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Optimum Online page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1491 reviews (1051 good) (203 bad)
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Review by Jeffrey See Profile

  • Location: Huntington Station,Suffolk,NY
  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Install: about 17 days
Good "Price, uptime, ease of exchanging broken equipment"
Bad "customer service, internal/external/environmental changes effect speed"
Overall "Excellent speeds if you do your homework and everythng is wired properly."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·voip.ms
·Verizon FiOS
·Vonage
1/12/2001:

Things still pretty much the same. Boost seems to be slowing down ever so slightly, with congestion present during peak hours, resulting in ~10/2 instead of 30/5. This picks up and more toward 30/5 (and sometimes 33/5) during off-peak hours. For the majority of the time web browsing remains speedy, and my most important factor - uptime - remains quite good. I think the only outage I had in the last 9 months that wasn't weather related was in September, and it lasted about 3 minutes.

As far as the phone, Optimum Voice, it's excellent. No problems, and would recommend the service.

TV is staring to piss me off. The guide is the most annoying thing, with how slow it is.

When Fios comes this summer, I will either switch or make an appointment to switch and then see what CV has to offer me.

3/4/2010

It's been a while since my last review, but not much has changed. Still on Boost, and still having great results, getting just about the speeds advertised. As far as I can tell, uptime remains excellent - no noticble drops in Internet connectivity.

Optimum Voice seems excellent too. While I barely use my home phone, any time I have needed to, it has worked and worked well.

The TV can get a little annoying, but I believe that is an issue with the Scientific Atlanta STB--odd things like the channels changing on it's own, DVR not working right 100% of the time, etc. Not a huge deal, but something a box swap might fix.

4/28/09 Update:

Via the use of the Cablevision Direct forum here, my Boost ordering problem is fixed. After weeks (since 3/7/09) of the run-around on the phone with the representatives unsure why my modem would go offline as soon as Boost was ordered, the issue has been resolved.

Technican came to the house the evening of 4/27 to investigate. Found bad tap, stripped RG6 leading to first and only splitter in my garage, which also was bad. Replaced what needed to be replaced, and now the speeds are FULL Boost speeds. The technician took merely an hour to assess the situation, run new lines from the street to my garage. He ran one of the lines right for the cable modem and the other line leading to my one splitter for the TVs.

A speed test on 4/28/09 displayed:
down - 31718 kbps
up - 5105kbps

Solid. Truth be told, these are higher speeds on my parent's current Fios connection.

Excellent work, and review changed to reflect recent CV performance.

4/22/2009 Update

Over the last 2 months, the connection seems a little better. Two outages since I signed up in late December 2008. Web browsing speeds have improved, and there has been no slowdowns in peak times that impact any sort of normal usage on our part. If this is a change from my use of OpenDNS, or just that congestion problems don't affect my neighborhood, I don't know.

The only issue I have had will hopefully be corrected soon. On 3/7/09, I tried to order Boost. Chatted with a technician online, who said he'd order Boost for my account. I waited for a few hours, and Boost speeds did not show up. I then chatted back, and they saw a problem and suggested I call tech support. So, I called tech support and asked for Boost. The technician saw the issue, enabled Boost, and then the modem lost sync and couldn't regain it. This was my first outage. After an hour of watching the modem try and regain sync, I called back and CV confirmed that Boost was enabled on my line. I explained that while not on Boost, I had a good connection. With Boost enabled, my modem appears to lose sync. So, I asked that Boost be removed. Representative said OK, and my modem regained sync.

A week ago, my bill shows I'm being charged for Boost. So, I called support on 4/12 and asked to have the charges reversed. The rep said they would, and after a week, the charges still were on the bill. So, at this point, I figured as long as I am being charged for it and the charges seem unable to be removed, I figured I'd try and get Boost. Posted to the CV Direct forum here on DSLReports, and a technician has to make a housecall to fix whatever needs fixing.

If the Boost speeds can occur, and this problem is resolved, I'd have to say I'm pretty happy with CV and their Optimum Online product. The customer service is sometimes spotty, and while I haven't had the best of luck, Optimum Online has been much better at this address than my old address.

*** NEW review at a different address ***

If you have read my review below, you may be wondering why I'm back with CV. Well, let me do some explaining. The review below was for my old address where I did have CV for the times described. I did get Fios at that address, and you can read my review of that separately. I recently moved to a non-Fios area, so I am back with CV, and this review will be as accurate and as honest as possible.

My fiancee and I moved into our new home in December 2008. Realizing that Fios was not in our area yet, and that I did not want the hassle of Dish or DirecTV, I elected to subscribe to CV's "triple play" package. There has been some good, and some bad, and I'll explain below.

It took about 17 days from making the call to sign up to actually get the technician to the house to start service. During this time, I tried to do what I could to ensure that I would have the best connection. Remembering my previous service with CV, I wanted to do things the right way the first time, so that any issues I had could not be related to anything inside my house.

So, I rewired my entire house with RG6 and cat5e. I replaced the 2-way splitter that the previous owners had in the garage where the main line came in with an identical 2-way splitter. On one of those "outs", I ran a brand new RG6 cable to a new 3-way splitter. At this 3-way splitter, I ran new RG6 to three rooms where there would (eventually) be TVs. Now, back in the garage at the 2-way splitter, I ran a new RG6 from the "2nd out" to my basement's patch panel and router, and where the modem would go when CV showed up. I then wired 5 rooms with cat5e, and terminated everything at my patch panel.

On 12/27/08, CV was scheduled to come between 2pm and 4pm. I took a half-day from work, and got home at noon. Long story short, 4PM came and went and I called customer support. They said the tech was "on the way". 6PM comes and goes, tech not here. CV still says the tech is coming. At 8PM the tech called and said he'd be here in 30 mins. He showed up at 8:20PM.

He quickly hooked up our HDDVR and a regular box, both of which worked and gave a great picture. He then hooked up the modem, and the signal was apparently good enough and everything was ok. He was about to leave before properly hooking up Optimum Voice, and he for whatever reason didn't want to hook it into my phone connection outside the house, so we just plugged it into an existing RJ-11 port inside and backfed the rest of the ports in the house. Since I barely use the phone, this was acceptable.

Upon seeing my caller ID, name name was spelled wrong, which is still wrong to this day, regardless of how many times I call customer support.

The video picture is great, although our DVD crapped out within the first few days and I had to exchange it. The replacement works fine, no problems.

The Internet is basically what I expected. It's adequate, but I wouldn't call it fantastic by any means. Jitter is relatively low, but still disrupts some of my Vonage calls. Latency is about what is expected. Initially, I had some terrible issues regarding slowness when viewing websites, but a change to OpenDNS seemed to have solved that. Speeds are exactly as advertised, although during peak ours it's not consistent. I'm on the 15/2 plan, and between 12AM and 2PM I do get that most of the time. In other times, I'm lucky to get 10/1.

I'd pay the extra $10/month for Boost, but it seems many CV customers with Boost are having lots of packet loss issue at the moment, possibly related to DOCSIS 3 deployment issues, so for now, I am not subscribing to Boost.

Unlike Verizon, up-time hasn't been 100% but it's been darn close.

Here is the bottom line. No where near as good as Fios, but it's better than DSL. Right now, I have one foot out the door, and have already contacted Fios (and received a response from Fios Engineering) that they will be here in about a year, shortly after my "triple play" will expire. At that time, without blinking an eye, I will be switching to AT LEAST Fios Internet. CV's TV and phone package is darn good, but their Internet can't hold a candle to Fios Internet.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------

I've been an Optimum Online subscriber since January of 2000, so I think now, given that it's almost December of 2004, that I right a review.

Back in 2000, the price was $29.95 a month. In late 2002 that changed to $34.95, and then in 2003, it changed to $44.95. These prices also take into account our "bundle discount", as we are Cablevision TV (iO) subscribers.* (see end of review).

First impressions with the Optimum Online service were great. Speeds were great, got 500KB/sec down and nearly maxed out the 128KB/sec upload speed. The download speed I was getting was limited due to the WAN port on my routers at the time (Linksys BEFSR41 and then Netgear RP614). After I changed routers in late 2003 (Zyxel Zywall 10W), download speeds increased and top out at roughly 1.2MB/second. Upload speeds, due to the current cap at time of writing this, remain unchanged.

Over the last four years, the service's speed and reliability has been fantastic. I give an "A+" for speed and reliability. However, the other aspects of the service (something that I believe we pay for, not just the "connection") have degraded, as I will explain below.

Connection: Like I stated above, the uptime is fantastic. I've had the same IP (although no static IP is available for residential accounts) for months. After getting a Motorolla Surfboard 4200 modem in 2002 to replace my faulty CMX, things have been great.

Tech Support: I'm a bit of a tech-geek myself, so I have little use for the tech support. They have been good for me when I have asked for a repair tech to come to the house to check out water damage to the wires, so I have nothing negative to say here. The only thing that got a little annoying is when you get a Level 1 tech on the phone, and they ask tyou "do you have a router or switch, and have you rebooted the modem?" This is always step 1, and CV will not troubleshoot your connection with any networking equipment on your network. Feel free to hook it up after the issue is resolved, but they (rightly so) only care about the cable modem signals.

Email: In recent months, the email servers have been better than in the past. However, off and on, Optimum Online's email has been less than relaible. Delays in sending email (even to another optonline.net) customer have often been delayed hours. Many people complained that email they know was sent to them was never received. Additionally, sometime in 2001 I believe, CV installed "Brightmail spam filtering" on their email servers, which has been less than reliable. When it was introduced, you couldn't opt-out, even though their TOS said you could. This presented a huge problem for me because I only trust me to handle my spam; I prefer a client-side anti-spam package (like Spampal) as opposed to a server side (Brightmail) anti-spam package. The occasional email server issues still continue, where using your POP client to download your email results in an error of some sort. Most people will agree that email is relatively unreliable, and many people - including myself - have opted to buy our own domain and handle the email that way, which leads to my next point.

Port 25 blocking - CV recently (mid 2004) blocked port 25. This presented a problem for many of us who use email on our domains. Unfortunately, this is a relative common practice in the industry now.

Newserver: From 2000 through early 2002, the newserver from CV was good. Retention on text groups were about 3 weeks, and binary groups were a few days. Download speeds peaked at about 400KB/sec. Sometime in 2003, and continuing through the present, binary groups barely have 48 hours of retention. More importantly, stalling and reduced speed have been big problems. It will often take the good part of an hour to download the headers, which before the speed decrease, would only take a few minutes. Speeds, if you're lucky, top out at 80KB/sec instead of the old 400KB/sec. The solution to this, for me, was to use a 3rd party for Usenet. I pay about $25/month to Giganews for unlimited usage, and speeds often top out at 1.2MB/sec down, maxing out my connection.

Many people might read this and say, "gee, pay someone else for your email and news, why bother staying with CV. Just go get DSL." Well, easier said than done. DSL is not an option for me because it's not so much the download speed that I'm interested it, but the upload speed. CV's 128KB/sec upload is very good, and overall the connection is very reliable. I'm serious when I say I do not remember the last time the connection went down for me - may be the "great blackout of August 2003." (Incidently, some people on Long Island with generators reported that their Optimum Online connection was working for a short time during this outage.) DSL is not a viable option for us, even though it would be $30/month compared to my $45.

*Note: Due to ever-rising Cablevision TV prices and lack of channel additions, after 19 years of service with us, we will be dropping them as our service provider for cable TV. Instead, we will be getting The Dish Network. This will result in a $5 increase in my Optimum Online service, as any person without a certain level of Cable TV service from Cablevision will get charged $5 more per month for Optimum Online.

I hope this review is helpful to those who have the service, or who are persuing it.
Jeff

---update:3/6/05----

After 4+ years with CV's Optimum Online serivce, I am now leaving. FIOS from Verizon is now available for my town, and that is the better option.

Recently, CV has had many problems. User's speed connections are now throttled every 10 mins to 1/3 of max speed. In addition, DNS issues have been wide-spread lately.

Coincidently, this comes at a scary time with CV's future, as Mr. Dolan fired some of the board members and declared himself king.

So, my time with Optimum Online is now over. It used to be a great service, but no longer.

On a positive note, thank you Cablevision, for 4+ awesome years of service as the country's leading internet provider. Until recently, no caps, no throttling, and 10mb/1mb performace was normal.

Good luck with any potential sale to AOLTW.

---Update 6/4/05:

Well, after my 3/6/05 reply, two friends of mine cancelled their Optimum Online service and went to Verizon Fios. They said install and service was great. So, I weighed certain options, read reviews, and made an appointment to have the Fios install. Coincidently, between the time I made the appointment w/ Verizon and when they actually came, my Optimum Online service deteoriated repidly. Pages not loading, slow speeds, non-constant throughput when transferring large files, etc.

This being said....from when I signed up with CV for Optimum Online in Dec. of 1999 through about the Spring of 2004, service was excellent. Email was not too reliable, and neither was the newserver, but I use 3rd party providers for those. My connection was the full 10/1, and uptime was impecable. Uptime is still awesome, but the throttling, capping, and reduced speeds (see the Optimum Online forum for all this talk), made me realize that I'm paying the same price $44.95 for half the speeds.

1999 - 2002; $29.95 [Speeds: 10Mb/1Mb]
2003; $34.95 [Speeds: 10Mb/1Mb]
2004-present; $49.95 [Speeds: 7Mb/less than 1Mb]

Fios provides me with true 15/2 service, a fiber line, and awesome uptime. No issues at all.

Thank you Cablevision for 4 years of service, unfortunately, something better has come along. Bye bye.



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