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Internet Sharing – How to Get Revenge on the Cable Company

Earlier this spring, reports started coming in from some nearby friends that their internet access prices had been jacked way up. It seems that the local internet near-monopoly (Comcast) had just arbitrarily decided to increase their prices by $10 per month. Offended by this attack on their frugality, these friends naturally turned to Adm Karpinsk for advice.

Normally, I’d just advise them to use the magic of the free market and vote with their feet. Call Comcast, cancel the internet service while explaining it is because of the price increase, and select one of several other options we have here in my town (including a city-wide wi-fi network).

But in this case, hearing of this the 20% price increase pushed me over the edge. You see, I’ve had a bone to pick with Comcast ever since 2009, when they secretly funded a voter disinformation program called “No Blank Check Longmont”. It was designed to get the citizens of this city to vote against allowing our town council to use the fiber-optic network that the people paid for and own, to offer services for the benefit of the people.

The cable company was afraid of having to compete with a potentially low-cost internet access program from the city, but since that wouldn’t make a very good sales pitch, they did it by lying instead: saying that the city would be spending taxpayer money on the project. It was completely false, and the town council tried their best to fight the lies with editorials in the town newspaper. But in the end, Comcast just out-spent the council by a huge margin and stupidity won the day. In 2011, the fiber optic vote came back on the ballot, and Comcast funded yet another disinformation campaign with the catchy name “Look before we Leap“. Again, they pretended to be “a group of concerned citizens” despite the fact that their entire $300,000 budget came from the cable companies. Luckily, there were enough informed voters the second time around to kick its ass. The citizens got their fiber optic network back, and Comcast gained a few new lifetime enemies, including me.

So with that in mind, today’s article details a fun science project that is purely for informational purposes. If this article becomes popular someday in the future, it may help tilt the balance of power (and the flow of monthly fees) away from the big cable companies and back into the hands of computer-savvy people like you and me.

My friends and I wondered, “If several people all live close together, is it theoretically possible to share a single internet connection, linking multiple homes with long-range wi-fi antennas?”

We all know about wi-fi technology. I’ve been a big fan since it first popped up at the turn of this century, and suddenly laptop computers truly became useful since you could work in a cozy chair without the need to string a network cable across your house. Since then, we’ve gone from 802.11b all the way up to 802.11n, and its speed has gotten about 30 times faster as the price has dropped like a stone. But even now, these technologies are designed with limited range. They can nicely blanket a coffee shop, your house, and even your yard with internet access. But if you walk down the street, you’ll see the signal strength drop off rapidly and you’ll be disconnected within a minute’s walk.

But for this article, we decided to see how far the envelope could be pushed. In my neighborhood, there are quite a few friends within a three minute walk, which works out to about a 900 foot radius when plotted on a map. Specifically, there’s a cluster of nice people directly to the Southwest of me, so we decided to see if we could bring up a reliable high-speed wi-fi connection between my house and theirs. It was a struggle, but feeling the eyes of the Mustachians on me, I could not give up. In the end, we prevailed, and learned a lot in the process. Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: I measured the “as the crow flies” distance between the two houses. I used this handy google maps distance calculator for that step. If your line of sight between houses is obscured by trees, the limit is 1000 feet (about 16 houses worth in a medium-density housing development) . If not, you can shoot for 2000 feet or more.

Step 2: I ordered two long-range wi-fi outdoor access points from amazon. These have a relatively strong 13dbi internal antenna and a power output of 500 milliwatts – apparently the highest legal power output in most countries including the US.

Step 3: Each homeowner found a way to string an Ethernet cable from his roof, through the attic and nicely into his office to be plugged into the existing wi-fi router on each side.

Step 4: The access points arrived and were installed upon the rooftops, pointing exactly at each other through the 900 feet of clear air with occasional tree canopies.

Step 5: Extensive fussing around with network settings on both sides ensued, due to the clunky user interfaces and loosely-translated-from-Chinese instruction manuals. In the end, we succeeded in getting both houses to share the single internet connection.

Update 2016: when I first wrote this article, the available wi-fi access points were not as effective as they are today. But I have updated the link above to point you to the latest technology, which is of course even cheaper than before. The next paragraphs describe an external antenna I added to the older access point to get greater range. You probably won’t need this, but read on…

But the result was not satisfactory. My house has a very fast internet connection (over 10 megabits/sec download speed), yet my friend was unable to get downloads faster than about 1.0 Mbit/sec, and frequently dropped below half of that. This is too slow to watch Netflix movies or even YouTube, so we were disappointed.

I fiddled some more. We tried returning one of the access points to Amazon, thinking it was defective, but the replacement was exactly the same. I brought them both to my house and did some close-range testing and found that the throughput was much faster at close range. That meant that the distance, and especially the trees, were weakening the signal.

We could give up, or we could double down. Since this was an official Money Mustache Laboratories experiment, I decided to Double Down.

So the Laboratory purchased an upgraded antenna for one end of the connection, to really beam that signal with maximum intensity. I found an external “24 dbi” antenna and a connector cable, both from the same TP-link company, and placed the order. Based on the picture and the price, I was expecting a cute little flimsy metal thing about the size of a small toaster oven.  But when the big flat box came to my house, I was shocked at the size.

I opened the box, and saw a beefy metal grid that looked like a BBQ grilling surface. It was huge! But there appeared to be TWO of them in the box.
“Did they accidentally send me two antennas?”, I asked.
“Uhh.. I think you’re supposed to bolt both of those pieces together”, came Mrs. Money Mustache’s voice from over my shoulder.
She was right. I assembled the 24dbi monstrosity, and this is how big it ended up:

RF engineers will note right away that in this picture, I had the shiny receiver part in the center mounted sideways – it needs to be rotated 90 degrees. But I didn’t realize that until several hours later. After climbing back onto my roof, connecting the external antenna, and fiddling yet again with angles and orientations, I couldn’t even get a signal as strong as the smaller internal antenna had been delivering (for reference, I found you need at least 36 db signal strength to get a fast connection – the internal antennas averaged 28 db).

So I gave up and sulked down my ladder, thinking that the experiment had been a failure. I’d have to return all this stuff and probably wouldn’t even bother writing this article. But as I opened the box to get it ready for re-packing, a figure in the instruction manual caught my eye. I realized I had installed the receiver wrong! There was still hope!

To make the rest of this long story short, I reassembled everything, put it back on the roof, and BLAM! The internet connection between the two houses was suddenly blazingly fast! My friend was able to get 10-megabit speeds through his test setup, and the connection was finally rock-solid – good enough to stream movies and music without stuttering.

The final solution. It’s huge, but it is tucked away on a back corner of the Mustache residence, so the overall effect is no worse than a TV antenna.

It was a lot of work. Even after learning from my mistakes, I would not recommend this project for someone who doesn’t know how to, for example, manually set the IP address of a computer, or how to change their wi-fi router so it assigns DHCP LAN addresses on the 192.168.2.x subnet. All of these details could easily be hidden from the user with the right technology, but it doesn’t exist today – so this is not for technophobes.

But if that doesn’t scare you off, here are the benefits:

  • Sharing an internet connection with a friend can save each person $300 per year or more.
  • Extending your home wi-fi network to include a big swath of your neighborhood allows you to make voice-over-internet phone calls even when not at home. This may allow you to use a lower-level mobile voice plan, data plan, or both.
  • It allows you to share files, folders, and even printers between friends as if they were in the same house.
  • My phone now connects to my home wi-fi network even when visiting neighbors many houses away. So I can stream my favorite Pandora Internet Radio through the phone, which is fun for parties and also for outdoor construction work, which I do mainly close to home.
  • I got in touch with Republic Wireless and am now on their short list to become one of the testers. This is a new $20-per-month unlimited cell phone plan that works best if you’re in wi-fi range a lot of the time. With this new rooftop antenna system, this is definitely the case.
  • This antenna/access point combination can also be used to tune into any nearby wi-fi network. There may be public wi-fi available at a library, school, or other facility (even several blocks away) that you can use from home, for free. For light users, this may allow foregoing a paid internet connection entirely. In my city, an outdoor access point is often required to connect to the city’s pay-for-use wifi network. But once you have it set up, you benefit from great-quality internet access at a price much lower than what the bad guys are charging.

Disclaimer: if you plan to do this, check your own internet service rules to make sure it’s allowed. Comcast, for example, tells you in the user agreement that sharing is not allowed (even though this is a silly rule: they already have a montly data limit, so who are they to say how you use the data YOU are paying for??).  I’m not a Comcast customer (I switched to another service after the aforementioned hijacking of our town’s elections). I don’t encourage breaking any laws. I just encourage having fun. This post for is for educational purposes only :-)

Happy Hacking!

Update, 18 months later: Voters have scored another body blow on the cable industry, approving a fiber optic connection to every interested home in the city, which will bring us 1,000 megabit/second internet for $49 per month: http://washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/06/big-cable-helped-defeat-seattles-mayor-mcginn-but-they-couldnt-stop-this-colorado-project/

Further notes on Comcast: After reading many of the comments below, I realize just how widespread the dislike for this company is. It’s quite amazing, and a bit reassuring, to see that running a company in an unethical way really does get you in trouble with your customers. Eventually, it will surely force the company to drastically improve, or be destroyed.

The funny part is, I remember reading an interview in a big business magazine with the Comcast CEO a few years ago. He sounded all earnest, like he really knew about their bad reputation, and he wanted to improve it.

Well, here’s a tip, besides the obvious of  “don’t try to hijack local elections”. How about TELLING PEOPLE THE ACTUAL PRICES OF YOUR GODDAMNED SEVICE PLANS!?!? If you go to comcast.com and look up pricing plans, you get thrown into an awful and tricky maze. First of all, everything is all jumbled up, with talk of archaic services like “TV” and “Voice” even after you click the “Internet” tab.

Secondly, we do NOT give a shit what the fake price is “for the first six months”. Tell us the actual goddamned price! Put the long-term monthly price of all the services on the FRONT PAGE of the website. In huge numbers. If you like, put a tiny footnote about any introductory pricing, which is almost irrelevant to our long-term costs. Better yet, skip the stupid gimmicks and roll the promotion into the overall price, lowering it slightly. Then raise this price about 2% per year at the most, to keep up with inflation. Or better yet, lower it, since communications and tech prices are always dropping. Be honest, and stop trying to fool people into buying more shit than they need.

These are my tips to Comcast as a starter for how to make your customers hate you less.

  • Heather A February 17, 2013, 5:56 am

    I just got hit with at $52 increase per month by Charter. Yes that was FIVE-TWO!!! No change in services, no additional anything. The market is suppose to be monopoly-free, but how can that be when competing services for cable just aren’t comparable services. Plus the only services available in my area are Charter or dial-up, and maybe Direct TV if you can get it to work with all of our tree coverage and exposed rock ledge peaks. GRRRRRRR!

    Reply
  • thepotatohead May 13, 2013, 7:43 pm

    MMM, I too hate Comcast with a passion. The straw that broke the camels back was when they decided to charge for the “free” digital adapters we all got with the switch from analog to digital tv. So I finally flipped them the bird and canceled my cable tv and couldn’t be happier. Sadly, I still am stuck with them for internet. Working on rectifying that….God how I hate Comcast lol

    Reply
    • Ben Bates December 31, 2013, 4:21 pm

      I am in the exact same boat. Did you find any good alternative?

      Reply
  • Rick Hamric July 21, 2013, 12:05 am

    Not sure if I can still reply to the Internet sharing using a dish?

    Does anyone know if the technology/equipment/prices have changed since this article was written??? Cheaper/better/easier hopefully?

    I have plenty of close neighbors and just yesterday dropped My Verizon Fios Internet [ONLY Internet] 15/5 unlimited data. I have negotiated with them numerous times in the past and have been paying 50 bucks per month for the past 2 years They now insist they need 70, so I told them to take a hike and had them terminate service yesterday. They have not come crawling back to me. YET. But I expect them to as I have been with them for 5 years.

    I could “tolerate” the 50 a month but they must be nuts if they think I am going to pay 70.

    Reply
  • Eric July 24, 2013, 10:38 pm

    Or simply run a coax to the house next door.

    Reply
  • Ray July 25, 2013, 10:45 pm

    If you can get several next-door neighbors you should be able to achieve the same without the big antenna. You just need wireless access points that are capable of repeating the signal (we are probably not talking your consumer-grade wireless here…look at a real computer store or online from a place that sells business equipment).

    Wireless Access Point (house a) — Wireless Access Point (house b) — Wireless Router / Comcast (house c) — Wireless Access Point (house d) — Wireless Access Point (house e).

    Note there is a limit to the number of “hops” that can be set up this way. Each wireless access point is a hop.

    Reply
  • Ted July 26, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Hello,
    Well, thank you for this post, really interesting. I just have three small questions, the wireless you used is supposed to be 802.11g/b, however the standard 802.11n is faster right?
    My questions being:
    1.- Wouldn’t it be better to buy one wireless access point that uses the 802.11n standard rather than the g?
    2.- I looked up (really quickly) and the ones that I found using those standards, but the price is almost twice the price of the one suggested by you and the distance is reduced to 5Km (while the TP-Link says is 15Km).
    3.- There are like 4 coffee shops near my home that have free wireless, would I be able to pick those signals up if I put this wireless access point in my home?

    Thank you so much.

    Regards

    Reply
  • Matt S July 29, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Comcast’s scumbaggery is legendary, people quickly learn the truth about them and find alternatives. I wouldn’t go back to them EVEN IF IT WAS FREE.

    I had cancelled their service, they continued to bill me for a couple months after. When they refused to credit my cc, I filed a chargeback and got a credit. Instead of speaking with me about the prorated amount honestly due to them, that I would have happily paid – they sent the amount directly into a collections company.

    Seriously? They still bombard my mailbox with advertisements that I happily burn.

    Reply
  • Ron August 11, 2013, 10:48 am

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned in the comments, I just kind of skimmed through the final third or so.
    In the first picture of the antenna you correctly figured out that the feed portion of the antenna was oriented incorrectly in regards to the reflector. I noticed though, in the final solution picture, that the antenna/reflector combo is mounted so that the signal is horizontally polarized. Maybe that was on purpose and the remote antenna is also horizontally polarized, which is actually pretty smart considering that the vast majority of wifi antennas are vertically polarized, but if not and the remote antenna is oriented vertically then you have around a 20db loss in signal strength due to the cross polarity of the signal. Just thought I’d mention it. Came across this blog researching wifi antennas. ;-)

    Reply
  • Dan September 26, 2013, 8:43 pm

    This is great, nothing like fighting the ‘power’. I’m in MA where there isn’t to much choice between internet providers and Charter is the primary. I lived in an apartment where I knew the neighbors above, across the hall and below me. We came to an agreement to split the internet 4 ways, I purchased a newer, faster wireless router and cut the bill x4. Paying 15/month is much better than 60

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  • Jamie Fristrom October 24, 2013, 9:56 am

    Wow, I just quit Comcast two days ago to get in bed with the other available devil, CenturyLink, and am feeling pretty good about it now.

    “Secondly, we do NOT give a shit what the fake price is “for the first six months”.”

    You can almost always call Comcast after the first six months, threaten to quit, and get them to find a ‘new promotion’ to sign you up on. My conclusion? The first six month price is the Real Price. It’s the “let’s see if they’re too lazy to not pay us” price that comes after that is the Fake price. Like with coupons – they still make a profit if you clip coupons. The no-coupon price is a fake tax on our laziness. As I sign up with CenturyLink they even said, “Be sure to call us in twelve months so we can find another promotion for you.” (So much more annoying than coupons though.)

    Reply
  • Jeff December 11, 2013, 7:30 pm

    I’m on the 6th floor of a condo that is caddy corner to a Starbucks. According to Pythagoras and a few distance estimates, I am less than 500 feet from it (I suck at distance estimates so it might even be less than 300). And it is a clear shot. My laptop cannot pick up the signal from here so what do I need? Yes, I’ve read the blog, but need details for my situation if someone knows how to rig it. Help me cut my internet bill!

    Reply
  • Tara Zee January 15, 2014, 2:20 pm

    My dad has a younger cousin who lived in a rural area in PA where companies refused to deliver high speed internet. Because he had enough neighbors, he decided to buy a T-1 line and did something similar to what you describe to sell to a couple neighbors in town (it was over 10 people). I don’t know how legal that was either but if you have no option for high speed internet, you do what you gotta do!

    Reply
    • Adm Karpinsk January 15, 2014, 6:46 pm

      Nice!

      Ahh, the “T-1 line”.. I remember that, when we talked about 1.5Mbit/s as if it were an enormous amount of speed, and companies would rent those lines for $1000/month. Now my city offers one THOUSAND megabit per second fiber optic connections (equal to 666 T-1 lines) for $49/month.

      Reply
  • M February 2, 2014, 11:21 pm

    My neighbor 4 doors down and I easily set-up wifi sharing between our two houses using the Ubiquiti Nanostation Loco – a tiny little magic box. It doesn’t even have direct line of sight and we’re still pulling 15 MB/s over 250 ft with trees and a small building in the way. $50 x 2 and we’ve cut our bills in half. (BTW, it turns out Comcast is charging me $21/month more for a slower speed than he has…and they raised my bill 40% in one year. Bye bye.) http://ubnt.com/nanostationloco

    Reply
  • OptimusStache February 13, 2014, 1:29 pm

    This just scares me now because Comcast is trying to buy Time Warner Cable. I have NO LOVE for TWC, believe me. But it is the only viable internet provider right now (and I love me my [email protected] days). TWC already gives bad enough service, I can’t imagine what Comcast will do. (I know what they did to this person: http://koritelling.blogspot.com/2014/01/an-open-letter-to-comcastxfinity.html )

    I called TWC (before I started reading this blog) after I cut the cable tv and told them I wanted the promotional cost they were currently offering and it cut my budget by 20$/month (for the next year). You have to keep watching those costs! They keep slipping in the increases.

    Reply
    • IAmNotABartender April 21, 2015, 12:35 am

      Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii has great service. I’m watching the purchase by Comcast as well. What a terrible company.

      Reply
  • Christian Clark February 13, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Considering the news about Comcast becoming an ISP monopoly by buying out Time Warner, and have made it clear they can stand to lose 3 million customers, I consider this article more essential than ever.

    Reply
  • SU March 10, 2014, 2:49 am

    This story gives an interesting look behind the scenes of the US’s internet companies – and could give MMM some useful talking points next time he’s taking down Comcast: http://npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/02/06/272480919/when-it-comes-to-high-speed-internet-u-s-falling-way-behind

    Reply
  • DVStv August 15, 2014, 1:00 pm

    The FCC sets maximum power limits for wireless network transmitters. As the gain of an antenna increases above 6dBi, the power level must be decreased a corresponding amount. The intent is to limit the distance which the wireless link can cover to prevent interference to other users. The rules are a bit trciky to interpret without some background in electronics but 600 mW is too much power for a 24dBi antenna. My back of the envelope calculation says that 250 mW is the max allowed for one antenna, although that doesn’t account for cable losses. If there are multiple antennas on an access point then the limits are even lower.

    So what is the advantage of high gain antennas if the power must be reduced to use them? For receiving. The narrow focus of the antenna is more immune to interference from other noise sources that share the same frequency spectrum. This increases range somewhat but it really helps increase throughput.

    Another unlikely issue that could crop is that other licensed users including ham radio operators have priority access to the range of spectrum that wireless networks use. If a neighborhood network interferes with those users then you would be required to take what ever steps are necessary to eliminate the interference.

    Reply
  • osage August 27, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I use NetZero
    Totally WiFi
    Faster by far than Comcast
    $22.50/mth (inlcuding fees, etc.) every month
    I have comcast for TV only and I’m ready to give them the boot. Their programming is poor. I want TV to teach me something. I can get what I like to watch on the internet. WHEN I want to watch it.

    Reply
  • Andy September 24, 2014, 1:54 pm

    Great article! Would you be able to tell me which model of TP-Link access point you ended up going with? I also live in a suburban area with about 400 feet, a few trees, and about 5 houses between me and my target with plenty of neighbors that have their own Wi-Fi networks. I was thinking that the 2.4 Ghz model would make sense as it’s best for range, but apparently 5.0 Ghz is less likely to conflict with neighboring networks. Do you have any guesses as to which would work better?

    Reply
    • Adm Karpinsk September 24, 2014, 7:34 pm

      Mine is the 2.4gHz – and since this article it has been used in a few additional sharing situations with good results. (I have moved to a new place since writing this and now have non-shared Internet – for now! :-))

      Reply
  • john March 31, 2015, 7:49 pm

    After constant mailers from Comcast for “promotional” (read: more expensive) tv plans bundled with internet (we haven’t had cable tv in about 16 years), I called and asked if we could have a slower plan. Turns out we now have a “mere” 24Mb/s for about $50/mo vs the super-duper 50+Mb/s plan and HD movies stream just fine. We’re in the DC area, so the whole town-against-the-company thing is out the window here. They’re one and the same.

    Reply
  • Solfest April 3, 2015, 7:24 pm

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  • Andrew July 30, 2015, 4:59 am

    Just wanted to leave a quick comment on the whole antenna debacle. The local internet provider in my hometown have used, for many years now, self made wi-fi antennas like this one: http://lincomatic.com/wireless/cantennaside.jpg
    These are very good as they only have 5 or 6 access points spread out across the town that cover the entire town. Basically these antennas have a range of over 1km, the problem with them is that they are just very directional/focused. You have to aim them straight at the access point to actually get a signal, and you get a very strong signal.
    Their antennas aren’t even made out of metal like the one in the picture, they make them out of a pvc pipe with cans at the ends.

    Reply
  • Bikeguy August 12, 2015, 8:38 pm

    Another hater of Comcast. Got rid of their cable TV about 7 years ago after having an antenna installed on our roof for OTA channels. Went to antennaweb,org to make sure we would get all the channels I expected. Has saved quite a bit of money over the years.

    Fight the good fight.

    Reply
  • Billy September 10, 2015, 10:27 am

    My friend is letting me use his comcast login so now I’m signed onto my neighbor (who lives right behind me) comcast wifi hotspot through my macbook pro. I then connected a ethernet cord from mbp to airport extreme router and now I have wifi and ethernet working from my router from my old setting I had on it. The connection has been intermittent though.

    First I’d like to say I can’t believe this set up works, and second would it work If I bought the TP-LINK TL-WA7210N, mount it on side of my rooftop, and just use one long ethernet cable and connect it directly to my router?

    Reply
  • JB November 3, 2015, 9:17 pm

    Have been doing this since 2010. Use the exact same TP-Link CPE which leads to an internal access point at each site. Each site is NAT’d and has QOS enabled for torrents and other services. Totally worth while doing plus it splits the bill. Main problem is height and objects such as trees in the road. If you can get good clearance, you can share your network over long distances with no hassle (height also helps compensate for channel overlap). Work out your distances “as the crow flies” then lay your network on paper topographically and work out your details from that e.g. IP structure, SSIDs, Channel allocation and most importantly, secure passwords. I also have all my equipment (as the WAN is based at my house) on a UPS for surge protection and power redundancy.

    Reply
  • Jen December 14, 2016, 11:26 am

    I live in a rural area with few internet options. Currently, we pay for internet of 3.0 Mbps (actual 4.51 Mbps). My brother and sister-in-law live approximately 1,200′ away (as the crow flies) with a fairly open line of sight. They currently receive internet through their cell phone provider, but are constantly at their data max. They cannot receive the same 3.0 Mbps as that service is not available to them (though they live just down the road from us); only 756 kbps is available to them.

    We have entertained the thought of sharing internet with them by setting up a network of sorts as you have explained aboove. Here is our question–While we have “fast” internet compared to them, will sharing our service, slow down speeds for everyone? In particular, will we both be able to stream Netflix at the same time?

    Reply
  • margaret December 23, 2016, 12:49 pm

    We don’t use Comcast. We use Frontier. But Earthlink and Comcast are parting ways. Therefore Comcast will take our email addresses away. Can they do that ? Our email address should belong to us, the way our phone numbers now do .

    Reply
    • Adm Karpinsk December 25, 2016, 11:39 am

      Wow, I can see how painful it could be to lose a favorite email address. But a tip for the future – you should NEVER use the email address that comes with an internet provider account, because you’ll surely change providers over the years. Instead, simply get yourself a gmail account, which gets you all sorts of useful services and is yours for life (as long as Google or its descendants continues to exist).

      Reply
      • John January 22, 2017, 12:16 pm

        If you want to be even more insulated from having your email address change against your will, and/or don’t want to use gmail for some reason, AND have a bit of technical savvy… get yourself a domain name and set up an email address there. You can have it forward to gmail or whatever, but if Google ever goes away or their terms of service get (even more) evil, you can move your mailbox somewhere else without changing your address.

        Reply
  • FMaz January 22, 2017, 11:37 am

    1,000 megabit/second internet for $49.

    Darn, it cost me $180 + mandatory landline ($30) to get 5mbps capped at 50gb/mo.

    Living in Northen Canada sucks…. And I’m writing this in 2017!

    Reply
  • ElLocoMarko March 24, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Anyone considered congestion (on a channel)? When WiFi routers need to share a channel, they have the logic to work together, it’s part of the 802.11 standard… UNLESS one is massively overpowered where it can be heard by lots of smaller ones that don’t have the power to transmit back :) I lived in one of these areas where the offender was a pizza restaurant. I wonder if any of MMM’s non-sharing neighbors complained of bad 2 Ghz WiFi? This isn’t definite… congestion was my theory for the old house and I was able to side step it switching to 5 Ghz which is shorter range, less over-transmitting of one’s property. Still a theory but it seemed to hold water.

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  • Raegan April 3, 2017, 3:42 pm

    I know this is an older article, but I feel like the dissatisfaction with internet service providers is still very relevant. One of the big changes from the time this was written are the available options to us now as consumers. I don’t have wi fi at home and I use data from my cell provider. This was a point of optimization for us. We (my husband and I) moved in August and the only option for us now is cable at $45 a month, previously we had DSL at $30 per month, which was reasonable. Of course, the cable company will bundle it for $60 with cable, which I don’t want. We went from a netflix plan to a dvd.com plan for about the same price. We rent movies from redbox occasionally. Although, most often we just borrow them from that same library. So this will seem pretty extreme to some people, but this is exactly the spot for such radical ideas, we have been without internet service at our house since September.
    We both have wi fi at work. The library is about a mile away and has free wi fi. If we miss their hours, I have a key to my work and we can use the wi fi there. For the most part though, we just use our cellular provider for internet. I typically use about 5 G and he uses 2.5 G. I have to commute (company car) to another site for work and I like to listen to a podcast en route. Total wireless has an 8G plan that can be split between two lines for $60 per month ($57 if you auto pay). If I need a bit more data, I can get 3G for $10, and any leftover will be applied to (a) subsequent month(s).
    This results in much less screen time at home, which is a great thing.
    There are also mobile hotspots now, which may be worth looking into depending on your situation.

    Reply
  • Mark June 13, 2017, 2:39 pm

    It’s worth noting that the most hated industries (medical, Cable, airlines) all just HAPPEN to be under heavy govt regulation…

    Reply
  • horqua September 24, 2017, 8:22 pm

    2017 Comcast Price Update – CC is taking another 20% price increase nearly across the board in the greater Denver area commencing in October. No improvement in speed or service, no fibre, same old packages, promotions, 6 month come-on’s, etc. Nickel dime, Nickel dime, Nickel dime.

    Reply

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