Review by Chester2
Good "Fast, static IP's for my servers, Free Norton, No bandwith caps!"
- Location: Menlo Park,San Mateo,CA
- Cost: $75 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "Expensive, no USENET groups"
Overall "Worthwhile step up from DSL"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
10 years ago I had Comcast internet and really liked it but when I moved Comcast wasn't available in my new neighborhood and I had to go with DSL. For the last 9 years I've had DSLExtreme 3000/512 DSL service. I've been needing more speed and was on the fastest service DSL could provide me. Enter Comcast.
I have a home office, actually 2 since my wife also has an office in our home. I need static IPs for my servers so Comcast residential was out and I had to get Comcast Business Class. My understanding is that the business internet connection is the same as the residential connection. The difference being that you can get static IPs, there are no bandwidth caps, support is supposed to be better and you get some business goodies like free MS Outlook 2007, free webspace, free domain name.
When I made my first call to Comcast Business inquiring about service they tried a hard sell on their VOIP phone service. I was actually ready to sign up then but they got me researching VOIP services to see if theirs was worth getting. Their "deal" was $25 a month for Comcast Voice service. It's big plus is that it runs separate from your internet so that big downloads won't affect voice quality. I ended up signing with VOIPo.com for about $7.50 a month. Comcast Voice is just too expensive.
I choose their basic 12000/2000 service for $60 a month. I wrangled 5 static IPs for $10 a month and got hit with a $5 equipment rental. I paid $99 install with a 2 year contract. I could have got the install for $49 with a 3 year contract and while I will probably keep the service that long I hate being tied down, especially with all the new technologies coming down the road. I'm paying $20 a month more than I was for DSL but am getting 4x the speed!
I signed the contract on Monday and was told I'd be called to arrange installation. When no one had called by Wednesday afternoon I contacted my sales rep. and he got someone to contact me Thursday. An install appointment was made for 10-2 the following Monday.
The installer arrived Monday at noon and promptly went to work. I had already installed structured wiring (phone, ethernet, coax) that junctions in the garage. From there he tested each cable line running into the house and found one that was bad. I pulled the cable running from the wall to the TV and replaced it with one the installer cut to fit and all was well. He also determined that I didn't need the amplifier that had been installed in an attempt to fix a weak signal years ago. One less thing to be plugged in made me happy. I was given a SMCD3G Docsis 3 router/modem. I was glad to get this as most people with 12/2 service get a lesser model. The installer told me that they try and use the Docsis 3 modem on all installs even though they are not suppose to. The installer changed the hardware on both ends of the drop, at the house and on the pole. He also installed a little note on the line telling residential technitions not to disconnect the line as it has business service on it. I found it amusing that when he called Comcast to get my static IPs he was on hold waiting for an operator for quite some time. What does that say for priority business support? Once the modem was up and running the installer showed me all the line readings and did a speed test and showed the speeds with and without Powerboost. He handed me a sheet of paper with my network settings and was off. No mention was made of setting up any of my network. Once the Comcast modem/router working the rest is up to you. No residential hand holding here. Fine by me but some people may be surprised when the installer leaves without connecting their computer.
I've only been using the service for 3 days so far but the speed increase is very, VERY noticeable. I'm very happy. Plus, I am at the lowest speed tier. All I have to do is make a phone call and mail a bigger check for more speed. Until now I've been paying $60 a year for 3 Norton licenses. With Comcast Business I get 25 copies of Norton so that saves me $5 a month. I also get a free domain name and some web space which I will do some thing with.
So far I am very happy with my new Comcast service. I'll post updates if I have to use support for anything.
-- UPDATE 9-8-2011 --
I've had the service a little over a week now and the main thing I have to say is, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" Speeds are as advertised even when PowerBoost is taken out of the equation. PowerBoost does skew the most of the speed test results.
Beyond being faster everything seems snappier. I click and bang web pages appear without the hesitation that I had with my DSL service. From pages on the web to my routers config. page, all are much quicker to load. It's not DNS because I've always used OpenDNS. I like it.
I've installed the Norton Business Suite on all my computers. It is a re-branded Norton 360 that comes with all the features of 360 except the cloud backup storage. You can still use the backup feature you just have to do it to a local disk. The software has many more features than the Norton Internet Security retail version I had been using. Upgrading was a piece of cake in that Norton gives you the option of saving all your settings when you uninstall their software so that they can be used when installing the Business Suite software.
Comcast gave me a welcome packet with a stack of business cards with their 1-800 support number on them. I taped them to all my computer equipment but haven't had reason to call yet. So far the service just works. I keep looking for things to complain about but can't find any. I should have something to complain about it is Comcast after all.
One place the service comes up short is Usenet access. Every ISP I've had in the past has included Usenet access. Comcast doesn't. I did find a free Usenet service that is almost as good as the one provided by my last ISP so I won't bitch too much about Comcast not offering it.
-- UPDATE 1-31-2013 --
I've had my Business Class Internet for well over a year now and am still quite happy. A few months ago Comcast upgraded the speed from 12/2 to 16/3. My speed tests show that I am actually getting almost 20/4 speeds. I'm very happy with the speed I'm getting for the price.
I move lots of data and it is nice to not worry about bandwidth caps. What they are and/or if they are enforced or coming back.
I've read a number of bad reviews of the Comcast Business Class service because the people state that they didn't know they were locked into a contract that is expensive to get out of. My contract had varying installation fees depending on the length of contract you signed. You want a free install your locked in for 3 years. I don't know how you could miss that.
Unless something dramatically changes I'm planning on sticking with Comcast after my contract runs out.
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updated 1.4 years ago