I am rather disappointed right now.
I started wondering to myself today when I was working remotely on my linux machine and all of a sudden the connection got very laggy. I figured a bunch of people must be viewing my webpage at the same time. So I ran a command to see how many open connections I had, and I was very distressed to find that it was one user causing that lag. Let me explain a bit of back story.
We have DSL from Pacbell which is 384kbps/128kbps. That means we get 384kbps (about 7 times faster than a 56k modem) downstream and 128k (about 2 times faster) upstream. This is exactly what I had before at my old apartment through Verio.
(As an aside, be glad I didn’t have this journal when I was going through my hell with Verio… in a way, I wish I did, because then I’d have an account of it, but anyway…)
The upside of this arrangement is that the 384 is a lower limit. We actually get speeds approaching 1.5Mbps, the theoretical maximum for DSL. Yay us… blazing fast downloads and all that rot. The downside is that the 128 is an upper limit, which means that if we ever had the possibility of downloading faster, some piece of hardware on Pacbell’s end limits the bandwidth.
So, if you do the math, if two people using 56k modems hit my webpage simultaneously, they’ve pretty much sucked up the entire bandwidth of the DSL. If that one person happens to be on a faster connection, they’re probably going to suck it all up themselves.
This is distressing, because this machine is not the only machine on this connection. There are three other machines, as well as a mishmash of other random devices, that all use this bandwidth. Let’s say Ken’s in the middle of a Counterstrike match and someone goes to my photos page… all of a sudden, he gets a bit of lag and dies. Not a good thing, ’cause then Ken’s gonna take it out on me.
Now you’d think that I would have seen this coming. The thing is, as I said before, I had the exact same numerical specifications for upstream and downstream with Verio, but I never had any problems. Verio must not have been doing the bandwidth limiting thing.
Hrm. Pacbell isn’t exactly the most user-friendly company to deal with. I have very little leverage, as the only other pricing option on their webpage is three times as much per month for 384 upstream (which then comes with a proportional increase in downstream). Which makes sense, numerically.
The other option is to move my webpage elsewhere. But at 45 megabytes and growing with every photo album, I’m highly unlikely to find a free, or even cheap option that’s going to meet my needs.
Argh. Argh argh argh. I think I’m going to call Pacbell. If they won’t charge me a fee to transfer service over to the higher rate, I’ll see if Luke and Ken would be interested in making some sort of uneven split of the monthly charge, so that they don’t pay much more than they are now… (in theory, since we haven’t made the first payment yet.)