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Author Topic: Help me pick Internet service?
Lalo
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I'm torn on ISPs. On the one hand, I follow tech news fairly closely (I have a vague intention of going into tech law), and I don't want to give Time Warner Cable my money. Unfortunately, there are almost no alternatives in my area. The only one I can find is Speakeasy (DSL), which is highly recommended and all but guaranteed to live up to its promises on bandwidth.

Time Warner Cable
"up to 7 Mbps downstream/up to 512 Kbps upstream"
$10 installation fee
$35/month

Speakeasy
1.5/384
$100 installation fee
$55/month

OR

6.0/768
$100 installation fee
$105/month

TWC's rather infamous for arbitrarily capping, slowing down, and interfering with their users' traffic. Speakeasy WILL give me what I pay for. And between torrents and possible gaming with my graduating friends, I'd probably use a fair amount of bandwidth. But it's not as though I really even use the Internet that much, and it's hard to justify this kind of a price differential.

Thoughts? I wish I could find alternatives. Verizon, RCN, Optimum, and Cox don't serve my area code.

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Lalo
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For the record, the only reason why this choice is even conceivable is because the cost is being split between three of us. My indignation's not worth a $70 difference per month, but if it comes down to paying $12/month to a unethical company and $35 to a good one... I might be able to stomach it.
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Samprimary
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Woo ISP's. Good luck.

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/5/1/

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TomDavidson
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I got really lucky. I'm getting 7Mbps down over Verizon dry-loop DSL (i.e. no local phone or the associated taxes) for $29.99 a month.
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scifibum
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I'm paying $50 a month for Canopy-based wireless that is about 5Mbps/2Mbps. My other option was DSL, but there was no "dry-loop" option, which killed it for me because combined with the mandatory local phone and taxes it would have been something like $55 for less bandwidth. (Thanks for that term, TD, hadn't heard it before.)

The service has actually been great - more reliable than Comcast cable internet or Qwest DSL had been in the past, and I consistently get good speed. No usage caps or penalties.

(If there are any Hatrackers in Utah County, Utah who want Internet service, let me know if you want the name of my ISP.)

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Kwea
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They call it "naked" DSL here in FL, and we can't get it.
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Lalo
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Oh snap. I was looking at Earthlink (a subsidiary of Time Warner), and hoping it would have different policies from TWC, until I saw this...

quote:
EarthLink Simulataneous Usage Policy

Your EarthLink account offers you virtually unlimited access to the Internet from one computer at a time. And when you occasionally need to get your mail or browse the Internet from two or more computers at the same time, you can do that too. This is called simultaneous usage. EarthLink charges subscribers a small fee for simultaneous usageó$1.00 per hour, prorated to the minute.

They're out of their damn minds.
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Boris
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Unless Earthlink uses some type of technology that renders home routers unusable (can happen. Blocking the NAT Virtual port range would do it, but if an ISP does that, they *seriously* aren't worth whatever they are charging. Even free.), there isn't anything they can do about it if you have multiple computers behind a Linksys or similar router. To their network, the router appears as a single computer, and their network can't see any of the routing and switching that goes on LAN-side. All they will see is traffic coming out of your network from your IP address with normal destination ports (80 for HTTP, for instance) and random source ports (45000 and above, usually). All the traffic comes from the same IP address. If you connect two computers directly to the internet connection with a switch and no router, however, you're stuck in a situation where both computers are requesting an IP address from Earthlink.

That said, 1 dollar an hour for a second public IP address is an atrocious charge that looks to be designed specifically to screw the uninformed.

I have no experience with earthlink aside from their dial-up services from several years back. That wasn't particularly enjoyable if I'm remembering correctly.

All that aside, who is the local phone carrier there? Everywhere I've lived, the local phone company also offers Broadband services. Unless the big boys have given up on your area entirely, Speakeasy probably isn't the only option you have for DSL. As was mentioned, you may be stuck buying phone service as well, but just plain local service usually runs around 15-20 bucks a month, and DSL providers tend to be less...annoying than the cable companies about what gets downloaded when (advantages of not shoving TV data down the same wire as internet data). They are slower, however, and with the phone will probably be more expensive than TW.

Personally, if I ever have to move to an area with TW, I'll just buy a dedicated T3 and tell them to jump off a cliff or something.

[ May 08, 2009, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: Boris ]

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Lalo
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I'm moving into an apartment with two other people, plus a connected Xbox. This means we'd rack up $3/hour since we're almost always connected. Times 24. Times 31. That's $2232/month, plus the original $35/month charge.

You're right that we're good behind a router, but this is just stupid.

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Boris
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Like I said, it's a trap for the uninformed, and one that should give you a good idea about what the company is like.
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Lalo
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My mistake, I should've read further. This policy refers to dial-up -- broadband accounts don't have these restrictions.

quote:
High Speed Internet accounts can only accrue simultaneous access charges when you access the Internet via two dial-up modems at the same time. So as long as you are only using your primary computer (with broadband access) and up to one additional computer (with dial-up access), simultaneous usage fees should not apply to you.
In some ways this is worse, since the only people who still have dialup are the uneducated and the old, who won't understand what any of this means. But it won't affect me.
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DSH
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quote:
...the only people who still have dialup are the uneducated and the old...
And me. [Roll Eyes]

I live in an area where my only options are dialup and Hughesnet (which I can't afford right now). No cable, no dsl, no fios.

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Seatarsprayan
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Do you have a phone line from the local phone company? If you do, then Net Wizards has 6.0/768 DSL for $49.95 per month, dynamic IP address..

If it's "naked DSL" then yeah, it costs more, $99.95 because it's dedicated loop and static IP. $75 installation and free equipment though. 888-346-3894.

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scifibum
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I was supposed to get FTTN by a year ago, with >10Mbps and TV and phone also available over the fiber...so it was claimed by my house's builder when we signed our purchase agreement two years ago.

The company looked shady from the start, they'd only ever done one previous installation and their website was flashy but completely vague.

At first we got reassuring notices that things were just delayed a bit, but they went off the radar about a year ago. Probably went out of business.

I didn't ever pay anything for it, and would have paid a normal monthly fee for it when it arrived, but I'm still a little disappointed. I think the builder was taken in by promises of a huge commission and influenced the HOA to agree to a group plan once the service was started, but didn't vet the company.

Still we have some fiber buried in our subdivision that somebody can use someday, I suppose.

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