Mike-Ward.Net

Get Faster Broadband Speeds by Upgrading your Cable Modem

I don’t pay attention much to my cable connection. It’s reliable and while not blazing fast was good enough to stream movies. Heck, why would I need more than 2mb/s download speed right? Wrong!

Much to my surprise, Comcast sent me an email stating I could get more speed out of my current setup by upgrading my cable modem. What? Why would changing my cable modem affect anything?

Enter DOCSIS 3.0. It’s the protocol that enables data transfer over cable TV services (like Comcast). There are several versions and apparently my modem was running the older and slower DOCSIS 2.0 standard. So what does DOCSIS 3.0 add? According to Cablelabs, the folks who develop this stuff:

DOCSIS® 3.0 provides a number of enhancements, most notably, channel bonding, support for IPv6, and support for IPTV. Channel bonding provides cable operators with a flexible way to significantly increase speeds to customers, with compliant devices supporting up to at least 160 Mbps in the downstream and 120 Mbps in the upstream.

Channel bonding, right, I want that, I think. So I get a new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for the princely sum of $87 delivered to my door. After spending an hour with Comcast reading them Mac addresses and serial numbers over the phone, I fire up my new Internet connection. Result:

Download 20.41 Mbps, Upload 4.08 Mbps

Not too shabby. +1 to Comcast for tipping me off about upgrading my modem.

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