April 12, 2005

Bad Comcast Internet service


Comcast's Internet service has been pretty bad in the past few weeks. It started about 6 weeks ago when they apparently screwed up my modem registration. As a result of this hiccup, for more than a week I had a download speed of about 128kb/sec instead of the 3Mb/sec that I pay for. After repeated calls to the customer service over many days, they finally fixed it. According to one of their customer reps, the problem was caused by an update of their registration server. Duh, all this time they were instead blaming my modem!

Some days ago, their DNS servers were not available for about an hour. As I write this, their DNS servers are down again. I got so fed up with this situation, I setup a caching nameserver on two of my always running machines at home - I should have done this long time ago.

According to CNET's internet connection speed meter, the connection speed I get is about 256kb/sec, nowhere close to 3Mb/sec!

It's time to switch, but unfortunately the alternatives are limited in Bay Area. There are no other cable providers, and with SBC DSL I seem to be limited to 1.5Mb/sec. I'll give it a try though.

Update (April 13, 2005): I did some checks on my setup, and it turns out both my modem and my router/firewall were having problems. I setup a different cable modem and a computer connected directly to it got 4Mb/sec download speed. Through my old firewall the computer with the new modem got only about 1Mb/sec instead. I ran again to Fry's and got a replacement firewall box.

With these new two components and my two home caching DNS servers, things are now running much faster. As Suraj suggested in the comments, I setup an additional DNS server to backup my home ones, should they both fail.

Posted by ovidiu at April 12, 2005 07:44 PM |

I live in the Bay Area and use Comcast too. After suffering through days of dns problems I finally saw a note on broadbandreports.com of someone recommeding using Level 3 DNS servers as secondary servers. I use and and they work great.

Posted by: Suraj Acharya on April 13, 2005 11:15 AM

Wow, am I glad I found your blog. I am in the East Bay experiencing the same problem. My download bandwidth seems to vary according to the vagaries of the Internet between 2 and 4 megabits/sec, but my upload speed is clearly capped at 350 kbps! I've run numerous tests and all uploads max out at almost exactly 350 kbps. This isn't what I pay for, either. Do you have any magic words for wading through Customer Support at Comcast?

Posted by: Mark Mason on May 19, 2005 09:28 PM

Okay, I just got off the Online Customer Service chat with Comcast Broadband. I was told that the Internet service is "4.0mbps down and 384kbps upload" which sucks. We had major regional cable service upgrade in our area last year. When I talked to the technician, they assured me that the service was now synchronous 3mbps up and down. Apparently, the Comcast techie was wrong.

Posted by: Mark Mason on May 19, 2005 10:02 PM
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