For a long time we got by with a basic 1.5Mb DSL connection and were almost as happy as could be. I could play a game online while my wife watched Hulu and be totally fine. Occasionally we would run into a few hiccups with Netflix being a bit of a bandwidth hog, but it was tolerable. We couldn't stream HD, but we also didn't really feel like we needed to.
However, we were never able to really experiment with any of the 'alternative' media collection options--our connection simply couldn't handle it. We were already putting the poor thing through the wringer.
At our old location our ISP choices were simple, AT&T DSL, or Comcast. AT&T DSL got expensive enough quickly that it didn't make a whole lot of sense of go with anything beyond the simple 1.5Mb "Dry Loop" (meaning we were not paying for a phone line), especially with the 1.5Mb was performing so admirably. As far as Comcast goes, let's just say they don't have much of a positive reputation with me. They were never really considered.
However, with our move we were presented with alternative choices. Now while we still had AT&T DSL, in addition we now could also chose from SureWest, and TimeWarner. AT&T could provide the same 1.5Mb package we had, while TimeWarner was able to offer an 8Mb down connection for barely more than what we'd be paying for AT&T's 1.5Mb, so that was the option we went with.
It's a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem, so the performance still isn't stellar, but it's certainly better than we're used to. It has also opened up the wide world of NewsGroups to us, and I've had some fun playing with SickBeard as a result. I'll talk about about that in a future post.