Moving to a Faster ISP

Recently moved from Austin, TX to Montreal, Qc. The move implied an ISP change and I was wondering what the results would be.

My previous ISP plan was AT&T Yahoo’s Pro DSL (3.0Mbps/512kbps). It cost 25$/mo. (without a contract). Here were the results from DSL Reports using that connection on a MacBook through WiFi (802.11g).

In Montreal, I’m now using Vif‘s ADSL Monthly (5.0Mbps/800kbps). It’s 30$/mo. (no contract). Setup was very easy (nice to be able to choose your own PPPoE username and password!). The connection seems reliable enough. And it is, in fact, much faster than what I had in Austin.

Using the same MacBook and WiFi router, I now get the following results:

Latency is the same, upstream is 50% faster, downstream is 140% faster.

Thing is, though, I’m not really sure I see much of a difference. Sure, it can be quite useful for some downloads and, since this connection will be shared with somebody else in the house, it might make things easier. But it still feels a bit like overkill.

The other issue is whether or not this connection gets throttled at all. Vif itself won’t throttle. But they use Bell Canada’s lines and it seems possible that Bell throttles third-party ISPs using its lines. Though I don’t use much “peer-to-peer” directly, throttling can be very problematic.

Anyhoo… The ISP switch looks like a good thing so far.

Author: enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast.

4 thoughts on “Moving to a Faster ISP”

  1. @RS Oh, and BTW, thanks a lot for lending me the modem! 😉
    Latency isn’t too much of an issue, for me. Or, if it is, I don’t realize it. The AT&T connection was fast enough overall for realtime use on Skype, Hulu, Netflix, etc. So, I don’t really a problem. After all, I’m not a gamer and I’m pretty sure Spore won’t require much bandwidth! 😉

  2. Nah, google is fast with RSS. 🙂 Great about the modem, welcome back to the internets! FWIW, I imagine your latency is limited by testing over wifi. But 20ms isn’t all that bad anyway.

  3. @RS Boy, you’re fast!
    Yes, it works. Was just looking for some info about it. Config was trivial (used Mac OS X’s PPPoE connection the first time).

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