DSL ISP’s. Are you getting bang for your buck?


When it comes to Isp’s I have very particular preference just like  how many cream and sugar’s I take in  my morning coffee(s.) Maybe a lot of us don’t.  Maybe I’m just a geek, but thats a whole other blog post so I’ll  (try to) keep on topic.

Surely I can’t measure ‘bang’ by dollar amount alone. I need to take into consideration many factors such as price, speed, reliability and customer service. How do I measure this if Ive only had experience with certain ISP’s? I can’t!

Im going to lay down the numbers from some of the magor ISP’s and hope you can fill me in on the reliability and customer service part.

I use Odynet, been with them since 2002, were like familia. Well not not really, but hey a girl can have dreams can’t she?   Moving on….

Odynet runs me 34.95 a month. Modem rental free, 5 emails, 800k speed and 100gig of usage.

Bell runs 47.95 a month. 2.00 modem rental, up to 700k speed, doesn’t show usage limit on main page. Not sure if its a ”contract” or month to month.

Rogers runs 44.95 a month, 3.00 modem rental, 60gig limit,up to 700k speed, 9 emails.

Ok so theres mine and the two big wigs. Doesn’t tell me much other then im cheaper.  I have had my share of diffuculties with Bell since there call centers have been moving overseas. Rogers is not available in the middle of nowhere that I call home sweet home. Id love to hear about them too though!  So this brings me to is a smaller company the better option? Theres literally thousands out there. 

Another thing that’s got me is this whole bundling services thing. Is it all contracts? Do you save in the end? Is it worth it? I am a girl who needs choice, signing up with all one company is playing into the man too much for my comfort. Whois the man? No clue but it sounded good. Sounds like there bundling all my hard earned cash into their money clips.

What’s your best deal that you have your ISP, and most importantly are you in a happy relationship with them?


43 responses to “DSL ISP’s. Are you getting bang for your buck?”

  1. ergo2 says:

    I’ve been with my ISP since 2001. I have a 1.5 meg connection which is a bit slower than most DSL providers , but I can live with that. Their customer service is excellent! When my(owned) modem died on me they delivered one in person to my door(free to use) and they are located in another city! If i have to phone their support I have never waited more than 30sec. No dl limits and one of the few ISPs that still offer newsgroups.I do have a fair amount of choice where I live when it comes to ISPs , but never really had any reason to look beyond what I have. Cost: $34.95 a month.

  2. andrud777 says:

    I use Acanac. Unlimited download/upload per month, and if you’re willing to pay for a full year, they’re offering $18/month. If you’re only interested in paying monthly then it’s still a nice and cheap $30/month for better service than most receive from the main competitors. It is worth checking them out on their website for anybody wishing a cheaper/unrestricted alternative.

  3. Omid says:

    I recently signed up for http://www.acanac.ca/

    For $19 including TAX, it’s worth the buck. I get 4 Mbps, which is around 500k, and service has been excellent so far. No down times, and peer to peeer doesn’t seem to be blocked or throttled.

  4. Moe in Ontario says:

    We have been with Acanac for coming up on a year, we are in a small Town so I was worried about the speed but we get the upper end of 5 Mbps. We were with Bell prior & as my daughter likes to down load we were always paying extra but with these guys there is no limits on anything.
    With the cost of all this new technology that never even existed 10 years ago our family finds that we are willing too try the smaller guy in order to keep the monthly costs down, which seam too be going up up up each month.
    The only catch is in order to get their bsst rate u have to pay upfront for the year, works out too about 18.95 a month,
    my 2 cents,
    Moe

  5. JP says:

    I used Acanac for a month, they are great they offer you a free login to test the speed as long as you currently have DSL internet. I had to cancel their service because I wanted to test the ISP I am currently using which is 3web.

    They are charging me $29.95 a month, and I bought my own modem so the rental fee of $4.95 is waved.

    The customer service is horrible at best because when you call you are guaranteed to wait for 15-20 minutes before an answer, and the emails are never answered. Also when you order they don’t give you information on how to login and when you call they don’t even know the services they offer.

    The tech I spoke to was telling me to plug in a Coax cable into my modem, when I was using a DSL line. (Maybe it was just him.)

    I am definitely switching to Acanac again after this month, what’s great about them is they charge you $18.95 with taxes. Only problem is the order has to be done online, and they want a year advance. Their site has its own forum which is nice as you can post problems there.

    I had bell sympatico before the Caps were in place and the cost was $34.95 after I talked them down, but it was a pain getting them to refund me each month for the $10 discount I spent 3 hours getting. Their service was awesome for me, and I never waited over 5 minutes for a tech support or billing department question to be answered on the phone line.

    Only flaw with tech support was the online chat was extremely useless.

    Rogers I haven’t used in a while but their bandwidth restrictions are a pain.

    3Web=No Limits
    Acanac=No Limits
    Bell=Limits are costly ($25) overusage fee.
    Rogers=60GB on the smallest account.

    3Web cable internet is supposedly really good but I don’t have a modem so I didn’t bother trying it.

  6. Boo Radley says:

    Why are all the comments about Acanac? 😛

  7. Sally says:

    Apparently someone really loves them, I’d never heard of them lol!

  8. Eri says:

    i have rogers..should i be embarassed?

  9. Sally says:

    No not at all Eri, hows there service? Are you happy with it?

  10. Kenny says:

    Anyone have any comments on techsavvy? After rogers put their bandwidth limit up and I started having problems with frequent downtime, I’m considering changing ISPs.

  11. tina says:

    market place did a program on 5 providers look it up on cbc

  12. wwidgirl says:

    I’m moving in August and am looking into alternative service providers

    For phone, I’ll be using Teksavvy but for Internet I’m going to use Acanac since it’s cheaper than Teksavvy.

  13. Jerry Hung says:

    TekSavvy for 2 years here now, paying $27/month (group plan) with 200GB Cap (Premium service) as I don’t need the $40/month Unlimited plan

    Loved TekSavvy customer service, always reachable on phone and fast on email, and they know their stuff, and strongly particiates in the Net Neutrality protest, they get my business for as long as I can

    Heard a few bad things about Acanac, not even gonna risk
    Don’t want to have downtime and nobody to talk to. You get what you paid for, as Ma Bell wholesales the DSL lines and there’s not much profit on top of that

  14. Moe in Ontario says:

    RE: DSL Phone service VoIP

    We are looking into Brama Telecom’s Services, but I can’t find any one who has used them ?
    Can anyone recomend them from Personal experance?
    Thanks,
    Moe in Ontario

  15. mememe says:

    I have to call Bell EVERY (and I mean EVERY) month to adjust my bill since they NOT ONCE have billed me correctly.

  16. abfab says:

    Currently with Bell Sympatico. for $45/mo i get 7mb download, 60gb cap. Tech support is worse than horrible – completely incompetent.
    I’ve heard amazing reviews about TekSavvy – great service, no contract. Surprised about Acanac comments as I’ve heard a lot of complaints, but i suppose you get what you pay for.

    Apparently if you call Bell’s retention centre and tell them you plan to switch to TekSavvy they’ll match their rates (might require contract though).

  17. ebrian says:

    Rogers isn’t DSL btw.

    I just got married and was surprised to find out that my wife’s place (where we moved into) has the slowest DSL I’ve ever experienced. We were originally on the DSL Lite plan with Bell Sympatico, and upgraded for $5 to get the “Internet Essential” plan. They told us we’d get 500kbps speeds.

    I went onto Speedtest.net and found out we were getting 136kbps. For those of you counting, that’s 17 KB/s, about the speed of dial-up.

    I’ve looked into the other DSL options out there — Acanac, Teksavvy. I’ve read that Acanac’s service is awful and you’re better off dealing with Bell, and Teksavvy’s service is sensational. Either way both companies are leasing Bell’s lines and therefore won’t be able to change your speed.

    Teksavvy’s customer service confirmed that if I switched to them I would likely still be facing the same (awful) speeds.

    I’m switching to Rogers (Cable internet).

  18. CJ says:

    I was with Bell (DSL) for about 10 years. No problems. My connection never went down. My only problem with them was price and the constant telemarketing calls I got.
    So I found out that Primus offered a pretty convincing package of phone and DSL (on Bell’s lines), keep the same phone #, free call display, telemarketer guard, fewer $ and bonus Airmiles with every payment.
    I made the switch and Primus made me pull my hair out for about two months. I was without service for the first two weeks. Download speeds were sloooow. To be fair, they were only slow for about two months and now things are on par with Bell. I had sent to complaint letters to Primus. I received no response but better service. I don’t know if they are related.
    The best thing about Primus is that I’m making a killing on Airmiles.
    I am not unhappy with my service now but there is still a bad taste in my mouth from the switchover. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have changed.

  19. Ted Avery says:

    I’ve had them all — Rogers, Bell, TekSavvy, and now Acanac. Each change was motivated by price.

    Rogers and Bell put ridiculous caps and prices on all their services, but they make it extremely easy for new users to set up.

    TekSavvy has the best customer service and the prices are amazing. Everyone knows exactly what they are talking about there and you talk to someone right away when you call.

    Acanac I had quite a few problems getting set up, and kept getting my support e-mails sent to outsourced reps who barely spoke English let alone knew how to help me. I also had to ask them over 10 times to cancel before they finally would. HOWEVER I finally got it working and am with them now, solely because of the very cheap price, and you also get some nice extras like 100GB online storage, a virtual online PC, and more. But I dread the day I will ever have to call them back.

    Also, BEWARE ACANAC USERS who signed up for the one year promo. They don’t tell you this but they will automatically sign you up for a full year again after your first unless you tell them not to. So Acanac is best if you can handle the hassles when you need to talk to them, otherwise TekSavvy is my #1 recommendation.

  20. Sally says:

    Very informative, Its interesting to hear about all the different companies out there and what they have to offer.

  21. adora says:

    Bell’s service totally suck! 🙁

    Couple years ago, I ordered the high speed internet in an early Sept. I wanted DSL because it is much more stable than cable. The technician was supposed to come in mid-Sept. I waited at home on the day they promised. When I called, they say they were busy and will come next day, next week… This dance was over a month long and with a lot of rude phone representatives. (There are a few very nice ones as well, but only few). They even told me it was my fault, or that my apartment phone system was messed up.

    I finally bypassed the customer service and called the headquarters. They admitted that they just don’t have enough infrastructure for the rapid growth of my area. (So those were lies before just to keep me as customer) The person apologized and promised that it were to be installed in Feb. So I wait. In the meantime, they kept charging me for the fee and I kept having to call back to clarify!

    When Feb arrived. They asked me to wait again. NOT! I told them I have enough of their bull, so I canceled.

    I mean, are we in some kind of third world country? Why does it take h6 months to get internet access? In comparison, Rogers people are so knowledgeable and helpful. I got it all set up within hours! 😀

    Yeah, the 60G limit of Roger is a downer. I use about 50-70G. Can’t decide whether to increase it to 80G or just let them charge extra at $2 per 1G. They do send you alerts (right on your browser) when you are approaching the limit, So that is very open and honest about Rogers.

  22. consumatrix says:

    I use Rogers and love it. I was with Bell for a couple of years and had lots of problems (with it not working at all and slow service despite paying for the highest speed) and really terrible customer service when I tried to address these problems, so I switched to Rogers and have had no problems since.

  23. Archdandy says:

    I’ve had Rogers since April of last year. The reason decided to go with them is because they offer the bundle service and we thought it would save us some money. Also they give you free Norton Anti Virus protection so we thought that was a good deal as well. Everytime we call for support the people have always been semi-nice (meaning they werent rude but they werent nice either). Getting it set up was a bit of a hassle though because the technician had to come back twice because he didnt have the proper tools with him to do what needed to be done, and even after those two times he didnt get the job done. So another rep was sent out and he finally got the job done. The only problem I have with them is their technicians that come out to your house. For high speed lite we pay 34.95 without taxes (the modem charge is waived because we have the bundle pack, but it would have been 3.00), 56.52 for VIP digital cable, and 18.50 for just a basic phone line, in total it usually comes to about 120.00 a month, but its only because we have the bundle. If we didnt it would be a hell of alot more expensive to be with Rogers.

  24. ebrian says:

    The biggest thing I think between Bell and Rogers, is the technology in your area. Depending on where you live will affect Bell, due to the quality of your lines. Where I live it’s brutal, the Bell lines in my area are terrible and the maximum available is 500kbps, while in reality we are getting 136kbps.

    Rogers is less dependent, you can have pretty crappy lines but it won’t matter as much because cable wiring hasn’t really changed all that much in the last 30 years.

  25. Sally says:

    Interesting, ever do a random speed test? http://www.speedtest.net

    I do them quite frequently.

    Ive learned that
    my net is slower during the daytime hours, and its even that much slower on my wireless connection. But sitting in a lazy boy typing rather then sitting in my office is worth the sarcrifice sometimes.

    Im around the 4500-5000kbs on my laptop.

    On homebase, desktop Im anywhere from 5 up to 8 on a good day.

    Im happy with odynet, but I do like checking my speeds! I like to make sure im getting that bang for my buck 😉

  26. Alison says:

    I also have Teksavvy, and I would absolutely recommend it. We get 5 Mb service for a total of $31/month and the support (when we’ve needed it) has been stellar. I feel so good knowing that I’m with a small company and that the employees will be friendly and understanding when I call. We bought a basic modem from them when we signed up, unfortunately it (freakishly) died after 6 months, and they sent us a new one. One downside with the modem thing is that they had to charge us for the new modem when they sent it, and when they verify that the old one really isn’t working they’ll refund the cost.

    I highly recommend teksavvy! Love it.

    Our phone is with Bell, and its fine, but not great. I hate that I have to pay for Home Phone Choice just to get the voicemail service. We also had problems right at the beginning with our bill. Not fun.

  27. Brooke says:

    I used to be with Bell. I had 1mb service which was $45, but that only includes 2gb per month, so after overage charges I was paying $70 a month. On top of that, my downloads were throttled at the same time every day. I would get 130 kb/s in off-hours, changing to 60 and then 30 during peak hours. During peak hours that’s hardly faster than dial-up.

    I switched to Teksavvy. The customer service was great, there was no throttling at that time, and after tax my bill came to $32/month for 5mb service. I was a happy customer.

    Then Bell decided to throttle all DSL in Canada to make their overpriced services more competittive. Can you say “anti-competition”? My download speeds went from 500-600 kb/s to all over the place. Sometimes I’m capped at 27 kb/s, sometimes I still get up into the 500’s. There doesn’t seem to be much consistency to the way Bell is throttling its partners lines. Either way, I’m very happy not to support Bell any more than I have to.

    I got an email a few weeks ago from the president of Taksavvy asking if I would support a class action lawsuit to try to get Bell to stop throttling. I said absolutely. When was the last time anybody got an email from Ma Bell herself?

  28. Sally says:

    I don’t see how bell legally can throttle lines when these companies pay bell for them.

    Its like renting a house and the landlord coming over and putting yellow caution tape across half your house your renting and sayes dont cross the line.

  29. not lisa says:

    i have had a ridiculous experience with bell. my mom works there and i have been with them for years. when i told them i was going to cancel, they let me keep my wireless service at $24.95/month. sadly, my wonderful experience ended when i cancelled my tv with bell. it began 8 months of customer service HELL! in the past 8 months (excuse my lack of tech savvy):

    -i had not been provided with the proper modem when cancelling tv but told to wait for a modem
    -had to call 3 times to get said modem, but then only provided with one “line buffer”, called 4 times to get just another ONE
    -told that i was out of luck and cannot have my sympatico mail set up with entourage on my mac simply because it’s a mac -“you will need to use sympatico online..”
    -had service go down and 4 calls before a technician would come out
    -i have been charged $120 for cancelling for crappy service and not issued the credit back but asked to pay so it doens’t affect my credit and so i do not incur interest charges
    -still spent countless hours on the phone to get my internet running
    -been able to tell online technicians what is wrong with the service (crossed rogers lines) to still spend 3 hours going through their online trouble shooting

    i am reluctant to cancel and start with rogers because i am petrified of going through it all again…

  30. RJ says:

    I’ve worked for a cable ISP in Northern Ontario, and what it all boils down to is:
    DSL providers are all essentially rebranded Bell lines, while Cable internet are rebranded (insert local cable company name here, ie: Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco, etc).

    These companies are considered Third Party Providers/Resellers, and most of the monthly bill goes directly to the line provider (Telephone company, or cable company). This money is to cover cost of maintenance on the lines, etc. (installation/maintenance techs are employees of the line provider or a contractor, not necessarily your internet reseller).

    Your connection goes from your house, through the lines to the relay station, then to the Telco or Cableco head end, and then rerouted to the appropriate company and on to the internet in general. Adding this extra hop will introduce latency (slightly slow down the connection, but negligible amount in most cases). Note that some third party providers have multiple upstreams and can provide better and faster routing to different locations on the internet.

    Now, your internet speeds will be mostly affected by the quality of service provided by the line provider, so if you have crappy Bell service, you’ll have crappy DSL with any other company as well. Same goes for Cable ISPs.

    What is fair to compare, is the quality of technical support, and customer services offered by individual companies.

    All that being said, I have nothing but terrible experience with both Bell and Rogers, billing issues mostly as well as hidden clauses. I’m switching to CIA.com (DSL reseller that provides DSL service and VOIP for $40/month), only based on cost.

  31. Matty says:

    I am with Primus (a bundle of phone,dsl,North American long distance 69/month (and you get 13 Air Miles/month). We were with Bell (very very slow DSL), now in the same house, same phone line we are averaging 4-5Mbps. And I couldn’t be happier with tech support – Our modem was acting funny when we first got, but a great tech quy walked us through all kinds of command lines and done.

  32. Xerex says:

    Problem with Acanac is that there’s no live billing support. You have to email them. Also after the 2nd year you’ll be suprised with a upfront charge of $400 ++ coz from 18.95 it will jump to 30+ .. I wouldn’t mind paying the $30 + if it was on a month to month basis…

  33. JP says:

    Has anyone used CIA.com’s cable internet service it seems the deal is really nice and there are no caps, it offers CABLE internet for $32.95 + tax at 7mbit download mark. Seems wonderful I’m on their DSL plan and it’s not to shabby but there is throttling, still a good ISP.

    As for Rogers the best alternative to it I think would be CIA and I know one person who has it and says it’s great, but I fear the tech support isn’t that great for this ISP.

    My friend has tekksavvy and uses the Unlimited with a static IP and he says that it’s the best service out there, I’m planning to switch but they don’t offer a yearly contract at a lower price so I’m still swaying toward Acanac.

  34. ebrian says:

    The strangest thing happened.. last night our speed went from 136kbps to 446kbps. I wonder if it has anything to do with my complaints here.. someone is listening!

  35. Sally says:

    Ebrian I highly doubt it, they would have no idea who each user is.
    🙂 Not all have been complaints though, so positive some negative.

    But I highly doubt its some conspiracy 😉

  36. ergo2 says:

    sorry.. forgot to mention my ISP provider was: Sentex.

  37. JP says:

    If you want internet that works, don’t use 3web. My net drops approximately 5 times a day, and when I DL anything over 300mb after it’s done my net drops again.

    Just a heads up.

  38. Nick Breuer says:

    I am currently with Primus ISP in Western Australia and I regret it.
    I am leaving it as soon as I can.
    Firstly the server is not accessible at least once amonth and usually for about 5 days.
    And the message is always that they are having trouble with the server in Western Australia.
    Then the modem has to be reset every time but not before a phone call to the helpline to get something else fixed first.
    Secondly in Western Australia Primus is using an optic cable leased from Optus and I cannot get off this cable and back onto copper line I have tried many other ISPs and they all say the same.
    SO Primus has made it incredible difficult to get away from them.
    The only solution is to go to Telstra how will put me back on copper line and then I will be able to go later to any ISP I want.
    I hate Primus, they stink as an ISP.

  39. bagallboyhou says:

    night tree car mail house sea german

  40. mnyyoungs says:

    I have been with bell high speed for a million years, but moved to a small 3-plex and was told that there were line load issues. WHAT??? I live in an major city only 1 hour away from Toronto!!!! Anyway, I was finally educated to the fact that it is likely the building I live in and not the infastructure of the bell lines. Soooooo I suffered with Bell dial up for nearly a year. I did this because I HATE Rogers, period. However, teenage kids and one computer made me move back into the fast lane of the internet. I swallowed my pride and ordered an overpriced service from Rogers. I despise having to call them for ANYTHING. All that said, I am looking at jumping to the new Bell Wimax Service which is available for me. Does anyone have any thoughts, comments, etc on this service? I am currently happy with my bell home phone and wireless and not looking to move those.

    Cheers everyone. Great info in this forum.

  41. Annie fr. TO says:

    I’m Sooo surprised to have read 2 good reviews on Bell.

    From 1987/88 when i had my cell phone with Bell up till some yrs into the 90s, I had problems with their Billing/Accounting dept, forgot if that was the reason i cancelled with them. At that same period I also had a line w/ Cantel (2 lines on my Motorola) & when I cancelled after 10 yrs in 1998, had the same accounting problem.I’ve since been w/ Clearnet (now Telus) which is a lot better.

    As for ISP, I’ve had Bell up till maybe 3 yrs ago. When I first signed up for DSL lite, the speed & service was great in the beginning. Then it became very slow. So I signed up for regular DSL (I think I was paying $33/mo then- group discount). Again the speed was great at first, but later I cldn’t even watch “60 minutes” online. One day I called them regarding email problems as a few days prior their email system was down. Everytime I called, there’s always a person pretending to be a tech support staff reading a script asking you a ton of questions, asked you to plug & unplug your phone jack, modem etc.etc.till i totally lost the internet connection (I did not have a connection prob. when i first started talking to this Parrot). So now I have a really BIG prob. Everyday I called & had to do the same thing over & over(answer same questions & plug & unplug). Nobody called me back or let me know what happened.I was without internet service for 5 wks. They said there’s smthg wrong w/ my phoneline that this happened. They said wld reimburse me but never did, & I had no energy to fight w/ them.

    That same yr or a yr prior, my phone line turned into a partyline cos someone in my area ordered a new phoneline. The result was I did not have my phone service for 10 days. Now i only have home phone w/ Bell, but always on the lookout to switch.

    Anybody tried Clear Point? They’re offering DSL for $34.95/mo including free phone service. I hope someone can tell me if they’re good. Thanks.

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