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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 02:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
Two questions:

- Can someone explain the various 250x250 up/down speeds available in a simple "standard" speed format for my old brain to actually understand?

- Can a user with such a "250x250" fibre optic home connection be utilized and distributed fully when using a normal ethernet/wireless router to the various connected Macs?

It seems to me that there might be a few bottlenecks involved to get the benefit of the full throughput..... as if I could afford it.

Edit: I guess I'm somewhat curious and intrigued, as shaw stung up a fibre optic cable on the small narrow street we live on last year that serves as a main corridor for all the various telephone/cables etc. in our area between their various links (nodes?), but no shaw mention of any optic/home connection (GPON maybe?) for our immediate area.

It seems amazing that 13 years ago, two years after we built and moved into our new house and using dial-up, shaw was stringing up a new "high-speed" coax cable.

I went down to check, asked the installers some questions, and one guy went to his truck and handed me a box with a "cable modem", and said, if I wanted, an installer would drop by the next day to install it.

Well duh!!! Since upgraded several times to a current copper "extreme" cable package, is an affordable optic fibre connection in the near future?? Hmmm...
Not real sure what you mean by the various 250/250 speeds, the label 250/250 IS the speed. In simple terms this works out to approx. 2GB uploaded and 2GB downloaded in a minute. Assuming the server on the other end can handle that kind of speed, which for now unfortunately is a pretty big assumption...

Wired it should be no problem fully utilizing that speed on a modern router, as they almost all have been gigabit ethernet on the wired ports for a couple years now.

Wireless is a little dicier, theoretically under ideal conditions 802.11n wireless will run at 300Mbit/s, and as this is higher than 250 you should be able to fully utilize the connection.

That said most people rarely see ideal conditions with wireless, and will likely not see the full 250 speed of the internet connection, as the wireless network will be a bottleneck. This is all highly variable on conditions specific to your home though (size, layout, construction materials, neighbouring wireless networks/or other electronic devices(cordless phones, microwaves, etc) causing interference, and brand/configuration of the wireless router.

This is also an area that is rapidly evolving, newer model computers and routers can support an extension of 802.11n that allows connecting on both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands simultaneously, giving a theoretical max of 450. While the next standard (802.11ac) is still in the draft stages it should be finalized in 2013 and looks to roughly tripple performance in initial implementations, so 900-1000Mbit/s theoretical max.

As for actual technology being used, for the most part Canadian ISP's are pulling a marketing fast one in the use of the terms Fibre, and Optic to market their newer higher speed tiers of service that largely still rely on evolutions of their old technologies, ADSL (ADSL2+) and Cable modem (DOCIS 3.0) technologies. Both of these are being combined with the slow gradual build out of the actual fibre-optic backends to the nodes. Generally this is called fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the home(FTTH) is likely still a few years away in most areas. (With the possible exception of new construction.) All of the above generally only applies to low density single family dwellings.

When it comes to high-rise condo/apartment and other high density developments the economics of running a fibre line to the building (FTTB) start to make much more sense, and have for several years now, though in many cases this then becomes pretty similar to FTTN, as more traditional network technologies(or variants there of) are generally used internally in the building. (ADSL/VDSL, cable modem tech, or if the building is wired for it cat5 ethernet.)

In my case our building was recently converted from fiber to the building basement(with ADSL2+/cable modem from there), to fibre to the utility boxes on each floor, and ethernet from the utility boxes to the units. The building had been built wired with cat5 for ethernet but until very recently this was not being utilized. Mainly because that required putting powered switches in the utility cabinet on each floor.

All that to say that I still think the traditional copper wires(phone/coaxial cable) will be used for the last couple hundred meters to most single family dwellings for a few(quite possibly many) years to come. Though that's not to say they won't see upgrades to the current tech that will support very high speeds (DOCSIS 3.0).
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 01:08 AM   #22
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Thanks Paul82 for your very informative reply, and sorry for my delay thanking you, as I've had some other stuff to attend to, including configuring a new APExpress 2nd gen and ethernet router etc. for our home network setup.

I guess the reason I asked about the speed was because when setting up the new APExpress, when I checked my SL 10.6.8 'Network Utility', it showed the connected stuff as:
- Ethernet (en ) Link Speed: 100 Mbit/s
and
- Airport (en1) Link Speed: 270 Mbit/s

And maybe I'm confused, but I always understood that a hardwired ethernet connection was usually potentially faster.

Or are my listed speeds due and restricted to my Shaw cable setup and their "extreme" service level that I pay for?

The current up/down speed is adequate for our use and what we can afford, but faster is always nicer - if one can afford it.

24" 2.4GHz iMac SL 10.6.8 4GB RAM.

Thanks for your info.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 08:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by pm-r View Post

I guess the reason I asked about the speed was because when setting up the new APExpress, when I checked my SL 10.6.8 'Network Utility', it showed the connected stuff as:
- Ethernet (en ) Link Speed: 100 Mbit/s
and
- Airport (en1) Link Speed: 270 Mbit/s

And maybe I'm confused, but I always understood that a hardwired ethernet connection was usually potentially faster.
Your APE is capable of 1 Gbits. Your Shaw modem is likely limited to 100 Mbit/s so that is what is negotiated. If your Internet speed is not over 100 Mbps then it really doesn't matter.


Yes, wired is still faster than wireless, when you are running current gen of both. It's also not just theoretical numbers like above, but real world numbers. Wifi will never get 270 Mbits due to overhead, interference, etc.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #24
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Your APE is capable of 1 Gbits. Your Shaw modem is likely limited to 100 Mbit/s so that is what is negotiated. If your Internet speed is not over 100 Mbps then it really doesn't matter.


Yes, wired is still faster than wireless, when you are running current gen of both. It's also not just theoretical numbers like above, but real world numbers. Wifi will never get 270 Mbits due to overhead, interference, etc.
Nope. All Express units are only 10/100Mbps ports. No 10/100/1000Mbps support yet.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 04:29 PM   #25
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Nope. All Express units are only 10/100Mbps ports. No 10/100/1000Mbps support yet.
Whoops. Miscounted the zeros. I guess I was expecting to see 1000. Wow.
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Old Dec 9th, 2012, 04:35 PM   #26
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Thanks for the clarification and info.

At least my speed tests show I'm getting faster than my ISP account that I can afford advertises, at average: 24.16 Mb/s dn 2.41 Mb/s up, whether I use ethernet or wireless with our existing equipment.

I can only dream of the 40-50 Mb/s speeds some are getting and anything over 200 Mb/s would just blow me away.

But I wonder why Apple's specs for the new APExpress shows: "Wireless security (WEP) configurable for 40-bit and 128-bit encryption" as there was sure no WEP available when I was trying to enable it for it to work with an old G3 iBook the other day.

Anyway, it's all working now.
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