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Thread: Wowie speeds

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    Wowie speeds

    Just a total aside....I got an iPhone 11 from work and just tried speedtest on it. 150mbps down on "real AT&T"....and its not 5G haha

    I guess that puts my 8mbps Cricket unlimited to shame

    That said, I will probably stick with Cricket for awhile longer. Honestly I never notice my phone being "laggy" at 8mbps and it works just fine for email, Maps, internet browsing and even Youtubes, and I have 5 lines for $125 plus with prepaid refill card deals I can get the price even lower

    Still I just was like wow on the speed difference. Too bad AT&T can't up the speed on Cricket plans to let them up to 20mbps or something if the network allows at the time

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    You can get those same speeds if you use the top-tier plan (currently called "Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot", although the name changes all the time). For 5 lines it's $160.

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    I'm hard-pressed to come up with any use case for a smartphone where you reeeeeely need more than 8 Mbps DL, so why pay for faster if you don't actually require it? I'll not be watching 4K video on a 5 inch screen, and 5 Mbps is sufficient for HD video. Browsing? Nope. Email? Nope. Over-the-top messaging? Nope. Weather radar? Nope. Audio streaming? Nope. Voice recognition/dictation? Nope. Map usage? Nope.

    The only times I can honestly say faster would be better would be (1) downloading and installing apps, and (2) massive phone backup operations. In the case of the former I'm happy to wait the couple of extra seconds rather than shell out $10-$20-$30 more per month. In the case of the later (both, actually) I can wait until I'm on WiFi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brg View Post
    I'm hard-pressed to come up with any use case for a smartphone where you reeeeeely need more than 8 Mbps DL, so why pay for faster if you don't actually require it? I'll not be watching 4K video on a 5 inch screen, and 5 Mbps is sufficient for HD video. Browsing? Nope. Email? Nope. Over-the-top messaging? Nope. Weather radar? Nope. Audio streaming? Nope. Voice recognition/dictation? Nope. Map usage? Nope.

    The only times I can honestly say faster would be better would be (1) downloading and installing apps, and (2) massive phone backup operations. In the case of the former I'm happy to wait the couple of extra seconds rather than shell out $10-$20-$30 more per month. In the case of the later (both, actually) I can wait until I'm on WiFi.
    When i was in college, a little known secret was revealed.

    Aside from gaming, and speed tests, the average user won't ever really notice that much of a difference when surfing the web. So many of us want faster, but fail to realize the servers that run our favorite sites may actually be what's slowing us down.

    This takes into consideration most web servers are still using the same shared t1 lines they had over 20 years ago. All those websites sitting in a farm of servers sharing the same t1 bandwidth.

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    Higher Internet speeds generally come down more to capacity than actual per-user usefulness.

    A general rule of thumb that I use is 10mbps per individual. So say you have a household of 4 people, you would (ideally) want a home Internet connection of 40mbps. That would allow for all 4 people to stream something different at the same time and probably still have a little bit of left over bandwidth. Although, the chances of that scenario actually happening is probably very small.

    Are higher speeds faster? Sure. If you have an 8GB file - 10mbps would take about 2 hours. 100mbps would take about 10 minutes. So I'm not saying faster speeds are worthless. But how many 8GB files do you download per day?

    Can there be exceptions? Sure. If you work with video files or large resolution images, you're going to need more bandwidth than the typical user. But for most people, their home Internet connection I'd say at most needs 10mbps per user.

    As for a phone, most phones are single users. I'm sure there are instances where a phone user might hotspot out their phone for multiple people to use. And I'm sure there are individuals without quality home Internet options that depend on this sharing to offer Internet to individuals at home. But for the most part, phones are single users - 10mbps is all they would need. And 8mbps is pretty close to that.

    With a phone, you're probably going to run into a processor or other bottleneck issue before you reach an Internet download speed limit. Unless you are tethering or sharing out your cellular Internet to many users at the same time.


    Having said all of that... I'm considering leaving Cricket for AT&T Prepaid because of the hotspotting and tethering issue. I don't tether from my phone often, once or twice a year at most, but I never know when I might need to. I could purchase a dedicated hotspot device and have it in my to-go bag, but then I'm paying for a service that I really don't use 90% of the year. I don't mind the slow speeds on Cricket. Even an 8mbps tether is fine for me - it's usually just my laptop tethered, perhaps someone else, but we're technical enough to understand speeds are not going to be the same as my home fiber speeds. For me, there is value in being able to use the data that I pay for however I see fit to use it. So there are other factors other than speed when deciding between Cricket and AT&T Prepaid (or other MVNOs).

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    When i was in college, a little known secret was revealed.

    Aside from gaming, and speed tests, the average user won't ever really notice that much of a difference when surfing the web. So many of us want faster, but fail to realize the servers that run our favorite sites may actually be what's slowing us down.
    I'll agree on the speed tests, but not on the gaming. I am an avid gamer, but have yet to find =any= game that requires more than a couple of Mbps in terms of speed during actual play. Ping/Latency is important, but not raw throughput.

    I play cutting-edge games multiple times a week with a guy who is still on DSL -- with low single-digit DL/UL but also low single-digit ping -- and he has zero lag playing while simultaneously chatting via our private G.711 VoIP conference channel while his wife modestly surfs and emails in another room.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    most web servers are still using the same shared t1 lines they had over 20 years ago. All those websites sitting in a farm of servers sharing the same t1 bandwidth.
    I'm not a current expert (although I did work for the Bell System on the data side of things 20+ years ago) and I absolutely have to (respectfully) dispute the above. Source/reference/cite? Data/server customers were leaving t1s far behind in DROVES when I had access to the sales data over 2 decades ago. I very much doubt "most web servers" are still on anything resembling "shared t1 lines" (i.e., sharing channelized portions of a 1.544 Mbit/s line). That's absolutely implausible given the current economics of digital data transport.

    Point me to a modern web server commonly used by folks -- heck, point me to ANY recognizable web server -- that is still using T1 architecture to connect to "the cloud." T2, T3, OC3, etc. -- perhaps a different story -- but that's not what you wrote. (And server farm interconnects are invariably at least GigEthernet these days, with only much, much older backplanes/backbones limited to 100BaseT. Can't imagine anyone still using 10BaseT --which, as old as that is, is still vastly faster than a T1...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by brg View Post
    I'll agree on the speed tests, but not on the gaming. I am an avid gamer, but have yet to find =any= game that requires more than a couple of Mbps in terms of speed during actual play. Ping/Latency is important, but not raw throughput.

    I play cutting-edge games multiple times a week with a guy who is still on DSL -- with low single-digit DL/UL but also low single-digit ping -- and he has zero lag playing while simultaneously chatting via our private G.711 VoIP conference channel while his wife modestly surfs and emails in another room.



    I'm not a current expert (although I did work for the Bell System on the data side of things 20+ years ago) and I absolutely have to (respectfully) dispute the above. Source/reference/cite? Data/server customers were leaving t1s far behind in DROVES when I had access to the sales data over 2 decades ago. I very much doubt "most web servers" are still on anything resembling "shared t1 lines" (i.e., sharing channelized portions of a 1.544 Mbit/s line). That's absolutely implausible given the current economics of digital data transport.

    Point me to a modern web server commonly used by folks -- heck, point me to ANY recognizable web server -- that is still using T1 architecture to connect to "the cloud." T2, T3, OC3, etc. -- perhaps a different story -- but that's not what you wrote. (And server farm interconnects are invariably at least GigEthernet these days, with only much, much older backplanes/backbones limited to 100BaseT. Can't imagine anyone still using 10BaseT --which, as old as that is, is still vastly faster than a T1...)
    Second quote taken out of context though considering it was a statement by my networking IT instructor while I was in college. (The entire statement I made was referring to my time in college and the lectures by IT instructors.) I'm sure many web farms in the 8 years plus have slowly been upgrading connections, but there are still a few out there using some of the older tech. FB actually has a few backup servers on a t3 line, but I believe they are barely used and its noticeable when they are (FB starts lagging.) T1 is extremely dated and even though it was still widely in use in the mid-late 2000's was an example of how slow servers and server farms tend to move in regards to networking technology. (Took them till 2010 to make major moves to upgrade to T2/T3 lines that became available in the 90's.)

    Today, the larger farms have already moved to fiber.

    For servers though, the sluggishness is mostly all about cost.

    But alas, my years at ITT were proven to be a bad idea for various reasons that led to the schools being closed down.

    As for the gaming, game servers typically tend to auto adjust the connection to improve the gaming experience for players on the weakest of connections. Per my lectures, those servers "slow down" data so users on slower connections get a "smooth ride" too. (So your buddy could be causing the entire game to slow down, which does affect graphics, as far as I know.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    Second quote taken out of context though considering it was a statement by my networking IT instructor while I was in college. (The entire statement I made was referring to my time in college and the lectures by IT instructors.)
    Ah. I could not gleen that context from the way you phrased it; it is easy to read differently, as I did. I certainly do agree with this statement: "So many of us want faster, but fail to realize the servers that run our favorite sites may actually be what's slowing us down." The remainder of what you posted is phrased in the present tense so I thought it was a contemporaneous observation. If instead it is a continuation of a quote from a prof. during your college days we don't know how long ago it was that you were in college. (Heck; my college days predate the Internet. When I started college Arpanet didn't yet have TCP/IP and wouldn't for another 10 years).

    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    As for the gaming, game servers typically tend to auto adjust the connection to improve the gaming experience for players on the weakest of connections. Per my lectures, those servers "slow down" data so users on slower connections get a "smooth ride" too. (So your buddy could be causing the entire game to slow down, which does affect graphics, as far as I know.)
    What you describe was more common long ago, but I'll go out on a limb and counter-generalize that most modern games require far, far less bandwidth than what most folks have available. I don't personally think your "game servers typically tend to..." generalization is warranted these days. Game servers do not, for example, transmit actual video, or page-frames, or similar over the Internet. They instead transmit location coordinates, supply counters, usage thereof, hit and health data, etc. That's low bandwidth stuff. The application takes that data and processes it locally and updates your status and paints your screen (yay for powerful video cards!)

    In any event, we have never seen our DSL buddy dragging us down compared to what we see when he is offline. Our actual experience for a very long time has been that the DSL buddy has the same Internet-driven experience as the rest of us who are playing on 100 Mbps and up connections. I've run "bitmeter" or similar on our different machines and can see that the UL/DL demanded by the games we play (The Call of Duty franchise; newest Far Cry; newest Tom Clancy games; The Division 2, etc...) are on my end the same for me playing with him as for me playing without him and only playing with other fast Internet capable players. DSL-guy sees the same thing. In other words, the game uses a certain amount of bandwidth: a very-low-single-digit-or-less amount of Mbps, which falls within the somewhat higher amount of what he has available). The game does not use more or "scale up" if you have more bandwidth available.

    So, I think we are in violent agreement. The point I thought we were both making here is that, whether you have a 3 Mbps connection or a 300 Mbps connection, if the active application (or all applications running in total, or running as part of a family group as discussed by @charlesfinley) require(s) a maximum of something comfortably less than what you have available, having more is irrelevant. To get back to the "Cricket 8 Mbps vs. faster Native ATT speeds" point of the OP, this is even more true in the single user cellphone environment.

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brg View Post
    Ah. I could not gleen that context from the way you phrased it; it is easy to read differently, as I did. I certainly do agree with this statement: "So many of us want faster, but fail to realize the servers that run our favorite sites may actually be what's slowing us down." The remainder of what you posted is phrased in the present tense so I thought it was a contemporaneous observation. If instead it is a continuation of a quote from a prof. during your college days we don't know how long ago it was that you were in college. (Heck; my college days predate the Internet. When I started college Arpanet didn't yet have TCP/IP and wouldn't for another 10 years).



    What you describe was more common long ago, but I'll go out on a limb and counter-generalize that most modern games require far, far less bandwidth than what most folks have available. I don't personally think your "game servers typically tend to..." generalization is warranted these days. Game servers do not, for example, transmit actual video, or page-frames, or similar over the Internet. They instead transmit location coordinates, supply counters, usage thereof, hit and health data, etc. That's low bandwidth stuff. The application takes that data and processes it locally and updates your status and paints your screen (yay for powerful video cards!)

    In any event, we have never seen our DSL buddy dragging us down compared to what we see when he is offline. Our actual experience for a very long time has been that the DSL buddy has the same Internet-driven experience as the rest of us who are playing on 100 Mbps and up connections. I've run "bitmeter" or similar on our different machines and can see that the UL/DL demanded by the games we play (The Call of Duty franchise; newest Far Cry; newest Tom Clancy games; The Division 2, etc...) are on my end the same for me playing with him as for me playing without him and only playing with other fast Internet capable players. DSL-guy sees the same thing. In other words, the game uses a certain amount of bandwidth: a very-low-single-digit-or-less amount of Mbps, which falls within the somewhat higher amount of what he has available). The game does not use more or "scale up" if you have more bandwidth available.

    So, I think we are in violent agreement. The point I thought we were both making here is that, whether you have a 3 Mbps connection or a 300 Mbps connection, if the active application (or all applications running in total, or running as part of a family group as discussed by @charlesfinley) require(s) a maximum of something comfortably less than what you have available, having more is irrelevant. To get back to the "Cricket 8 Mbps vs. faster Native ATT speeds" point of the OP, this is even more true in the single user cellphone environment.

    Cheers!
    Will totally have to agree there. Things on the server side have become less and less speed intensive and therefore the servers themselves don't require a lot a data throughput. The advent of doing more and more on mobile devices may have played a role in that. So, my primary argument of, aside from speed tests, most users cannot see much of a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac32here View Post
    Second quote taken out of context though considering it was a statement by my networking IT instructor while I was in college. (The entire statement I made was referring to my time in college and the lectures by IT instructors.) I'm sure many web farms in the 8 years plus have slowly been upgrading connections, but there are still a few out there using some of the older tech. FB actually has a few backup servers on a t3 line, but I believe they are barely used and its noticeable when they are (FB starts lagging.) T1 is extremely dated and even though it was still widely in use in the mid-late 2000's was an example of how slow servers and server farms tend to move in regards to networking technology. (Took them till 2010 to make major moves to upgrade to T2/T3 lines that became available in the 90's.)

    Today, the larger farms have already moved to fiber.

    For servers though, the sluggishness is mostly all about cost.

    But alas, my years at ITT were proven to be a bad idea for various reasons that led to the schools being closed down.

    As for the gaming, game servers typically tend to auto adjust the connection to improve the gaming experience for players on the weakest of connections. Per my lectures, those servers "slow down" data so users on slower connections get a "smooth ride" too. (So your buddy could be causing the entire game to slow down, which does affect graphics, as far as I know.)
    I don't know about that last statement about a game server slowing anything down for the slow guy. If anything that's the game client having a buffering setting at best.
    That being said, Cricket is always second best to ATT because it passes ATT servers then to Cricket servers which only increases your ping. ATT is a big brother like that. This is why this is my last year on cricket. Too many other options and t-mobile coverage has gotten better than ATT now in most areas. Mint here we come...

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    What Cricket provides is additional plans and price points to ATT Prepaid. And the MVNOs. Depending on what you require, and your price elasticity, Cricket may be an excellent choice or may not be good at all. The performance for me in the past was fine, but a few other features I wanted weren't available or were more than I wanted to spend (such as hotspot support. Not often, but I like it available).
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current primary phone. No plans to upgrade plan to 5G.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wpc View Post

    That being said, Cricket is always second best to ATT because it passes ATT servers then to Cricket servers which only increases your ping. ATT is a big brother like that.

    This isn’t true anymore and hasn’t been for a while now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brg View Post
    I'm hard-pressed to come up with any use case for a smartphone where you reeeeeely need more than 8 Mbps DL, so why pay for faster if you don't actually require it? I'll not be watching 4K video on a 5 inch screen, and 5 Mbps is sufficient for HD video. Browsing? Nope. Email? Nope. Over-the-top messaging? Nope. Weather radar? Nope. Audio streaming? Nope. Voice recognition/dictation? Nope. Map usage? Nope.

    The only times I can honestly say faster would be better would be (1) downloading and installing apps, and (2) massive phone backup operations. In the case of the former I'm happy to wait the couple of extra seconds rather than shell out $10-$20-$30 more per month. In the case of the later (both, actually) I can wait until I'm on WiFi.
    You forgot the most important usage case....SPEEDTEST.NET haha

    I agree and that is why I keep with Cricket. I made the same decision at home with Comcast when I cut the cord. REALLY kept getting drawn to paying a little more for 200mbps, or 400mbps where I would have needed to also get a new modem. But in the end I negotiated to stay on the 100mbps plan and get an even cheaper price locked in for 12 mos. Yes it would be "only $15 more a month" for the faster speed and I almost did it just because, but when I position it as $180 per year in my head then I realize that even with 3 kids on Zoom and me on work from home, we are doing okay on the 100mbps tier.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theghostlad82 View Post
    This isn’t true anymore and hasn’t been for a while now.
    so you're saying it's only ATT servers now? So my ping should be the same as the ATT guy next to me and only throttled slower? If so then that's not true because I can sit side by side with someone on ATT post paid and get a higher ping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wpc View Post
    so you're saying it's only ATT servers now? So my ping should be the same as the ATT guy next to me and only throttled slower? If so then that's not true because I can sit side by side with someone on ATT post paid and get a higher ping.


    The answer is yes, and you aren’t doing an apples to apples comparison, there are no “cricket servers” anymore. AT&T moved cricket onto their own servers years ago. Want a fair comparison? Test somebody on an AT&T postpaid plan, and make sure both phones are identical, and make sure both devices are connected to the same band, on the same tower, and using the same server.

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