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Help with a dilemma

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MoodyBlues, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    I'm trying to make a decision, and keep vacillating back and forth on it, so I thought I'd get some input.

    Okay, Earthlink has been my ISP since the '90s. When I wanted to upgrade from DSL to cable, they explained that the service would be provided over Time Warner's [now Spectrum's] cables, and billing would come from TW. But it was still an Earthlink account, and my primary, personal e-mail address would be unaffected.

    I recently spoke to Spectrum about an ad I've seen which doubles my speed--and costs $1 a month less! They said that even though no physical changes would occur, if I made this change to my service I'd no longer have an Earthlink account; it would be well and truly Spectrum.

    They explained that they bought out Earthlink and, as a courtesy to its customers, grandfathered us in without forcing us to change to Spectrum e-mail addresses--but any change to service would trigger that.

    I've had my personal my_full_name@earthlink.net address for 25-ish years, and get virtually no spam--because of how carefully I've shared it; only my closest friends and relatives know it. I don't want to lose it! But, damn!, doubling my speed with no rate increase is really enticing.

    Until my live-in helper moved in, my 50/5 plan was more than enough for the way it was being used: web browsing, e-mail, up- and downloading things, Twitter, banking, forums. But she streams. A lot. Her use affects mine, negatively, by slowing things down.

    So what do you think? Should I stick with my decades-old account so I can keep its e-mail address, or upgrade--and kiss it goodbye?

    I recently checked my router's specs, and it can easily handle the higher speed, so I won't have to buy a new router. But I'm not sure about the modem.

    PS As I've been writing this, it's actually become pretty obvious what I should do. :) But what the hell? I'd still like to hear opinions.

    mankoum1999, MrJavi and ocnbrze like this.
  2. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    i'd go with the speed. you can still be extra careful on who gets your new email, so getting spam should not be affected. the only pain i see would be to alert your contacts of the change in email address. internet these days is everything and slow speeds will only add frustration on your part. i vote to go for the change.
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  3. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Thanks, buddy.

    There are a few people I hear from once in a blue moon--sometimes with address changes. Aside from the [minor] hassle of notifying everyone, I think I'm worried that if I miss someone, and then months later they send mail and it bounces back, we'll lose touch. It's pretty silly, though, since they'd all have other contact methods. I'm just thinking out loud...
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  4. olbriar


    I started out with an edu email address. It was before the net went public. I next had a dial up address but dropped that when a cable option became available. So, I'm on my third address now but have had it since the public net became a thing. Basically before spam I freely shared my address... mostly with the early genealogical sites. My information is well protected on the net nowadays but I haven't a clue as to the genealogical contacts or potential related contacts that still have my contact info and for that reason only I've never considered changing providers. If it were only my family, friends, business associates, and established accounts, I'd definitely shop for a more lucrative provider and toss to the winds my ancient address. I know it would be a hassle for anyone to change addresses but it is a doable thing. Faster is faster and faster without a cost is extremely enticing. I liken it to dropping a 50 year old landline number. I fretted over the drop for a few years before I finally did the deed. I'm sure I left someone lacking means to contact me but I managed to enlighten everyone I considered important to my decision to make the change. Once done, I've not regretted the change or my savings. Good luck with your decision.
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  5. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    yeah i get it. i experienced that when i changed my phone number a while back. i was afraid that i would miss someone on my contact list. this was way before tools like samsung's smart switch and other data backups that's out there now. but it is what it is. just make sure your contacts are up to date and you should be fine.
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  6. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    Get the new email address and don't look back.
    Send out a mass email informing them of your new address.
    The ones that care will follow you...
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  7. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Since my OP was already as long as a dissertation, I left out a lot! :)

    I've had my own domains since that first became possible; I currently have three. With them, I not only have unlimited e-mail boxes, but by setting up and using 'catchall' mail, I can make up addresses on-the-fly and have their incoming mail arrive in my main mailbox without doing anything. Why am I telling you this? Because it's how I fight spam!

    Aside from close personal friends and relatives, each site/company/person that I give an e-mail address to gets a unique address, given ONLY to them. The address includes identifying info about them--so when I receive mail at that address, it either came from the entity it was given to -or- they somehow shared it. For example, if I gave my address to Jane Doe Vegan Dark Chocolate Company, and then received mail at that address but originating from someone else [like spam], they're busted! Either they sold my address, shared it some other way, or got hacked.

    I have a situation like that right now with a giant retailer. The unique and identifying address given only to them, approximately 20 years ago, is now receiving shitloads of spam. :eek: I haven't decided yet what, if anything, I'm going to do about it.

    When I first contacted them, they denied all my stated possibilities. They actually tried to explain it away with, "your computer's address book was hacked," and other meant-for-windows-users nonsense. :rolleyes: I quickly set them straight: "I only use Linux, no one can get into my Wi-Fi network--let alone the user accounts on my computers--and, oh! by the way, that address doesn't exist in any address book--it's made up, and given only to YOU!" Oops!

    This system has worked great for almost 30 years, and it's helped companies, too.

    After alerting one company about receiving spam at their unique address, they investigated--quietly--and uncovered an employee who'd been harvesting customer addresses to sell to spammers. Nice little sideline business--until they got caught. And fired.

    Back on-topic: if I choose, I can just give my close people an address on one of my domains. I intend for at least two of them to exist until I die, so changing addresses again wouldn't be an issue if I took that route. Or...I could start actually using my Gmail address! :D
    MrJavi, Hadron, ocnbrze and 1 other person like this.
  8. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    I truly believe that, Moodyblues.
    My Hotmail account from 1997 just gets a *hitload of spam daily...
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  9. Milo Willamson

    Milo Willamson Android Expert

    I had to dump my yahoo emails from bombarding of spam, and it got hacked into, I had one of my yahoo emails, coma eggs since the start up of the internet days. So that just got so useless for me, as well as my other yahoo, luckily I switched over to gmail, and poof no spam whatsoever.
    The very last thing that was connected to my yahoo was my psn account. So that is what I was just shooting the breeze the other day about it, I went and changed my email anyways, to the gmail vs. yahoo, in the end it was still nice gester to burn into my head.

    IMHO I too go with speed.
    MoodyBlues and ocnbrze like this.
  10. Have you done speedtests to see what your actual down/up speeds are? If not I'd do that before you go any further, I'd think that 50Mb down is sufficient for the usage you are describing as long as that's what you are really getting. 5 up isn't great but should be adequate as long as you aren't doing a lot of uploading with large files. What is the full spec on that "doubled" speed? Do they give an upload or just a download, and how damning is the fine print? You know, " up to xxx, speeds may vary, not guaranteed, may in fact really suck when alll the kids come home from school etc."
    The specs of your router may look ok, and in fact may be, but if it's older it might still be limiting throughput. Also are you using wired ethernet or wifi? If wifi, that could be an issue as well- many factors will affect wifi performance like which band is in use (2.4 or 5 GHz), where the router is located, how much area is being covered and what's in between the router and devices. Do speedtests over wifi at different locations in the house to get an idea of how good the coverage is. If it's not that good a newer router can make a big difference if you get the right one.
    The modem may be a factor as well. How old is it, do you know if it's DOCSIS 2.0 or 3.0? If it's old enough that it's not at least DOCSIS 2.0 it may help to upgrade to a newer one. Even at 50Mb updating to a DOCSIS connection with multiple download channels if you currently don't have one will improve throughput (assuming this can actually happen with your system).
    Anyway I'd look at all this stuff before totally condemning your current service.
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  11. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply, @Fox Mulder.

    At this point, the only wired Ethernet is my ADT [alarm system] router; all computers, DVRs, and Android devices are wireless.

    Something I forgot to say is that my plan was recently upgraded, through no action on my part, to 70/5. I'm still just stuck calling it 50/5. :)

    I'll have to look up my modem's specs, as I have zero idea now what those were when I bought it. It has to be at least 4 years old now. However, so is my router, and when discussing routers recently with @olbriar, I looked up its specs and found that it's capable of 300/??...way over any plan I would ever get.
    Yes, I've done that--actually posted recently about a peculiarity I've found involving speeds. You can see screenshots there of my typical speeds.

    As far as fine print on the 100/10 plan--I haven't a clue! :eek: The phone conversation pretty much ended once they said I'd lose my cherished, old address. Since, at that moment, I wasn't interested, there was no need to delve further into its fine print and asterisks.
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  12. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Thanks, dear @rootabaga, for the kind reply. :)

    Other than when my helper is streaming, I'm perfectly happy with my speeds. Luckily, she tends to do that mostly late at night, but sometimes during the day, too--and that's when I start wishing for better speeds. (Actually, I cuss a lot, but 'wish' sounds better. :D)

    Since I might [probably?] need to buy a new modem and router, set those both up, and notify everyone of a new address, I'll admit it does feel a little daunting--right now. Maybe your idea to do it down the road a bit would be better...
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  13. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...

    Just being 300MB capable doesn't mean it will outdo your internet. Make sure it is MiMo comaptible and triband. If it can serve 300MB to a single devices doesn't mean it can effectively distribute 70MB to several. That's where multiband and multiple antennae come in to play. I have ~70 MB in my house, and I have upwards of 6 streams going at a time (my step son is big into fantasy football so usually has a game on his laptop, a game on his x-box, a game on his phone, and a game on his TV :mad: ) with one of them (my TV) in 4K.
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  14. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Just looked up both purchases, modem and router, and looked at their specs. They look good to me--but I'm hardly an expert!

    Here's my Linksys router and the D-Link DOCSIS 3.0 modem, both purchased in May, 2015.
    MrJavi likes this.
  15. Both of those are older models (about 5 years which in tech is an eternity), and while barely adequate for casual use could certainly stand an upgrade.
    The router has only 2.4GHz wireless and does not have 5 GHz capability. If your devices support 5GHz (most newer laptops/phones/tablets do) they should see higher speeds with 5GHz wifi vs. 2.4. The maximum throughput of the router may be rated for 300Mbs but that's under ideal conditions and probably with a wired connection only, max wifi throughput would likely be lower.
    The modem, while it is a DOCSIS 3.0 is only capable of 8 downstream channels which limits its maximum download speeds. Maybe at your current service level it's not a dealbreaker but it doesn't give a lot of headroom for future increases. Upgrading from this 8x4 to at least a 16x4 DOCSIS 3.0 modem would give you more breathing room and might help with performance at current speeds by increasing the number of bonded channels to share the load and increase available bandwidth.

    My $.02, feel free to give change.

    A personal related anecdote-
    A while back I upgraded my internet service from 500Mb to 1Gb. After the change went through I did some speedtests and found that my downloads were testing at the same numbers as before, generally in the 3-400 range. After lots of testing, calls to the cable co. etc. I finally determined that the bottleneck was my router which at the time was about 5 or 6 years old. It was ok on the old service tier but that was in fact its maximum throughput capacity so it couldn't take advantage of the faster service. One new router later and my speeds were right where they were supposed to be.
    So there you go.
    Results not guaranteed, YMMV, and so on.
  16. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Nope, no change from me! I appreciate your helpful response--and your little anecdote, too. :)

    I really never had any reason to complain about speed until, as noted, my helper moved in. We have DirecTV, and she does use it for most of her TV viewing, but she streams, too, and that's when I notice the slowdown. It's not a 24/7 problem by any stretch of the imagination--honestly, most of the time it's just not something I even think about.

    When I have houseguests, and 3-4 computers plus 4-5 Android and...Apple :eek: devices are being used, it's fine. But no one's streaming anything, either.
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  17. joe71

    joe71 Android Expert

    When I first got married our first computer was some hand me down thing from the 80's and our internet service was AOL and it was dial up:D
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  18. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Hey, I still have WAV files I saved from AOL--like its classic "you've got mail!," "welcome," "goodbye," and others. :)

    And my Earthlink account--the one I still have--started as dialup. Then, when DSL became available, I upgraded to that, then again when cable came along. I actually had a Netcom account, but they eventually got bought out by Earthlink; when I talk about how long I've had this account, that includes the Netcom years.

    But before any of that, there were BBSes I used, with my blazingly fast 2400 baud modem. :D And CompuServe was somewhere in there, too, original CS with user IDs like 12345,678. Their UNIX support was great--this was before Linux--so I could use it. Damn, that was a long time ago!
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  19. Milo Willamson

    Milo Willamson Android Expert

    I think we had CompuServe a few times for modems, irony though when someone does tried to phone in, at that time, it was before email, everyone would phone in my landline, honestly wish I was not such a burden to people IRL try to phone us in. But I kind of had to try differently throughout so much admin work..
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  20. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Android Expert

    double my speed, I'll buy that for a dollar .
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  21. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    I did have two phone lines, a dedicated one for connecting to the server in my office at work--using a Wyse terminal--and the other for personal use. My employer paid for the work line.
    In my office at work, I had a 14" color monitor, plus a dumb terminal. I'd sometimes take a break from actual work by playing a game on the color monitor, on one of my desktops--and be able to switch quickly to another desktop if someone walked in.

    Funny, we've had multiple desktops in the *nix world FOREVER, and last I heard window$ finally implemented some kind of crude, clunky, unsophisticated--in other words, normal for their software--version of their own. I've had confirmed that it can't even begin to do anything similar to what we've had with KDE for decades.

    Like this, where each side of the cube is one of my desktops [which I always set at 9], and rotating the cube--aside from being fun!--is how I've chosen to navigate from desktop to desktop:


    Tilted up for a look at its other desktops:


    Me! Me! I've mentioned my Bernoulli drive at work several times. It used 8-inch floppy disks. :eek:
    No pain for me, really. Thanks to starting on--and sticking with--UNIX/Linux, my computing life has been nothing but fast, efficient, fun and, in 35 years, I've *never* had to deal with viruses, or any other crap micro$oft users think are just part of life. :rolleyes: I don't know how, or WHY, they do it!
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