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madbrain's profile

8 Messages

Monday, April 22nd, 2024 11:18 PM

On waiting list for 13 years

When can I expect AT&T to offer fiber at my home address in San Jose ?

The "check availability" button on the AT&T web site shows that DSL (Internet 25 plan) is the only service available, currently. No 5G (Air service) or fiber.

The broadbandnow map shows there is fiber about half a mile downhill.

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

2 months ago

@madbrain  Alum Rock. Very familiar with that area. We were off of Capitol across the field from what used to be Mirassou winery before they built up the area (one of the reasons we moved).

That's a lot of back-ups. I use SSDs but only backup on a quarterly basis. I store the SSD's in a safe along with a HD backup drives as well for redundancy. We're an Apple family so I just use TimeMachine on the SSDs and Carbon Copy Cloner for the HD's.

8 Messages

2 months ago

@Ottopylot,

Thanks. I had not heard of Mirassou winery. Had to Google it. Looks like it was sold in 2003. I was living in Santa Clara at the time.

I would be careful using SSDs as long term storage. Supposedly they need to be powered up periodically to refresh. Something that's not a problem with any of my DAT/DDS tapes from the mid to late 1990s. I can still read every bit. Sadly, tape has been relegated to professional use mainly.

I have a safe as well, but currently only have documents in it. The principal risk I'm worried about is fire, since I'm in a wildfire area. My safe is fireproof, but I really wonder how it would actually do in a fire. And whether the electronic contents would survive the high temperatures. Off-site backup still seems preferable.

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

2 months ago

@madbrain  Mirassou winery was the oldest winery in the U.S. until they were sold. Our son went to elementary school with the Mirassou daughter so we were up there quite a few times at the original house which was further up the road a bit from the winery. Good times. They eventually sold out to Gallo Winery in the Central Valley.

Being as I backup at least every 3 months I think the powering up "issue", if real, is sufficient. I would be more worried about a mechanical failure with a HD but anything can happen. TimeMachine and CCC take a different approach to backing up so one is an incremental archive and the other is basically a clone of the source. You could always store your drives in a bank lockbox but that can be a hassle just getting your drives, backing them up, and then taking them back to the bank. Our safe is fireproof as well and well hidden in the garage.

ACE - Expert

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32.5K Messages

2 months ago

In many areas Gigabit speed (even 1Gbps) is the high end or the dream. Not everyone is replacing computers every time there is a new level of service. WiFi 7 is overkill for most people. WiFi 6E is a good spot but still expensive, which is why a lot of people still use WiFi 6 or even an older WiFi 5 router/access point.

Being in a situation where 10Gbps makes a difference, that is not common for the average user. I hope your every night is at off-peak times so you are not killing the internet for those around you.

With your large backups, including earlier methods from the '90s, I am also curious what is going on that you are having such a massive undertaking. Sounds like backing up a copy of yourself every 24 hours (Altered Carbon)/

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

2 months ago

@Juniper  I had to smile when you mentioned Altered Carbon because I thought the same thing myself 😉.

8 Messages

2 months ago

@Juniper, I clearly mentioned upthread that I only do a full backup every two weeks. Other nights I do incrementals.

A 58 hour backup at 250 Mbps is still too long even every 2 weeks.

Gigabit upload speed, such as that provided by AT&T fiber would cut that in 4. That would be 14.5 hours, which is more doable if scheduled at night. 10 Gbps upload speed would cut it down to the same 3 hours it takes on my LAN, or less if the cloud provider is using SSDs.

Unfortunately, most ISPs are offering asymmetrical speeds. This has been the case with DSL, Cable, 5G mobile internet, etc. Fiber service tends to be symmetrical and is more suitable for backup/restored of large amounts of data. Of course, it needs to be provisioned properly. Not sure how AT&T handles it. With Comcast you have to pay extra for unlimited data. I have had a few months in which I exceeded the 1.2TB data cap. That was not from uploads, though. I have not seen the Comcast service throttle. It only slows down when it goes down altogether.

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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32.5K Messages

2 months ago

Full backup every two weeks and incremental the reset of the time, where it takes hours, is still quite the undertaking. Your level of usage seems to be on the extreme high end for what the internet is built for. Either you wait for expansion to catch up with what you need, move to where it already exists, or somehow fund a major upgrade to the national infrastructure yourself. The companies are not prioritizing the 0.000001 percent of those that need futuristic capability.

Regardless of your specific bandwidth desires, the national infrastructure does need a lot of upgrading overall. Most users only need a baseline in the double digits and higher users (media, gamers, lots of devices, etc.) go into the 100s, but that is all Mbps. Getting 1Gbps and up is often the high end or for many of us a theoretical dream, so going 10Gbps for the majority is imagining SyFy like capability.

Wish I could offer another solution for whatever it is you are backing up, but I fear your needs are just ahead of what is available.

8 Messages

2 months ago

@Juniper,

You do not get to tell me or I should or shouldn't use the Internet. Nor does the ISP. We have net neutrality in California and the ISP cannot block or throttle specific traffic used for legal purposes, such as backups. If the ISP is selling an unlimited data plan, they need to be prepared for their customers to use it, and provision their network adequately. If they can't do that, then they shouldn't be selling unlimited data, period. For mobile carriers, most will throttle the speed after a set threshold, but this is disclosed upfront when you sign up for the plan. For wired, Comcast will bill upcharges if you exceed the data cap and don't have the unlimited plan option. I'm not sure what AT&T would do if one used 25TB/month of bandwidth, as I would approximately. But AT&T can figure out the right price to charge based on their customers' usage, to fund overprovisioning the network.

I have backed up many terabytes worth of data to the cloud in the past even with slower speeds, and will continue to do so. It just took a very long time - many days. Cloud storage providers are all the rage, and the Internet is definitely built for that. Google sells a 2TB storage plan for just $9.99/month. Amazon photos storage is unlimited with Prime, and I have several TB worth of photos there. One company sells a 10TB plan for $3.98 the first year. These are all consumer-facing services. I cannot be the only one who relies on them. I absolutely do not accept that I'm in a 0.000001 percent minority. That's just 3 people in all of the US. Any google search will reveal that I'm hardly alone with the need for large offsite backups. One guy in r/datahoarders has as much as 700TB, if you are looking for outliers. My 6TB full backups are a far cry from that. Consumer hard drives are now up to 22TB per drive. In fact, offsite backup is one of the most useful features of the cloud, IMO. I have been doing those large backups for many years, on my LAN. I upgraded my NAS to 112TB in 2020. And I had 60TB for a while before that. My LAN was converted from 1Gbps to 10 Gbps Ethernet in 2018. This is about past and present, not future. Future might be running fiber to all 17 rooms and getting 100 Gbps on the LAN. Most computers cannot handle anywhere near that, and I just don't see the need as I'm not running a business. I can't really think of which applications would require 100 Gbps for residential use, but who knows, in a couple of decades, there might be some use for it.  100 Gbps is only a 100-fold increase from a high-speed cable or entry-level fiber connection. Over the last 4 decades, there have been huge increases in speeds. The first two networks I used in the 1980s had a speed of 300 bps / 300 bps for V.21, and 1200 bps / 75 bps for V.23. My typing speed exceeded the 75 bps upload speed of the V.23 modem. However, V.23 had a very interesting feature - the ability to "reverse" the modem, which let you download at 75 bps and upload files at 1200 bps, if you connected the modem to a computer via serial cable. That would fix the typing speed issue. And also, you could upload files faster. I wish cable and cell operators could work this way. Modern Wifi works this way, sort of, automatically. If you run iperf3 bidirectionally across a Wifi link, you will get approximately half the bandwidth in each direction. But you will get full bandwidth in either direction if you use iperf3 unidirectionally (not sure why Firefox flags this word, it is in the dictionary).  Most operators have chosen to offer asymmetrical service. My first DSL connection in 1998 was symmetrical, 384 kbps / 384 kbps. And I did run a mail server out of my home at that time. I later moved to ADSL, at 1.5 Mbps / 384 kbps. AT&T is still doing asymmetrical in my area, at 25 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up. The fastest ISP I have access to is Comcast with 1.2 Gbps currently. That's a million fold improvement in network speed vs the V.23 I had in 1983.  For upload speed, the 200 Mbps is "just" a 166,666 fold improvement. In the 1990s, when Internet became available to the public, many still used terminals with V.23 modems (called Minitel). V.23 minitel networks were discontinued in 2012, relatively recently. That was a 30-year run. It was obviously obsolete by the late 1980s, but not useless.

In the meantime, AT&T offers 2Gbps and 5Gbps residential fiber Internet service in some areas, including in my city, but not at my address. This cannot just be for marketing reasons. I could definitely benefit from those speeds today if they were offered where I live. And I could have benefited as far back as 6 years ago as well. I would still gladly take the 1 Gbps symmetrical fiber connection any day if it were available, as it is already 0.5 mile downhill.

I believe the backbone infrastructure of the Internet already supports offsite backup applications. Cloud storage providers would not be able to sell their services if it did not. The main problem is the last mile, or the last 0.5 mile in my specific case. I think this needs to be handled by legislators and regulators, as it used to be for landlines. ISPs, including wireless carriers, have taken billions of dollars worth of taxpayer money, but progress in expanding service has been slow. The FCC definition of broadband just changed to 100 Mbps down / 20 Mbps up. Many ISPs no longer meet this definition as a result, as they offer paltry upload speeds.

This is not just about AT&T deployments of fiber, but also wireless service. Until recently, none of the 3 wireless networks had usable signal inside my home, despite it being included in all their coverage maps, sometimes magically right at the edge of the county and city line (I'm on the city side). One day, our country neighbor got an order to evacuate due to wildfire, but we did not, nor did anyone else on the city side. I guess someone has to draw a line somewhere, whether it's the carrier or government. Anyway, the carrier coverage maps were just fantasy. The service was usable for calls, mainly outside. Not much else. I chose the "least bad", and least expensive service, which was T-Mobile for many years. I found out that Verizon upgraded their towers last week, and now has an excellent 5G signal. So I'll be switching my service over to use their network, through the same MVNO I use now, US Mobile. Still unclear what I will do for a backup ISP. The MVNOs don't offer 5G home internet yet.  I'm thinking I could buy a used 5G cellphone and use it as a backup WAN with pfSense, either through USB, or, if not possible, through Wifi. Will be researching this.

In the meantime, I need to plug in the replacement Comcast XB8 modem I just picked up, as mine died last Friday. I have been making do with 2 free trial wireless ISPs. I need to plug in an additional NIC to handle all three ISPs simultaneously. The Comcast XB8 will need to be plugged in to the dual-port 10 Gbps Intel NIC manually forced at 2.5 Gbps (auto-negotiation is broken), the same way it has been for years. The Sail internet modem with PoE will stay on the motherboard 1 Gb NIC. And Verizon will move to the USB NIC I need to dig in my parts drawers. Setting up load balancing and failover for 3 WANs will be fun. At the end of the free trial, I will not keep all 3, though. AT&T doesn't appear to offer free trial for the Internet 25 DSL service they offer, but it is too slow anyway, and POTS line were cut.

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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32.5K Messages

2 months ago

Woah back the tantrum up. I never said anything about you should or should not use the internet. I was pointing out that your needs are outside the norm for what is currently available. And though your bandwidth needs do seem astounding, I do acknowledge that the overall infrastructure needs a lot of improvement.

Remember not all of us are buying the latest highest end tech. Doesn't matter if you can find up to 22TB HDDs. Many of us use only a couple TBs (give or take).

Yes I remember when DSL finally came so I could have an always on connection. Was excited before that to get a bump from 14.4Kbps to 28.8Kbps on the old dial-up. And that was when internet became the World Wide Web. Instead of our more direct connections in the days before that. It will be interesting when fiber gets here (however many years that may take).

In the end internet companies do not build or expand their service based on one consumer. They go for a balance of economical for them while serving the most customers. Certainly go with whatever internet service can best fit your needs. There is an entire country of evolving internet capability, each area and company at their own pace, that does not put a single power user above the masses.

(like many I am curious what you are doing that needs such an immense backup to even keeping HDDs in a deposit box. For non-business use it is an impressive level of usage. If you don't wish to share, I respect that. Only mentioning your situation is of interest).

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

2 months ago

@madbrain  I know whereabouts you live being as we lived close to the same area. You are just too far out to get any faster internet than you already have now, let alone a 10Gbps connection. You might want to shop around for possibly a business connection but it's gonna be expensive, if at all possible. 1 or maybe a 2GBPS connection could be possible where you live but 10Gbps, nope. Even if AT&T's Internet Air were available, that wouldn't do you any good either basically due to tower congestion. I don't even know if 5G is even reliable or available up where you live. 

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