Review by Network Guy
Good "CV cleaned up their act. Good service again."
- Location: Bronx,Bronx,NY
- Cost: $102 per month (month by month)
- Install: about 6 days
Overall "Good value"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
*** UPDATE 11/28/2012 ***
CV now offers a double play; Internet and TV; for $76 per month excluding boxes, and fees. I opted for this double play with what's now called Optimum Preferred; or the equivalent of iO Family in the old triple play deal but it includes a few new channels. I kept my Boost; still nice and fast.
Two cable cards and modem total: $102 including taxes
*** UPDATE 2/27/2012 ***
Since my last update a few things have changed, but I'm still a happy Cablevision customer.
Now I get Boost Plus. After initially averaging 25/7, it is now a mostly consistent 55/8 with the usual peak hour dropouts which aren't as bad as they were before. I also decided to do away with cable boxes and get Windows 7 HTPC's and Silicondust cable card-ready multituners. Initially this was motivated by cost savings to get rid of the rental fees, but also sadly to say their current crop of cable boxes are utter shit.
Getting their cable cards to work correctly was a challenge, but fortunately after a couple tries I talked to a CSR who knew what she was doing. Cable TV via Windows Media Center has been nothing short of a blissful experience, leaps ahead of iO.
I'll also use the free wi-fi from time to time. It's a nice option to have when my cell phone's 3G service is anything but.
If you live in an area like mine, you will be pleased. Service works well and the promo deal can't be beat.
*** UPDATE 7/6/2010 ***
Alright... So lots has changed in the past four years with Cablevision, I must admit.
I got tired of overpaying for TV and internet with DirecTV and Verizon so I caved in to the infamous cable triple play.
For $123 per month for the next two years I get OV, Boost, family cable including Spanish package (really mostly for my Dad since he likes his international novelas), two HD DVRs and one HD receiver. Not bad IMO.
Since I had already run quad-shielded coax to every single room where service would be installed from when I first got dish and didn't wish to have additional holes drilled in my property for wiring purposes, I insisted to first install tech that he reuse this cabling. When he refused citing bullshit reasons, I told him to leave and send another tech.
After speaking to a supervisor and providing a notarized letter permitting CV techs access to the roof where existing cabling entered the premises, two new techs and said supervisor showed an hour later to get started. An hour later after that, I was up and running.
Boost is nice, and having ports 80 and 25 open is even nicer after being used to this with Verizon DSL. Speed tests show that download speed fluctuates a bit between 21 and 28 mbps, but I'm still happy. Upload is a consistent 5 mpbs.
Video quality is phenomenal. Very comparable to DirecTV if not better. The cable boxes also seem to respond well. I have two SA 8300HDs and one SA 4250HD.
So far so good.. Hopefully they keep me happy.
*** UPDATE 7/8/2006 ***
Plenty has happened since the last update of this review. There is no need to elaborate as I can easily sum it up in one sentence.
Cablevision service sucks.
I have been Optimum Online-free for a year and Optimum TV-free for three months, and I couldn't have been happier. Why people would tolerate their ineptude and continue giving them business is incomprehensible to me. They're the perfect example of decent service gone terribly wrong on a steady basis for years.
Want to throw away your money on sub-par service and deal with incompetent customer service? Go right ahead, you're right at home with them.
*** UPDATE 4/18/2005 ***
I've downgraded to residential Optimum service for some time now, so this goes back to being an OOL review. For all intents and purposes, if you're using BOOL with a cable modem on the good ole Cablevision hybrid fiber/coax network, your traffic is given no more priority than your neighboring residential customers. As a BOOL customer you do, however, have a different customer service number to call. In my experience calling them isn't as frustrating as it is to call the numb nuts that help you with the residential service. If this makes you feel better about paying $70 to $100 per month for the same Internet that others pay $45 to $50 per month for, much kudos to you.
For some time now, as others have reported, the actual download speeds achieved are often half, if not a third of what is advertised, although thankfully for me the upload speeds remain unaffected for the moment. Not that I sit at home running speed tests all the time, but when I do make use of the bandwidth I'd sure expect to be able to, and that's simply not the case. Whether it's an issue of oversold capacity or not, I do my part in not abusing or misusing the connection, yet I'm affected. I'm sure those of you researching and considering Optimum Online will come across others with similar gripes in this place, so make your sound decision accordingly.
I won't discredit Cablevision entirely. The service has been, and still is very reliable. I have yet to experience any outages to date other than the one hiccup or two when I first signed up for service.
I do not use their email servers other than to send SMTP traffic through them, as they also block access to SMTP servers other than their own. The email accounts that I did open with the OOL service are constantly bombarded with spam despite the fact that they aren't used at all.
Should Cablevision work out their current capacity issues, this service will continue to be an ace in my book. This is truly an "always-on" connection, and that's all that matters to me.
*** Update 11/12/2002 ***
DSLR has again bugged me to update my review, so here it is.
I now subscribe to Business Optimum Online (BOOL). I run a website from home and was finally caught doing so by Cablevision staff, so I was told to shut it off or get BOOL.
The difference? Other than price, none. I still get the same marvelous speeds I got using Optimum Online, but I'm still subjected to the same port filters that everyone on the OOL network has. Thankfully there was no install, no site survey, and no tech visit, so I'm sure I saved plenty on installation fees. Getting BOOL was merely slapping a commercial status on my residential cable TV account.
Pricing? Since I already had Optimum Online there was only a one-time service level change charge of $33. Monthly fee is $70 if you agree to subscribe to Cablevision's family cable package at the minimum, $65 if you are a non-profit organization, or $100 if you only subscribe to reception service only or if you are a non-cable TV customer. Additional installation charges may apply if you don't have a coax line to your house at all. Given the speeds I get, $70 isn't too shabby.
The perks? I get to continue running my servers at home without getting hassled by their TOS for residential accounts, as it is more of a commodity and a hobby for me than it is a necessity. Hosting my servers at work can be an option for me, but given the current financial trend at my company I think I ought to do my own thing at home.
Optimum Online continues to be one of the greatest ISPs I've ever dealt with. From network response and uptime to customer support, I simply haven't dealt with a company that seems to have their act together like Cablevision.
I give Cablevision major kudos and do hope they continue to provide the level of service and support I've experienced.
*** Update 5/10/2002 ***
DSLR pop-up bugged me to update my review, so here it is.
I really can't complain about this service at all. I can't recall the service going down for the longest. In the beginning there was probably two brief outages, but nothing to complain about. In fact, service did get better for me after several cable modem firmware updates. I started out getting 5595 down, and currently hit 7500 on average. Unless you live in a privileged area where you can get FTTH, there is really no competition to Optimum.
I guess the only bad point I can say about OOL is the fact that they still block incoming connections on port 80. I have grown accustomed to this limitation with port redirection anyhow, so it is sort of transparent and unimportant to me.
As with any other broadband connection, you must run a firewall and virus checking software on the PC that connects to the service. The network that runs this service is full of people who don't know any better and propagate the vile digital goodies all the time, or full of people who have fun doing so. Unless you don't mind playing Russian roulette with your data, it is strongly suggested that some kind of protection is in place.
Despite the overall current political and social climate in NYC, Optimum Online is still one of the many perks that makes you love to live in NYC. This service is simply and undisputably the way to go for residential broadband.
*** Update 10/31/2001 ***
Well.. Almost two months now since getting Optimum Online, and service continues to be great. Uptime has been superb, so now I gave them five stars for connection reliability. My IP lease hasn't changed despite powering down the modem on a few occasions, but that didn't last for days so I guess that would be why. I guess the only bad point would be availability information since their website still says service isn't available to my home yet. Hey.. I don't mind, my node doesn't need the additional hardcore surfers and gamers. Optimum Online is truly what Internet service should be; awesome speeds, near 100% uptime, and for a good price. Just hope it stays that way.
After enduring many hassles with at least five different DSL Internet providers, and experiencing NorthPoint's fall last April, this is by far a lucky break for me. Not only will I finally start saving money in ridiculous phone bills I get from Verizon, since I'm going to toss their voice service to hell, but now I can finally experience a true broadband line for my home, once again. Okay.. Enough with the prelude about this review.. Now for the specifics:
Order process: There was none, this is the funny part of this review. I had been pondering about it for weeks, and even tried to get Cablevision to send me the modem via their optimumonline.com website, but since they checked for actual availability as per their records prior to sending it, they didn't. Since the beginning of July, most of my zip code finally became OOL ready, but not my side of the block, of course. I really would have preferred that payments for the cable modem were deferred in the two-installment option they have available, since I could afford that better, but I also didn't want to keep waiting and wasting money on keeping Verizon, and Telocity. I'm sure in the long run it'll pay for itself. Well.. Anyway.. Order process.. Yeah.. I called the Wiz at Scarsdale, asked if they had any modems in stock, and the girl on the phone said yes. I asked when their store closed, and was told 9pm. Great.. I decide to take the drive up there with my girl. She's already pissed at me for spending money on something she considers a waste of money, but I promise her a good time afterwards so she pipes down about it. Print out some instructions from mapquest.com, and head out. Of course I miss the exit that takes me there, but after asking around, we finally get to where we're supposed to go. What was supposed to be a 23-minute drive turned into an hour excursion, but we joked and laughed about it so we were fine. Got there, wrote down my name and address on a form that this dude handed me, and waited for him to qualify my address. He comes back, tells me I can't get it yet, but I insist that he sells me the modem anyway, and that I'd wait until the service was available. Whole process took about 25 minutes.
Equipment: Motorola SurfBoard SB4100, $199 at the Wiz, comes with Ethernet and USB cable, and a CD manual that tells you how the modem should be hooked up. Cute little thing, looks pretty neat sitting on my computer desk next to my printer. Anyone with common sense can hook this up blindfoldedly though. Why I went to the Wiz and bought the modem? Simple.. Online tech support kept saying I was ready, but phone customer service kept saying not yet, probably not ready until the beginning of next year. Meanwhile, people literally across the street from me, and down the following block from me, could get it. Wiz dude that assisted me almost did not sell me the modem, but I insisted that I'd simply buy it and wait if it isn't ready yet. This worked.
Service: DHCP-based, you can only begin to surf after you register your modem with Cablevision. Whole process took about 20 minutes because the technical dude at Optimum Online was sort of slow with his mouse at his end, and there was an initial hiccup with it, I couldn't get an IP from the modem. Restarted the modem a couple of times, and configured my PC, and I was on.
Latency: Average 12ms to my gateway, about 16ms to East coast hosts, about 22ms to West coast hosts. But then again, I'm probably the only person online in my node. I can only hope it stays this way. After all, I'm sure not many in my block were as impatient and eager to get Optimum Online as I was.
Technical support: Yes.. I already had to call them. Somehow the modem mysteriously disconnected, and was not getting an IP address from the DHCP server. Called my local Cablevision office, and before the dude even had the chance to look at the modem remotely, and after rebooting it remotely from my end a couple of times, it returned an address again. Funny thing is that it returned the same IP address I had last night, so I guess TZO won't be needed for my setup.
Speeds: Ran a couple of speed tests on this site, and from nyc.speakeasy.net, and averaged at 3550 down, 998 up. This surely kicks the crap out of my former Telocity ADSL's sh*tty actual 511 down, 85 up speeds, and for $20 less. Why would anyone waste their time with Telocity nowadays anyhow is beyond me, but I had to for a few months since I had no choice. Well.. Yeah.. I did have a choice, but I'm not too fond of 56K modems nowadays.
The verdict: I'm very happy that I finally got this in my house. Downloads averaged at 253KBps/sec last night, around midnight when I finally got it up and running. My only complaint is that they still block incoming connections on port 80, I'm assuming due to Code Red's doings. I'm sure there's a way around it, but since I really don't care if my website is online right now or not, so be it. If you can get the service, by all means get it soon. For all of you still waiting.. Trust me, it's worth the wait.
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