The Increasing Need For Bandwidth, Part 1

needforspeed

Many small businesses and homes will feel the need to increase the speed of their Internet connection in 2011.

In the late 1990s, we began the serious movement away from our dialup modems and started signing up for DSL service as it became available in selected areas. Moving from a 40K connection to a 1.5Mb connection was such a staggering improvement that many people still think of plain old DSL as a “broadband” connection, ten years later. […] continued

Read more

IPv6 And Really Large Numbers

ipv6

Previously: First Rumbling Of The Coming IPv6 Transition

In the early 90s, a bunch of smart people in a position of authority got together and put together a replacement for IPv4 named IPv6, after many committee meetings and a few false starts. Since the immediate issue was the shortage of numbers looming on the 20-year horizon, let’s look first at what they came up with to make sure we wouldn’t run out again. […] continued

Read more

First Rumbling Of The Coming IPv6 Transition

ipv4spaceshrink

You’re looking at a graph that will get an inordinate amount of attention in the global technical community and cause tremendous disruption for the next few years. Let me give you a very broad overview of an issue that you hope will be solved long before you ever have to know much about it. […] continued

Read more

DNS Servers And Problems With OpenDNS

opendnslogo

I stand by my reconsideration of Firefox, but I think my criticism of Internet Explorer was unjust. Some of my browsing problems were likely not caused by IE at all. They appear to have been caused by OpenDNS, some settings deep in my office network that affected my Internet browsing. […] continued

Read more

Wireless Networks – Useful, Annoying, Insecure

linksyswirelessrouter

Wireless networks are convenient and likely to be the way most of us get our network and Internet connections in the future.

Wireless networks are a huge pain and nearly incomprehensible.

Both of those things are true.

Wireless technology has come a long way since the first consumer routers with wireless access points appeared on the market almost ten years ago. […] continued

Read more

GOVERNMENT GOODIES

broadbandtest

BROADBAND

While high-visibility battles are fought over health care and regulation of financial institutions, there are equally important things happening at a lower level, as federal agencies begin to reassert themselves under the leadership of people who believe in the mission of those agencies instead of seeking to undermine them.

The Obama administration recently called attention to its plan to extend broadband coverage and speeds, which (of course) includes a nicely-designed FCC web site filled with information and links. […] continued

Read more

COMCAST POSTSCRIPT

Ace consultant Brian Dent of CompuDent Systems points out an interesting corollary to the speed increases from Comcast:

Just one caveat I’ve run into.  A lot of the existing routers can’t handle a 50Mbps incoming signal.  I have a 50Mbps account with a SonicWALL TZ 180e 25U.  The ports are 100Mbps but the throughput is limited to 20Mbps. 

[…] continued Read more

COMCAST SPEED INCREASE

Comcast Internet subscribers in the North Bay are getting a free speed increase, and some new choices for even faster Internet connections. Here’s today’s press release. The increase covers much of Northern California, including all of Sonoma and Marin counties.

Residential customers are supposed to have their speeds doubled for free, effective immediately. […] continued

Read more

SUBSIDIZED NETBOOKS

Netbooks will be widespread by the end of the year, shaking up the PC market and changing our world in ways that will be more dramatic than you expect. You might not have foreseen one of the ways they’ll be distributed – sold and subsidized by the cell phone carriers.

verizonmodem Many notebook computer users are familiar with the concept of a separate “mobile broadband” device built into the notebook, or plugged into a USB port, that gives the computer an Internet connection anywhere within a cell phone carrier’s network. […] continued

Read more

THE TIES THAT BIND (AND BREAK)

This doesn’t affect you directly but it’s an interesting glimpse at How Things Work.

The vast bulk of international voice and Internet traffic travels through underwater cables. There were several reports in 2008 of broken or cut cables in the Mediterranean, giving rise to conspiracy theories and talk of terrorists, and making us wonder a bit about whether the Internet is really as invulnerable as we were led to think. […] continued

Read more

TROUBLESHOOTING A SLOW INTERNET CONNECTION

Sometimes you’ll hear me groan or sob quietly when you describe a simple problem. Let me give you an idea of some of the things that go through my head when a problem comes up. Take this as an example:

slowinternet “My Internet connection is slow.”

Your Internet connection is fine; your computer is slow.

[…] continued Read more

COMCAST POWERBOOST & SPEED TESTS

I was testing Speed.io, a new site for measuring the speed of an Internet connection and displaying it in a lovely way. (I’ve put in on the bruceb favorites page under Internet / Online Tools, joining an old favorite, Bandwidth Speed Test.)

The test results reminded me that Comcast’s PowerBoost technology really does improve the online experience. […] continued

Read more

AT&T TECH SUPPORT vs. ETERNAL DAMNATION – A TOSSUP

I’m occasionally asked why I have such a negative opinion of AT&T’s DSL service.

This chilling account should answer that question – a complete log of one person’s experiences on two different occasions, dealing each time with more than a dozen customer support reps over a period of more than three hours each, on problems that should have been simple. […] continued

Read more

VERIZON MOBILE WIRELESS FUN

I have a Verizon mobile wireless adapter built into my Dell Latitude D630. I pay sixty bucks a month so I can connect to a reasonably fast EVDO broadband connection from just about anywhere. It’s becoming a standard accessory for business travellers who don’t want to hassle with conventional wireless.

A few days ago, there was a lengthy delay when I clicked the Connect button – “wait while your equipment is updated,” something like that. […] continued

Read more

WHAT I USE

On the assumption that my choices are endlessly fascinating to an ever-growing number of people – really, really bored people – I’ve added a page with details about the hardware and software that I use here at the high-tech headquarters of bruceb consulting. I’ll try to keep it up to date. […] continued

Read more