Optimum Online Ultra, one month later: Hope you plan to P2P a lot


It’s been about a month since I subscribed to Optimum Online Ultra, the fastest Internet service in the country—sorry, Peter. Consider this a predictable, rubbish explanation of how my Internet habits—nay, my life!—have changed as a result of having a 101 megabits-down/15 megabits-up connection.

In so many words, nothing has changed all that much. My What.cd and HDBits ratios have improved, but that’s to be expected when you’re in BitTorrent swarms with lowly Comcast and Time Warner users. Having a 101 megabits at my disposal does make it easer to grab new releases quite speedily—I can’t wait till Entourage comes out, hello ratio boost!—but that’s about it.

So it’s safe to say Optimum Online Ultra is great for heavy BitTorrent users. Plus, no bandwidth caps!

Usenet becomes dangerous with Optimum Online Ultra. “Yeah, that movie sure would be nice to add to my collection.” Four minutes later, bam!

As far as legitimate uses go, ha! YouTube, used for watching reruns of Supermarket Sweep, is still a piece of garbage. Nothing loads any faster than it did when I had regular Optimum Online. (Of course, videos play while they load, so it’s not a huge deal.) Is that because Flash for Mac OS X is 100 percent dross, constantly causing Safari (and Firefox for that matter) to crash? Maybe; I’m not a scientist. The point is, I was expecting to click a YouTube link and have the video load instantly. That simply doesn’t happen. Same thing with Hulu: it’s still dog-slow, even though it plays as its loading. Like the Cablevision tech explained to me when he installed the service, my home connection is now faster than what what Web sites can provide. Until YouTube, Hulu and whomever else upgrade their infrastructure, I’ll be waiting for video to load just like everyone else.

So yeah, unless you’re a heavy P2P user, you really won’t see much of a difference between Optimum Online Ultra and the average broadband connection.

Such is my experience.