WFH: Internet Speed to slow? Go speed racer go!

I work from home most of the time.  There are a lot of benefits and detriments (different article different day).  Mainly though you learn to self start and try hard not to work all hours and ignore your family.  However, internet access is critical and you don’t want to be faffing about with your main communications channel.

Symptom

I noticed some VOIP issues while also doing screen sharing with Azure resources.  This has been getting worse the more smart home devices are added or when the family starts streaming while I am working.  Analysis led to a few issues.  This post is going to be about Internet Speed.

ISP

I spoiled for ISP choice here in Austin Tx.  I have always enjoyed shopping local and that includes my internet.  My local ISP keeps upping their speed and dropping their prices. They have constant competition from AT&T (Throttle kings), Spectrum (you wanted internet with that?), Google Fiber (you are paying us to sell your info), among others…

The most recent speed bump is 300 down 20 up for the slow speed.  <Warning> Put down your drink </Warning> for $35 a month.  Great news!  More speed Scotty and cheap prices!

When I ran SpeedTest.NET I was only seeing about 130 down and 20 up.  What gives?

Network - Docsis 3.0 speed

Troubleshooting

  • Checked my wifi versus wired – no real difference
  • Checked my Motorola SB6121 logs – http://192.168.100.1 – no errors
  • Checked multiple devices to ensure I don’t have some silly half duplex… nope

Huh.

Let’s take another look at the wiring closet.

  • Router is gigabit into gigabit CAT 5 lines.
  • Machine to machine tests are great.
  • Modem specs – WAIT A MINUTE!  Max download speed 172 Mbps.. and that’s theoretical.  Oh man my trusty woot purchase is outclassed! Time for it go on craigslist!

Time to go shopping!

Side Note: CapEx Money Savings

If you have Internet provided by a cable modem (not ISDN or Fiber) go buy your own Modem.  Why?  It will save you $5 to $10 a month.  That means you can buy a super fast and stable modem and pay for it in hard dollar savings quickly!

DOCSIS 3.1: Out with the old

My old modem was to slow for today’s internet.  The old modem was 8 channels down and 4 channels up and based on DOCSIS 3.0 standards.  A quick google search finds their is a new standard DOCSIS 3.1 which can have download speeds at 2+ Gbps! and is backwards compatible.  I found a great sale on SlickDeals.net via NewEgg  (no tax in TX) and free shipping!  The Motorola MB8600 has 32 channels down and 8 up.  Plus a bunch of smarter technologies to make the network more stable.  The reviews are good, it is supported by major ISPs and it doesn’t overheat like some of the Arris modems.

Installation

Look up ISP phone number before doing anything (network is going down remember?)

  1. Unplug old modem
  2. Plug in new modem
  3. Call ISP
  4. Provide OMS code (bottom of Modem) to ISP
  5. Wait
  6. Reboot modem after firmware update
  7. Reboot router for new IP address.

200

Speedtest.net Redux

Network - Docsis 3.1 speed

Oooo!  one issue down.  Next up tackling those WIFI dead spots!

 

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Author: shauncassells

Shaun Cassells, Senior Solutions Engineer, 1E Shaun is a Microsoft MVP Windows Insider MVP and executive at Central Texas Systems Management User Group (CTSMUG). Shaun is a frequent speaker at conferences like MMS, Gartner, TechEd Europe, TechEd North America, IT Dev Connections, System Center Rallies, and Systems Management User Groups (SMUGs). Shaun is an award winning blogger syndicated from www.shauncassells.com. Shaun specializes in analysis, optimization, and design of Tactical Solutions to Strategic Business Goals. Prior to joining 1E in 2010, he worked for a Global 100 company as the Configuration Manager Service Owner and Architect. Recently as a Principle Consultant at 1E, he accomplished design, review, and improvements to a variety of Configuration Manager environments from the very small to sites with a half million seats. He provided leadership that created a patented automated application rationalization and usage based OSD mapping solution in use by multiple fortune 500 companies. These days you can find Shaun traveling to help discover, review, and improve business productivity across the world.

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