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Cable/DSL Tweak Guide (Page 1/5)

Posted: September 17, 2000
Written by: Dustin "TimmyC" Jones


Editor's Note: While this tweak guide is technically written for cable modems, most of these tweaks will work with xDSL as well. Back up all settings before changing. Keep in mind that some users may experience loss of performance, but most should experience a gain in performance from this guide. This is why we recommend that you back up settings before proceeding.

Ahh broadband; every gamer's dream... I'm sure you have seen all the ads on TV or heard them on the radio: "Cable modems are up to 100x faster than your conventional dial-up." "It's instant, it's faster video, it's richer graphics, better sound." Blah blah blah. So you finally decided to fork over the cash (or nag your parents => ) to get a cable modem installed. The big day arrived finally ( I had a 2-month wait for the first setup I got.) And you got it all installed and BOOM!! (Hehe) You fell off your seat because of the speed. Pages which seemed to take forever took seconds, downloads were near instant, and your gaming, most importantly of all, was smooth and awesome; without noticeable lag. This is why all those lpb's are so good...

But all good things must come to an end. As Iím sure lots of you have experienced, slowdowns became common. As more and more people signed up, it got slower. Your 100kb/s downloads slowly became 20 or even 10.. Pings began to soar higher and higher.. You start to thirst for something faster. You have begun to regress into your modem state again. You feel the need for speed.

What Happened?

This is a question that I'm sure many ponder. Well there are many reasons, but the most common would be local traffic and Internet traffic, period. Local traffic is the biggest speed cap that plagues cable modems. Cable modems work on a network/grid that connects to a T3 router running at 45 Megabits per second. Each area is a grid (a few blocks). Depending on where you live, you could have a busy grid, or a not-so-busy one. My grid for example, isn't really that busy; so I get a lot of speed. But others may not get much speed at all because there are lots of people signed up in their area using up a percentage of that T3's resources, causing it to slow down. This is the biggest fallback of cable Internet technology. The problem lies with the cable companies' lack of upgrades to their equipment to meet the needs of the consumer. There isn't much you can do besides maybe write angry letters.

Then there is Internet traffic. You can't help that either. Your best bet if you really need the speed is to pick a time where not as many people are on. I know that's hard because the whole world is connected, but if you use it at 2 AM, you really do notice a difference over say 6 PM.

Your computer's performance does affect your Internet performance as well. If your computer isn't running the best, neither will your Internet. After a format, it goes much better for me. Tweak your computer! Keep that computer clean!

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