I will occasionally come back to my parents' house for Christmas break and such, and I'm thinking I will be back for one or two more summers, too. But the internet here drives me up the wall because it's so freakin' slow! My parents live in Denver, and choices of internet providers are already pretty slim. We, unfortunately, have CenturyLink.
For the past year or so, the internet has been Really slow. As in, I've never see the link speed get up to 2 Mb/s. It tends to crawl along at 1.5 Mb/s. I have no idea what data plan we have with CenturyLink, but I doubt my parents would even know. It used to load youtube videos without stopping to buffer them, but as of this week it takes 2 minutes to load a 1-minute video. Sheesh. We have 6 computers, a few gaming consoles, a Roku box, and four of us have iPhones, but it's rare that more than 2-3 devices are using the internet simultaneously. I consider this slow because my brother and I are really into MMORPGs, and I watch videos on YouTube and hulu very regularly. I've given up on having friends over because I'm embarrassed by the fact that we can't even play a hulu video on low quality without it buffering every 20 seconds or so.
My parents recently bought an upgrade to the internet because CenturyLink promised them faster internet, and we will supposedly see an improvement on Tuesday. I'm naturally wary of this claim, since CentryLink is known for its swindling and the internet has only recently gone downhill. Could something be wrong with the router box? Are the neighbors finding a way to get past the 20-digit password? How do we tell without downloading seedy-looking network monitoring software? I've run the speed tests (at last check it was a pitiful 1.81 Mb/s download speed), diligently checked for viruses on all computers, made sure consoles weren't needlessly sucking up internet… I've even gone so far as to turn off/unplug all but one electronic device. No luck.
Could it simply be that programs and websites these days require higher bandwidths? Or is it possible that CenturyLink deliberately slowed down the internet to strong-arm yet another set of customers into dumping more money into their greedy little porcine hands? I really wouldn't be surprised if this was the case. My parents mean well and are doing their best, but they are constantly being robbed left and right because they don't know how to make educated financial choices.