Residential Broadband and Piracy / Porno

I have always used 56K and never needed broadband. But my friends keep on telling me to switchover to broadband because of apparent “performance”. But what do people need broadband for ? (I can understand people needing it at work, or people dealing with big GPS files or movies or CAD drawings).

If they are not downloading Songs/Software/Porno, why do so many people need residential broadband ?

Also somewhat related, harddrives now come standard with 40 GB or something like that. If thats the standard requirements computer makers think, then what are people using it to store ??

I mean is’nt it intuitive that people are going for broadband and higher disk spaces because they are downloading big files from the internet. Also, using the same logic, big files means pirated work (most of the time) or porno. Is’nt the broadband and disk manufacturers somehow promoting piracy ?

I don’t know, if this question should go into GD, so mods please feel free to do so.

Everything is getting bigger. The last patch for a game that I downloaded was more than 100MB, and demos are frequently hundreds of MB. Plus, there are an awful lot of movies and programs that are not pirated, which are legal to download.

There also is streaming music and TV. I get BBC Radio 1 in Kansas City as clear as I do in Hertfordshire, UK, and with no skips or halts. I can stream TV from Italy, and it actually works.

And let’s not forget large (legal) art sites. Or shareware/freeware program downloads. Or…hell, everything.

Plus, for most all sites out there, broadband simply is faster.

Well, not all songs/software/porno is illegal. Some Linux distros are 3 full CDs. That would take a hell of a long time on a dialup. It takes several hours even with DSL. PC game demos can also be hundreds of megabytes.

Anyone who has surfed the web for more than 10 minutes can tell you that there are plenty of legal, pay porn sites out there. They seem to stay in business, too, so I think there’s more than a few peope out there with legal, paid-for porn from the web. Nothing sucks more than waiting for porn, so I can see how a fast connection would be preferable.

Also, web pages load faster, especially those laden with lots of images, Flash movies, and things like that.

I’m still seeing a lot of computers on the market with 20 GB drives. Many do have 40 GB, though. Why? Games are one good reason. Many newer games span 3 CDs, have no “minimal install” option, and, when decompressed and installed, take up 2 to 2.5 GB of space.

Finally, there’s the marketing factor. The price difference between a 20 GB hard drive and a 40GB drive is as little as $10-20. If you’re selling a full system, that’s one cheap way to beef up the specs.

One of the first things I did when I got my cable modem connection was upgrade my MSIE; I had been making do with an obselete version because I was too cheap to pay to have the disks shipped to me and didn’t have time to nursemaid my AOL/phone connection for the estimated two-three hours that a download would have taken. With the cable hookup it took all of twenty minutes to download and install the current version.

Web sites load much much faster with broadband. You may think your modem loads fast enough, and indeed it may be fast enough for you–because you’ve never had broadband. But once you get used to every page loading in less than a second, it’s hard to go back.

Internet radio is another good use. When you have broadband, you can be surfing, downloading, or playing online games while you’re listening to 128kbps streaming audio. With a modem, you’ll be struggling to keep up with a 56k stream, and you won’t be able to do anything else online at the same time.

I work from home, and at first worked for about a month on dialup before I got my DSL hooked up. My productivity went through the roof as soon as I got it. Sending an email with even a small .pdf attachment was a half-a-cup-of-coffee affair. When you had to send the same attachment to 20 different people, half a day was gone.

It’s hard to describe all of what goes into making broadband so essential. Clearly, when downloading huge files (e.g. Redhat Linux), broadband shines – a CD of data downloads in half an hour.

To answer the question, the speed difference is astonishing, the magnitude of the difference can only be truly felt if you try it out. If you were to try a week of broadband, you would see – it’s like a puff from the crack pipe.

My nephew can get on the computer and run all of those Flash games that kids sites have without having to wait forever for them to load. News sites heavy in advertising load quickly. OS patches take seconds to download instead of hours. Oh and legal mp3’s and video download extremely quickly.

Now about those huge disk drives. A very common reason for having huge drives is doing video editing. As soon as you start getting into this taxing craft, you will find that you need two huge fast drives, so that when copying multi-gigabyte files, you can bounce between drives for a huge performance boost.

OK, that came out all wrong. I know there are many legit uses of broadband. But IMHO most people are not downloading linux or legit things. Any statistics on that ?

Has piracy gone up with the advent of broadband ?

I use broadband at work btw so i am familiar with it.

In my opinon, no. Program sizes increased with modem speed, so back in the day you could still pirate software. It just happened to be much smaller.

One of the advantages of broadband is connection sharing. If you tried to share your internet connection using a router on your dialup, everything would be very very slow. However, if you are on DSL or cable, you can have as many computers as you want, with all relatively fast connections at the same time.

I have 3 home computers on my cable broadband connection with no noticeable loss of speed. Also, some people are not able to get proper performance out of a regular modem. At my last apartment, regardless of which ISP I tried, my 56K modem would never connect at a rate faster than 33K. As far as I could tell, it was an issue with the phone lines somewhere between me and the nearest ‘station’. I would also get dropped connections at least once a night that I was unable to determine exactly what was causing it, and when you’re a fan of online multiplayer computer gaming like I am, poor connection speed and frequent drops are a very bad thing. Once I switched to cable (and fortunately my provider has been reliable; there are bad cable providers out there), I no longer had those problems.

There’s a convenience and sometimes cost issue as well. With modems, you need to dial in each time you want to get online, and you get charged for the phone call. With my situation it was actually cheaper to pay for the broadband connection than to pay for a second phone line (and the call fees) and ISP charges, plus we can have 3 computers online whenever they’re turned on, all at once.

Of course, if your broadband ISP uses “PPPoE”, then you aren’t actually “always on”, like they advertise (the lying sacks of donkey dung…).

This is a question that is difficult to answer. The recording industry would say “Yes”, pointing mainly to a 9% drop in CD sales last year (completely and dishonestly ignoring the fact that the economy is in the toilet, but the RIAA and it’s ilk never lets the truth get in the way).

However, in the defense of the RIAA, and anecdotally speaking only, I can say that of the nearly 3 dozen people who I personally know with broadband, ALL of them save perhaps 2 did increase their downloading of copyrighted music and videos tremendously upon switching to broadband access. In fact, most of them brag about it - comparing at work how fast they can download an album from Kazaa, or a movie from someplace.

One of my reasons for upgrading to DSL is that now I can use my phone and be on the Internet at the same time. Before upgrading, I only had one phone line (still do), and I didn’t carry a cell phone at the time, so knowing that people would be trying to reach me on the phone, I had to plan my Internet sessions and limit the amount of connect time I was on so that people trying to call could reach me. I could have had a second phone line installed, but I knew the time would eventually come when faster methods for connecting to the Internet would become available to home users.

And yes, the speed is a significant difference, too. I’ve gotten so used to fast loads that when I go to someone else’s house and use their dialup connection I am reminded of how nice it is to have DSL.

What do you mean? I have PPPoE and my connection seems to be always on. Are they deceiving me somehow? I seem to have a VPN with my providor going, if that makes a difference.

You’re “Always On” becuase you’re always logged on. Similarly you can call a dial-up connection “always on” if you leave your account signed on 24 hours a day. Most PPPoE connections that use dynamic IPs will knock you off line here and there (anywhere from a few times a day to once every 1 or 2 weeks), but your PPPoE softwhere or router, as the case may be, is usually programmed to log you back on fast enough that you don’t even know it happened.

Thanks for explaining that - I tried to post earlier, but the Board would not let me.

SWBell and some other providers are notorious for rolling out PPPoE in some areas (I think Wichita is one of them) where you get kicked off every 1-2 hours, which sure makes having a persistant connection difficult…

I used dial-up for about two months when I moved in to my new place, before I realized that life without bandwidth is no life at all.

The constant connection is a big plus for me. I use AIM as my answering machine, and it is one of the main ways that my friends and I communicate. If I wasn’t “always on” I’d miss out on a lot. I download a lot of user-created mods for games, and those can be a pain with dial-up. I use the Internet a lot in my schoolwork- both viewing large files and uploading large files on to my school server. Then there are movie trailers, web games, shareware files…plus the ability to surf the web at a seconds notice. No waiting for the machine to dial-up (and then getting busy signals, or exceeding my weekly limits, etc).

I think it is all just a matter of how much you use your computer. I’m on my machine all the time. It takes on the functions of my television, stereo, telephone, clock, mailbox, newspaper, datebook, address book, phone book, map book and notebook. It’s how I play games, it’s how I entertain myself, it is how I work, it is how I learn, it’s how I play media, it’s how I get my news, it’s how I get almost any information I need (store hours, movie times, school assignments…everything). Needless to say, I burn through gigs pretty fast- I’ve got about 200 gigs in my room and I’m starting to run short already (part of that could be because I do a lot of video editing).

And I’m not even that hard-core of a geek. Just a somewhat above-averagely-geeky college student.