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ATT DSL too slow?

by Jo Lynne Lockley / April 14, 2007 11:24 AM PDT

System info below.

ATT DSL will not exceed 320Kpbs download, 200 upload, despite promised delivery of 384 - 768. Apparently better packages are not available in my San Francisco neighborhood. (Mt Davidson).

Is this common? What might I do, apart from upgrading to xp with a new system, to increase the speed? (512 is maximum memory for Mobo).

One of the irritations is that streaming video is only a stuttering dream. Is there a way to cache video before viewing to prevent stop and go loading?

System: Operating System System Model
Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4 (build 2195) ASUSTeK Computer INC. A7N8X2.0 REV 1.xx
Enclosure Type: Desktop
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
1.10 gigahertz AMD Athlon
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. A7N8X2.0 REV 1.xx
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS A7N8X2.0 ACPI BIOS Rev 1003 03/19/2003
Drives Memory Modules c,d
290.04 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
160.26 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

HP CD-Writer+ 9100 [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

ST340014A [Hard drive] (40.02 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 5JX0YMYK, rev 3.06, SMART Status: Healthy
WDC WD2500JB-57REA0 [Hard drive] (250.06 GB) -- drive 1

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ADSL is distance limited. . .
by Coryphaeus / April 14, 2007 10:04 PM PDT
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

As distance to the telephone central office increases, speed decreases. But your speed does seem a little slow. You might visit this site for some testing and tweaking. On the left, click Tools. In this order, run these:

Speed Test
Tweak Test (follow instructions carefully)

If the Tweak Test has recommendations, download and run Dr. TCP and make the recommended adjustments. Reboot and run the speed test again.


There are 10 types of people who understand binary; those that do and those that don't.
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Thank you all.
by Jo Lynne Lockley / May 11, 2007 7:00 AM PDT

Unfortunately, Roadrunner is not available in San Francisco to my knowledge. Thank you all for your input. Testing the line brings the same numbers, and ATT has no faster option available at this time.

I will try the cache solution. Sounds like a winner, if it works.


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Example cache.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2007 10:13 PM PDT
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

Let's go go google video. Now select a video but click the pause button. Go do something else. Later click play. It works.

Of course I ran into those Limewire users and they can't be helped.


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DSL seems to be the problem
by trifid_sagitari / May 10, 2007 10:18 AM PDT
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

Here at home I have ATT's ADSL and Time Warner?s road runner as my backup. Every time I try to stream a video with ATT's adsl (like CNN's or MSNBC) stuttering and long pauses occur, when I switch the same computer to roadrunner everything runs smoothly.

This happens all the time. My adsl connection is 6016K/768K and my roadrunner is 5000K/384K. Speed tests with my ATT adsl are within specs no dropped packets just slow and unreliable when streaming.

I have no explanation for this behavior I can only speculate that there are routing issues with ATT's network since every person I know that have adsl have the same problem.

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good comparison
by Cleisthenes2 / March 6, 2012 10:20 PM PST

There is an additional problem with AT&T's technical support. Their own speed test is a test to AT&T's system rather than the internet itself. Their technical support staff can claim their are no bottlenecks if we use their test to their servers. CNET's own speed test shows I have dialup speed, while AT&T's test shows I have a speed within their normal parameters. AT&T is putting one over on us.

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320 Kb/s WOW!!!!
by john3347 / May 11, 2007 9:24 PM PDT
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

You should be excited with 320 Kb/s!! I have AT&T DSL Lite which I think is advertised at "up to 256 Kb/s" (I forget the exact number). My download speeds typically run in the 20's, averaging around 27 KB/s. Yes, this is slower than the speeds I experienced with then BellSouth dial-up. I have contacted BellSouth and now AT&T about this problem and they offer no help whatsoever. I questioned if I could expect significantly better speeds if I upgraded to a faster service plan and they told me that I probably would not get a noticable improvement. Their "technical" explanation was that "DSL is a 'best effort' service and there is no guarantee as to download speeds at any specific location."

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DSL Lite to ADSL speed AT&T
by jerry_lof / May 12, 2007 2:33 AM PDT
In reply to: 320 Kb/s WOW!!!!

Folks, "Welcome to the NEW AT&T" as they say. Here in teh Atlanta, GA area, it has gone for acceptable (not great) to unusable! Since the takeover, the service has been down the tubes. From spotty service to no service at all. Outages of 12-16 hours whth no DNS servers available to 10-15 minute random outages. As for speed, I "have 256K UP and 1.2Mb down. Usually I can attain up to 75% of that from time to time. Someday they may get their act together. In the Atlanta, GA area, they have not upgraded servers for the last few years and have pushed sales like mad. All the servers are overloaded and need to be upgraded. If you have streaming problems, the only thing you can do is to save it to a file and then play it when it finally arrives.

Snellville, GA

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Many factors
by wcrutcher / May 11, 2007 10:10 PM PDT
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

There are many factors that influence your DSL speed. It may be your current hardware and OS.

I have a new PC with an Intel duo and a gigabit NIC card. I recently purchased a gigabit router that made my DSL run connection faster. If you are hooked up directly to the DSL modem without a router, things may be different and more related to the speed of your PC.

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Save file?
by Jo Lynne Lockley / May 13, 2007 3:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Many factors

Thanks for all the replies. I have tried to upgrade with no success. No Roadrunner here.
The computer is otherwise stable and not slow with a recent upgrade to 1gb memory. W2k at this time. Thinking of upgrading to xp. Direct connection to DSL. No router.
I think it's the connection. Pausing and resuming loses audio for some reason.
How would you save say a TV show on CBS or NBC?

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I'm where you're at.
by dennismdewey / April 8, 2008 8:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Save file?

Well sort of.....I live many miles away from San Francisco, but I've lived there before for a few years and had an SBC DSL internet connection that worked probably about as fast as what you're getting. I'm thinking it's your connection because a computer with 1gb of memory should be fine. Are you using Firefox or Internet Explorer? Firefox 2 tends to use alot more memory than IE, but I think this will be fixed with Firefox 3.

I just got AT&T DSL Elite in the metro area of Oklahoma City and the download speed is absolutely ridiculous. The 2Wire modem control panel says I have 6mbs but it's more like 128kbs (or often less). This is my first month with service that is costing about $70 (for both the phone and the "fastest" internet they had). I haven't even bothered contacting support yet because of time constraints but it if I don't find an answer to this problem soon, I'll be canceling all my services with them (totaling about $150/month) and going with Cox Communications instead.

My computer shouldn't be the problem - I'm using a black Macbook with 2gigs of ram and I've installed the software that came with the modem....didn't know that you had to install software to be able to interface with a wireless modem. I've been able to use many people's wireless connections (often with faster connection speeds) without having to install special software.

It's really excruciating to simply go to and actually have to wait a few seconds for the Google graphic to load. I was downloading the beta of Lightroom 2 the other day and my speed was peaking around 60kbs. I'm going to pull my hair out.

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oh yeah....
by dennismdewey / April 8, 2008 8:31 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm where you're at.

One more thing...I'm using my 2wire modem's wireless connection but I've also tried a wired connection with no noticeable improvement in speed.

Whenever I get a chance, I'll call tech support, but it's not going to possible for at least a couple more weeks due to my schedule. Anyway, if I learn anything enlightening, I'll post it here.

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Switch to Firefox as your brownser for faster web navigation
by MyCNETForum / September 11, 2011 4:53 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm where you're at.

AT&T DSL is cheap and efficient if you know how to use it to your advantage.
In my experience, by simply using Firefox to brownse webpages you will see a significant difference between the two brownsers. With the same computer settings, Firefox navigates the web 4 times faster than Internet Explorer specially with their new version. Find the version that is compatible with your computer to have best result. There must be some kinds of software bugs or algorithm layers in IE that causes a subtantial delay in opening or closing a webpage. Simple task like closing a page can take so much time if using IE brownser!

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Yep, sorry it's time for a new PC
by Dango517 / April 22, 2008 12:23 PM PDT
In reply to: Many factors

Try a new Ethernet card if you can find one to run on your OS. This may not fix the problem however you simply might be...."to far out", as the AT&T techs call it here in our area. Basically at the end of the line.

Your Media Player settings might also need some adjustments, including Adobe Flash. I have these problems as well but my connection is stronger. Most of my problems come with the Adobe Flash player. Yahoo videos are so bad I've stopped watching them all together. The video providers server makes a big difference as well.

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ATT DSL very very very slow
by SunMoonChen / November 10, 2010 1:07 PM PST
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

I have ordered ATT DSL service (6M/s) with one year contract. In the morning between 2AM to 6 AM, I can get download speed from 4M/s to 5M/s. However in the evening everyday between 6PM to 11 PM, the download speed is always lower than 0.3 M/s.!! Every day !! ATT DSL is very bad!!

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Sounds right.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 10, 2010 2:16 PM PST

The internet speed when folk are home sounds like your area has too many internet users.

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AT&T Ripping us off
by deadcowkid / November 18, 2010 8:22 AM PST
In reply to: Sounds right.

This is becoming a huge issue for most all att users unless you live next to their hub. I moved from where I had a nice solid cheap 3008 Down 512 Up DSL line and was getting great download speeds far past 320, average was 1200. Here on an ATT 2wire 3008/512 ADSL plan, a mere 2 miles from where I was, I get 320 down no matter what or where I am downloading from. This is ridicules. If your paying for 3008 you should get it. I am switching to a local company that doesn't share its pipes with ATT. I tried the same program on their 3008 down system and was flying. Bottom line is ATT is ripping off their customers. My new plan will be twice as fast and 5 bucks less a month. AT&T can kiss my lily white ars.

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AT&T Speed test fine, but loading pages very slow.
by citroenCX / December 3, 2010 3:53 PM PST
In reply to: AT&T Ripping us off

I just tested my DSL speed as 5.07Mb/s down and 0.62Mb/s. That is about what I am supposed to get. But loading most web sites takes forever. eBay or PayPal take about 90 seconds to load fully enough to enter your password. This just started about a month ago.My brother has Comcast, we synced up eBay and we both clicked on enter the same time as I talked to him over the phone. His eBay was fully loaded after 1 to 2 seconds. My AT&T DSL connection took 1 minute and 20 seconds to get the page loaded. I'm thinking of switching to Comcast.

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That sounds like the slow DSL offering.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2010 4:16 PM PST
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Comcast vs ATT
by deadcowkid / June 10, 2011 12:49 AM PDT

After dealing withe the slow ATT, and no solution o to the 320 barrier, I switched to Comcast as I am now working from home with large files. The upload speed was so bad, I had no choice. I opted for Comcast. I did bundle everything and ended up saving money, and getting solid download speeds as advertised. I was told that if you download more than 250 gig a month, even Comcast may throttle you down, although they are far more lenient. More apt to ask first, or send you a letter where ATT just denies it.
ATT blows. I am done with them. They lost all my biz.

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ATT speed tests lie
by deadcowkid / June 10, 2011 12:54 AM PDT

I am not sure why, but my speed tests showed I could attain the speed ATT was advertising, but I never did. I spent endless hours on the phone with them. I just switched to Comcast. Now I get what I am paying for. ATT should have a huge class action lawsuit over this.

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by kuku_kuku / December 18, 2010 7:01 AM PST
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?
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Not as advertised
by gotmynina / June 9, 2011 5:06 PM PDT
In reply to: ATT DSL too slow?

on three different occasions i have spent up to 4hrs. talking to att about my speeds. I am promised 3mbs down and 512kbs up. I actually get ~300kbs down and ~10kbs up. on each occasion the tech has started by saying "we will fix this right away!" and finished my saying "that is within the acceptable range" even though he has not improved my speed.
This 300kbs I get is total not just per computer. I have nice powerful brand new machines that i know how to use properly. ATT is stealing for us all and within a year or two they will be paying for it through lawsuits and loss of customers. but for right now they got my gems in a vise as this is the only option in my area till insight runs its lines out to my house( hopefully this year!)

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Don't believe a word
by misterjessegrant / July 22, 2011 8:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Not as advertised

I'm in San Francisco too.
I moved into my current apartment 3 years ago. I was friendly with the previous resident and she was nice enough to give me her att info so that I could have internet access available for the week or so before her service stopped and mine started.

Her service was about two tiers above mine, I got the most basic plan (768k down). That first week was great, that was the only time I've ever had access of mb/s (rather than kb) and was really enjoying the speed. Speed tests showed an average of 1.7mb down.
Naturally it was kind of a hit when the speed dropped down to the bottom-rung plan I had ordered...

At first it wasn't so bad, but then it got slow. Not just by comparison to what I had before.
I ran speed tests and found that I was averaging about 150k down, well below what I expected. I contacted att multiple times to complain, they claimed that my problem was line noise from old wires in an old building. I mentioned that those "old wires" had no trouble passing 1.7mb of data only a few weeks before, they accused me of stealing service, then flipped and said that they could/would not discuss the service of a previous resident. They were very happy to offer me the faster and more expensive package, despite having just claimed that my crappy wiring couldn't even handle my current plan.
I still have this plan, couldn't make any headway with customer service and didn't want to give them any more money.

What was actually happening, of course, was some twisted trickle-down model of bandwidth allocation. I was being punished for buying their cheapest plan.
It was a similar philosophy that lead att to do double the cost of no-phone-line service (after the courts finally forced them to follow the law) in order to protect their infrastructure from fair pricing.

I'm looking at alternative plans plans right now, finally had enough. Sonic actually looks like it could be good.
The moral is, if you have any sense that the speed issue is on the provider side and not in your building, you are probably right.

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Heading down the same road
by MGabiCas / September 25, 2011 5:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Don't believe a word

I read your post with great interest.

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