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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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Real world AT&T DSL speed

I am moving to a new address in the Atlanta area and Comcast cable/internet is not available there... I loved the speed, but I am about to ditch the cable anyway, going to over the air HD to pick up local stations, plus sattelite receiver. So I will switch to AT&T DSL.

Anyone having this service please chime in with real life speeds on the different plans - I am pretty sure it's lower than what they advertise. I am interested in download speeds as well, but my main concern is upload as I am uploading a lot of video to different websites, including a weekly one hour TV show in DVD quality (6 Mbps, around 3GB in size).

Best website I found for testing is www.speedtest.net.

Thanks,
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #2
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I have always used http://testmy.net/ for speed tests myself. I have Verizon DSL (all I could get out here in the middle o' nowhere), never heard of AT&T DSL before. Using the testmy.net speed test I just now got the following:

download: 2704 Kbps or 2.7 Mbps (330 kB/s)
upload: 711 Kbps or 0.7 Mbps (87 kB/s)

This looks pretty good as I believe the advertised speeds are 3 meg down and 768k up. Not sure what the deal is with that other site, I tried with the NY and Clifton NJ servers and got about 1760 down and 700 up...
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Old February 12th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #3
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Thanks Boyd

I was able to test my down speed with testmy.net here at work, but not the upload speed - the server says Simantec antivirus/firewall is to blaim. I got the same result as with the one I suggested.

Speedtest.net basically tests your connection to the closest main hub, where your internet provider will likely connect you - the speed they offer is pretty much only from that hub to your home. Overall speed might be a whole new ballgame... for example if I try to download something from a server in New Jersey, it might come to me at only 200 Kbps because of slower connections between NJ and Atlanta, although Comcast gives me 8 Mbps (theoretically, but I measured already speed upward of 6 Mbps download... boy, I'm gonna miss that). My local provider can only control the speed from the main hub to me.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #4
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I use http://internetfrog.com/mypc/speedtest/ at the recommendation of my local ISP provider. The speeds are more conservative than some other sites but, supposedly, more realistic.

I have an Embarq reseller - i.e., I use the Embarq infrastructure but I pay a local provider. This has proven to be a boon since I get much, much better support.

My plan is 3M/512K but I get 640K up. I live within a couple of hundred yards of the DSLAM so the signal should be excellent.

Regretfully, this isn't true and I have been trying to get Embarq to admit that there is a fault in the line between the street and the house (very likely given a lightening strike a couple of years ago). They have provided every excuse possible for not replacing the line.

So, I am waiting for the next complete loss of DSL so that I can plug the modem directly into the NID and video the LEDs to prove it is their problem and not mine!

My local ISP owner has been out on many occasions to gather the information to feed back to Embarq.

BTW - I'd give my right arm for cable. I hate satellite.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #5
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I find it rather interesting that one has to dig into websites and ask around to find the upload speeds - all internet service providers talk about is the download speed... but there are people like me out there, who also need to upload a lot.

Basically I will be happy if I can get a sustained upload speed around 250 kbps. My famous Comcast cable is fast beyond my actual download needs (I have already downloaded huge files with a sustained speed of over 1 Mbps) but upload is snail slow: e.g. it starts out at 100-120 kbps but then it drops to a stable 40 kbps (no, it's not a typo!) and so it takes me around 18 hours to upload a 3 GB TV show via FTP. A decent DSL, even the light version, will do it for me as long as I can get 750 kbps down and 250 up ALL the time.
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Last edited by Ervin Farkas; February 12th, 2008 at 04:16 PM.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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Ervin, if upload speed is really important, you might try what was suggested to me, though I haven't acted on it yet because AT&T is installing fiber in my area as I type this.

It was suggested that you buy an extra phone line and use it for DSL also. By running dual network cards in your pc and feeding two modems, you increase your speed. I know it can be done with OSX, and I think Windows has the capability also. It's called port bonding or something like that. In essence, you're using two pipes running in parallel to increase your throughput.

-gb-
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #7
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See my nightmare...

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,19290346
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Old February 12th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #8
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Buying internet from any internet provider other than the owner/operator of the phone line is the perfect recipe for this kind of fingerpointing - this is why, whenever possible, I buy all services from the same provider.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #9
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This is with my AT&T 3 Mb service

:::.. testmy.net test results ..:::
Download Connection is:: 3046 Kbps about 3.05 Mbps (tested with 2992 kB)
Download Speed is:: 372 kB/s
Upload Connection is:: 369 Kbps about 0.4 Mbps (tested with 748 kB)
Upload Speed is:: 45 kB/s
Tested From:: http://testmy.net (Main)
Test Time:: 2008/02/13 - 10:17pm
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Old February 13th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #10
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I hope ATT goes with fiber in my area, because they have blocked Verizon from using the lines.

The Verizon FIOS looks like a great deal with speeds to really get things moving.

I am finding myself uploading a lot of proofs for clients to preview to my website.

It is a great tool, but the ~400 Kbps is not enough on the upload.

I have been happy with DSL on the download, ~3000 Kbps.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #11
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Now the question is, can I get the same at my address... I hope the lines are still healthy enough, the subdivision is only 8 years old.

I will order the DSL service from AT&T in about 10 days and will report back with results.

Thanks everyone,
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Old February 14th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #12
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How far are you from the CO or DSLAM?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #13
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Sorry, I have no idea what those are...
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Old February 15th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #14
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The CO is the Central Office for the local phone company. Often, your DSL service is provided via a direct link from the CO. Because the DSL signal attenuates quite rapidly, the maximum line speed you can get depends on the distance from the CO to your house. The maximum distance that service providers are willing to serve is about 4 miles.

To extend the range, they install a device called a DSL Aggregator Multiplexer (DSLAM) that bundles a number of DSL lines into a number of traditional T1 lines.

In my own case, I am 4.1 miles from the CO and Embarq refused service (I was able to get ISDN, though). Last year, they installed a DSLAM just up the road. If it wasn't for the trees, I'd be able to see it from my house.

As a result, my DSL quality is the same as I lived next to the CO.

So, exactly what package you will be able to get will depend upon how close you are to either the CO or the DSLAM. I suspect in a major metropolitan area like Atlanta you will be quite close to one or the other. It may be worth confirming with the phone company what the maximum line speeds are at the exact location where you will be living.
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