Tag Archives: AT&T Yahoo

ISP Choice and Speed

Trying to figure out my typical throughput to determine what I need out of my new ISP as I move to Montreal. One issue is that I don’t know how long I’ll spend in Montreal. So I really need a monthly plan (not a contract).

Currently, in Austin, I’m mostly on a WiFi (802.11g) connection to an AT&T Yahoo High Speed Internet Pro DSL line.The plan is advertised as 3 Mbps downstream and 512 kbps upstream. It’s been fairly consistent over the past few months. There’s currently a desktop connected directly to the router but its network activity is minimal.
Here’s what the connection speeds look like, at this point:
So… About 1.6 Mbps down, 400 kbps up. For my typical use (including Skype, large number of podcast downloads, etc.), I’ve been finding it sufficiently fast.
So, how can I get something similar in Montreal?
Well, a similar 3Mbps/512kbps plan doesn’t seem to exist. Typical DSL plans in Montreal seem to be either faster (5-7 Mbps up, 800 kbps down) or much slower (288-500 kbps both dl/ul).
I really don’t need more speed than I currently have here and the faster plans are (unsurprisingly) more expensive than what I’m getting here. The lower-speed plans are somewhat less expensive than what I get here but they really seem quite slow. I mean, my upload speed is decent at 400 kbps but with all the overhead, I’m guessing a service advertised at 500 kbps must be rather slow. And I have a hard time figuring what that might feel like as a download speed.
The other issue is which specific ISP to choose. There’s choice. In fact, there’s a large number of individual providers. But it’s still limited in terms of actual plans.
I’ve had Bell Sympatico in the past and actually had good service from them. But they’re the most expensive DSL provider. The 7Mbps plan is over 42$ (w/o a contract) and it has a relatively low cap of 30GB/mo. Their 500kbps is quite expensive at 30$/mo. (w/o a contract), has an incredibly low cap (2GB/mo.), and very high price for extra bandwidth (7.50$/GB).
There are several unlimited or high cap (100GB) plans from “independent” providers like Vif and RadioActif. The normal price for a 5Mbps/800kbps (dl/ul) seems to be around 30$/mo. (w/o contract). Unlike Bell, these plans don’t include a modem. I’m not sure my current ADSL modem (Motorola 2210) can be used with any of these ISPs. I’ve sent emails to several of them to inquire about this. Modem rental is 10$/mo., making these independent ISPs almost as expensive as Bell. The modems they sell are around 90$, which is almost twice as expensive as the retail price of the Motorola 2210. (Actually, the modem was free after a cashback.) I already have WiFi routers, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
I guess the main issue at this point is the modem, then. There really should be a site where we can see which modem is supported by which ISP. My searches with the modem’s model number aren’t returning the kind of results I want. The user manual doesn’t seem to contain any information which could help me find this out. Maybe this modem is only supported on AT&T, in which case I might have to buy a new DSL modem. 
Ah, well…

AT&T Yahoo Pro DSL to Belkin WiFi

Doh!
Was trying to set up my Belkin Wireless G Router (F5D7230-4) for use with our “Pro DSL” broadband connection from AT&T Yahoo (with a Motorola 2210 ADSL modem). It always stopped at authentication even though both of our computers (a MacBook and an eMachines H3070) could use the connection directly. Tried just about everything I could from doing a manual setup or resetting the router and the DSL modem, to updating the firmware or changing the connection’s password.
Most Web searches led me to irrelevant results. Nobody seemed to be having the same problem as I was. To be honest, my frustration was mounting. I almost called tech support!
 
Then, I noticed that the following forum post kept creeping up in search results, even though it didn’t have anything to do with AT&T.
It then dawned on me that the problem may be simpler than I thought. Maybe my assumption was wrong, that this connection was using PPPOE like Sympatico, my previous ISP.
So, pretty much on a whim, I tried changing the connection type from PPPOE to Dynamic IP. And everything worked flawlessly.
Apart from experience with Bell’s Sympatico service, I was probably misled by the fact that this AT&T DSL connection was configured for use with a special @att.net account and a password. AFAICT, this att.net account isn’t necessary for the connection (but is provided with the connection). 
 
After setting all of this up, I set up my Fonera WiFi router. “But you’re already using the Belkin Wireless G Router!,” you say? Well, yes. But I’m using the Fonera so I can easily share my connection with other Foneros. There’s already a few of us, Austin members of the Fon Movimiento. Not that we know each other. But we all share our broadband connection for free.
Why would we do such a thing?
Because we can.