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Verizon FiOS | the zen garden

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, but it always seemed to get pushed back due to more important things. FiOS. Yep, FiOS… from Verizon! Before I get started on that, however, here’s a brief history of my Internet connections. While I grew up with some form of computer in the household (TI-99a, C-64), it wasn’t until 1994 when I got my first “real” computer (Intel 486 DX2 66mhz w/8MB RAM + 540MB HD) that I got online. The connection? A blazing fast 14.4 dialup modem! Yeah! A couple years later in 1997 I upgraded to a 56K! These days it’s hard to convey how wonderful it was when that 1MB download went from taking 20 minutes, down to just 5!

Downloading Linux distributions over 56K, despite the nice speed upgrade, is not something I would say was very exciting or fun…

Enter Broadband…

In 1999 I managed to find out about the @Home service from something or other. I got lucky, and service was being offered to my city. After a little bit of time I finally was able to get hooked up. Now, this was no 14.4 to 56K modem upgrade. Noooo….. this was something FAR, far greater. Like about 100 times greater. I think my max dialup speed was right around 4.3KB/s. Now I’m on a connection pulling 500-550KB/s, or right around 5mbit. Upload speed was right around 50-75KB/s, or 500kbit/s. Smokin!

Over the next few years I hosted stuff at my house for fun, but eventually that would come to an end. Little by little @Home was being bought out by cable TV providers. Upon being bought out, the now parent company locked down connections. Some would decrease speed. Some would block ports. Some would initiate data transfer caps. Yet still others… would do all of the above. I got somewhat lucky in that Cox, the cable TV provider in this area, only seemed to block ports. Bad news for my hosting. Good news for my speed.

Forced to move hosting elsewhere for the past 10 years, all I could hope for was a better home connection for my toys and for streaming audio/video. Thankfully Cox increased speed regularly, but upload was always an afterthought.

I had known about FiOS for a while now, and something that I looked into here and there. With a move in residences coming up, I knew what to do. My fastest cable speed was right around 20mbit down, and 10mbit up. However, because of the technology, anytime I tried uploading it would screw over my connection until the upload was finished. Bleh!

With speeds in mind I knew I’d be happy with the 25/25 plan from Verizon. I also knew I needed the upload speed because it was time to bring back the in house hosting. Upon moving into the new house and getting it hooked up, I promptly tested the connection… anyone would. Various Speedtest.net tests confirmed: the connection was awesome. It was time to bring everything back home.

Upon bringing everything home the connection remained everything I hope it would be, but I wanted more. We always do. For an extra $10/mo I went ahead and upgraded to 35/35. Now I was happy, or so I thought…

I kept that 35/35 plan for the next couple months, and remained very happy with it. This past Friday, however, I learned that the FiOS plans had changed… but for the better! The 35/35 plan was gone, but what was it replaced with? Well, normally you don’t expect to get something for nothing. Especially from the larger corporations. But alas, it looks like some of us did. The 35/35 plan is now a 75/35 plan. That’s right. 75mbit down, 35mbit up. To my home!

Some Europeans and Asians may find this slow, but broadband in the United States isn’t the greatest and is something they don’t understand. We fight for every last megabit, and we fight to be able to use as much of it as we please (unlimited plans).

Anyways, combined with this new bandwidth and the configuration changes I’ve made on the backend (to  be described in a later post), this site (and the others hosted on my equipment) have never been faster. Like wise, the consumer stuff I do with my connection like YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Steam game downloads, etc. have never been better. I’m crazy happy and hope that the connection remains as solid years from now as it is at this very moment.

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