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My situation is that I am a college student living in an apartment complex using AT&T internet (included). Since everyone in the complex is on the same line, even if I am connected to the ethernet directly from the wall, the internet either doesn't work half of the time or it is VERY slow. As a student alone this is a big issue for studying, but I also run a web business which makes this an even bigger issue.

I tried contacting AT&T to see if I could get my own dedicated line, but the apartment complex apparently won't allow it for some reason. Does anyone know of anything I could try to help improve the situation without paying $60+/mo to get wireless 3G (which would be ridiculous to have to use at my desk).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Depending on what you're doing, you might get an advantage using ssh tunneling. I've found that once a ssh connection is established over slow or unreliable channels, response times and data rates are higher--it seems the routers keep some sort of persistent information available until the tunnel closes. I'm not a networking expert and I don't claim to understand this at the OSI networking level, but it has been my personal experience.

If you have an ISP like Panix, you can ssh tunnel to their host and then use their proxy server, etc.

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The performance of this depends on the routers, etc. Not all allow the persistent connections to have a dedicated amount of throughput. – Joshua Nurczyk Sep 29 '09 at 2:46
So how exactly would I go about setting this up? – James Simpson Sep 29 '09 at 3:55
Setting up the tunnel kind of depends on what you're doing. For my ISP, some instructions are here: You might want to make "how can I use ssh tunneling for [my purpose]" a new question. Don't forget to mention your ISP and your operating system. – CarlF Sep 29 '09 at 15:45
Wow, so I just got this setup and my download speed according to went from <1M/s to >10M/s! – James Simpson Sep 29 '09 at 20:47

Be honest, explain your situation to the landlord or whoever controls the internet at your location and ask them to give you higher priority in the router's QOS. After all, you are paying for it and you deserve your share.

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+1 that's pretty much all you can do, short of illegal activities or biting the bullet and subscribing for mobile broadband. – Molly7244 Sep 29 '09 at 0:25
Unfortunately I've tried this. I'll keep trying if I have to. – James Simpson Sep 29 '09 at 4:04

Assuming that your web business involves running some web services at your apartment complex, you may want to consider paying for some cloud hosting. There are a number of virtual private server hosting companies that do it for cheap ($7/mo or so).

Another thing that you can do to help reduce the bandwidth requirements for your home server is to employ some sort of content delivery network services to offload the bandwidth requirements.

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