Bandwidth Galore
August 29, 2005 11:54 AM   Subscribe

I just got braodband internet after 5 years of living the dial-up lifestyle. Help me use my new-found bandwidth effectively.

I'm so used to thinking of the internet in terms of dial-up speeds and possibilities that I have no idea what sorts of cool things you can do with broadband. What bandwidth intensive sites/tools/cool things do you use your broadband for? (BESIDES porn). Hope me Mefi!
posted by cosmicbandito to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
BitTorrent, Usenet downloading, etc.
posted by shepd at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2005

Internet radio, my friend. Internet radio. 128kbps streams of great music. I listen to a bunch of stations in itunes, including's offerings and Radio Paradise.
posted by selfnoise at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2005

I recommend watching silly videos on YouTube or IFilm, watching trailers on Apple's website, listening to some radio on and taking Google Earth for a spin. Possibly all at the same time...
posted by bering at 12:06 PM on August 29, 2005

You're probably going to need a new hard drive, cosmicbandito, because let me assure you, you will download. Legally or otherwise, it doesn't matter. BitTorrent alone will allow you to acquire music, games, entire seasons of television programming... you may not believe me now, but you will. Get ready for the flood.

(Oh, and don't forget the porn.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2005

You also want to protect yourself. A broadband connection means you're always connected, and the wolves sniffing at the door are there 24 hours a day. If you're not already running antivirus software and a hardware or software based firewall (or at least NAT), you're likely to get yourself haxxored sooner or later. Downloading files of unknown provenance will speed this up. Keeping youself patched up is also more critical than in the past.

Back to what everyone else is saying; yeah, the benefits of having broadband pretty much come down to accessing multimedia, large files, or doing lots of things at once. You have a tabbed browser, don't you?
posted by kimota at 12:26 PM on August 29, 2005

posted by arco at 12:28 PM on August 29, 2005

posted by blue mustard at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2005

posted by waldo at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2005

The best thing about broadband isn't that it's fast, it's that it's always there. Leave your computer on, stroll to it whenever you want to know something. Wikipedia is more convenient than your encyclopedia books; moviefone is easier for showtimes than the newspaper. And you're on email and IM always.
posted by Nelson at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2005

Play games!
posted by 27 at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2005

You might want to check with your ISP - some will rigidly enforce bandwidth limits (mine is 50 gig/month) and offer a page for you to monitor your bandwidth useage.

Other ISPs won't care so much (a friend using a different ISP has gotten away with logging >500 gigs/month via the monitor page and actual HD fill-upping in the ~800 gigs range - yEnc-type compression is a wonderful thing).
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:04 PM on August 29, 2005

< a href="">cough> You could donate < a href="">wheeze> the extra bandwidth and some computer cycles to < a href="">ack> worthwhile projects like < a href="">blaagh!> SETI@Home. Here's a link to their page.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:17 PM on August 29, 2005

Damn, MeFi's code-mangler totally ruined my funny.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:18 PM on August 29, 2005

you could learn html and then serve your own site
posted by kashmir772 at 5:31 PM on August 29, 2005

You could put up a bird house with a small web cam inside and serve it on the web 24/7.
posted by johnj at 5:53 PM on August 29, 2005

kimota: re: Wolves sniffing at the door: Couldn't you install a simple switch to disconnect when you're not online, or just unhook the cable?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:45 PM on August 29, 2005

I can think of a few things, but first I'd need to know what OS you're running, on what hardware, and with what proficiency.

And by the way, my DSL modem has an on/off switch, and so does my computer; having either or both turned off is a great way to foil hackers at least part of the time. This is why I decided against setting up free telnet-in CLI shell accounts for my online friends, I can't guarantee the damn thing will be on.
posted by davy at 8:39 PM on August 29, 2005

Two words: download videos. Of ANYTHING you can think of.
posted by slimslowslider at 10:32 PM on August 29, 2005

Use a download manager like getright and keep on adding things to download to its list. Sleep... and get everything on your computer when you get up.
posted by webmeta at 4:12 AM on August 30, 2005

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