Re: Cable Modem Users - What's it like?

Aaron Williams (
Fri, 9 May 1997 11:00:03 PST

** Reply to note from "Michael R. McClelland" <> Fri, 9 May 1997 11:41:50 -0500

> I've been hearing alot of hype about cable modems and this list is the
> first chance I've had to actually talk to any, so... How good are they?
It depends. The particular modem I am using, a Lan City cable modem is
awesom. It's 10Mb/sec full-duplex! I'm sharing the link with around
500 other people, but performance is awesom! Transfers of 550KB/sec are
not that uncommon (if it's cached on the local proxy or coming from my
Java web server :) (Shhh don't tell my ISP).

In other areas they use the Motorola cable modem which is 10Mb
downstream and around 600Kb upstream.

Note that the cable modems all share the same bandwidth, but that's
generally not a problem since individual bandwidth usage is generally
quite bursty.

> I've heard that you don't have an individual IP address, but get lumped
> into the same address as every one else on your service. Is this true?
No. I have a permanent IP address that was assigned to me. I'm at or (my IP address is easier to
remember than my host name!). You can access it at

> I've
> heard this makes it impossible to participate in certain real-time
> networked activities like games and chat.
Cable modems are awesom for games, especially with the low latency
comared to other modems.

@Home is also dealing with the Internet bandwidth issue several ways.
They have their own 622Mb ATM backbone going across the country and a
SGI caching proxy server with 50GB of cache to cache frequently accessed
web pages. Needless to say, Internet access is usually very fast, and
when it is slow it's due to the other end.

> Deschall's ratings. The way I
> read it, it's like being on a LAN, connected to the Internet through a
> fire-wall.

No firewall! Security is an issue. Lots of idiots turn on file and
print sharing. You wouldn't believe how many disks are readable and
WRITABLE. It is like a LAN, but a LAN connected directly to the
Internet without any firewall between you and the world (at least with
my setup).

> The reason I'm asking is that I'm presently shopping for a
> faster/cheap connection.
> The following article voices some concerns about cable modems.
> Please Email me w/comments due to the off subject nature of this
> letter.(some people get so testy)
> Sincerely,
> The Lightning in a BrainStorm is caused by Eclectricity

Aaron Williams
Adaptec, Inc.
(408) 945-8600 x3425
Inter-Networking Technology
Check out our web site at HTTP://
Personal Java-based home page at HTTP:// (9am-midnight PST only)