Review by JRW2
Good "Fast, but inconsistent so don't expect to use it... Though now at 16/5! Provisioned for 20/5..."
- Location: Port Jefferson Station,Suffolk,NY
- Cost: $50 per month
Bad "Their speeds can vary GREATLY in a day since most nodes are vastly oversold, VERY expensive."
Overall "Not worth the money, but the only game in town. Avoid at all costs if you can. Rated the WORST ISP at delivering service."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)
I dumped cable for satellite because of the constant price increases, so it killed me to have to call them for broadband access. DSL in NOT available to me due to the fact that I am 19000 feet from the CO.
I got the service because dial-up was too slow.
When I originally signed up I was paying $29.95, because I do not subscribe to cable service. The offer at the time was a father's day special that gave me the self install kit with the modem and a network card, if I paid for a years worth of service in advance.
They gave me vouchers to send in as payment for the monthly billed amount, this was fine for about three months, then they raised the price to $39.95, no big deal, I had paid for a year, or so I thought.
First they wanted to cancel my service because I was NOT paying the full amount each month, several calls to customer service, I get that straightened out, or so I thought.
Then a few months later the price goes up to $49.95 a month, and after a few more months I get a disconnect notice due to non-payment.
Now I call customer service, explain that I have been sending in my payment coupons, and ask why they are not being credited to my account, the woman on the other end tells me that they are a little backlogged in crediting the vouchers to peoples bills.
NOW I lose it, I explain that they BETTER make a note on my account that I am paid up for the WHOLE year, and I better NOT lose service.
All in all I would say that they did NOT handle things well at all.
If I had a choice I would NOT subscribe to Optimum Online again.
They have a SECRET cap that is imposed for unexplained reasons that appear to vary from node to node. If you violate this secret capping limit, you ARE capped; they do NOT inform you that you are capped unless you discover it yourself. Then they read you the riot act and make you jump through hoops, and then they remove the cap. Not the kind of company I want to keep dealing with, but right now I have no choice. Also they advertise that you can get 10Meg down and 1 Meg up, but they neglect to mention that the upload side is only useable in short bursts and only for short periods of time, anything longer and you will be capped.
If you have any other options, I would choose them OVER OOL.
::: UPDATE 02/17/05 :::
Since Christmas cablevision has been having speed issues system wide on the download side that can cut your downloads to 1/3 of the maximum speed.
Calls to tech support have cablevision reporting no issues.
::: Update 03/02/05 :::
OOL has now come up with a new one; they now appear to throttle outside newsgroup downloads to 3K max after ten minutes. More on this as it unfolds.
::: Update 03/06/05 :::
They DO throttle, and this is under the pretext that they are exercising their rights under their TOS to protect the integrity of their network.
I was considering getting VoIP from them, but due to this they can forget it...
::: 3/08/05 :::
I forgot to mention in my previous update that OOL was ALSO having DNS issues, as of this post they still appear to be having issues. I have revised all of my categories to a "1" since that is what I feel OOL has reduced their service to.
::: 3/09/05 :::
Just as mysteriously as the throttling started it was removed today, yet OOL still denies that they ever throttled anyones download side bandwidth. On a related note, the DNS issue also appears to have been resolved. Lets see what OOL has in store for tomorrow
::: 5/09/05 :::
Though I am not experiencing this, there have been reports over the past few weeks that peoples upper download speeds have been halved, OOL still claims that this is normal download speeds and that anything more is just icing on the cake, and should not be expected as normal download bandwidth. They even have gone so far as to revise their speed test to make anything above 4Meg down seem to be screaming speeds, down from what was once 6Meg. Again, if you have other options, like DSL or FIOS, check into those BEFORE you sign up for OOL.
::: 7/11/05 :::
Well I have to give OOL one on this, while others were having speed related issues these past few months, I appear to have avoided them. I would still advise anyone considering OOL to look elsewhere, as this is most likely just the calm before the storm...
::: 11/16/05 :::
OOL recently put out a press release on new speeds and prices, problem is MOST if not all of the mentioned speeds will not be available for another six months! Bad propaganda move on OOL's part, right now it is just a promise, no one is reporting actually getting any speed boost. One thing they HAVE done is start moving people to QAM 256, which is suppose to increase available bandwidth on the node, and decrease congestion on the node.
::: 11/21/05 :::
I have seen my download side speeds drop by 1/3, similar to the speed drop I posted about last year at Christmas time. This only started in the last few days. I will be watching this closely...
::: 12/8/05 :::
The speed drop appears to be related to an overloaded node, which is exacerbated when children in my area are on vacation for the holidays.
On a happier note, I was just upgraded last night to 15/2 for free (Though I do believe that this is only because FIOS is due in my area soon), due to the fact that I am probably the only one in my area who has realized that they pushed through the upgrade, I am presently able to get the full 15Meg down.
::: 3/1/06 :::
Shortly after OOL started to upgrade people to 15/2, there were reports that the dreaded capping policy may have been canceled. Many people were reporting that they had been using the service for many days at full throttle without any ill effects. People were even using the new Boost 30/2 service at full speed with no signs of a cap. Things were starting to look up for OOL, until one day someone reported that they had been capped and this was a user on the Boost service too. As it stands now, it appears that OOL is still using the same capping algorithm to cap people, even the capped bandwidth limit is the same 150K upload pipe. So it appears that though OOL has opened up their network to a larger pipe, they still appear to be unable to handle the bandwidth.
::: 9/20/06 :::
OOL recently upgraded all Boost users from the 2Meg upload pipe to a 5Meg upload pipe, so for all the users of Boost this is great news, but only if you DON'T use it. Capping is still in effect in Optimum land, so a bigger pipe only means a faster road to a cap.
OOL is still having DNS issues, so most people have moved to non-OOL DNS servers. In my book, if they are still having DNS issues, what else is still having problems?
Speeds in my area still are variable due to what I believe is an oversold node. Oversold nodes are the norm in OOL land so just be aware of it if you are considering signing up for the service.
I am still awaiting FIOS in my area, so that I will be able to switch, and get away from the draconian capping policies of OOL.
::: 2/1/07 :::
The DNS servers have become so bad that people are advising all who read the forums here to use other avenues for DNS. One good note, no one on Boost 30/5 has reported being capped, so there may be hope for OOL yet. OOL Ultra appears to be in the testing phase, a few users have posted that they have it installed. 50/50 service would be nice, not sure of the price yet though, some debate on that.
::: 5/14/07 :::
Still no capping on the 30/5 service, though there have been users reporting caps on the 15/2 service. Ultra is still apparently in testing, and now is rumored to be business only for now. My attitude towards OOL service has not changed either. Avoid it if you have other options, and DON'T call tech support unless you are willing to play their games to get your problem resolved.
::: 7/28/07 :::
No big changes, issues abound on the network but they appear to be isolated as opposed to system wide issues. No change in capping, either they are no longer capping, which I doubt or the people who are getting capped don't know it or are not reporting it...
I can't report on the status of the OOL DNS servers as I have abandoned them a while ago. I am seeing what I believe to be congestion issues though, as I have intermittent stops and starts when accessing pages on the net.
::: 12/29/07 :::
Some good news and bad news to report. The good news is that capping appears to be a thing of the past, no one in the past year has reported a verifiable case of capping. Many people have tested the waters so to speak to see if they could get capped and none of them have been capped.
The bad news on the other hand is quite bad, the yearly slowdown of the network is back with a vengeance, and I will opt that it is system wide this time. A lot of people in different areas are reporting speed drops to half or one third of what OOL advertises. A slowdown at this time of year is somewhat expected, considering all the kids who are home from school for the holidays, but these kinds of speed drops are unacceptable, and should not be tolerated. No reports of these types of speed drops in FIOS land. As such my overall opinion of OOL has not changed, get it if you must, but expect issues, and avoid it at all costs if you can.
::: 1/23/08 :::
The bad news continues, the yearly slowdown of the network is still with us as of this date, and it appears that it is system wide. A lot of people in different areas are still reporting speed drops to less than one third of what OOL advertises. A slowdown at this time of year is not normal, considering all the kids are no longer home from school for the holidays, these kinds of speed drops are unacceptable, and should not be tolerated, yet OOL appears unfazed by the numerous complaints, blaming it on the user's network, PC or the router they are using. As such my overall opinion of OOL still has not changed, get it if you must, expect issues, and avoid it at all costs.
::: 2/29/08 :::
The speed issues continue, and I am not alone in this. Many users across the OOL network are reporting severe speed issues with both tiers from OOL.
I myself have been upgraded to BOOST by OOL staff while they work on my speed issues. I have seen my speeds drop to as low as 1.5Meg during tests with OOL techs. Even with BOOST I still see speeds that are as low as one third of those offered in the tier.
::: 07/22/09 :::
Nothing new to report, OOL is still the same old OOL I have reported about for years now. Sad thing is, I am stuck with OOL because my locality has not been bribed properly to allow Verizon to install FIOS.
One nice feature to report on is the inception of OOL Ultra, 101/15 Meg service.
It comes with a poison pill though, a $300 "Activation" fee!
The yearly Christmas slow down of the network is still a reality, and starts just before Thanksgiving and lasts until late February to early March.
No other big changes in my service either...
::: 1/2/2010 :::
As expected, the slow down I see every year starting around Thanksgiving, has appeared again. If nothing else, OOL is consistent in its mediocrity...
What I find galling, is that fact that they THINK they are delivering a great product.
Another irritating thing about OOL is that you can NOT nail them down as to what you should be able to expect, as a MINIMUM from them.
::: 12/13/2010 :::
As expected, the slow down I see every year has started.
OOL is STILL consistent in its mediocrity...
You still can NOT nail them down as to what you should be able to expect as a MINIMUM from them. They have other speed levels, but I think paying more for the same poor service is just a waste of more money.
::: 6/24/2011 :::
As usual OOL still cannot provide consistent speeds. I subscribed to the Samknows project for the FCC, essentially they sent me a new router with special code that tests the service all day and reports the results to their servers. I get a monthly report of the results and I can go to a website to check the statistics too. Every day I see the same general results for my service; the speeds start out at about 15Meg and then consistently drops until they bottom out at 2Meg. Now if this was a rare occurrence or the speed drops happened at random times throughout the day, one might attribute it to loading that can occur on a shared network, such as OOL offers. The problem is, the speeds vary at exactly the same times every day. Every day I see the charts show my speeds are testing at about 15Meg at 2AM, and they slowly drop from then until it bottoms out at 2Meg around 6PM. Ive essentially given up trying to complain about my speeds, since they refuse to admit the network is heavily loaded most of the day. No amount of proof seems to sway their claims that they see no issues with my connection.
::: 12/28/2011 :::
As expected, the slow down I see every year has started. It did start a little later this year, but like always, it did happen.
OOL is STILL consistent in its mediocrity...
CV/OOL took a beating in the FCC results, coming in at dead last as the worst ISP at delivering on advertised speeds, for most of the day they delivered the slowest speeds, percentagewise, of any ISP out there.
OOL response to the report was to up the provisioned speeds for every user, regardless of speed tier. Sounds great, except they didnt change the advertised speed tiers, so this gives them a better appearance in future reports, but they still have issues delivering the new speeds.
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updated 141 days ago