Saturday, January 31, 2015

Home Internet Through A Cell Phone

Updated below.

This is a picture of my laptop streaming a youtube video through my iPhone 4 cell phone's "personal hotspot" feature, while the modem provided by my CenturyLink internet provider sits idly by to the right.

I have a pretty basic cell phone service through AT&T, but my cell phone streamed a few videos without a hitch and downloaded pages like Yahoo mail and Google News quickly. Besides posting things to my web log and reading things from web sites, that's about the extent of what I do on the internet.

I'm thinking about cancelling CenturyLink service and just using the cell phone from now on. CenturyLink is charging me $41 and something per month, but at some point after I signed up I noticed on my online invoice that I'm getting a one-year "promotional discount" of $44. This was never discussed when I signed up over the phone, so it looks like they've set me up to raise my rate by $44 after one year. No one who lives in the United States will be surprised to read this. We're used to US Capitalism.

If CenturyLink does hike my rate, of course, it'll be adios CenturyLink, but I'm tempted to give them the heave-ho even before that. Of course I'll I want to find out just how many gigabytes I actually use first because AT&T is going to charge me for every byte. I think I might be able to do it with my computer's Activity Monitor, which keeps track of data sent and received in megbytes and resets itself every time you turn off the computer.
Addicted To Speed

On the CenturyLink web site you can run a "speed test" to see how fast your CenturyLink service is. I ran it several times and it ranged from 12 to 29 megabytes per second. I'm paying for 40. US Capitalism. I didn't do anything first that they said to do to optimize the results, like close everything else down and hook the computer directly to the modem insted of having it connected by wifi, so that might have slowed it down a bit, but I've never had any service that was as fast as they said it would be. I've always tested them and they were all much slower than what I was paying for. US Capitalism.

There are some free online speed test web sites if you're interested in testing your internet ocnnection. I used to have a couple bookmarked, but I guess that was a couple computers ago. I can't find them now, but if you search "internet connection speed test" a host of them come up.

By the way, I remember the first time I called Comcast to discontinue my service (it took several calls) they immediately offered to cut my rate substantially. The Comcast internet here at the apartment complex often didn't even work during the day and I was so sick of Comcast they could have offered it to me for free and I would have laughed at them. But if you have Comcast I recommend calling and saying you want to cancel your service. It's worth a try. US Anti-Capitalist Subversion.

Update: After I posted this I connected the laptop back to the CenturyLink modem and pages downloaded at lightning speed. They still download almost instantly. I never had internet like that.

Do you suppose that after you use the speed tester at the CenturyLink web site it automatically juices your connection? Do you suppose they track visits to the speed testing page and find that they get complaints and cancellations after people visit the page?

If they don't track visits to the speed testing page, the should.

I'll be watching to see how long my lightning speed CenturyLink connections lasts, CenturyLink. And my monthly rate. Thanks!

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