Review by pprimmer
Good "Better than satellite mainly due to better ping times"
- Location: Auburn,Placer,CA
- Cost: $50 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 5 days
Bad "Speed ver erratic. Jitter and packet loss don't allow VoIP"
Overall "Better than satellite but would still prefer a wired link"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
Being in a rural area our only choice to date has been dial up and satellite. We were on Direcway (now Hughes) and WildBlue for the past 10 years and we can tell you satellite is a service of last resort. With Viasat taking over Wildblue and launching a new satellite I was hoping for better packages but their bandwidth allowances (FAP) went down and their prices went up. Luckily we found DigitalPath was servicing our area. It is a line of site service so location, location, location is important. From our roof top we got a good line of sight to a tower that was 10 miles away. Installation was on time and very well done. We got their 3Mbps down/1Mps up package for $45/month. There is another tier up at 6 Mbps down but so far we are happy with the entry package. The installation was a one time $249 and a 12 month contract. The first 30 days offer a 100% money back if you are not satisfied. I've been montoring the speeds and mostly get above 3Mbps down except around the evening which I assume is a high usage period. The ping times are in the 25msec range. Bottom line I am very happy and would recommend this service to anyone with a good line of sight and within the proper distance to the tower. I've used their Tech support once and was well taken care of.
4-13-2012 - Updating my review. Speeds average the contracted download of 3Mbps but can vary quite a bit. We can be in the kilobit range for awhile and then it zooms up to at, or above, our 3Mbps contract speed. There are also quite a few brief outages where it will go away for a minute or two and come back. Sometimes I have to unplug the power source (digitalpath recommendation) and it will come back. I would still rate it well above WildBlue and their new Exede service. Not living with a bandwidth restriction is great and you can actually enjor watching Youtube videos and not fear hitting a month's download limit. Due to the varability of the link I will not try and replace my phone line with a VOIP.
9/1/2012 - Another update. Still experiencing eratic speeds as others have noted. I call Tech support which moves me to a different frequency and things are good for awhile but then back to slower speeds. I use a Testmy.net website which runs every hour for 12 times. The problem is that the speeds can be down in the 500Kps range and then shoot up to 3 and 4 Mps so the average looks good but when things are slow it's a pain. I still feel it is better than satellite but if something else came along I would probably switch.
11/28/12 - Update - Speeds are still very erratic. Digitalpath sent out a letter that they are upgrading their network with new S/W and H/W and increasing their monthly costs. The process will take awhile. I tried using OOMA as a VoIP phone service and it was just too brutal to continue. Drop outs, missed calls etc. which were due to the internet. OOMA has a line test and 1 out 10 times it comes back as good enough for VoIP but the other 9 not good. I'm stuck with OOMA for a year so I will keep it and see if the digitalpath upgrades make using it worthwhile to try again.
12/29/13 - Update - So Digitalpath completed their upgrades which took longer than they expected. In general that has improved the service to where it is more stable. At busy times like Friday afternoon, speeds still drag. I run the OOMA speed and line quality tests and while things have improved they are still erratic enough that OOMA VoIP is not an option.
member for 2.9 years, 12 visits, last login: 361 days ago
updated 361 days ago
Pretty much par for the course I think your experience is pretty much standard for any fixed wireless broadband provider. I'm with another such provider up here in Auburn, and my experience is no different, and I'm paying over TWICE what you're paying for one of their "Business" plans.
The bottom line here folks is that all of these fixed wireless providers operate on incredibly small margins. I spent over an hour on the phone one evening with the owner of my provider, who's been in the ISP business for over 30 years. Most are family owned. They source their incredibly cheap equipment from eastern block countries (not from big networking equipment providers like Cisco or Motorola), and therefore get little to no support on it. They run VERY light on customer support, and they don't have a ton of bandwidth to work with on their backhaul circuits.
And the simple truth of the matter is that it's a wireless technology, subject to all kinds of interference. I sell enterprise-level wireless networks, and I can tell you from experience that someone running a microwave in a break room can bring an entire section of a corporate wireless network to a screeching halt, so you can just imagine all of the various things out there in the air that could possibly interfere with a signal trying to get to your home from a tower ten miles away, not to mention the effects of weather.
I love living in the country and wouldn't trade it for a million bucks, but one of the trade-offs is crummy Internet service. I guess those of us who can actually even GET fixed wireless in our homes should probably consider ourselves lucky.
Oh and one comment on the VoIP issue. I'm not familiar with OOMA, but I'm a Vonage customer and most of these types of services offer something called single number reach, also called Multi-ring. Basically when someone calls your home line, it also rings whatever other numbers you specify. I've got our Vonage account setup to ring both my mobile as well as my wife's mobile, that way even if our Internet's acting up, we still don't miss calls. If OOMA doesn't offer it with their basic service, they probably have a premier service that has it.