Is "Unlimited" really unlimited?


catilley1092

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There is something that disturbs me about "unlimited" internet. Is is really so? I think not.

First of all, as the regulars here knows, I've posted a couple threads complaining about my ISP, Time Warner. I originally had Road Runner Lite, somewhere around 1.5mbps (when downloading, Firefox was displaying around 178KB/sec.). Then I decided I wanted more, and for $12 extra monthly, I was moved to 7mbps. But never once did I see that speed, the best that I could do at speedtest.net was around 5.5mbps.

Over the last few months, my downloading has increased a lot, and lately, dramatically. It's no secret that I'm a TechNet Plus member, and I've upgraded both of my computers very well. For about a week, I hardly downloaded at all. Then about four days ago, I decided to download Vista SP2 64 bit. It took over six hours to download. That's right, six hours. And it wasn't prime time, either. I mean, how many users are on the net at 11:00PM thru 2:00AM?

So I began to be suspicious of my ISP of "governing" or "throttling" my speed. I told my neighbor (my landlord) that I was having trouble and asked if they were. They said no. They have what I originally had, Road Runner Lite. They are very good to me and my wife, and offered me use of their wireless, if I had trouble.

So with that offer in hand, I put my ISP to the test to see what was going on. I used my desktop on my connection, and my notebook on theirs. Keep in mind that I'm paying for over four times the speed as them. I downloaded the latest copy of Ubuntu (32 & 64 bit), the size isn't that much different. I started them both at 11:00PM on Thursday night, my laptop finished first, by over an hour. They both were downloaded by the same mirror (University of Tennessee). And the 64 bit one was downloaded to my notebook, it was about 100MB larger, which isn't that much different, but I was giving my ISP the benefit of the doubt. My speed was fluctuating up and down badly.

Then, I went to reading my customer service agreement with Time Warner. Turns out, they have what is known as an "acceptable use policy", meaning that if my use adversely impacted the service for everyone, they can place limits on my speed, to the point where I can only use so much bandwidth over a 24 hour period.

What kind of way is this for a company to treat their customers? I haven't made my mind up as to where to go next, but this is my last month with Warner. I'll probably go back to Cricket temporary, there's another wireless called Clear, they have 4G for $40/monthly, plus taxes. They say that their speed is around 6mbps. I need to buy the modem, it costs more than a 3G one does. But they claim 4 times faster speeds than 3G. And they also have the acceptable use policy, but they call and warn you prior to choking your connection.

Anyone else have these same problems? Even AT&T has this same provision in their agreement. I always thought that unlimited meant as much as I wished to.
 
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davehc

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The subject has come up before, Cat, in a thread we were in. As I said then, the catch was the guarantee "Up to (speed)"
But putting that aside. Have you tried using one of the free download managers. They do wonders. They work on the same principal as torrents, but legally.
You will get other suggestions, I am sure, but I use one called "Free Download Manager"
http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/
 
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catilley1092

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I think that I've seen this as a addon for Firefox before. I'll try that. But if my ISP is playing tricks on me, what good will it do. But I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
 

catilley1092

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I've added a addon within Firefox called "Down Them All!", so far, so good. It's tearing through this Ubuntu download that I've already done. So far, it's at 38% complete in only a few minutes. The estimated time for the whole download is 16.30 minutes. But keep in mind that this is Sunday morning. I'll do another tomorrow evening, the time of night that gives me problems (11:00PM). Really, no one should be having speed problems at that time, and is the whole point of my thread.

I know, and respect the fact that there is more users than I on the net. We should all have equal access to the service. Which is precisely why I wait until late to do my work, I don't mind the late hours. But how many users am I really depriving at that time of night? Maybe some kids are downloading music or whatever, but the system shouldn't be under strain after 11PM.

I find this amazing, using Down Them All, I completed this 711.52MB download in barely over 14 minutes. When without the manager it would have taken well over an hour, and that's if I'm lucky. Well, over the next few nights, I'll find out just how fast I'm running then. Somehow or the other, it must be bypassing Time Warner's "throttler" on me. There is a PayPal donation place on the manager, if it can sustain these speeds, I'll gladly give them a few bucks.

Cat
 

Nibiru2012

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Cat - how these download managers work is that they usually connect to more than one thread or download site offering the same download. They connect and then search the web and connect that way, if I'm not mistaken.

Maybe davehc has some input on this too. When used to use IDM Internet Download Manager and FlashGet, that's how they worked.

I need to download another Linux distro and I'll try one of the free ones to see how it goes.
 

davehc

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Yes Nibiru. That is exactly how they work. As with the "peers" in torrent programs. It is worth looking through the options. You can limit, or delimit, the number of mirrors you use at one time. On a low spec computer, it can often speed up the process by accepting the default,or even lowering it a little.
 
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You may also want to download OpenDNS Updater. You can download it from www.opendns.com. This program changes your DNS Server from your ISP's and also protects from Phishing.
I've added a addon within Firefox called "Down Them All!", so far, so good. It's tearing through this Ubuntu download that I've already done. So far, it's at 38% complete in only a few minutes. The estimated time for the whole download is 16.30 minutes. But keep in mind that this is Sunday morning. I'll do another tomorrow evening, the time of night that gives me problems (11:00PM). Really, no one should be having speed problems at that time, and is the whole point of my thread.

I know, and respect the fact that there is more users than I on the net. We should all have equal access to the service. Which is precisely why I wait until late to do my work, I don't mind the late hours. But how many users am I really depriving at that time of night? Maybe some kids are downloading music or whatever, but the system shouldn't be under strain after 11PM.

I find this amazing, using Down Them All, I completed this 711.52MB download in barely over 14 minutes. When without the manager it would have taken well over an hour, and that's if I'm lucky. Well, over the next few nights, I'll find out just how fast I'm running then. Somehow or the other, it must be bypassing Time Warner's "throttler" on me. There is a PayPal donation place on the manager, if it can sustain these speeds, I'll gladly give them a few bucks.

Cat
 

catilley1092

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I'm going to give davehc's suggestion a try, I've downloaded it already, what I was doing was giving Firefox's d/l manager a chance, since it was a quick addon. But after the first two downloads with it, the SOS took over again. I was downloading both versions of Slackware 13.1 (32 & 64 bit). They both are over 4GB long. It ripped through the first half of the first one (the 64 bit one), but then after an hour and 2GB later, it reared it's ugly head again, it took a total of 6 hours to complete the task, though one half of it was complete within an hour. FF's d/l manager will get no donation from me.

But one way or the other, my service with Warner expires 6/22, and by then, I'll have every major Linux OS at my disposal. I'll get my money's worth, one way or the other.
 

Nibiru2012

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Cat - it looks like TW was watching your DL and throttled you at near the end.

Figures... my ISP, Grande Communications here in Central Texas will usually throttle during peak and business hours but after midnight they don't.
 

catilley1092

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I've installed the program that davehc recommended, and going to give it a shot. Seems as though I've had the program before, mabye with Verizon Wireless. What drew my attention was the download symbol in the right hand corner of my screen, I've had it before. But I don't recall the results (it was on a notebook that I had three years ago). However, it probably is better than it was then, so I'm going to give it a couple of shots.

But why does the ISP's make you go through this s**t, only to get what we pay for? As I've stated in an earlier post, I respect those who needs the net during the day, and reserve my long downloads for late at night. But still I get screwed over. If I'm doing my work late at night, who am I taking from? Warner is just f*****g with me over my complaining to them, that's all. When I can connect to my neighbor's router and download faster than with mine, despite the fact that I pay for four times the speed, that proves it. Because when they want, I can rip through 3GB downloads in an hour and a half. But it's been awhile since I've seen those speeds, except for a brief period this morning.

I've accepted the fact that Warner doesn't want my business anymore, but I'll do anything to get the last drop out of them. Why? Because if they only wanted me to have 5GB of data, they should have told me so. Even in their "AUP" that I described earlier, there was no set cap, only a notice to those who places a severe burden on the network at peak times. And I've bent over backwards to not place a huge strain on the network during peak times. Web browsing, updating & small downloads, yes. But Linux discs and TechNet OS's & other products, no.

And when I switch, or simply leave, I intend to speak with someone in charge about the issue(s) that I've had. Along with a report to the state's attorney general's office, to let them know what I've been through, and make a claim of false advertising against them. After all, you go to an "all you can eat" restaurant, that's what it's supposed to be, is all you can eat. I worked with a man who was asked to leave such an establishment, because he was on his way to his 6th plate. He told them the he would go, but not pay, because what was promised was not delivered. The police were called. And the matter was resolved promptly, if they were going to leave the sign posted, promising you all you wanted, then they would respond to no more such calls over it. They gave the owner a choice, let the man eat and pay, or show him the door and that's the end of it. By this time, the place was crowded, and the owner was clearly embarrassed. This was a very popular and respected establishment. The situation was resolved by the owner letting the man eat for free, then he got a gift certificate for two to come back. I saw the certificate myself, and there was a write up in the local newspaper over it.

Like the man above, I only want what I pay for. 50 to 60GB of data monthly isn't going to break a company's back. My TV service is in the package, and I don't even watch it. The only time it's turned on is when my granddaughter comes over, once or twice a month. What about all of the couch potatoes that looks at TV all day, then when the parents or spouse pulls in, they hurry and grab a broom like they were working. Surely that TV consumed a lot of data, too. Where's the abuse clause there?

I suppose that I've ranted enough on this issue, but I'm only telling the truth. If a service promises you all you want, that's the way it should be, as simple as that. I'm ordering my wife a Cricket cell phone early next week, all of our services were tied into that bundle. For $30/monthly, plus sales tax, you can use the phone all you want. Their motto is "where unlimited means unlimited". That motto is about to be tested, as my wife is a heavy phone talker. But I'll let her do her own complaining if it doesn't work out. She is more forceful about the issue than I am, and usually gets results. But she won't get involved over my internet issue, she's one of those anti-computer people. Thanks to all for your suggestions for my problem, and if the one that davehc doesn't work out, brkkab123 offered one to try, too.

Cat
 

Core

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I do recall something about Time Warner experimenting in the south with capped bandwidth quotas, but I don't remember if speed was a factor in it. I don't think it was.

Keep in mind when you look for an alternate ISP, that some ISPs simply lease the cable from the likes of Time Warner. In San Antonio, for example, you can get Roadrunner and Earthlink, but both use Time Warner to provide the actual service.

Have you asked TWC directly if they are indeed capping your bandwidth? Or, better yet, put in requests for a field technician to come out and figure out why your speed suddenly sucks. Put in a call daily until they send someone over. Rinse and repeat until they either fix the problem (if it's at their end) or admit that you're being capped for some reason.

Mind you, it is also possible that someone in your neighborhood has suddenly decided to start using a hacked modem to uncap some better speeds, which can slow down your connection considerably. At any rate, the longer you can work with your ISP rather than approach them aggressively, the better, although I admit cable providers can be so sluggish about providing support that you need to keep calling, calling, calling - just make sure to keep it cool and friendly. You just want the service you are paying for.
 
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Nibiru2012

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You may also want to download OpenDNS Updater. You can download it from www.opendns.com. This program changes your DNS Server from your ISP's and also protects from Phishing.
I use opendns too, and it works most of the time, like I said before sometimes I get throttled, but it also may be where I'm located too. I'm about 100 yards from a bunch of businesses as there are five strip shopping centers within visual range of my apartment complex.
 

catilley1092

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I believe that I've solved part of my problem, and the answer was under my eyes, but most refers this to doing illegal things. BitTorrent 6.4 kicks butt! Only into a 4.2GB download for 15 minutes, it's 10.4% complete. I tried all of the other things listed, but to no avail. In fact, that program that davehc suggested loaded other software onto my system, but I do know that he meant well. I had the program before, now I see why I dumped it.

But this BitTorrent deal is a whole different story. The absolute reverse of cable, the more users downloading a particular program, the better. In the short time that's went by since starting this post, it's at 17.8%. Remember, this is a 4.2GB download here, no chump change. If it completes fine, it will become my default method of downloading large files, and depending on the outcome, I may highly recommend it to all.

Core, I have called Time Warner several times, and there has been four service calls by them. I have been very cooperative with the service crews, even helping them look for loose connections, giving them access to my computer for testing, doing all that I can to help. Even offering them something to drink. I want this resolved in a professional manner, not being like a hillbilly and raising hell before their foot is in the door.

I even suggested that mabye a "N" router would help, I have no doubt that it will. Both my desktop and notebook has "N" adapters, and I even have a couple of extra USB ones, and a Netgear card that goes into the slot of my notebook. But they claim that they don't have those routers, and refuse to discount my monthly bill if I provide my own. They say that "breaks the package", just as when I asked about removing the converter box on my TV, which I don't use. They charge $29.99 per service, as a package, all equipment included (except phone), for a total of $112 (after taxes & fees). Then I wanted more speed, so that added $12 to that. If they would allow me to break this package up (which they will, whether they want to or not) and install my router, I believe I could get decent service.

But the phone & TV is going. I realize that I need a "basic" TV connection, but that's only $10/monthly. They can add internet to that, just as at one time, they added phone service with no other features. That's the way my mother-in-law has it, basic TV and 7mbps internet for $39.99/month, plus tax. My current deal is about to expire, and this would be the time to work out a package that meets MY needs, not Time Warner's. I'd gladly purchase my own router, if they don't charge me for theirs. I'm really not hard to work with, in fact I'm far more easygoing than my wife and her mother. Her mother tells me to tell them to take their equipment and not to allow the door to hit them in the a*s on the way out. That's what she told the AT&T people, in front of me and my wife.

I need to explore all of my options before deciding anything, being that my deal is about over. And believe me, I will do just that. I'm tied down to no one come 6/22, and if they don't get their act together before then, I may find myself repeating my mother-in-law's words. If one ISP can't make me happy, then there's others who will.
 

catilley1092

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BitTorrent 6.4 d/loaded the 4.2GB file in a little over an hour. Way to go! Now, why can't my ISP do things this simple? That's all that I want, is fast downloading on demand, and no BS about it. They provide movies on demand, that takes movement of data, so why not do the same for internet service? That's a simple question, and a fair request.
 

catilley1092

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This BitTorrent program really works anytime of day. I know that I've downloaded over 12GB of OS's today, and currently am downloading four at one time, and they all will be finished slightly over an hour. The more on here, the merrier! I'm even "seeding" one OS that I finished earlier.

I wonder why this program isn't suggested more for those with download speed problems. It solves the problem, and you're contributing to helping others at the same time by pooling together. Looks like a good deal for all concerned, as long as you're not doing anything wrong with the software.
 

davehc

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"that program that davehc suggested loaded other software onto my system"
Huh! What other programs?

Bit Torrent. Confused again! Bit torrent, as far as I am aware, only downloads torrent files?? It is still out to the jury, but these are considered pirate files by many ISP,s - unfortunately mine being one such.
They are, in fact, often a malicious way for busybodies to load virus's on to your computer.
Obviously you are not downloading from Technet?
 
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Core

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"that program that davehc suggested loaded other software onto my system"
Huh! What other programs?

Bit Torrent. Confused again! Bit torrent, as far as I am aware, only downloads torrent files?? It is still out to the jury, but these are considered pirate files by many ISP,s - unfortunately mine being one such.
They are, in fact, often a malicious way for busybodies to load virus's on to your computer.
Obviously you are not downloading from Technet?
LOL. You need a new ISP... Your current one's a bunch of morons.
 

davehc

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Not really. Their operation is quite good. Policies change. There is pressure on the ISPs now, since some reputable (very much Linux) started distributing through torrents.
I have no contention with the policy. If I do need something downloaded, as I said, I use a download manger which does the same thing.
 

Nibiru2012

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BitTorrent is just another way of downloading various files. It is a protocol, nothing more, that uses the "spidering" of the WWW to achieve it's various functions.

Now with anything, there are benign uses and "not so" benign uses. If someone is using a torrent client to download IRON MAN 2, that's not a good thing. However, if someone is downloading Fedora 13 Linux Distro, that's a good thing.

Torrent clients are nothing more than tools to be used as seen fit by the end-user.

Personally, I was one of the first people in my circle to begin using BitTorrent back in early 2002. Bram Cohen developed the protocol back in April 2001 and released it in July 2001.
 
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TrainableMan

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There are many many perfectly legal programs, free music, even movies available to bittorrent. Having bittorrent is not a crime - only downloading copyrighted music or movies is. I've used Bittorrent for years. My ISP sent out a few notices and I told them I wasn't doing anything illegal; they sent back a "OK but we will comply with any court order", yada yada but then they leave you alone. Just be sure to reply right after the third notice or they will likely shut you off.
 

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