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I'm shopping around for internet access and the service provider that I'm interested in has several speed options for DSL.

The lower speed options (1.5Mbps, 7Mbps) offer self-installation, but the higher speed options (12Mbps, 20Mbps, 40Mbps) require a professional installation with one fee for 1 computer and a more expensive fee for 2-3 computers.

  • Do these higher speeds involve some special setup on each computer?
  • How do I figure out how fast my network cards can operate?

I have two Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) computers and one Windows 7 laptop.

I have no problem with paying a technician to setup my DSL modem if it requires something special, but I'm just suspicious that it costs more with more computers.

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This question is not too localized to one situation and can certainly be useful for others. Reopening. –  slhck Oct 15 '12 at 17:08

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Do these higher speeds involve some special setup on each computer?

No.

How do I figure out how fast my network cards can operate?

Any modern computer run has at least 100 Mbit network cards. That is way faster than the speeds you mentioned. Hence your network cards will not limit your speed.

I have no problem with paying a technician to setup my DSL modem if it requires something special, but I'm just suspicious that it costs more with more computers.

It probably costs more since they expect the technician to configure all your computers. Never mind that that probably does not involve anything more than connecting a wire and setting the computer to DHCP.

There is no reason you could not do that yourself, but try explaining network configuration settings to the average person and they panic as soon as you mention the word 'computer'.

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OK, thanks. I talked to CenturyLink, they had to manually enter the order with a self-install, for some reason (probably CYA) the automated order form did not include self-install. –  Jason S Oct 15 '12 at 16:28
    
p.s. we use wireless on all our devices -- does that change your answer at all? –  Jason S Oct 15 '12 at 16:29
    
Not much. The technician would not run wires but set up the WPA2 keys on your laptops. Also wireless is slower than wired. This may mean that a very old wireless card might actually be slower than you DSL speed, limiting your download speed on that computer. –  Hennes Oct 15 '12 at 16:32
    
ok, thanks. The Win7 PC is new, my iMac is 2009 and I believe supports 802.11N. Our other Mac is older and we get what we get with that. :-) –  Jason S Oct 15 '12 at 16:42

In my experience with Uverse in different places, I've found that you can usually depend on existing wiring for lower-speed DSL, but higher speeds often require the installer to run a new drop to your house, call for help, or change the wiring in the house. (For instance, at my old house, the tech ran RG-6 to the residential gateway, and then connected the house phone wiring into the RG instead of the demarc box.)

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