Review by TigerLord
Good "Unthrottled, uncapped and no contract, amazing prices"
- Location: Bois-Des-Filion,QC
- Cost: $124 per month
- Install: about 7 days
- Bell Canada
Bad "Customer service, especially billing, is lacking"
Overall "If you know your stuff and are technologically savvy, the savings are significant"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
My love story with DSL has been tenuous at best. At my last house, it was a constant battle for years. Even after replacing the internal wiring, I finally accepted I was too far from the CO and I'd have to make due with cable. At the time, Videotron still had unlimited data usage on their Extreme 10mbit tier. Not that I need unlimited: I average 280GB a month, and have never went above 400GB in three years. But once the ridiculous cap of 100GB replaced the previously unlimited data usage, I downgraded to their regular High Speed 7.5mbit/800kbit internet with a 30GB cap. The surcharge was high at 6.95$/GB per extra GB, but the maximum monthly surcharge hovered at 30$. In essence, this granted you an unlimited 7.5mbit/800kbit connection for around 65$ per month.
Then the maximum surcharge rose to 50$. I decided to make the switch to their BUSINESS regular high speed, which costs 82$/month with a one year contract but came with unlimited data. I was frustrated that after years, I was paying MORE AND MORE and getting less for my money. Even though I had moved to a brand new condo construction, the CO was still too far, and DSL was not an option.
When I saw Bell install a remote DSLAM down the street from me in January 2011, I quickly researched whether I could now get 5mbit on my line--and I could! From there I made a lot of research and began to inquire about MLPPP, the technology that allows you to bind multiple DSL lines into a single, fast connection.
It came down to Teksavvy or Acanac. Teksavvy could get me a 3 line MLPPP connection for around 120$, but Acanac could get me four for the same price. This is no doubt due to the fact Acanac has an almost nonexistent customer service support and an abysmal billing department. Basically, you save at Acanac because you're not paying for a lot of employees to support the "noobs". They have very helpful forums where members and employees can land a hand, but telephone support is nil. This is something to keep in mind: if you want to head to Acanac to save, you have to expect some downsides as well. If you think you might need ANY handholding, Teksavvy might be a much better choice.
So I went with Acanac.
Bonding four 5mbit/800kbit lines could give me a 20mbit/3.2mbit connection, one that is unthrottled, uncapped and contract-free. The price? 118$ + GST. A 40$ difference with my Videotron bill, but I was getting a 300% increase in upload speed, a 250% increase to download speed and no contract for a mere 45% price increase. Even with the 15% overhead of PPPoE, my real-world speeds would be 17mbit/2.7mbit.
A cheaper alternative would have been to go with 3 lines only for 90.95$ + GST with 15mbit/2.4mbit (real speeds: 12.75mbit/2mbit) but considering the hassle of setting everything up, I went with the maximum supported lines.
When it comes down to speed and installation though, it went flawlessly for me. I was told Bell would come to my house and install my three extra dryloops (I already had one, with a Bell landline). The installation was free. But since Bell only makes the installation from the remote to the demarc, I had to hire an electrician to wire my office to the new lines.
Total setup costs were as follow (all prices included shipping and taxes):
4x TP-Link TD-8816 ADSL2 modems.........102.90$
1x Netgear 3700 router............................134.39$
150ft of cat6 cabling..................................37.50$
It is not cheap, but considering the speeds I now get, it was well worth it.
Acanac was ordered on Feb 28th 2011, Bell came to install the lines on March 7th 2011. I made sure to stay polite with the Bell technician, and insured all lines were on the correct 5mbit/Fastpath profile. I checked each of my lines' stats throught he modems, and found all lines with a 11-17dB SNR and 30-32dB line attenuation.
Acanac, with Canaris, developed their own OpenWRT/MLPPP firmware to support their MLPPP services. I first set each of my four modems to bridged mode and disabled DHCP on each, making sure to set correct VPI and VCI values as well (0 and 35 respectively). Then I flashed the router with the OpenWRT/FW5 firmware. Connected modems in ports WAN,1,2 and 3. My PC went into port 4 of the router.
Using the "Quick Start" wizard on the router, I simply entered my login information and chose "4 lines MLPPP". Voilà! Making the MLPPP part work took about 5 minutes, literally.
In the end, I get awesome speeds for a very fair price with no cap, no throttle and no contract.
member for 12.1 years, 6283 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 3.3 years ago