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Network Advice, internet & cable (Los Angeles)

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Member Since: Feb 19, 2007
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popgirletc is on a distinguished road

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Hi all,

I'm not sure this is the right forum but I need some help and am a fairly recent switcher which has been fine and really intutive for my basic things I do.....but I'm just really not tech savvy at all when it comes to wireless and networking.

I bought my iMac Intel Core Duo April 2006. It's been wonderful. I currently use Road Runner cable modem. Have digital cable with DVR through RR/TWC as well and have been happy.

Things are changing for me though and I am wondering what best way to go might be....

I'm buying a house in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles, zip is 90042. I also am going to get an iPhone....sooner than later I hope. I'm already a Cingular subscriber for years but have a way old vintage Nokia that only texts so I don't think I have any special service package with them.

I expect to have at least 1 roomate, maybe two. To accomodate my potential roomates I will need to provide cable TV to at least 3, maybe 4 rooms in my new house, I will need to provide internet to 2, maybe 3 rooms. I don't plan on getting a tivo but am happy with TWC w/ DVR I have now.

I don't care about having a "home phone" number anymore, exclusively use my cell phone and won't activate such service unless I ultimately must do it for internet reasons.

The sellers of the house said they had "a bad experience with digital cable and internet" previously and have been using DSL through SBC/ATT happily and Direct TV for cable. I'm assuming that this happened when Comcast was their provider, now the area is served by TWC. They are leaving the Direct TV dish.

Options for internet are DSL through ATT, cable moden through TWC, or home WiFi through either ATT or TWC.

I'm thinking that getting home WiFi would be the smartest option and cheapest way to get high-speed internet through the house.

If I did this with an iMac, I would need to get the new Airport Extreme right? Or does the WiFi provider give me something? Anything else I need to purchase? I don't need a card on an iMac do I?

Now, is the WiFi as fast as cable? I don't know how to check my speeds on road runner but what can I expect? If it's poor enough, I will ultimately be unhappy and just want to go to cable or DSL but would have to pay the expense to have several lines hooked up. It just seems more viable to get the house on WiFi.

Should I go with WiFi through TWC or ATT? Anyone have experience between the two? Also, should I consider ATT more than TWC because of my imminent purchase of an iPhone? Will the iPhone be able to connect to the same wireless network as my home internet connection or will I have to get another deal through ATT/Cingular for that? Does my decision on home WiFi matter at all when it comes to the iPhone?

Now finally....the thing that I wouldn't get if it weren't for making roomates happy.....cable. I have the option of Direct TV w/ DVR or TWC digital cable w/ DVR. What do you think would be cheapest but also most functional through 3 to 4 rooms in a house, 3 different people watching. I will probably start up two rooms with cable initially and as I get ready for roomates will probably keep adding on service and having the roomies pay for it.

I've thought about iTV as an option to avoid cable, but you know, I'd just like to be able to turn on the TV and watch the news whenever and think that potential roomates would be happiest with the same. Though if it was all too expensive and I found some like-minded roomies would eventually switch to iTV.

Sorry this is all so very confusing for me and I just don't have friends who are very tech-savvy or knowlegable about trying to get a network up for a whole house.

What would you do? I'm the type that wants to do my research beforehand and do the right thing from the start instead of going through many different regretable decisions.

And of course, I plan on letting the roomies have full priviledges throughout the house but if I were them I'd like to be able to be on my own computer and be able to have Cable and DVR in my own room if I wanted it.

Thanks, I'll check in and answer questions for clarification of my situation if needed.

Hope you guys have some advice because I'm so overwhelmed and confused!
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Member Since: Dec 24, 2002
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First to check your bandwidth, you can user either or

I don't know who would be cheaper setting up your WiFi. I believe that you can do it cheaper with a wireless modem and you ISP of choose.

I have heard from folks that satellite tv is cheaper, I don't know. I have cable and cable internet through Time Warner (was Adelphia).

When I had Comcast and Adelphia, I never had any real problems. I have only been with Time Warner a short time, I can not say for sure yet. Due to the turnover and the changing of hardware (from Adelphia to Time Warner).

If you have the money, I would make sure the house is wire for either cable of satellite And then set up only the rooms you need. If and when the room mate come, they can pay for their own cable boxes. As for internet access, what ever you set up I has then kick in a little toward the bill also. Since you have a new house you will have a big bill in itself (mortgage, water, electricty, trash, gas, etc.)

So the choice to me is between cable internet and DSL. Here is where your problem lays. DSL speed is depends on the distance from the phone company office, at which then your separate line becomes a shared line. Whereas the cable internet is a shared line from the beginning. If most of your neighbors has satellite TV, then you may not have a problem with cable internet and sharing.

After my experience with Earthlink, I went with cable internet.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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If it's good DSL like mine is (reliable, and 1.5mbps down 768kbps up, it's reasonable) you should do fine. I have heard that cable has a habit of throttling people from time to time, and one of my co-workers was complaining about how her cable internet was starting to get slow from all the people signing on. My DSL is always as fast as it can be.

As for Wi Fi for regular surfing you aren't going to notice if you're going through the air or directly connected to the router when doing internet things. Both of our Macbooks pretty much exclusively wireless and being able to trot about while surfing is very liberating. The only time I'll hook up a cable is if I have to drag a huge file over from one machine to the other, and even then Ill be more likely to use my "iPodNet" instead.
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