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Comcast internet... and follow-up question re wireless routers et al

Comcast internet... and follow-up question re wireless routers et al

Old Feb 23, 12, 11:57 am
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Comcast internet... and follow-up question re wireless routers et al

(I'm putting in Travel Tech because I often need to reliably connect while on the road to my Pogoplug etc.)

I currently have Qwest (or whatever their name is now) DSL and I'm tiring just a bit of, at best, 5Mbps. Qwest and Comcast are the only really players where I am, and there is no fiber optic option (there are a couple of Wimax-type options but I'm not counting those because of sketchy reports on DSLreports.com and because they can't assure me that they will work with Ooma VOIP).

If I'm going to make a switch, I want to put the cable outlet in the closet of my study (it has plenty of good ventilation) and be able to move all my router-connected stuff there from the kitchen (which will make Mrs. cblaisd happy ).

Comcast has a special for new customers of a claimed "up to" 20 Mbps (with Powerboost, whatever that is) for $30, no contract, going to $45 after six months. Googling for other discounts is a miserable experience with many many hits for what is basically the same re-seller page.

(My DSL -- long out of contract -- is currently also $30/month, so this is a speed issue only)

If the Comcast installer arrives and refuses to put the outlet in the closet, I'll just cancel, but for whatever tiny bit it's worth the online chat rep assured me that the installer would put it "wherever you want."

I would appreciate any thoughts on the above, or if you know a better deal!

I'm not very interested in bundling (although if there was a decent tv offer -- that's better than what's on their webpage, $70/month for both internet/tv for a year, going to $89 after one year, two year contract, I might be mildly interested).

I've heard that "everything's negotiable" (particularly when you intimate you're dumping a competitor) but I find talking to the order folks akin to dentistry without anesthesia.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 12:36 pm
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If you're not willing to negotiate, then don't - but you won't get a better price either.

Comcast cable modems are fine. My dad's office and parents' home use it. It's reliable and fast.

PowerBoost is a Comcast gimmick that temporarily ups your connection speed when you're downloading a large file. It might take your 20 Mbps connection to 25 momentarily, for example. It works as advertised, but I never notice it when I'm at my parents' house.
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Old Feb 23, 12, 7:19 pm
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Do you have power in the closet?

Even if they don't put it in the closet (though I don't see why they would not) have them put it right outside the closet and just extend it after they leave if you want it in the closet.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 8:09 am
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I find with comcast there is a lot of negotiating oppty, it doesn't take much effort and you only really need to know what is "out there" in the market. You can get the 30$ internet easily for six months, and then it goes up to 44$ I think or 49$, but at THAT point you can call in and get it back down to 30$ again. There is also a deal for a bundle that is 60$ for internet and phone but it is for a YEAR and not six months, I know you don't need phone but one also gets a 200$ gift visa for signing up for this 2 piece bundle, so it works out about the same on an annual basis but LESS compared to the six months at 30$ and then the pop to 45$ for the remainder.

The speed is there, but it isn't sustainable at that peak. So, you couldn't run a server or do HD video streaming for hours and hours and expect to sustain 10MB+ for days. Comcast also has caps and they will bill you if you go over them. So, just make sure your use doesn't scale with increased bandwidth.

If your phone is ooma, it won't care if you switch annually or bi-annually from provider to provider, it just takes a bit of effort and time. I've got a comcast line that I use just for video conferencing and slingbox streaming outside the LAN (since I need more than 1MB upstream for "HD" streaming and dsl just doesn't offer that yet) and it has been 30$ for three years now. :-)
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Old Feb 24, 12, 8:18 am
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We have our Comcast broadband connection point in a closet.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
If you're not willing to negotiate, then don't - but you won't get a better price either.
True.

PowerBoost is a Comcast gimmick that temporarily ups your connection speed when you're downloading a large file. It might take your 20 Mbps connection to 25 momentarily, for example.
I wish you wrote their advertising copy. Thank you.

Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Do you have power in the closet? Even if they don't put it in the closet (though I don't see why they would not) have them put it right outside the closet and just extend it after they leave if you want it in the closet.
Yes and good point.

Originally Posted by nmenaker View Post
The speed is there, but it isn't sustainable at that peak. So, you couldn't run a server or do HD video streaming for hours and hours and expect to sustain 10MB+ for days. Comcast also has caps and they will bill you if you go over them. So, just make sure your use doesn't scale with increased bandwidth.
Compared to many, I'm a pretty light user so I don't think this will be a problem.

As Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story: After a couple of online chats ("How can I be of helping to you on today, sir?") to get some details and T&Cs clarified (annoying that those aren't linked to except at the penultimate step when you've already had to give your email so you can be spammed), I ended up doing an online order for the $29.95 (plus the requisite junk fees) 20 Mbps starter plan.

But when putting that in my cart, I got a "But wait" popup asking me if I wanted basic tv (local channels mostly) plus an increase to 25 Mbps for only $10 more. (Another trip to online chat to request the T&Cs re contract, ETF, etc., and confirming that there were none) The local channels only is pretty much the only tv I'd wanted anyway (heresy to some, I know) so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on that deal. I found it interesting that for installing internet only I could get an install as soon as two days from now, but for both it was a week's wait.

Thanks to all for your perspectives.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 12:04 pm
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I thought their Internet was like $60 if you don't subscribe to TV or their other services.

Hell even $44 out of contract would be good, if they really produced an average of 20 Mbps download.
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Old Feb 24, 12, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
I thought their Internet was like $60 if you don't subscribe to TV or their other services.

Hell even $44 out of contract would be good, if they really produced an average of 20 Mbps download.
I pay RCN $30 a month, no contract, for 25 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up.
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Old Feb 25, 12, 6:30 am
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it would be interesting to run spedtest.net with both services and see what speeds you get
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Old Feb 25, 12, 9:23 am
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Buy your own modem at amazon.com, comcast charged you $3-$5 per month for using their own modem. Motorola SB6120 is $76.49 or you can buy Motorola SB 5101 for $50.00
If you need a phone line as well, buy Obi 110 for $50, it's using google voice and it's free.

Just order it through the internet and call them every 6 months to renew the deal
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Old Feb 28, 12, 12:59 am
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We switched both business locations and my home service from AT&T DSL to Comcast cable. For the most part it's been a good move; much higher speeds (both uploading and downloading), but latency has been about the same as before, meaning that you don't get that instantaneous feel the second you hit the return key. Once it starts downloading the page, it goes very very fast. But the small delay remains.

Also, I've been getting some DNS issues once in a while, such that I have to reset the modem to get things going the way they should. Once in a while a website we regularly use for our business can't be found... in either location. But we can verify that the website's up because my iPhone, using 3G, finds it without trouble. Thankfully, this doesn't happen very often.

We're also trying out Comcast for our phone service in our Redwood City location. So far, so good. I was assured that they'd be using standard copper wire, which isn't true, they're using the broadband cable they brought into the shop. Which of course makes sense, but the salesperson said repeatedly that wouldn't be the case. Yeah right.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
Also, I've been getting some DNS issues once in a while, such that I have to reset the modem to get things going the way they should. Once in a while a website we regularly use for our business can't be found... in either location. But we can verify that the website's up because my iPhone, using 3G, finds it without trouble.
I normally put Google's DNS into my router.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 10:10 pm
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Have had Comcast for almost a year now. 20Mbps but average around 25-27 constantly. Never had an issue with them.

As someone mentioned above - I also bought a modem. Same model as well. Motorola 6120.
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Old Mar 1, 12, 1:42 pm
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RG 6

You need to have coax cable near the closet so Comcast can connect to it. They will not do too much inside wiring as part of their basic installation.
Their internet service is far superior to DSL and well worth the change.
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Old Mar 1, 12, 4:51 pm
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The installer was here this morning. Spent about 3 1/2 hours. Did pretty much as I wanted (I indeed decided to have the cable internet outlet on the wall of the study and then run coax to the closet.) Moved all my network stuff from the kitchen to the closet. My ancient SimpleTech NAS does not like the move and won't power up.

The initial speed tests are about 5x faster than the DSL when connected via ethernet and about 3.5x faster when on wifi.

I am pleased. Cut my cost ~ in 1/2, upped the speed, no contract.

By the way, I ended up buying a $20 modem via Craigslist. I figured if it was a problem, I wasn't out much (and I know where the guy who sold it to me works )

Just finished calling to cancel both DirecTV and Qwest DSL. What an annoying experience that is.

Thanks, all.
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