Monday, February 12, 2018

The hidden cost of internet (power): cable vs Fiber/DSL (Uverse)


We have cable internet, delivered via a cable modem (ARRIS (formerly, Motorola) SB6120) to our wireless router (Asus RT-N16). Both have reasonably efficient power supplies, but their combined power consumption is measurable, around 12 Watts, at least under moderate use.  In SoCal that's about $24 a year for power. 

We just "upgraded" to ATT U-Verse. I was curious to see how much power it uses, since the service comes with an all in-one modem/router/wifi combo box (Pace 5268AC). You might think that would mean a lower power draw, but under light use it's coming in at 13 Watts. So the yearly cost is a near tie. I was pleased to see the router was just as configurable as RT-N16 in the ways I cared, such as routing external ports to internal devices. 

The other downside to our U-verse service is it's much, much slower - but that was a choice. The up-side is that you can choose to pay less for lower bandwidth. I was happy to only pay $40/month and only get 25MBps. Only a month ago I was paying $40 for ~100MBps from TWC (ahem, spectrum) but now they want $55/month for that service. Ever since the merger TWC has been raising prices steadily. So much for mergers leading to cost savings. 

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