• Internet

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    #2500362

    I have Spectrum and once again the bill for internet went up. I called them to ask why. They claimed they offered everyone 600 megs for free six months ago but, due to costs, they have raised the rates. So my question to them was, if a NIC card is rated for 100 megs then how do I get the 600 megs? When I do a speed test, it shows 31 megs download.

    I have on my more than 5 years old machines NIC cards that are 100 mega. So my question to anyone that can help is, what do I need to get the full amount they claim to offer? Plus not to mention that, if anyone has a RJ45 Cat5 cable plug on their machine, they too are probably not getting the full 600 megs amount either.

    Thank you in advance

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    • #2500381

      Most likely they are talking about Mega-BITS not Mega-BYTES so far as speed goes so you may want to double check which measurement is used on the ‘speed testing site’. If this assumption is accurate the best speeds you could hope for (download wise) is close to 75 MegaBYTES/s (upload tends to be much lower) with the 600 MegaBITS/s downstream.

      Next up is the fact that your NIC only supports speeds up to 100. There are actually Ethernet cards which can support 10/100/1000 quite commonly these days. It might mean you’d want to grab a NIC card if you have the space for it in the system (free PCI/PCIe slots). They also have USB devices which can act as a NIC but I’m not a fan.

      In addition to all that there’s the fact that ‘max speeds’ generally don’t get funneled well, in my experience (I’m also a Spectrum user), in well populated neighborhoods. So even though they say you can get ‘up to’ 600MB/s your average download speed may end up being much lower depending on where you live (and the time of day) even if you did get a NIC that supports 1G :-/

      As you mentioned already, your ethernet cable may not be rated for 1G even if you get a NIC that supports it. This has been less of an issue in my experience but short of installing the new NIC (and drivers) you can’t really test your current cord (you may be able to check for printed info along the cord and look that up on google). These days they can  generally handle 1G but some cheaper ones, or even older ones, may not have been designed for it so you may want to consider grabbing a new cable ‘just in case’ if you do end up ordering a NIC.

      The network will always be as slow as the slowest part of the chain. This can also include routers and the modem itself. Most likely the Modem will be fine and is probably even supplied by the Cable Company (Some also include routers) so unless either of these are really old they may not be an issue. I’ve found that with onboard NICs the CPU (especially older models) can also be a limiting factor depending on how heavily it’s in use.

      Hopefully someone else will chime in if my drunk butt mucked up some of the info….

    • #2500459

      if anyone has a RJ45 Cat5 cable plug on their machine, they too are probably not getting the full 600 megs amount either.

      All Ethernet connections use RJ45 style plugs/jacks so it depends on exactly what NIC card is in the PC (some can support up to 10 GB although 1 GB is pretty much the standard on newer PC’s) and exactly what Category (i.e. Cat) the cable it is rated for.

        Cat5  = 100 Mbps - max length 328 ft
        Cat5e =   1 Gbps - max length 328 ft
        Cat6  =  10 Gbps - max length 180 ft
        Cat6a =  10 Gbps - max length 328 ft
        Cat7  = 100 Gbps - max length 49 ft

      How to Identify an Ethernet Cable?

      The only way to really tell the difference between Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and Cat 7 cables is to look at the “printing” on the outer sheath. It’ll clearly state which category it is.

      BTW, Cat5e replaced Cat5 way back in 2001 so, unless your cable is either really old or was very cheap, it should be at least Cat5e and capable of up to 1Gbps if the NIC supports that speed.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2501158

      I don’t believe they charge you based on what kind of computer or NIC you have; they charge you based on the total maximum speed they are providing to your residence. In other words, it’s not what you are actually using, it’s what you could potentially use, that determines what you pay each month.

      Something to consider: If you have six devices that are each pulling at 100 MB speed, all at the same time, then the total speed at that moment in time will be 600 MB. If you have multiple devices (I think everyone does these days), then you probably would want the higher speed.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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