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All posts tagged "isp"


Friday, May 18, 2012

Get Help With Your Router Troubles

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

http://lifehacker.com/5910788/why-d...ow-can-i-fix-it

"My router sucks. My connection goes wonky once every few days, and I have to unplug the router and reboot it (I believe this is called a hard reset) to fix the problem. Obviously, this is incredibly annoying. What can I do to just make the darn thing work properly?"

I imagine many people do not give their routers a second thought. Either bought by themselves, or provided to them by their ISP, the router is the most critical aspect of your home network. I have not seen the demands on routers significantly change over the years, with many people I know having routers that are easily 8-10 years of age. I personally suggest friends use custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT, the stock firmware available with many routers usually tend to perform quite well. Our demands on routers are fairly modest, yet, like any electronic device, it can eventually die out. That is why if the Internet is absolutely critical to your existence as a human being, aside from any troubleshooting of your router, I also think it a good idea to have a backup router. Its a proven fact that most electronics die when stores are closed and no one is available to help.

Tags: hardware, router, isp

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bell gets Cheaper and More Expensive

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

https://secure.dslreports.com/shown...ers-Caps-117669

"Users in our Bell Canada forums note that the Canadian incumbent telco has lowered the monthly rate of several of their tiers, but they've countered that by lowering customer usage caps as well. A look at the Bell website reveals that the company lowered usage limits on all their tiers, in addition to raising the overage cap penalty limit (at $1 per gigabyte) an additional $20, to $80 per month in maxiumum usage penalties."

Bell Canada recently made the news that it would no longer apply throttling to its customers later this year. Well, the other shoe has dropped and it seems that with this change comes some pricing changes. The ISP has dropped prices, but also lowered limits on its packages. Go over your data cap and get slapped with a fine. I cannot say this is not wholly unexpected. I would think this is a rather transparent attempt to draw more money from its customers as the Internet replaces other services. The part that makes me wonder is while connection speeds are going up, it is suspicious that the data limits are not increasing appropriately, and are even shrinking. Personally, I would rather have a larger data cap with the same speed, than some of the faster speeds offered. What about you?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Real-World Data Usage is Backwards from Most

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 03:42 PM

We've talked a great deal about the unfolding data usage caps from wired ISPs over the past year here on Digital Home Thoughts, so I thought I might be interesting to share my data usage as measured by my ISP here in Western Canada, Shaw Communications. Here's my usage from December 2010 through until July 2011:

I'd guess that an average person would consume far less bandwidth, but also be the reverse of my pattern; they'd have more download usage and less upload usage. Why do I use up so much upstream bandwidth? No, it's not torrents - I've been slowly but surely adding data via Crashplan for my off-site backup (I'm up to 620 GB or so now) and last week I uploaded my 100 GB music collection to Amazon's Cloud Drive service. Now that I've uploaded pretty much all my data to Crashplan, and all my music is in the cloud, I should be using less upstream data.

What does your data usage look like? Are you bumping up against your cap (if you have one), or are you comfortably within it?


Monday, July 11, 2011

ISPs Agree to Serve Up Six Strikes

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...cement-plan.ars

"American Internet users, get ready for three strikes "six strikes." Major US Internet providers—including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable—have just signed on to a voluntary agreement with the movie and music businesses to crack down on online copyright infringers. But they will protect subscriber privacy and they won't filter or monitor their own networks for infringement. And after the sixth "strike," you won't necessarily be "out.""

The music and movie industry have had a love/hate relationship with the Internet. Well, maybe mostly hate. Since the Internets have come along, you would think that piracy is rampant and that the entertainment industry is in dire straits. In response, there have been lots of attempts to protect their revenue stream, from Digital Rights Management, to lawsuits, to online services. The latest effort to stem the tide sees a new partner, the ISP, act as a middleman. ISPs have acted as a relay before, but not in this great capacity. The measures seem much more reasonable than other attempts, like France's ill-fated "three-strikes" law, but I have worries that there is can be abuse and too open a system for mistakes. That the alerts and violations can be audited by an independant reviewer goes a long way to mitigate that concern, that there is a filing fee seems unfair. At least unless, if the reviewer finds the complaint issuer at fault, they are the ones to pay the fee.

Tags: riaa, copyright, isp, mpaa

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shaw Communications Ups Internet Transfer Caps, Lays Out Plan for Big Speed Boost

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 08:30 AM

http://shaw.ca/newpackages/?WT.mc_id=C995A2047S98

"Today we are excited to share our new direction on Internet pricing and packaging with you, our customers. With your help, we've created a model that we hope you'll agree is fair, flexible and offers a variety of options for customers today and into the future. We'd like to thank the hundreds of customers who took time to come out to the 34 sessions and those who shared their ideas online. Many of those who participated are the technology innovators who told us they wanted an Internet experience that worked not only today, but for the needs of tomorrow. We also heard that our customers wanted transparency, more choice of internet speed and data options, increased flexibility to meet their varied needs, and above all, fairness."

There's been a lot of noise here in Canada bout UBB (Usage-Based Billing), and as one of the big ISPs here in Canada, Shaw is right in the thick of this fight. Unlike, it seems, the rest of the major ISPs (Bell, Rogers, etc.) Shaw is actively seeking out feedback from their customers and have come up with some interesting results. Read more...


Monday, April 11, 2011

Bandwidth Caps Force In-House Bandwidth Cops?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 06:00 PM

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...rnet-usage.shtm

"I have three teenage daughters who also download music, TV shows and so on. I figured someone had just gone a little overboard, and since it was close to the end of the month, I thought it wasn't anything to be worried about. The next day, however, I went online and checked my usage (Rogers has an online tool that shows daily usage), and it said that I had used 121 GB more than my allotted amount for the month. In other words, I had used more than 100 GB in less than two days."

The basic premise of this story is that, as bandwidth caps become more common, home owners with multiple Internet users will have to become "bandwidth cops" to ensure that the shared resource (GB transferred per month) doesn't get used up too quickly. It's not a role that most people will be comfortable in; technical limits of most home users will be the primary barrier. Expecting users to be able to log data transfers on a per-computer basis is simply beyond the skills of an average user. I will point out, however, that this guy's problem ended up being the old "my kid was using a file sharing service to grab TV shows and I didn't realize it". Not educating your kids on the legal/moral ramifications of content theft is up to you, the parent. No ISP is going to do that for you!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The UBB Deception: Usage Based Billing in Canada Explained

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 09:30 PM

This is one of more easier to understand videos when it comes to the issue of Usage Based Billing - UBB - and what it really means. I'm putting this on every site in the network because if you're in Canada, you need to understand what's happening (everyone else in the world might find it interesting). Now that one of the ISPs here in Canada has admitted that the pricing of their plans is not linked to actual use, the logic behind UBB start to become even more baffling. We know the motivation is money, but as a "small c capitalist" I believe there's room for plenty of profit while still being fair to your customers. The model of usage-based billing we use in society for buying clothes and food should be applied in the same way for a data connection. Read more...


Friday, December 31, 2010

Lifehackers Guide To Net Neutrality

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

http://lifehacker.com/5720407/an-in...can-do-about-it

"We've dropped the net neutrality term around here a few times, but you may not entirely understand what it's all about. Here's a primer on what net neutrality is, how it might affect you, and what you can do about it."

Net neutrality has been big news recently with the FCC voting in new net neutrality rules. But how does it affect you, the consumer? Will you now have to pay more to yourt ISP to access your Netflix movies as well as the cost of the Netflix service as well? Will certain websites be unavailable to you because you've chosen the budget option for your internet connection? If you're not sure how it works or even have questions about what it is, then Lifehacker has a nice article explaining what net neutrality is about, what the new rule changes are and how they may affect you. It's one subject we should all be aware of because it will affect us all in some way in the future, most likely in our pockets.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Busting Bandwidth Bugaboos: Troubleshooting ISP Speed Problems

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:30 AM

Since most Thoughts Media readers are using high-speed Internet, I decided this article would benefit everyone, so it's one of our rare across-the-network pieces of content. I hope you find it useful!

Figure 1: What is this, 1994 all over again?

Whenever bandwidth is discussed, there's always lots of finger pointing because there are so many variables, and players involved, that it's rarely a simple issue. My particular bandwidth bugaboo this morning? I was ticked off that Dropbox (referral) was only uploading at 10 KB/s. I left a 900 MB transfer running all night and it wasn't finished in the morning, and that's when I discovered the awful speed. My first instinct was to point a finger at Dropbox, thinking there was some sort of bandwidth throttling going on. I did a speed test with a tool my ISP provides (speedtest.shaw.ca) and was shocked to see 1.7 Mbps downloads and 107 kbps uploads (Figure 1). It's normally 20x that on downloads and 10x that on uploads, so I knew something was wrong beyond just Dropbox. Read more...


Friday, March 5, 2010

High-Speed Internet Access in Canada: It's Expensive & Slow

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 08:00 AM

I'm feeling a bit miffed lately after talking with my cable company, Shaw Calgary, so excuse me while I rant about high-speed Internet access in Canada for a bit.

For several years, I've been paying about $50 CAD (about $50 USD) per month for high-speed Internet access that was eventually bumped up to 25mbps downstream speeds, and 1 mbps upstream speeds. The reliability has been excellent - I recall perhaps one period of down-time in the past year - and the 25mbps downstream speeds are sufficiently zippy for my needs. 99% of the time, the bottleneck on my downloads is the server at the other end. When I connect to a fast server, such as downloading NVIDIA graphics drivers for instance, it's not uncommon to see 2MB/s download speeds. The 1mbps upstream speed, however, was always a source of frustration for me. I shoot a lot of photos and videos, and when you're uploading 600 MB of JPEGs or an 800 MB HD video file, uploading at 1mbps is a painfully slow process, requiring hours. My ISP has been constantly ratcheting up download speeds, which is great, but the upload speeds have been between 512kbps and 1mbps (depending on the account) for years.

Pricing is also a concern; this article by Michael Geist has some shocking facts that are worth digging in to: Canada ranks 14th in the world in terms of high-speed accessing being affordable. Consumers in the UK pay an average of $30 USD equivalent, while we in Canada pay an average of $45 USD equivalent. That's a 50% hike! To put that into direct context, my ISP (Shaw) charges $33/month for their cheapest package if you don't also have other services from them. The speed of this $33 package? A sluggish 1mbps download speed and glacial 256kbps upload speeds. Oh, and a 10 GB/month bandwidth cap as an extra kick in the head. Read more...


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