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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/loki-there-is-no-difference-between-the-mac-and-23971193.aspx

Subject:  Re: Local DSL vs Comcast Cable Date:  4/13/2006  9:04 PM
Author:  TwoCybers Number:  32602 of 66227

Loki there is no difference between the Mac and the PC world once you get to the wire (or wireless signal) outside the box. The software within a Mac or a PC gives different names and different pictures on the screen.

Visit the Help with this Stupid Computer Board. There are almost weekly threads on how to hook up and other common events.

That said, your best reference is: DSLreports.com Go there and join. It is free so long as you never try to post from more then 1 PC. As soon as you use a second PC, you have to register and pay -- costs $10. It is a pain to get to pay the $10 if you screw up.

I have had DSL and Comcast multiple times for both. I have had DSL from multiple service providers. In my view unless you are running a web site or downloading lots of large files (as in movies or music pieces longer then 10 or 15 minutes), you face a choice that is economic as opposed to "speed" or security. However, I am firmly of the opinion you will care a great deal more about technical and customer service then speed a couple of years. I have no idea how good your local DSL group is. In my experience Comcast at its best sucks. However your local DSL may be worse. You can get comments on DSLreports. As you read, you need to understand Comcast may be a huge national wide company, but they have local tech support. The people in Nashville were much better then those I found in Atlanta. I went to Earthlink who had amazing tech support. About 90 days after I signed up, they promptly sent all support except for people terminating service and corporate accounts to Outsource land. The service was fair, but the wait to get service and the hoops they made you go through were not easy.

Currently I am with my local phone company. Support has been moved to Asia, but it is better then Bellsouth used to provide.

Cable and DSL service is different. Each has talking points. Generally Cable will be faster. Cable will be slowed down as more people use it -- like in the early evening. Think of the Cable pipe like your water main. It has a certain finite capacity. DSL on the other hand is slowed only by how far you are from the Switch. You should be able to measure that on your local phone company's web site. You will be using the local phone company's wires and service. You may purchase and get support from someone else. If you ever want to change DSL providers, this will become an important item. The phone people are in no hurry to do anything for another DSL provider.

Personally, I find setting up a local area network easier with DSL, but neither is hard. The frustration with Comcast is every time I have called for support, the first thing they demand is to disconnect the network -- assuming you don't pay Comcast a monthly fee for supporting your network. Never have had that demand from a DSL provider.

Admittedly I live in Atlanta, but in my opinion DSL is going to be less expensive then Cable for many years. The phone people got to the show late and have little other then price to compete with.

If you do not have a regular phone line, then Cable will undoubtedly be cheaper then DSL. Similarly getting only internet from the Cable company is expensive. Bundling is a read good way to save a few bucks. If you can combine local phone, internet and wireless there are substantial savings. Don't forget DirecTV has agreements also. You may not be able to move it all today, but over a period of a year you probably can move it all.

You must have filters on all phone lines used for anything if you get DSL. The are cheap, but keep this in mind if you use a dozen fax machines, phones, TIVOs, etc. I understand it is possible to filter a whole house, but I have not looked into it.

Now one last little item about Cable. The Internet signals are somewhere between channels 6 and 7 on the signal to your house. The amount of signal strength or power needed to make a TV picture is low as compared to powering a cable modem. Typically you will take 50% or even 75% of the total power to the modem. This can lead to low signal strength in some situations. You might want to ask you neighbors how reliable the cable signal is. The special channels like HBO are more sensitive then the basic channels. If your neighbors have trouble occasionally and do not use cable modems, you may have trouble.

Gordon
Atlanta

PS I really enjoy you on the Bonds and Fixed Income Board
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