To Cable Modem Or Not To Cable Modem That Is The Question.

Greetings All
I am thinking about switching from a regular phone line connection to my isp to a cable modem.
Do any of the teeming millions have any experence with them?
Are they worth the cost?
Are they a hassle to setup?
Any experence with Time-Warner’s roadrunner system?
All input welcome.

t lion

I don’t have any direct experience with cable modems or roadrunner itself. I do however work as an engineer for a telecommunications engineering consultant.

You might want to check out roadrunner’s homepage; there is also a link there to Time-Warner.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

I have both home and work experience- here’s the scoop:
At first, incredible speed on the internet. Awesome fast downloads. Worked great.

After a while (when the whole area got using it) not so great internet performance, so so downloads.

At work it was pretty good- I found our local tech support pretty clueless- (My brother in law works for Time Warner and when they were getting RR, they literally picked names for who got training in level 1 tech support- no experience nessecary. Yikes)

I don’t use it now because here you must also subscribe to cable to get it (we have a sattelite dish). If you want to try it, wait until they have an installation special (like $29.99) and give it a try for a few months. Here you didn’t have to sign up for a specific amount of time, but you should check that out.

I got rid of RR and an using and I find that for free it works great :slight_smile:

A friend is someone who likes you even though you’re as ugly as a hat full of assholes.

Thanks for the link UncleBeer.
I have all ready been all over that site.
I am trying to find out what most users think.
Thanks for the info.
My problem here is poor phone lines that I can’t do anything about.
Have tried several 56K modems None were able run anywhere close to full speed(24.4 -31.2K)both ways.
The local telco has checked the line and says it is fine.
I have cable TV allready and the cost for R.R. is about the same as I pay for the line plus the cost of access.
Thank you both for the reply.

t lion

Lion, I have a cable modem and it is very fast indeed. I can download a 10MB program in a few secs. Sometimes. It depends on the site. As for browsing, it is considerably faster than a phone modem. You also have the added benefit of freeing up your phone if you only have the one line.

There’s a downside. (Always is). Cable can only carry so much information, and as more people sign on, the bandwidth has to be shared, which tends to slow things down. But it will always be faster than what you have now.

You also have to be certain that you get a compatible modem for the cable you have. Your cable company can help you with that. They may even sell them. They are pricey, though.

If you can rent a cable modem, that might be a good idea. Then you can make a more informed decision on whether to buy.

Personally, I would not go back to a phone modem now. I’ve been spoiled.

This space for rent.

Oops, forgot. No, there’s no hassle to setting up a cable modem. You’ll be on line in a few minutes. It’s plug and play.

This space for rent.

Wally, are you with Rogers? Email me privately… I’m considering switching to Rogers but don’t know how dependable it is. Thanks.

Sex appeal – Give generously

Lion, ifyou only get 25k with a 57k modem, then check your phone jack inside. Sometimes it gets corroded & causes that, also there are other things you might check.

ASDL modems are the new in thing. Im waiting for an internal ‘not always connected’ one for 100 bucks & 20 a month if they come out later.

I use @Home, which is a pretty good service. The downloads are only super fast from major sites such as Microsoft. Otherwise, it is about ISDN speed. If you have ever heard the “up to 100 X faster than regular modem,” they should be emphasizing the “up to” part.

Cable modems are about the fastest on the market now, but they have one aspect which i really don’t care for. since you’re on a network, anyone even semi-computer savvy can just wonder into your system via the network. they aren’t supposed to, but my friend does it all the time to see if his neighbors have any cool programs.

All this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job 5 days a week-- Rocketman

I have a cable modem and I wouldn’t go back (I would go forward though, to something even better)

O p a l C a t

Lion, I have RR cable modem with MediaOne here in GA.

I have had it since July 99. It works great. The downloads are so fast. And the browsing is great.

Mediaone tries to help you maintain a consistent connection speed. They seem to provide a certain level of protection with their service. (I cannot see others on the network and they cannot see me, not all systems do this however).

Setup was easy. You can install your Network Card (usually does not take but a few minutes) and then they install the cable and the modem and hook you up.

Mediaone rents the modem to me.

Definitely look for a setup deal.

I love it. My criteria for moving now includes that where ever I go, must have high speed access.


Make sure the cable modem you get is “send/receive” as opposed to just “receive”, be cause the former is like a regular modem, but with the latter you’ll need also need a dial-up line if you want to send any information across the internet.

MediaOne RoadRunner only offers “one-way” service to Sanibel at the moment. I’m still waiting for two-way service (they say they’ll have it on 2000. Right.) My dad has an ISDN line, which works at a max of 128K/sec. I’m using a 56k modem, but in order to use the 56K service, I’d have to pay $5 more a month, and the phone lines are so crappy that it probably wouldn’t work anyway.

I just got my cable modem a couple days ago and I’d say it’s definately worth it. The price is cheaper than paying for an ISP + 2nd line and much better.

It’s not much more dangerous than a normal connection so you don’t have to worry about that as long as you have a virus scanner and the computer is set up properly. The biggest mistake people make is leaving shares open but a competenant tech will fix during the installation.

I’ve had @Home cable modem service for a little over a year.
(This is for a Motorola modem with @Home, your setup may vary)

The Good News:

  1. It’s a lot faster than a dial up. Downloading speed improves on huge files. I can DL a full Netscape (around 15 megs) in about 5 minutes.
  2. It’s always on. None of that dialing up the ISP and logging in crap (or getting a busy signal). Since you are always on you can set your browser to automatically check for email and it will download new stuff constantly.
  3. You don’t tie up a phone line. If you have a computer and a fax on your line as I used to, you’d lose your fax service while on line. I have a home office with two lines so now I have a dedicated fax line.
  4. It isn’t expensive…usually about what it costs for a second line plus ISP account.
  5. They are very dependable. Mine’s only gone out for a couple of short periods in over a year. When they are going to be doing maintenance it’s usually in the dead of night and they warn you ahead of time. You NEVER get punted off line and your downloads never die halfway through.
  6. If you use one of the proprietary services like AOL you can sign up for the Bring your Own Access program which is cheaper than a regular account and connect with the cable modem.
  7. You can toss your old modem and use the slot for something worthwhile. (I put in a second parallel port).

Bad News:

  1. Cable modems are networked. The more people on your net, the slower it gets. It is NEVER 100 times faster than your dialup, 20 to 40 times faster is more likely. It can get down to dialup speeds if your network is loaded and everybody is DLing Netscape. It’ll slow down when the Net itself is busy too.
  2. The fastest cable modem in the universe is still only as good as what it receives. If you are connected to a slow or heavily used site performance will suffer accordingly, just like with a dialup.
  3. Performance varies widely from user to user. There are people around here (Central CT) who consistently get lousy speed and lots of disconnects. Don’t lock yourself into a long term plan 'till you are sure that YOURS works.
  4. Customer support can be awful. I haven’t used it in a long time but, last I heard, about 6 months ago, it took 2 hours on hold just to get to a Level 1 tech (the jerk who asks if your machine is plugged in and turned on) and another 1.5 hours to get to a Level 2 tech.
  5. Everybody from the company to the techs to the local compter freaks say you can tap right off the cable outlet in your wall with no problem. I dunno if that’s true or not but all the people I heard of with problems did that. I have a separate, unspliced line from the pole to the modem and I never have problems.
  6. When they install your modem they’ll rig it to load the company’s own content as the default start up. I dunno about RR but @Home’s own content is mostly crap. They will tell you that you can’t bypass it. That’s also crap. (You bypass it by making a shortcut icon to your browser’s EXE and running from that instead of the icon they install on your desktop.)
  7. If you are planning to keep your dialup as a backup make sure to save your browser settings and and set up a separate profile for it. The cable modem installation will change your browser’s default settings and the dialup won’t work anymore. It took me forever to get my dialup working again and I never did get it to send email.
  8. If you have the option, compare the cost of renting the modem vs. buying one. They are expensive as hell and, like everything else, they’ll get obsolete fast. Plus you’ll be stuck with the hardware if you buy one and then drop the service.
  9. Installation is expensive but they run specials. Around here it’s normally $150.00 but I signed up at a demo and got it free.

On the whole I’m very happy with it and wouldn’t consider going back to dial up. We don’t have SDN around here yet. I’ll look into that when it becomes available.

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

Lion, I have a RR cable modem from Time Warner, and generally I think it’s worth it. However, they’ll try to screw you out of as much money as they can. $100 setup fee–and that’s if I install it myself! Or pay $120 and watch in amazement as the technicians insert a disc into the floppy drive and run the setup program. Yes, its definitely worth the extra $20 to let them do it. Note heavy sarcasm

You can only do this to people who have file sharing turned on, and are actively sharing files between systems in their house. If you keep file sharing turned off, this is not a prob.

Our cable modem, with RR in the DC area is great. Consistent fast speeds. It is definitely fast in both directions, tho the down speed is faster than the up speed (~1.1Mbps up, ~250Kbps down).

I’d go for a faster connection, but I’m lucky to have even one local ISP where I live. Best connect is 56K modem.

Last year from October to Febuary they didn’t have enough phone lines. Same stuff started two weeks ago. The bad service is always somebody else’s fault too. This even though they are almost at the total bandwidth of their T1 connection to Chicago.

One mile down the road they have the choice of three local service providers.

I start a large download if I connect so as not to lose my hard gained connection.

First of all I would like to say thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply to my question.
So far everything I have seen posted confirms my tenative decision to make the changover.
The RR system here in Houston is bi-directional and the local cableco is only charging $99.00 if they set it up and $49.00 if I do it,I built the computer so I think pluging in the network card is not going to be diffacult.
As I understand it the cableco provides the modem and N.I.C.
If every thing goes as planed the changeover will take place 12/01/99.
Thanks Again

t lion