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Will cable internet be reliable?

Last response: in Networking
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January 27, 2013 4:26:19 PM

Well, my gf and I are moving, and I've been struggling to figure out what to do about Internet without risking wasting a bunch of money we can't really afford to waste.

We're moving into an apartment, which I know to be outfitted with cable, although I'm not sure if DSL is possible as well, and the building manager is an older fellow who doesn't know what cable and DSL are, so for now I can't find out for certain.

Anyway, my main question is about how reliable cable internet would be in my situation. For about the same we're currently paying for a ~5/0.5 DSL dryloop, we could get a 28/1 cable connection, with a peak hour limit of 14/1. Now I know a bit about networking, but not enough to be confident with a decision, and would like some experts to help me out.

What kind of actual speeds could I expect to see? I know speeds depend on how many people are using the grid, but I'm not sure of the architecture of said grid, do grids usually go by apartment? Block? City? I don't know enough to know if it'd be the ~50 people in my apartment affecting the speed, or the ~120,000 people in my city. I'd assume it works kind of like a tree with branches and twigs, but again, I'm not really sure.

I might of rambled a bit too much, if so:

TLDR:
1. How will a 28/1 cable internet connection be affected in term of speed, and how large of an area is it affected by?
2. What kind of speeds could I expect even during the 14/1 peak hour limit?

Thank you for any help you may provide. :) 
January 27, 2013 5:40:56 PM

Use THIS SITE to search in your zip code for all providers/plans/and user feedback.

All else being equal, I would go for a DSL connection over a shared cable where peak hours are slower and may be worse than what the plan indicates. That search site should give you some actual user feedback on that.
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January 27, 2013 6:13:54 PM

Being Canadian, I can't seem to use that site, thanks though. :p 

As we have only have 5Mb/s DSL right now (Which I just found out it seems to be the max we can get, for some reason) cable would most likely be faster even during peak. Just a minute ago I managed to get a hold of a friend who has cable, they're getting 20Mb/s during peak on a 28MB/s line, and a 28Mb line for us would actually be cheaper than the 5Mb line we have now, because of the current extra charges of Dryloop.

If I could find DSL service that was at least 10-15Mb/s and not in the $80-100 range, it'd be my first choice, but I haven't found anything yet, and am not sure if my area even has more than 5Mb/s service..
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January 27, 2013 6:19:44 PM

Oh yeah, then I would go with the cable since it has better speed and is cheaper.
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January 27, 2013 6:51:29 PM

Thanks for the help, I'll be calling during the week to make sure 28Mb service is available around here. With me, my gf, and our friend all being heavy internet users, the service I'm looking for had to be rather specific, which has made this whole thing a struggle, so the help is very much appreciated. :) 
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