Updates: Cable TV, Telephone & Internet

Time Warner Cable is no more; TWC has been replaced by Spectrum. [TWC + Charter = Spectrum]

Also, Verizon local landline service is no more and has been replaced by Frontier.

For the past several decades we’ve lived in a GTE/Verizon pocket of Orange County and received our landline phone through them. When I read that Frontier was taking over their local phone service, I decided to switch to TWC — I just had to convince my wife to allow me to do so.

Several friends of ours had TWC phone and it was cheaper than Verizon’s product. Eventually, just before the takeover by Frontier, we made the switch. Uh – oh. The voice service never matched our, especially my wife’s, expectations.

Technicians moved the phone modem’s location — nope. Technicians re-wired the cable in the house — nope. Technicians re-wired the outside connection into the house — nope. And then, a few weeks ago, a technician re-wired the connection from the backyard utility pole to the house — hey, things now work properly.

Yes, our phone is now working properly — no pings, no clicks, no dropouts.

In addition, several months ago I boosted our TWC internet speed to 100Mbps — it increased but never reached 100Mbps. I asked one of the technicians about the situation when he came to work on the phone, but he couldn’t answer why I wasn’t getting the proper speed.

The last guy who came (and finally fixed the phone connection) tested the line at our modem (SURFboard SB6141) and said the signal strength and speed was fine — 117Mbps and suggested that I upgrade my years old WiFi router; the modem itself was fine. OK.

I went online and researched routers and prices and the next day went to Target and purchased a NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (Model R7000). It didn’t take long to replace the old modem and get our phones, etc. connected to the network. The signal strength is such that I was able to disconnect the WiFi relay we had needed to connect while using our devices in our patio/sunroom. In fact, our spare bedroom, wherein sits our exercise bike, has an Apple TV WiFi connection that usually is between 115 and 117Mbps. I just checked the WiFi connection, via Fast.com, of this laptop in our living room — 120Mbps.

So — internet usage is quite a bit faster than before and is more reliable; there are no problems using multiple devices over our network; my terabytes of movies, music, pictures and TV shows stream better from my iTunes media storage drive; pixelization is no longer a problem on the cable television; the phone works. Also, I might add, if you have Spectrum phone service and are bothered by spam and scam phone calls, make sure you get NoMoRobo through Spectrum. It doesn’t get rid of all the calls, but it cuts down the number significantly.


One last word — I just retested our connection and got 92Mbps.

Security — Websites, Blogs and the Internet

Security Rose

Well, it’s been one of those days. This site has been under attack for almost the entire day. Thank heavens for security programs (plug-ins) and WordPress.

When I finish reading my morning papers, I open my computer, check my email and run checks on our internet connection speeds from dslreports and Speakeasy (approved by TWC). Next, I go to Goodreads and see if there is anything new and interesting and then MacSurfer (for news and program updates). Last, that is, before losing myself for a half-hour in Facebook, I check my blog (yes, this blog).

I look to see who has been reading my posts and pages and any comments they’ve left. Usually, this takes all of a couple of minutes, but today, it’s a bit different.

After looking at the above, I went to Wordfence‘s Live Traffic feature to see the hits. Whoa . . . every few seconds these was another hit blocked by Wordfence: . . . was blocked by login security setting. at . . ./xmlrpc.php. No one actually got to any of my files but hundreds (thousands?) of hits was rather unnerving.

This was in addition to the normal googlebot, wordpress.com and human traffic.

Just in the last hour there have been more than 150 hits from IPs all over the world. Plus, some 270 attempts, throughout the day, to log in to my site as me — or, at least, into my old, and deleted, username.

If you’re having the same kind of trouble and you don’t have any security on your site or back-up of your site — Get Something!!!

I use: Wordfence (the free version), Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall, and UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore. And, of course, a long and strong password.

Broadband Speeds — Time Warner Cable

Broadband Speeds — Internet — Speakeasy Speed TestTime Warner Cable

Our Service: Extreme — Speeds up to 50 (Download) /5 (Upload) Mbps

 

Equipment

All tests conducted on a MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 running OS X El Capitan Version 10.11.1 on my home Wi-Fi network. (AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0xEF), 802.11 n

Firefox used except where noted.

 

Broadband tested speeds:

Tuesday

10.27.15 / 08:17 am — Download — 45.86 Mbps — Upload — 6.10 Mbps
10.27.15 / 08:24 am — Download — 46.87 Mbps — Upload — 6.01 Mbps
10.27.15 / 08:35 am — Download — 45.29 Mbps — Upload — 6.13 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%; Latency — 20 ms; Jitter — 5 ms

Friday

10.30.15 / 10:05 am — Download — 42.33 Mbps — Upload — 5.89 Mbps
10.30.15 / 10:07 am — Download — 48.32 Mbps — Upload — 6.07 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%; Latency — 19 ms; Jitter — 3 ms
10.30.15 / 02:18 pm — Download — 45.23 Mbps — Upload — 6.07 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%; Latency — 18 ms; Jitter 4 ms
10.30.15 / 07:47 pm — Download — 40.35 Mbps — Upload — 5.84 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%; Latency — 42 ms; Jitter — 4 ms

Saturday (Halloween)
Broadband Internet Cats
Internet? Why? You have books and us.

10.31.15 / 07:27 pm — Download — 18.97 Mbps — Upload — 6.02 Mbps
10.31.15 / 07:30 pm — Download — 47.67 Mbps — Upload — 5.94 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%: Latency — 17 ms; Jitter — 6 ms

Monday

11.2.15 / 04:33 pm — Download — 43.51 Mbps — Upload — 6.04 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%; Latency — 20 ms; Jitter — 6 ms

Tuesday

11.3.15 / 04:14 pm — Download — 48.76 Mbps — Upload — 6.06 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0%; Latency — 20 ms; Jitter — 3 — ms

Friday

11.6.15 / 06:47 pm — Download — 6.67 MbpsUpload — 2.82 Mbps
——Packet Loss — ?; Latency — 63 ms; Jitter — 146 ms
11.6.15 / 06:52 pm — Download — 21.52 Mbps — Upload — 5.74 Mbps
——Packet Loss — 0.01%; Latency — 19 ms; Jitter — 24 ms
11.6.15 / 07:03 pm — Download — 6.91 Mbps — Upload — 6.06 Mbps
11.6.15 / 07:09 pm — Download — 4.6 Mbps — Upload — 6.07 Mbps (Google Chrome)
11.6.15 / 08:49 pm — Download — 14.98 Mbps — Upload — 6.07 Mbps (Google Chrome)

Saturday

11.7.15 / 09:57 pm — Download — 46.72 Mbps — Upload — 5.99 Mbps
11.7.15 / 10:00 pm — Download — 46.02 Mbps — Upload — 6.01 Mbps
11.7.15 / 10:02 pm — Download — 47.03 Mbps — Upload — 6.00 Mbps (Google Chrome)

Sunday

11.8.15 / 09:20 am — Download — 44.76 Mbps — Upload — 6.01 Mbps
11.8.15 / 09:25 am — Download — 40.55 Mbps — Upload — 6.11 Mbps

Monday

11.9.15 / 11:20 am — Download — 37.93 Mbps — Upload — 6.06 Mbps
11.9.15 / 11:23 am — Download — 50.92 Mbps — Upload — 6.03 Mbps
11.9.15 / 11:35 am — Download — 33.41 Mbps — Upload — 5.99 Mbps

 

Conclusions

This testing was done at random–that is, when I had the time, inclination and actually thought about doing it. I used the Speakeasy test because that is what the TWC tech had me use several months ago to diagnose a problem I had with too low speeds.

The test comes in both a short and a long version, which requires Java. My computer does not care for Java and I, therefore, use the short version most of the time. Google Chrome would not work at all with the long version of the test.

There are times when I would like greater broadband speed, but those higher speeds cost more. Until TWC or another provider comes out with a faster service that has a minimum speed a good deal faster than our current maximum speed I’ll keep what we have. I have no desire to go with a “faster” and more expensive service which may, at times, deliver speeds slower my current service, yet cost a good deal more.