If you haven’t heard, Comcast is offering 105Mbps download speeds in select areas of the US. Lucky for me, Washington, D.C. is one of those areas! Right when I heard about it through Engadget I called and unfortunately I had to wait two weeks before it was actually available to me. This is such an unreal speed that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it out. It’s expensive, but not THAT expensive. I got different price quotes each time I called, but the last person ended up telling me that it would be an extra $20 a month. More than happy to pay that for this unheard of speed.
I called on a Sunday, they upgraded my service over the phone and said it should be working. I couldn’t get the internet speed test any higher than 60mbps even after a one hour tech support call. Comcast sent somebody out on Tuesday and it turned out that my Arris DOCSIS 3.0 modem was the problem. The tech replaced it with a ubee modem which he said are brand new to Comcast (pictured below).
Once we got the modem hooked up we hard wired directly to the modem with a cat5e chord and saw the following:
108.13 Mbps down and 10.23 Mbps up. I’d say that’s pretty extreme! For once a company has correctly marketed the product they are selling! So how does that compare to other results from the speed test website? Look below:
As you can see, there is just no comparison. Next I wanted to see if I my wireless router would work at this speed. I have the Netgear N600 (wndr3700) which says it can transfer up to 300 mbps. I’m not going to pretend to understand all the technical issues with wireless internet, because frankly, I don’t know that I can. All of my tests maxed out at 60mbps or below over the 5gHz band. That’s a bid disappointing do I called the Netgear tech support. Netgear logged into my router settings remotely and changed a few settings. Still can’t get it over 60mbps. I understand that 60 is really fast, but I would be thrilled if I could get the full 100 or even 90 transfer rate with the router. When I hard wire into the router, the speed test download speed drops about 10mbps to about 90mbps consistently. I’ve looked into the wndr4000, but it seems like I need certain Intel hardware that my MacBook Pro just doesn’t have and I’m not interested in upgrading to achieve full speeds.
So what was I able to do with this new fast internet that I wasn’t able to do before? Nothing. Well, I take that back. I was able to get the internet speed test to go over 5.5mb/s down. That’s it. I did a number of downloads from different sites to see if I could get the download speed to peak, but, it turns out, none of the download servers could give me the files fast enough. The fastest I know of is Adobe’s CDN (which I think is Akamai). I downloaded Creative Suite Web Premium trial and the peak speed of the download (which was consistent the whole time I will say) was about 5.5mb/s. That’s super fast, but just under half what my connection can handle according to Google’s calculation.
Then I thought, maybe a torrent will be faster (educational purposes only–I didn’t not actually use any of these torrents). I found a Harry Potter torrent that had 6,000 seeds, but that unfortunately only downloaded at a max of about 2.5mb/s. I asked a friend of mine and he pointed me to the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection. That downloaded at about 4.2mb/s. See below:
My last ditch effort was to try a Linux Ubuntu download. That only went up to 1.2mb/s:
Anyone know anything that I can test this speed demon internet on?