't get it very fast. So he went with DSLExtreme, which is half the price. Can he get another line and then multiplex it for more speed?
Leo says he can, and there's a product called Fusion that will do exactly this. It's dual ADSL2 lines. The problem is that he's so far away from the network hub, and DSL degrades rapidly over distance. Bonded ADSL will work, and he should ask DSL Extreme if they have Fusion in his neighborhood.
(Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor).
Laxman has to get his own DSL modem for his cable internet service, but will they be backwards compatible? Leo says that DOCSIS III modems have auto configuration menus that can handle older devices. But buying is a far better option than renting that modem for $5-7 a month.
Leo likes the Motorola Surfboard. He will have to tell his ISP that he bought one and make sure they support the model he wants to use.
Netflix, which just recently launched in Holland, has been there long enough now to say that people who watch Netflix in the Netherlands get the best bandwidth. Mexico ranks last, just below Ireland and the US.
Netflix says Netherlands has the fastest broadband (CNET)…
Marilyn is getting a new computer and now wants to get broadband at home. She's wondering what the best ISP would be: Verizon FIOS or Optimum by Cablevision? Leo says that either is excellent, with FIOS likely being faster. Optimum is #2 in the country right now in service. So both options would be excellent.Marilyn should look beyond the teasing first year "tease" rate, and find out what the cost will be afterwards.
Barry would like to get DSL Extreme without having to pay for a Verizon phone number. Leo says that's called "Dry Loop DSL" and the carrier should to offer it, according to the FCC. But the phone companies do make it very difficult to get because there's no money to be made from it. Leo says that DSLExtreme will fight for him to get connected. From the chatroom, AT&T offers Dry Loop. So if he has AT&T it in the area, that may be the option.
(Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor).