What Telus High Speed Internet Ads don’t tell you!

Telus is at it again. There new high speed ads or going back on the old argument that their service is faster because it is not shared. For comparisions sake, I won’t touch their extreme offerings.

A side note. I do not work for Telus or Shaw. I get paid nothing by either company. I have been a Shaw High Speed Customer since 1995, and a year ago got rid of my final Telus phone line. My experience comes with dealing with people’s PCs in their homes and Offices and I even at one point did some testing with both services in my house and identical PCs.

Telus is claiming that since cable shares the connection around a neighborhood that it slows down when loads of people get on. This can be true but is not likely and here are a couple of reasons.

Telus’ High Speed offering is slower to begin with. Shaw’s rated download speed is 5.0 MB per Second. Telus’ is 3 Mb per second. Upload speeds – Shaw up to 512KBPS, Telsu up to 640 KBPS. What dows this mean? Shaw has more bandwidth coming down to your computer but Telus’ upload speed is higher meaning the mouse click on the link is sent slightly faster to the server.

These rated speeds for both companies though are for a perfect world. Line noise can affect both and Telus’ DSL speeds are also based on how far you are away form the Central Office (CO) or switch. The further away, the weaker the signal and the slower the speed.

There are also many other factors that can affect this. If you use a router the processor in there can affect the speed of how fast it processes the requests. more machines on your network also affect perfromance. Cat 5 cable quality, your network card and even your CPU also affect performance. For example I run a Gigabit switch running to an old Nexland router (but with a higher end processor built in). My nic cards on my main PCs are all Gigabit, but I also run Media Center Extenders (gets used a lot), game consoles (Xbox 360 and Wii) and several printers and a VOIP phone on my network.  On my latest PC ( ac ore 2 Duo Machine) the speeds are much faster than my other machine because of the architecture of the processor and integrated NIC. I have seen download speeds of up to 7 MBS on my Shaw Extreme Connection and just under 6 on my older AMD PC. So there are too many factors that affect performance to back Telus’ claim.

As well at some point there has to be a junction between all their clients and the Internet, it may be further up the line, but yes there will be congestion.

The site you are visiting and what you are doing also plays a role. Some web servers are faster than others or have more hits against them than others. This performance affects your perceived speeds as well. Time zoes play another role. At 4:00 PM in Calgary it is 6:00 PM in eastern North America and more people are hitting hte Internet after coming home from work. Later for Central and all the way to Pacific times.

Several years ago I brought in a Telus DSL connection as well as my Shaw one (this was before I opted for Shaw Extreme). I set up two virtually identical PCs (all components) and the one that had a slight processor performace edge (AMD vs Intell) I put on my home network to handicap it. I tested both PCs at identical times to identical test sites all through out the day for two months. The final result was that the Shaw connection was always faster!

Looking at the fastest ISP’s results at www.dslreports.com although it is difficult to tell what kind of account it is, Shaw is higher in the rankings than Telus in almost all cases. This should be taken with a grain of salt however because you can’t tell what the account is (Extreme or regular).

In the end my personal experience however is that I have found Shaw connections to be consistently faster, with better support overall. There are also other reasons in an earlier blog post on why I recommend Shaw.


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