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Upload Speeds for Broadband?

I am still undecided as to which company’s DSL service I will sign up. Consumer DSL’s are not fast at upload speeds.

I was wondering how fast a DSL service everyone is using and at what cost. Please also tell me a sample upload time with the size of files you typically upload.

What I am worrying about is the upload speed of a consumer package being 128Kbps, which is not much higher than the dialup speed of around 50Kpbs.

Thanks in advance.

by Tomoko Yamamoto at 2008-01-22 01:00:01 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Baltimore, MD , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi Tomoko,

You can get reviews of local broadband service from users at: http://www.dslreports.com/reviews

At the top of the page in the “Location” search box, enter your zip code. Do not press enter. Wait until your city pops up. Then to the right, in the “tech” pulldown menu, select dsl. Leave the “Company” search box blank. Then click GO.

Good luck.

by Jerome Pennington | 22 Jan 2008 01:01 (ed. Jan 22 2008) | Los Angeles, California, United States | | Report spam→
You can get pretty detailed information on various American ISPs here:


You may also want to consider cable ISPs; they often offer faster upstream than DSL carriers.

by Shinji Kuwayama | 22 Jan 2008 01:01 | Chicago, United States | | Report spam→

Yes, obviously the fastest speed you can get is what you want. I have found that anything much slower than 600-700 kbps upload is annoying. What I mean is that with 700 kbps up, uploading a feature story of, say, 50 images as jpeg 10s to an agency or to Digital RailRoad takes a bit more than hour. I have found this speed to be pretty efficient. Whenever I use a slower connection I then become impatient with how much slower it is!

Actually where I am at home in the US right now there is no DSL or cable and so just today we got this radio wave line-of-site service that has recently become available installed which has a lightning 1300 kbps (1.3 mbps) upload speed! Download speeds are about 2.5 mbps. So I am happy as I was using dial-up until this morning and going to a coffee shop in the next town away in order to upload and carry on my life as a photographer. Actually sometimes I have been in my mother’s car in the middle of the night getting wirless from some lawyer’s office!

DSL services through a phone company typically come in a few packages with a basic one being 768 kbps down and 128/384 kbps up. For twice the monthly fee of this basic service they usually offer something like a 3 mbps down and 768 mbps up package.

Cable, such as RoadRunner, has faster download speeds of 5-8 mbps but not usually much faster upload speeds than 1 mbps.

All this technology is changing though and these speeds and packages are sure to change in the next few years especially in cities where they are laying out fiber optic.

by Davin Ellicson | 22 Jan 2008 01:01 (ed. Jan 22 2008) | Great Barrington, Massachusett, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks, guys.

I did not know about the site dslreports.com before, which has been informative. Since I hope to move to Vienna, Austria in June or thereafter, I am also concerned about a 1-year contract.

Davin, what is this radio wave line of site service? What company offers this service?

I am also considering a wireless internet since I can get rid of landline phone service. My new (but used) laptop with the Vista Home Premium I came back with from Japan has a wireless LAN built in. I still don’t know how this works.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 22 Jan 2008 02:01 (ed. Jan 23 2008) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→

In Europe you can more easily get ultra fast speeds. In central Bucharest where I am based download speeds go up to 50 mbps—they have skipped all this introductory technology!!! You won’t have any problems in Vienna! The radio wave service I just got today is through a local company, but the signal is connected to a worldwide data provider in Albany, New York, the closest large city to me about 50 miles away. Phone and cable companies don’t want you to know about it!!! Basically it’s like super wi-fi that can cover many, many miles without any loss in signal strength. However, you do actually need to be able to see the mountain or whatever the repeater pole is mounted on—at least barely through some trees—to get a signal. The repeater pole though can be 10 or more miles away. Our antenna is on our roof and angled at a ski area about 7 miles miles away as the crow flies—and we can’t actually see the slopes from our second floor, so the signal seems to be able to move through trees ok. It’s used a lot out in the midwest where it’s much flatter than here in Massacusetts. This local computer guy has brought it to my area because the phone and cable companies won’t lay down line in my sparsely populated town (they need 20 houses per mile). It has been absurd to not have broadband in 2008. Sorry, but the US of A is way behind other countries infrastructure-wise. I heard from the installer today that DSL is available 4 tenths of a mile from us right at the town line but that DSL will never come to our town because it is already an outdated technology.

by Davin Ellicson | 22 Jan 2008 04:01 (ed. Jan 22 2008) | Great Barrington, Massachusett, United States | | Report spam→

by Davin Ellicson | 22 Jan 2008 19:01 | Great Barrington, Massachusett, United States | | Report spam→
I live in Germany and I have DSl 16.000 – that’s 1,5MB/sec. download and 120kb/sec. upload. It’s 50 EUR a month (combined with a phone account (2 lines, 3 numbers, flat rate for calls within Germany) And I got unlimited access to all german T-Mobile WLAN Hotspots.

by Bastian Ehl | 22 Jan 2008 19:01 (ed. Jan 22 2008) | Magdeburg, Germany | | Report spam→
FWIW, the T-Mobile hotspots in Starbucks (which you have to pay for) will give you 1 mps up and down—that’s twice as fast the base upload speed of a standard residential broadband package (384 kps, though you can often get 768 kps).

Tomoko, even if you get a basic package with 384 kps upload speed, that’s plenty fast for most of your needs. You just have to wait a little longer for the completion. Most FTP programs have a “turn off the computer after the upload is complete” option, so you can just leave the machine to do its thing while you head out or go to sleep.

by [former member] | 22 Jan 2008 19:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
DSL speeds vary also with how many users are attached to the drop.. Phone companies usually drop a T-1 (1.5mb) or better cable into an area then run DSL from that point.. depending on load on that Heavier connection you will experience different d/l u/l speeds.. If you can get on a neighbors system that has the package you want go to Http://www.speakeasy.net/speed and test the speeds to various places around the USA.

My experience with Satellite even Dish Networks hi-speed plan is that the d/l may be around dsl speed 50-75Kb/sec but the upload speed is still atrocious to the point of being frustrating, AND there is a cap on both the amount of data that be transferred in a given 24hr period (~250mb)

My home dsl is 50K d/l (512/256 service) and about 16-20k (upload) – Fortunately an office I can use 24/7 1 mile from my house has a 10mb metro ethernet :-)

Cable in our area in Virginia is fast, but varies with the number of people online.. as they all share essentially the same pipe.. during the day, during the week seems fastest. schools out and weekends are slower.

by [former member] | 22 Jan 2008 20:01 | charlottesville, Virginia, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks, everyone. I had been checking something else this afternoon, and I had not realized these additional posts above until recently.

I checked on speakeasy.net, which offers a combined service of voice and internet. The inclusion of voice, even a free or very cheap calls abroad, is inviting as I expect to call Japan and maybe Austria before I leave.

Nothing is perfect or cheap, but my new laptop can accept the LAN cable, so I will have more capability than with this desktop. I can’t think of any nearest Starbucks around here, though. I’ll knock on one neighbor family on my block (a young couple with one child and two cars) to check on the connection speeds.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 22 Jan 2008 23:01 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I was finally able to talk with a couple of my neighbors, one having a cable and the other none. I may just have to go with what appeals to me most on DSL plus phone, but try to read up on every detail before I sign up.

While I have not tried out WiFi on my new laptop, I checked how it might work on the computer itself (let it search for a network) and how many WiFi hotspots there are in Baltimore. The nearest Starbuck is about 15 minute-drive away from my home and they charge fees for the connection. There are cafes which give you a free connection (I would think I need to order something). The nearest public spot is the train station, which may be about the same distance away including a walk to the station from where I can park free as the Starbuck.

I can conceive that I would go to the free hotspots for big file uploads as practicable, thus I would not need to pay for a very expensive service.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 28 Jan 2008 17:01 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Do try to figure out exactly what your upload needs are. What might take 15 minutes at 768 will take 30 at 384. You can still use your computer for other stuff while the files are uploading; or you can make a pot of tea and play with the cat (my preference).

Unless you are uploading lots of files every day, and have fairly restrictive time constraints, the basic residential upload speeds available in the US, while not great, are certainly adequate for most people’s needs.

by [former member] | 28 Jan 2008 17:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks, Preston, for your reminder on the upload needs. My needs at the moment are to upload my large files (over 50 Mb) to stock photo sites, e.g. Photoshelter, Alamy, etc.

Currently, I am being attracted to this service called Believe Wireless.

I had forgotten about this when I wrote my above post. I have two phone lines and I am paying more than $60 to my phone company and $18 to my dialup ISP, and a long distance company depending on the number of overseas and domestic long-distance calls I amke. I also have occasional needs for sending fax.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 28 Jan 2008 17:01 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I called Believe Wireless, but I was told that the signals are not reaching my neighborhood. This is a local company like the one Davin was talking about. The company started in the northwest part of Baltimore, but have not gotten in the northeast part of Baltimore where I am.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 29 Jan 2008 20:01 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
This morning I talked to the sales at Comcast, a cable company, regarding the possibility of signing up for a combination of high speed internet and digital voice. Spent the last hour or two reading up on Comcast’s digital voice service problems. Since I forgot to refill my SIM card befire the expiration date, I am going to get a new SIM card with another company. The signal is not strong enough here at my house.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 31 Jan 2008 20:01 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Konichiwa, Toko-sam,
Verizon DSL in the DC area offers two speeds, 128 and I thought the other was 256, then there is the business speed. I can’t recall what I sure anymore. Regardess, I’ve found the DSL to be unreliable at best. I’m not sure if Comcast is anymore reliable. DSL speeds lower as they get further away from the switching stations, so unless you’re within seven to ten miles speed is going to really drop.

by Aaron J. Heiner | 31 Jan 2008 21:01 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Aaron,

Thanks for your info.

One of my neighbors, who lives at the end of the block, has Comcast and seems happy with it.

I was interested in finding out whether it is possible to connect a fax machine to the Comcast Digital Voice (DV), but instead I found out more complaints about DV. Before I do anything with my phone lines, I’d better have my cell phone operating in case of emergencies. In my house, the T-Mobile signals are very weak on the first floor. In order to get a decent signal, I have to go outside.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 31 Jan 2008 23:01 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I have finally decided to go with Comcast and got a reduced price for one year of high-speed Internet only. I decided against the Comcast phone service. I now have good cell phone connection and will cancel one of my two phone lines once my Comcast Internet connection is installed on next Saturday.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 14 Feb 2008 22:02 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
hi Tomoka,

As an IT kind of guy, I agonized over this decision a while back myself. I ended up with cable service also, and have found it to be much better than my local DSL alternative would be.

One thing to remember is that because of the differences in the way DSL and cable networks are architected, with DSL, you will receive the up/download speed they specify in your package. With cable, your speeds are influenced by the number of people in your area on/actively using the service. So if you find you’re sometimes not getting the upload speed that DSL provides, it might be worthwhile to switch. In my case, it’s not even close – cable is way faster (and I’m not even paying for their “premium” speedy service).

I finally moved to the cable phone service as well – it’s pretty cool.

fwiw, I just ran the speakeasy test and I have 4400 kbps downstream and 958 kbps upstream. there isn’t a residence-class DSL option here that offers that high an upstream speed – they all top out at 384 kbps.

I think you’ll like your cable connection.

by Andrew Brinkhorst | 14 Feb 2008 22:02 | Lexington, KY, United States | | Report spam→
I am on the Internet through the Comcast cable. The technician showed up at the earliest possible time, but he had to get up on his ladder to update/repair the connection outside the house to get the signal.

So far the only problem I have seen is that this modem is a cheap kind and the power connection is not stable. Either the socket or the voltage converter is not good. I got disconnected a few times.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 24 Feb 2008 05:02 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→

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Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria
Jerome Pennington, photographer, sushi snob Jerome Pennington
photographer, sushi snob
(pointing & shooting since 1987)
Santa Clarita, Ca , United States
Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
New York , United States
Bastian Ehl, Fotograf / Photographer Bastian Ehl
Fotograf / Photographer
Magdeburg , Germany
Aaron J. Heiner, Photojournalist Aaron J. Heiner
(Sleeping his life away)
Baltimore, Md , United States ( IAD )
Andrew Brinkhorst, photographer Andrew Brinkhorst
Lexington, Ky , United States


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