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Old 10-25-2007, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Scaling back my internet service

I really need to save some money from month to month, and besides several other monthly expenses, I'm looking to cut corners on my phone/internet bill.

I currently have Bellsouth's DSL Xtreme service, which allows 3 Mbps downstream (so they say) and 384 kbps upstream. So far, I've had no problems with it whatsoever.

What I'm wondering is if, as a home user, I even need that much down/up capability. Here's what I typically do in a day:

Run Trillian
Have ClamWin Anti-Virus configured for automatic updates
Send anywhere from 10-30 emails per day, sometimes more
Run Limewire Pro occasionally
Run Firefox
Post to a few different forums
Run Peer Guardian 2
Run uTorrent with anywhere from 1-3 different torrents downloading at one time (I do rather harshly limit my uploading), reaching speeds of around 150-200 kB/s on very healthy torrents (sometimes more or less depending on the usual factors).

That's the gist of what my connection is used for (and I'm liable to do all of those things at one time).

If I switched to a connection that was 768 down/128 up, would my normal activities be terribly affected? Even with the 15% overhead, that would be roughly 650 Kbps downstream. Am I incorrect in thinking that I don't even get CLOSE to using all of the 3 Mbps download capability in a day? Am I not understanding how it works?

Help would be greatly appreciated. While I'm certainly not tech-illiterate, the guts of internet protocol aren't my forte.

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Old 10-25-2007, 08:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scaling back my internet service

Your downloading would be the only thing affected, really. Even then you should still have a decent download speed.I am on BellSouth's 1.5 and have no worries, but will soon be going to 3.0 once the new house is renovated.

Dropping to 1.5 would only save you $5. Dropping to 756 would save you about $15.

The 3.0 is the theoretical maximum download rate. BellSouth/AT&T don't use download caps (yet).

How do you get such good DL rates? I have my router's ports forwarded and all, but I usually get around 30 or so, maybe up to 85 or more on something like a Linux distro, many times less. All are solid with plenty of seeds and all. It just seems that BellSouth doesn't work too good for mine. I use uTorrent as well.

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Old 10-25-2007, 08:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scaling back my internet service

The modem I got from Bellsouth acts as both modem AND router, so I rather than just opening firewall ports, I had to open ports in launchmodem. Also, as Linksys routers tend to be popular for some reason, if you're using one, that might have something to do with it.

That's not to say that ALL my downloads get that kind of a great speed, just ones that are very healthy (say, I'm downloading a very popular movie). If I look for more obscure stuff without many seeds, then I'll get maybe 50-60 kB/s, maybe lower. It all depends.

Then there's the issue of your max connections, max downloads, etc. Of course, I'm barely five miles away from our hub out here, so that may have something else to do with it. Who knows? When I had cable internet, I know I built up enough bad-download-speed karma to last a few lifetimes (people are getting upset lately with Comcast throttling BitTorrent connections when I'd bet my lungs they've been doing it for awhile).

I may just take the hit to my download speeds for awhile, where torrents are concerned. All I absolutely need is email, IM, and web-browsing. I don't do much up or downloading, otherwise. Sometimes I'll download a program here or there. Besides that, much of my downloading occurs via torrent.

I'm just wary of taking too big of a speed hit and not being able to do my dayjob as efficiently as I do at present.
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