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I have a comcast agreement for 16 MBS with "PowerBoost". In fact, sometimes I can see speeds above 10 MBS and even above 16 MBS, but they are rare. When I try to stream a movie, I get frequent pauses, a sign that the download speed is insufficient. Netflix says this is the Comcast system; Comcast has questioned Netflix, but they also say I have equipment problems.
I have replaced the modem with the newest DOC 3.0 (free from Comcast, although I spent a year first in complaining with a modem that wasn't capable of handling the high speeds). On first installation of the modem, it looked good. Nice high speeds (13 to 16 MBS) and no problem streaming movies for one evening (a Monday). Since then (that was last weekend), the speed has dropped; today most often to about 5 MBS download speeds. I have done all manner of rebooting both the cable modem and the wireless.
Comcast technicians told me (after ruling out every other excuse they could come up with) that my wireless Airport is insufficient to the task. My Apple Airport is an older version, operating at 2.4 Ghz ISM Band (802.11g) and I have confirmed with Apple that I can't upgrade it to 802.11n (5.8Ghz band). However, the wireless at 2.4 Ghz has delivered test speeds above 13 MBS from time to time (even for one brief moment today), using Comcast Speedtest through the Portland, OR server, so it doesn't seem like the wireless is the only culprit in the slow speeds.
Anyone have a suggestion? I suspect that Comcast has a system that has variable demand that sometimes means that the signal to an individual user can't be maintained at the promised high speed. If I get a new Airport (another $150 or so), is that really going to solve this problem, or is some of it likely to be limits of the Comcast system? I would appreciate any thoughts.
How is your performance when the machine is connected directly to the modem ?
I did a direct connection with one of the technicians on line the other day and it was higher at that point (more than 16 MBS), which seemed promising. When I went back to wireless at that point, it was still high (13 to 16 MBS). But, the wireless connection is kind of the backbone of my system. I haven't tested for direct connection speed when it is slow on the wireless, but would the wireless slow down independent of whether I was getting high speed by direct cable?
My airport is connected by cable to the cable modem by a 3 foot cable. I have a BlueRay player connected to an airport substation that is one floor below the airport (maybe 9 or 10 feet away). I am hoping I can retain this set-up, even if I have to buy a new 5.8 Ghz airport, but I want to be sure that the problem is in my wireless system and not just the result of variable speeds from Comcast.