Best broadband option for Macs

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Im looking at different broadband services, mainly DSL over cable. Our internet service at home is absolute crap...extremely slow even for 56k (almost unusable for the internet) and disconnects every hour, also has problems connecting. It is free at least that is one upside. However, its really starting to frustrate me since I need the bandwidth and I cant even listen to a live internet radio mix show because the stream rebuffers every 2 seconds. So I have been looking at different options, and would like some help in deciding what to do. Basically I am lookng for the best and fastest service at the best price and of course something that works great in Mac OS X. I noticed that SBC Yahoo! DSL was for Mac OS X and had good reports. They have an introductory rate of 29.95/month for the cheapest, which does 384kps-1.5Mbps download and 128k upload. I also think we have our phone stuff with SBC although I could be wrong.

I think companies like AT&T probably also have plans for broadband, and there are a few different types of DSL that you can get (like ADSL, RDSL, VDSL etc) and then there are also other broadband options such as satellite. Also, with DSL can you have multiple users browsing the internet at the same time on different computers in the house? Can DSL or broadband work through CAT5 cables just plugging into the phone line (like with a T1 line network). This is a long shot in terms of actually getting broadband at home, but I am going to try and convince my parents (heck I will even pay for it and just cancel when I leave after the summer) and it is really bad when you come from a T1/T3 to internet that is literally unusable.

Thanks for the help in advance.


  • Reply 1 of 11
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Half skimmed this post... but anyways if you get either Cable or DSL and need multiple computers connected to it via ethernet, just go buy a router and hook that up to the cable or dsl modem, and you'll have four ethernet ports. If you need wireless also, then get a wireless router. Either way, the router shouldn't cost more than $70.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    gargoylegargoyle Posts: 660member
    you can always ask them for a proper ethernet cable/xDSL modem instead of one of those crappy USB things. That way it will be compatible with just about anything that can get an IP address.

    Over here in the UK I got my cable connection before the company's were even entertaining the fact that a mac can work on a TCP/IP network just as well as anything else.

    I did have to borrow a PC laptop for when the engineer came round tho.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member

    Originally posted by TigerWoods99

    Im looking at different broadband services, mainly DSL over cable

    You either get DSL or you get Cable. They are two deferent animals. DSL uses your telephone line and Cable is via your TV Cable company.

    I would get Cable instead of DSL if you have that option. You are usually stuck with whatever is available in your area.

    As far as using the line for multiple computers. Yes you can, go to any computer store and I'm sure they will be able to help you with that. You basically need a router. You can also use Airport for a wireless network.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    tigerwoods99tigerwoods99 Posts: 2,633member
    I was meaning I would probably go with DSL over cable if we were to get broadband. Although I have talked to a couple people since I posted and I am having different thoughts now.

    A couple ppl have said dont get DSL and to get cable over DSL. They say its faster and cheaper than DSL (cheaper?) and one said that his friend got DSL and it only works about 40% of the time. SO can anyone give me the low down on the differences? I thought DSL was more popular and becoming the standard for broadband really. Do you have to get cable through your cable TV company?
  • Reply 5 of 11
    fred_ljfred_lj Posts: 607member
    Yes, it's usually through your cable company (Comcast, Time Warner, etc.). It really depends on where you live. My brother, for example, lives in the middle of a valley in Northern California -- no possibilty for DirecTV DSL (sorry to mention that, might confuse your choices), and they have no major DSL interlink hub to get that. Their only two options are dialup (which they use now) and a cable modem. They'll probably get the cable modem setup soon.

    We are lucky (like a lot of people really) to live in an area where both options (DSL/Cable) are available. Thing is, once your neighbors discover how "cool" it is to get cable modem access, bandwidth starts to suffer. We went with DSL by default just because of this (and it turned out that just a few months later our annoying neighbors got RoadRunner cable internet from Time Warner, heh). I've heard RoadRunner/other cable services are faster than DSL, but our DSL connection with SBC Yahoo! has been very consistent and quite fast (not as fast as a network connection I get at school, but still fast).
  • Reply 6 of 11
    sebseb Posts: 676member
    For localized info, check

    Personally, I have Time Warner (roadrunner) cable and have had 0 problems in the three years I've had it.

    I've never had DSL, so can't compare directly. But with DSL, you do have to enter 'settings' so Cable is easier. Once you've got it set up though it shouldn't matter much.

    Either one will be 100x better than dialup IMHO.
  • Reply 7 of 11

    Originally posted by seb

    But with DSL, you do have to enter 'settings' so Cable is easier.

    Not necessarily.

    In many cases it's simple plug-and-play like with cable. In others with PPPoE you simply enter your login and password in the System Prefs and you're done.

    I've dealt with both cable and dsl before. Specifically, TimeWarner RoadRunner cable and BellSouth FastAccess DSL. The DSL connection has much more reliable, steady connection speeds. Every day it had a reliable 1.5 Mb down and 256 kb up. The cable, however, was very much more prone to fluctuations depending, I'm assuming, on who else was sharing the connection in the neighborhood. Sometimes it was faster than the DSL; sometimes it was slower.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    sebseb Posts: 676member
    True, true...

    Cable is shared by the whole neighborhood meaning possibly less consistent speeds.

    And it's true the only 'settings' required, if any, for DSL are your username and password - at least in my past experiences.

    For most people, either one is fine. Just get off the dialup! blecch
  • Reply 9 of 11
    I use Verizon DSL and in almost three years there have been only 2 times were I was unable to connect. When I got DSL, I had no choice since my cable company did not offer broadband. I been very happy with the service and the price continues to drop $34.99. When I switch from OS 9 to OSX (When I got my new iMac) I simply called the 24/7 support and was up and running in 5 Min.

    With that said Cable Modems Still give you faster speed. But i nice to have choices. Even though my cable company offers the service now, I staying with DSL (for now)
  • Reply 10 of 11
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    I have Verizon DSL, and I have to say that I have been surprised at the service--support is solid, they "get" Macs, and the reliability has been a lot better than I expected it to be, after hearing many horror stories about them. I've been a customer for 20 months, and they actually have responded faster and more efficiently than Speakeasy did when I lived in Seattle and had DSL through them.

    Biggest pros include the price--it keeps dropping, now down to $20 a month for 1.5 down/128 up. Also, I live in NYC and so I can take advantage of the WiFi network Verizon has set up here--a big new perk. I also like having dedicated bandwidth, as a lot of people have broadband on my block.

    Cons include dynamic IP (I'm OK with that) and the download cap of 1.5mbps...cable is theoretically higher, but in my 'hood I suspect I'm better off where I am.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    xmogerxmoger Posts: 242member
    I've had the SBC DSL service you're looking at for a few years. At first it was 768K/128K for $50, then they dropped it to 384/128 for the same price. I recently signed a year contract to get 384/128 for $35 a month. The price is barely tolerable. The service is usually okay. But there have been several times that I've been unable to logon, latency spikes, and probably a few bandwidth problems. That 1.5Mbit-384Kbit quote you mentioned, just ignore it. I've never gotten more than a few Kbit/s over the minimum.
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