Saturday, November 29, 2014

Suddenly, Comcast Xfinity speed gets erratic during Brown Friday weekend .

Early Black Friday morning, I found my Comcast XFINITY to be extremely slow.  I first thought it was the old Dell XPS laptop I often leave connected through the night.  But trying other laptops gave the same result. 
It gradually improved starting about midday, and by evening was about to 80% of what it should be.  I was able to watch a movie on Amazon (“Spanish Lake”) although I had some trouble getting it started after paying for it.  Later in the evening, I watched YouTube with no problem at all.
Saturday morning it was fine, but, intending to go out, I tried Twitter for a moment on Firefox on the older computer.  It seemed that Firefox itself was hung as an extra copy, but it finally loaded.  Then I saw that everything was slow again.  Some sites would work for a while and stall.  Google’s icon would not come up on its home page!

I tried Xfinity’s speed test.  This is what I got.  It stalled completely at 54%.

I went out on the errands.  When I came back, I found the connection working “almost” normally.  It seems that running the test tells Comcast support (is that in Ashburn, VA at a server farm?) to reset your connection.
I don’t know what is causing the slowdowns.  Black Friday?  I wonder if Comcast has made some kind of change and will tell me that my modem and Netgear router are too old (vintage 2006) and need to be replaced?  Maybe they are working on a way to clean out the Moon virus that is affecting some home routers intermittently (with practically all IP companies) and will soon require all customers to use newer routers. 

The speed test link is here
I'm surprised it's not https.

This post might be relevant to "network neutrality" too.  I'll try to find out if Comcast has somehow changed bandwidth management, but that sounds less likely.  

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