How do I find out which ISP provider is fastest in my area?

Well, this is just swell. We moved last month, and in doing so we decided to change our bundled services provider (TV, phone, and internet). Until this move, we had cable internet, and I knew that, as the new carrier was only providing us DSL, it would be significantly slower. However, we had had DSL in the past, and had been very satisfied with it. But, there’s DSL and DSL. Judging from my user experience, and from having been able to test my current provider speed through, I would have to say my old DSL was three or four times as fast as my current one, which is averaging less than one megabit/second on the download. For the vast majority of surfing, disregarding giant downloads like Microsoft applications, my old DSL was not noticeably slower, in terms of general user experience and functionality, than the cable internet service I had until last month.

But no more. This is the Speedtest result from testing my home router.

Further links show that the average performance of this ISP is only half the average for California. I would be happy with that, though–as you can see I’m probably getting about an eight of the average.

A night or two ago I logged onto YouTube. It seems my DSL bandwidth was so minimal that YT defaulted to the minimal, mobile device format


So clearly a change is called for, and that right eftsoons or stat. But how do I identify the best provider in my locality? gives you the average performance for your ISP, but it doesn’t seem to rank all the ISPs by name.

Does anyone know of a website that does this? (which actually reports on all types of broadband) will let you see the fastest reported by zip code.

Thats pretty bad. 300k isnt really broadband. You have a valid complaint.

Assuming its not a technical issue, you probably live too far from the central office to get good DSL speeds. You can price out what the cable company in your market offers. If youre with AT&T you might do better with Uverse instead of DSL.

300 is his upload. Download is only 190k. Have you tried calling your ISP to complain? What’s your download speed supposed to be? I’ve got the slowest DSL they have around here, and I’ve got 660k down. Ours is advertised as 750 or 768 or so, but they have 1.5M, 3M and 6M as well.

I am in fact with AT&T and I’ll look into your suggestion. But how do you get 300k out of my figure which is around .9Mb/s?

But I certainly agree with you that what I’m getting sure isn’t broadband.

FWIW a neighbor has an unsecured network that I stowed away on for a minute just to run the speed test, and it was several times faster than my legitimate access. Based on a brief reconnoitering, walking around the complex with my notebook, I determined that this neighbor lives several doors away, and almost certainly not on the same floor as I do. The neighbor must have cable internet for it to be this good so far away.

If U-Verse is dependent on the proximity of cell towers or a central facility, then I’m likely SOL anyway. Most or all wireless carriers work poorly around here–usually good enough to talk and do minimal surfing.

.19mps is 190kbps and your upload is 320kbps. Generally, a broadband connection is at minimum 1.5mbps or 1500kbps. You really have terrible speeds. They shouldnt have sold it to you if youre that far from the CO.

Uverse is a little different than DSL. Instead of a DSLAM at the central office, they have a fiber to VDSL device somewhere in or near your neighborhood. If you can get uverse then it you can buy up to 12mbps internet regardless of location.

Frankly, cable might be easier as the Uverse people are agressively selling TV services with the internet product and may not let you buy internet ala carte.

Don’t forget you may be able to play one off against the other. I have gotten 6.0 dsl for $17.50 for the last 18 months by threatening to cancel AT&T and going to Comcast, which I’d never do. But to keep as a customer they give me the rate.

No, that shouldn’t be a problem since we already get our bundle through AT&T–land line, internet, and DirecTV. Except for the internet we’re quite happy with them. And DirecTV especially–even with just our two large conventional televisions the picture quality is significantly better than it was with cable. And so far the customer service has been top notch.

I had a bit of a problem with my 3Mb connection running at .3Mb. I fixed it by restarting my modem. Turns out there’s a bit of line quality issue in the house, and occasionally a bit of interference slows the connection down to a trickle. For some reason, modems apparently will handshake down to a slow connection, but not up to a faster one.

The other thing I was told to check was my modem itself, which, might be your problem. It seems odd that they would intentionally sell you internet that is that slow.

But, how do you make the determination, or is it just random? Do you just restart the modem and hope it helps, or is there a way to look inside, figuratively speaking, and see if it actually is handshaking with a slow connection?

Also, did you do a hard reboot (press the reset button and have to re-enter your WEP credentials), or just power down and back up?

You mean, the capabilities and throughput of the brand and model that they gave me?

One of the issues with DSL is that no matter which ISP you select, they will all use the same hardware at the phone company’s central office (CO), and the same wires between the CO and your house.

The only difference is in which company takes control of your connection at the CO.

Unfortunately, the biggest factor in the speed of your DSL connection is the distance between the CO and your house. The laws of physics conspire to degrade the signal a little bit more with every foot it has to travel.

I doubt that switching to a different ISP will help you very much.

An non-DSL ISP like cable or FIOS or Uverse (VDSL to neighborhood) will help. Heck, his speeds are so terrible they are a fraction of the bandwidth my phone gets in the bathroom. If tech support cannot solve his issue (perhaps it is a bad modem or line) then he should switch to Comcast or whoever serves his area.

Just in case anyone else comes in here for the same reason I originally opened it, I thought I’d post the resolution of the problem.

I called up AT&T’s tech support line, and they went through a remote testing sequence. When I called them back to follow up, I was informed, eventually, that there was a lot of interference in the line and that they would need to schedule a technician call. I was warned that if it was an inside problem I could be charged. What kinds of things could I be charged for, I wanted to know. And as it happens, improper connections could be one such cause. Including, as in this case, a TV set-top box plugged into the jack without a DSL filter.

After adding the filter, my inbound speed now averages in the low 1Mb/s range. This is still way slower than my old cable broadband, but it is fast enough to download AV material in less time than it takes to watch it. This means I can stream TV programs again! And I don’t need to find another ISP, although I may consider spending a few more bucks a month to get the next higher tier of processing speed.

So the moral of the story is, if you’re having problems with your DSL connection speed, first make sure all your other equipment is connected thorugh a DSL filter.

When I was working in ISP Tech Support, ADSL was new, and the standard advice I had to give was to only have a filter on the socket where the modem was connected, and not the others.

About a year after I had moved onto other employment, it became clear that had been incorrect advice. Filters have to be on every occupied socket in the house, whether the modem is connected to it directly or not.

In fact, the jack where the modem is connected is the one jack that does NOT need a filter.

It does if you have a phone in there too, like a double-jack. It was a pretty common arrangement for our clients.

AT&T gives you a splitter for where you plan to plug in the modem; one outlet is designated for the modem and the other is intended for other equipment like a phone. Probably the phone side is already filtered, but I use an additional filter anyway. They do tell you it’s needed for analog devices, but that may not help unless you understand that nearly everything other than the modem might be an analog device. The DirecTV installer told me to keep the boxes plugged into the jack to allow occasional patches and other updates to the internal software, but somewhere I missed that I was supposed to use filters on both.