Compared with Comcast high speed the download and upload rates of DSL are drastically slower. You don’t notice it as much in web page loading but you do when downloading music, games, movies, patches, updates, etc. However it was easy for me to simply time large downloads during the night or at points when I was willing to wait. My only annoyance was when I was updating my mp3 player from Napster and was waiting on the MP3’s to download before a bike ride. Poor planning on my part but it took twice as long as with Comcast.
Before making the commitment to Comcast I tested download speed with Qwest and Comcast active at my apartment at the same time. Both times I tested were on the same computer with a wired connection with a test to the same location. Comcast got down speeds around 20Mbs and up at 4Mbs. Qwest was consistently 4Mbs down and less than 1Mbs up. This is obviously a gigantic difference in speed. The higher speed lines from Qwest are unavailable in my area, the plan I have is the 7Mbs. My Comcast plan is the normal one with powerboost.
In more practical testing I tried a download from ati.com which I always get great speeds from. The rate with Comcast was a steady 1MB/s with burst sometimes reaching over 2MB/s. That’s MB/s with a capital B meaning Byte instead of bit. I used Internet Explorer for the download which measures bandwidth in Bytes per second. I then tested the same file with Qwest and got a steady download rate of 500KB/s with a burst up to 1MB/s.
Despite the difference in speed Qwest has superior service and is much less expensive. Without special deals Comcast is $70 per month just for the internet. Qwest is $45. Suddenly learning patience and planning downloads at night isn’t such a big problem. Add tot hat they offer DirecTV for another $40 per month with a better channel lineup and you have a winner. Except the service at DirecTV is absolutely horrible. SO for a time I even had a combination of Comcast TV and Qwest DSL. It wasn’t the best way to spend my money but I was getting what I wanted.
With that said I called Comcast and got a deal. I told them what I could get with Qwest and they basically matched it. Internet + TV for $80 a month and I get HBO (that I never watch). All in all I was very satisfied with Qwest and if it weren’t for the deal Comcast gave me I would still be with them. Especially if DirecTV had better customer service.
You can also find some actual test results on my previous blog post.