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Posts from — September 2015

DSL Internet Speeds Vary A Lot

I’ve recently moved back to DSL since WiMax is going away.  I’ll have some more notes about my DSL service in the future, but today it’s all about how much my apparent DSL speed can vary, based on running a variety of speed tests.

So what makes my “rated” DSL speed (as rated by a speed test site) vary?  Factors include:

  • The speed test site used; I saw definite differences (in Mbits/sec) between DSL Reports, SpeedOf.Me, and Ookla’s SpeedTest.net.  I decided to standardize on DSL Reports’s speed test (partly because of this)
  • All upload speeds were roughly the same, around 1.25Mb/sec
  • The fastest download speed was direct Ethernet connection to SmartRG SR510N modem: ~18Mbps down (Asus T100TA, USB 3.0 1G Ethernet adapter)
  • Using the SR510N’s WiFi connection, the T100TA speeds varied between 10-15Mb/sec
  • However, when I tried an old but still usable Acer A500 Android 4.0 tablet with the modem’s WiFi, speeds dropped to ~3.0 Mb/sec with a weak wireless signal, and ~8 Mb/sec with a good signal.
  • The A500’s speed with my longer range but slower Netgear WNR1000 via a set of Netgear 85Mb/sec Netgear powerline modems is pretty consistent at ~6 Mb/sec; the T100TA clocks in at 7Mb/sec.  I suspect the bottleneck is the powerline modem.
  • Speeds seem pretty consistent over time when I hold the other variables (test used, PC used, connection used) constant.

BTW, my T-Mobile 4G LTE MiFi can get similar or better speeds.  Its results vary dramatically with the signal type (LTE is much better than HSPDA, and EDGE is painful); typical download range seems to be around 8-18 Mb/sec, and upload around 1-6 MBb/sec.  However, despite the good raw numbers for LTE, VoIP quality is typically much better over DSL (partly because DSL still has much better ping times).  And, of course, there are no affordable LTE options for large amounts of data, while my DSL is unlimited.

September 29, 2015   No Comments