Review by TheMG
Good "Speed as advertised, reliable so far, great download speed that's always fast."
- Location: Canada
- Cost: $116 per month
- Install: about 10 days
Bad "Price, usage cap, upload speed."
Overall "Pretty good internet service considering the remote location and lack of other competitors."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
I am in Yellowknife, NT and have NWTel's 50Mbps cable internet service. This comes with a 2Mbps upload speed and 150GB monthly usage cap, and yes, they do bill for overage to the tune of $5/GB. I don't actually need 50Mbps download speed, but the upload speed and usage cap is just too low on the other plans. The next plan down is 16Mbps down with a pathetic 768kbps upload, and 90GB cap, for $80.
Anyways, they have sort of a monopoly over here as the only other alternative is satellite or wireless both of which are extremely slow.
That being said, I've had the service for about a week and a half and so far it has been totally reliable (will update this review with more information if this ever changes). Even during peak times, I am still able to get my full 50Mbps down and 2Mbps up. Pings are fairly stable, about 50ms to Seattle and 100ms to Chicago, which is not bad considering the distance. This is only slightly worst than ISPs in Alberta.
They do have a usage monitoring tool on their website, through which you can check your monthly usage. It seems to be quite accurate, right on-par with what my router is reading. Unfortunately NWTel counts 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes, not 1,073,741,824 bytes, the way that most routers do the calculation (1kB=1024bytes and so on). So to get an accurate comparison, multiply what GB usage you get in your router by 1.073.
Install went pretty smoothly. Tech showed up on day and time that was scheduled at the time of ordering. Hooked up the modem made sure it was working and was in and out in only 15 minutes.
The modem I was provided is a Cisco DPC3008, since I requested I did not want an all-in-one gateway (I use my own router and WAP). However, a Cisco gateway (not sure which model) is available for those who want all-in-one modem/router/WiFi. Your choice, which is kind of nice, since some ISPs these days pretty much force a gateway down your throat with no other option (*cough* Telus *cough*).
To summarize, my only complaints about the service so far are the caps, low upload speed, and high price. Though perhaps the price isn't actually that bad considering how far up north this is and a relatively small city population-wise, so maybe I shouldn't complain, it could certainly be a lot worst! Overall, I'm quite satisfied thus far.
Update as of May 10 2014: still no significant problems with the service and speeds/pings haven't changed noticeably.
December 16, 2014 update:
I moved to a different address in town back in August and kept the same internet plan. On the install day, installation tech called me to let me know he was going to be setting up my internet service shortly, giving me just enough time to drive home from work. This is very nice as I didn't have to take the day off and sit at home waiting for them to show up (like most ISPs down south).
Nothing new to report regarding the speeds, still rock solid. No significant outages.
Much to my surprise, a couple months ago I received a letter from the ISP saying they were increasing the monthly usage cap from 150GB to 200GB and no change in cost. Awesome!
Note I've updated the price in the review but that is because I hadn't factored in taxes. Price has not actually changed since I first got the service over a year ago.
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updated 2 days ago