By July 8, 2008

FiOS speeds: how much is too much?

I thought I was hot shit when I signed up for Verizon’s fiber optic Internet service over two years ago. I have the 5Mbps up, 20Mbps down speed for $55 a month. It has served me very well, and was only down once for any appreciable time, I believe for about eight hours. I ran Broadvoice’s voice over IP telephone service for almost three years, the first of which was on Comcast’s cable Internet service. The quality of service alone was worth Verizon’s slight price increase. I could send faxes over FiOS without difficulty and phone conversations were as clear as if I were talking on a landline.

Anyway, it is now possible for me to get 20Mbps up, 50Mbps down for $89 a month. That’s a pretty big jump in speed, especially on the upload side.

But do I need it?

I am not working from home any more, and I canceled my Broadvoice account a month ago. I download a fair amount of stuff, and play my Xbox 360 almost nightly and take advantage of the Live! online gaming service. However, are any of those experiences going to be sufficiently upgraded by going to 20/50? Or is it just geek bragging rights?

In the end, does it matter? 20/50! I remember when I used to think the T1 at my first computer job was blazing fast, and the line cost $1200 a month including the loop charge. My how things have changed in the last thirteen years.

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3 Comments on "FiOS speeds: how much is too much?"

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  1. roclar says:

    Seems like 5/20 is more then enough bandwith to sustain gaming and the average web services. You could probably even downgrade the connection and not even notice a change in those activities. The questions is how much video/audio do you download and how fast do you want it?

    Given how little I download, I’d be very content at 5/20 for $55 a month (as I am already paying about that for cable now :S). Unless I really get into retrieving video in some form online, I don’t see any reason in spending more the $60 a month for internet service.

  2. BushPutin says:

    It also depends on who ‘serially’ you download anything. Most likely (even if you have two systems going) if you are doing two simultaneous downloads of large files, you are likely to never hit the 20Mbps anyway. You’ll probably max out at about 14Mbps assuming that your disk can write fast enough anything that might be held in cache or your TCP buffers going to your app.

    Maybe you should check out MRTG and SNMP (pretty simple) and see if you can get stats from your most external interface (say…the thing that hooks you to FiOS) and check our what your min/max/average network utilization even looks like.

    Basically, (from the description you gave), it’s most likely geek bragging rights.

    -B

  3. I agree with BushPutin. You’ll probably max out at about 14Mbps assuming that your disk can write fast enough anything that might be held in cache or your TCP buffers going to your app. your matter of 20/50! is not enough to do all above you said.

    how things have changed in the last thirteen years.I think it might be your fate only.

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