Internet Alternatives

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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rickj
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by rickj » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:43 am

Have you looked into Nikola Broadband? Their coverage map doesn't actually show your area, but it appears that they have a repeater near the top of Mt. Pleasant road, which doesn't look too far from you.

Rick
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:21 am

JerryFreilich wrote:I would NOT place any hopes of the Park Service creating or prioritizing WiFi under any circumstances! Despite the various pressures of "the public" I'd like to think that National Park land should not be prioritizing people's electronic fetishes.
When people are taking photos with their iPads--a behavior I've seen often in the park--it looks like they're looking at their iPads instead of the scene in front of them.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:22 am

rickj wrote:Have you looked into Nikola Broadband? Their coverage map doesn't actually show your area, but it appears that they have a repeater near the top of Mt. Pleasant road, which doesn't look too far from you.

Rick
I'll check out that option.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:04 pm

One more tidbit, from a Macintouch reply to my query.

This is the next step up from Verizon. It requires 4G/LTE, and has a larger capacity to handle more devices. It has an external antenna.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/home ... hf/main.do
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:31 pm

rickj wrote:Have you looked into Nikola Broadband? Their coverage map doesn't actually show your area, but it appears that they have a repeater near the top of Mt. Pleasant road, which doesn't look too far from you.

Rick
from Nikola Broadband:
Stephen,
No, I'm afraid we don't have any service up at Lake Dawn. Our access point is on the east side of Mt. Pleasant and only serves the Deer Park area.
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Richard Serkes » Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:14 pm

In today's mail I received a notice from Centurylink that on 8/05/14 my DSL service is going to be upgraded at no additional cost to me. We shall see. I'm supposed to get 1.5 but usually get a throughput of 1.1-1.2 with the occasional 1.3 late at night.

I'm anxious to see what kind of speed boost I'm going to get.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:57 am

Richard Serkes wrote:In today's mail I received a notice from Centurylink that on 8/05/14 my DSL service is going to be upgraded at no additional cost to me. We shall see. I'm supposed to get 1.5 but usually get a throughput of 1.1-1.2 with the occasional 1.3 late at night.

I'm anxious to see what kind of speed boost I'm going to get.
We have had a chance to check out the next-step-up DSL downtown and it's noticeably faster. At the best times, our DSL was probably averaging slower than yours did.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:20 pm

Another interesting tidbit I found today:
Instant Hotspot?
Currently, if your cellular carrier supports your iPhone’s hotspot feature, you can configure your iPhone to create an ad-hoc wireless connection to your Mac, letting it use your phone’s data plan for Internet access. Under Yosemite, however, whenever your iPhone is within Bluetooth range of your Mac, the phone automatically appears (along with its signal strength and battery level) in OS X’s systemwide Wi-Fi menu. If you choose your phone from this menu, it automatically sets up a secure Wi-Fi hotspot and your Mac connects to it—no other action required. And your Mac automatically disconnects when it’s not actively accessing the network to preserve the phone’s battery life.
That means you could try out using a mobile hotspot without any interaction with Verizon (or whomever). It also means that you could try out speed scaling, using a mobile hotspot device for one Mac and your iPhone for another. You're still going to pay for overall usage, however.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:30 am

So after a couple of days of testing at home, here's what we see:

We're getting only 3G in the house now. All numbers are Mbps.

Testing from my iMac or my iPad using Ookla Speedtest on the web or as an app, I get upload/download speeds averaging around .50/.20 with some variation. (Right now, our pathetic DSL is running only at .64/.25. WiFi from an AirPort Extreme wired to the DSL modem is pretty much just like the Jetpack.)

So that would work for small file downloads, e-mail, etc. on the road or in emergencies. If you're in a 4G/LTE area, it's a whole nother story. From reports I've read on the web, and what Verizon told me, you can expect 5-12 download speeds, darned fast.

A couple of things in real world testing make a world of difference for us, however.
Upload, while the speeds look similar, is pathetic to nonfunctional using the Jetpack.
Example 1: my wife, Karen, transfers files from home to her office at the college daily using Dropbox. Some of these are PowerPoint files. The upload times for these seem to be in tens of minutes or hours.
Example 2: Dreamweaver has to interact with servers to upload changed web pages. This seems unique to Dreamweaver, but it never makes the connection (let alone starting an upload) while on the Jetpack. When using our DSL, the connection is nearly instant.

By the way, using my iPhone 5 as a Person Hotspot with 3G gives similar speed results.

Physically, the Jetpack is very small. The display is small and poor, like an old-fashioned dumb cell phone, but the web interface is excellent. The USB cord it comes with is too stiff, and the microUSB jack is on the "wrong" side, making the cord come out in front when the display is oriented for reading.
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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Bob Wiswell » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:21 pm

Richard, do you know why you are being upgraded? I use CenturyLink DSL (1.5/.86) and I have not received such a notice. I have been having a speed problem of late; downloads were down in the .5-.6 range. I am now using a loaner router from Olypen to toubleshoot the problem, and I am now back to the normal 1.2-1.3 for download, but at .5 for upload which is below the 80% level expected, per Olypen. Olypen said they were going to talk to CenturyLink to see if they were doing something called "frogging, flogging, flugging,?, etc. I'm not sure of the name but it is where CenturyLink randomly selects folks to slow down, occasionally, when there is heavy traffic. I haven't heard back from Olypen yet. I still may be in the market for a new router since the download speed improved with the loaner router.

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