I think I’ve mentioned before that I am on a 1 Mbps Comcast connection for the time being (until I find another place to live, where I can hook up FIOS again). You might think that this would be sufficient for most Internet tasks. At least, that’s what I thought.
It works for email. And some web surfing. But unfortunately, there are these things called “streaming video” and “games.” Guess what? 1 Mbps is not enough to watch high definition streaming video. It’s barely enough to watch low definition streaming video. And remember when I could see a game on Steam and do an impulse purchase and download 8Gb of files in 15 minutes? Yeah, I can’t do that anymore. I did an impulse purchase of TERA, and then sat and watched the estimated download time remaining crawl all the way up to one and a half days. During which time, I could do absolutely nothing else on the Internet because the bandwidth was saturated.
So that’s when I broke down and signed up for Verizon’s “mobile Internet” for another frickin’ 30 dollars a month (for the exact same data pipe I already had, of course). Now I plug my phone into the USB port of my computer and turn on “USB tethering” and I’ve got 4G Internet speeds, which are not nearly as good as FIOS, but good enough to get that TERA download down to around four hours. (I’m not sure TERA was worth the trouble, but that’s another story.)
It’s kind of amazing to think that one can get faster transmission speeds through the air than through a wire. And 4G LTE isn’t even the fastest wireless possible—the lucky folks in Asian countries have screaming fast wireless data as a matter of course.