Cutting the cord (ethernet, not cable TV)


In days of yore when it came to video streaming, WiFi wasn’t always optimal. So I tried to go with a direct ethernet connection for everything from the DVR to the desktop to the Playstation. Where ethernet wasn’t conveniently situated, I used 1GB Powerline adapters.

Ryan Block didn’t inspire me to cancel Comcast, but he did inspire me to call Comcast and say “I’m a loyal customer who would really love to save $100/mo.” That ate 30 minutes of my life, but I did indeed get a huge discount and they doubled my Internet bandwidth in the process. On the download side I moved from a peak of about 30Mbps to one of 60Mbps.

I noticed that whenever I ran from a wireless device like the iPhone, I’d regularly achieve 56Mbps-60Mbps over WiFi.

But on my primary desktop that was connected by ethernet over Powerline adapter it was more like 28Mbps-46Mpbs. I reset the Powerline adapters and swapped out ethernet cables but it didn’t improve.

So…I turned on my Mac’s WiFi and unplugged the ethernet cable. I’ve been running that way for over a week and the speed tests are usually around 57Mbps download speed.

I’ve downloaded big stuff from torrents to Apple’s OS X Yosemite beta, and it’s all been…very fast. In fairness, it wasn’t like I was thinking “this is sooooooo slow!” when I was getting 28Mbps downstream, but still. The big test for me was whether I’d encounter any streaming issues over WiFi.  I haven’t.

I’ve streamed a lot of stuff to my desktop over the last week. Some of that is due to recently adding a Slingbox M1 to the mix (shoutout to Dave Zatz at so now it’s really easy to watch Pardon the Interruption from the TiVo on the iMac. But from HBO Go to Netflix to Amazon Prime to MLB.TV, the streaming has worked beautifully.

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