[svlug] AT&T High Speed Internet

William R Ward bill at wards.net
Fri Mar 7 13:13:19 PST 2003


William Black writes:
>Inline.

If it wasn't inline, you'd get yelled at.  No need to say that here.

>--- Richard Sharpe <rsharpe at richardsharpe.com> wrote:
>> 1. Is it really an Ethernet interface?
>
>I've had three different cable modems while with
>TCI/AT&T/Comcast (moved twice in the last 2 years). 
>The first two were ethernet and the current is
>ethernet and USB (i.e. you can use either ethernet or
>USB).

Mine is Ethernet.  You don't have to use the one they provide; you can
buy them at Frys.  I rent mine, but in retrospect I should have bought
it.

>> 2. Do they overload the cable runs so that you are
>> really not getting much more than a 33.6 modem?
>
>I don't think they're overselling any worse than any
>of the DSL providers.  Remember, the point-to-point
>nature of DSL buys you very little if the ISP sucks. 
>AT&T/Comcast's bus-type network structure is
>theoretically worse, but these guys by in large know
>how to run an ISP pretty well and they have good
>infrastructure on the back end.  My experience with
>PacBell/SBC/whatever as an ISP was way worse, though
>that was a couple of years ago now.

Depends on where you live.  My speed is often 2+ Mbps.  But my
neighborhood is mostly poor immigrant families who probably don't even
have computers.  If you live in a condo complex full of geeks you will
probably not have such great speed.

>> 3. Do they try to count the number of computers
>> behind the first one?
>
>Not that I know of.

When it was @Home, and when ATTBI first started, you could actually
grab multiple IP addresses.  But that hole has been plugged.  But with
NAT and virtual hosting, it's easy to get by on just one IP address.

>> Has anyone used it? Any war stories? I currently use
>> DSL.
>
>The only gotchas I can think of are:
>
>1.  For a while there, the pump dhcp client wouldn't
>work and you had to use the ISC one under Linux
>(iirc--I use a routing appliance I picked up at Frys
>for $15 now).

Pump sucks anyway.  The dhcp client that comes with Debian is much
better - you can actually configure it!  But I too use a Frys device
now - a Linksys magic blue box with firewall and 4 Ethernet ports.
Works great and no hassles.  Firewall is easy to configure.

>2.  Your IP changes more frequently now (since @Home
>went away and ATTBI took over) than it used to (maybe
>once a month or two now as opposed to never before). 
>I've been changing my DNS entries manually, but I'm
>getting a colo soon so I won't have this concern much
>longer.

My IP hasn't changed except when my MAC address has.

Even though my IP address never changes, I don't use static DNS.
www.dyndns.org is great.  I run the "ddclient" program to update my IP
address regularly.  (It pings a URL at dyndns which returns the IP
address, and if it changes form the last time, notifies dyndns.org of
the new IP.)

>3.  As someone else mentioned, upload is capped at a
>somewhat glacial 128kbps (did I say "glacial?"  I must
>be spoiled :-).

I've never had trouble with it.  I haven't measured upload speed but
have never had cause to complain.

>Overall, I'd give my experience with ATTBI a 6.5/10. 
>Slightly above average.  Not bad, but not great.

Compared to dialup or DSL it's way better.

Another thing - with ATTBI (Comcast) there's no requirement for a
year's commitment the way DSL often has.  If you rent and move a lot,
that's an issue.

--Bill.

-- 
William R Ward            bill at wards.net          http://www.wards.net/~bill/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by
 little statesmen and philosophers and divines."        - Emerson



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