Tuesday, October 16, 2012

racing with the tortoise

Some things in Mexico could not be better.  Cost of health care comes to mind.

Other things are not quite so good.

Here is one example.

I was chatting with my realtor this afternoon about the legal process for selling Mexican real estate.  For someone who teethed on the Anglo-Saxon deed recording system, the Mexican process can cause a few jitters.  But it works.

Deeds matter.  But getting there does not bother me.

The internet does.  In this area, it is incredibly inconsistent.  Part of that is the very nature of DSL signals -- internet through the telephone line.

There are three basic packages on offer from TelMex.  Up to 1, 3, or 5 Mbps.  That "up to" is a dead give away to the variations in speed customers receive.

The realtor was a bit confounded when I told her my internet in Melaque is so slow I cannot run YouTube videos.  It did not make sense to her because she pays for the least expensive package, and regularly receives speeds above that.

We did a little speed test.  Sure enough.  Her download speed was 3.57.

It has been some time since I tried a speed test on my computer at the garden apartment.  When I got back, I was surprised my speed was almost as fast as the system at the realtor's office.  As long as you knocked off the digit to the left of the decimal point.

0.58 Mbps download; 0.62 Mbps upload.  That is only slightly better than the dial up speed I had in the 1990s.

I am going to take a trip out to the prospective new house to see what type of speed the renter gets.  If it is not much better, I may call in John Calypso and his amazing bamboo pole antenna.

I may not get what I pay for onthe internet, but if I get sick -- my bang for the buck will be worth of of the other irritations combined.


NW said...

Sheesh I was getting much faster upload and download speeds with 3G in the Philippines. Im pretty sure Mr. Slim has 3G (if not 4G) over a good portion of Mexico by now. Have you tried a, "hotspot" off of a 3G phone? My wife and I use 3G hotspot from our phone to our iPads in the desert in Southern Cal and it wasnt too bad.

Cdubee said...

When you have your new house, would a satellite dish improve things? 

sparks said...

Have you had Telmex check your lines or changed the modem filter?
Here's mine with Telcel to http://www.speedtest.net/

Babsofsanmiguel said...

Steve, is the internet I had installed from Megacable for wireless or not?.  I have a potential new tenant and he asked me and I don't remember.  YOU know I"m technologically challenged.

Steve Cotton said...

My Android telephone gets a good connection.  But it also takes a bit to load web pages.

Steve Cotton said...

The people I know who use satellite dishes locally complain a lot about lost packets -- and subsequent speed issues.

Steve Cotton said...

I haven't.  I was going to check with Omar to see what he is getting at the house.

Steve Cotton said...

It is wireless.  It can also be used with a hard wire if the user so chooses.

sparks said...

The tech that came to my house on Alejandrina said just flag a Telmex truck in the neighborhood and they'll drop by.   They might not all be that accommodating.   Moisture, salt air and dust is what we live with

Steve Cotton said...

Indeed, we do.  But, like you, I may be moving a bit more inland.

Merida Mikey said...


I wished you lived in Merida and gave classes on this subject because I have no idea what you're talking about!  I'd sign up and am sure I would be your worst student!  :-)


I never learned how to program a VCR either.

I know, I know . . . . . . . . . duhhh

Steve Cotton said...

My bottom line is that I just need more speed on my internet, and I am not currently getting it.  

John Calypso said...

"I may call in John Calypso and his amazing bamboo pole antenna."
I changed to a VERY STRAIGHT guadua bamboo culm - 45' tall 20mb connection! 

Here in Puerto I lost my connection and am now hunting down a new setup.

John Calypso said...

DO NOT go to satellite unless there is NO other choice. This from 6 years Hughes satellite systems. UGH!

Steve Cotton said...

I have use you an example of how bad the system can be.  Your credentials carry weight.

Steve Cotton said...

You are going to be everyone's internet hero.

Elke L Gazvoda said...

 We've paying for the $599 package since the original TelMex install in 2008. Two weeks ago TelMex cut us off, because I had forgotten to pay the cuenta. Paid it online as I normally do, then went off to the Manzanillo TelMex Office to apply for reconnection. At the same time, we asked to downgrade to the lowest package. We were reconnected that same afternoon and lo and behold - our speed has doubled! Someone sent us this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG5cEik2ABY&feature=related on how to double your internet speed, Vern is digging out cables and will try it....

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Elke.  I will give it a try.  This has been an issue almost all year.

But I will need to go to out to breakfast to watch it.  Not enough speed for YouTube here.

Kim G said...

With that kind of internet speed that you have, I would long ago have committed suicide just waiting for stuff to happen. Given that you don't compress or shrink the photos you post on your blog, the uploads must be just agonizing.

Also, I do think you should call TelMex because it's very weird that the download and upload speeds are so close. Usually download is a multiple of upload speeds. Don't ask me why, but it's a function of how DSL works. Also DSL's maximum range from the telephone central switching office is about 3 miles. I'd casually ask some Telmex guy about that too. If your house-to-be is farther away, cable or satellite (which is painfully  slow even when it works) would be your only option.

Best of luck!

Kim G
DF, Mexico
Where we too have been real estate shopping. Unfortunately prices are much higher than on the coast.

Steve Cotton said...

I ran a test this morning.  2.1 download.  I had done nothing to alter the speed.  I will try again tonight to see if what was wrong is now right.

Kim G said...

 You know, I watched that video and found it hard to believe. Then I read through more comments than I'd like to admit to. But the comment that stuck with me was that this guy was using the wrong cable to begin with. He was using a 5 cable when he should have been using 5E or 6.  So if you have the right cable, his supposed fix isn't going to do anything.

At the end of the day, the commenters are right. You aren't going to get anything faster than what your ISP promises.

I really wanted to believe since I have a roughly 3 Meg download DSL service in Boston, but, alas, the cable between the modem and the router is not the bottleneck. It's my service, and I'm too far from the switching office to get anything better.

But as long as it's working within spec, it works for me.


Kim G

Steve Cotton said...

 Too good to be true usually is.