| Review by saradon |
member for 12.1 years, 491 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 152 days ago
- $77 per month
- (12 month contract)
- about 30 days
- "Always on, always available, it just works."
- "Company can be inflexible."
- "If they have what you are looking for at the right price, fine, otherwise sales is indifferent, though retention is better.."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I have had DSL service with Megapath for approximately two and a half years, and it has been the same price the entire time. When I joined it was prior to their acquisition of Covad (or merger, or whatever they call it) and I joined when Megapath, in my area, MD, was using the facilities of DSL.net which they had previously acquired. (DSL.net as I understand it was a primarily-business ISP specializing in SDSL circuits, which is what I have.)
I compared Megapath's offer of 1.0 Mbps with a 90% circuit speed throughput guarantee with Covad's (then a competing provider) of 1.5/786 best effort service and chose Megapath because of the 16 hour service restoration mean time SLA. They were approximately the same price. I would have had Megapath 1.5/90% except I am just a bit too far from the CO (approx. 8k ft) for it to work reliably - they tried at installation time, and the signal is not strong enough (around 8 dB).
The documentation varies (either saying 1.0 / 90% or 1.1 / 80%) but the actual data throughput received, which I have documented regularly on DSLRs speed tests and just ran again and pasted below has ranged between approximately 920 Kbps to 1.1 Mbps) month-in, month-out, steadily and consistently over this entire period of time. Only two outages that I can recall over the past 2.5 years, and only one was for more than a day. Technician arrived the next business day and it turned out to be a routing problem related to changes they were making at the back end not being updated properly in my DSL router (which they configure and maintain, as opposed to the Watchguard WiFi/Firewall, which I configure and maintain.)
Field technicians are good, as is second-level tech support. First - well, I suppose you need to start somewhere. And they are better than many I have dealt with too, to be fair, though it can vary a bit.
I'm month-to-month now (after contract signing or renewal is for a 1-year minimum term and the agreement is actually in writing, you sign the quote - not just a promise over the telephone). I also paid for the equipment (Netopia 4652) and installation up front, now I believe they may prefer to do a higher monthly cost with lower or no up-front cost, so that is still amortizing. Also, upon renewal for another year they give a free month (but you still pay the taxes and nebulous 'fees' of a few dollars that month).
The speed - since I actually get all the baud (remember that word?) rate I'm supposed to, peak-times or off-peak times - reliably and without fail, no fluctuation, no sharing, no 'up to' is fully adequate. Does it buffer a bit? Sure, but nothing waiting a bit doesn't cure, and then not often, and only when streaming videos. I've used it to watch HBO GO and Cinemax GO movies on this connection using Wifi (have a WatchGuard XTM-21W I think is the model). I think they may adjust for the speed, but the picture quality I received was fine, and no buffering pauses once it got started. So a + for the connection's consistency in peak times. (And just FYI, I re-watched Steven Spielberg's movie Duel, which was still as good as I remembered it.)
Would I be fine forever with 80% of 1.5 instead of 1.0? Sure, and if I was 7k feet from the CO instead of 8k feet, maybe I would have it. I also get 1 Mbps upstream, which though I don't use it much (I'm not hosting a server in my home office) makes VOIP or gaming very reliable. To get a guaranteed upstream better than this, I think you'd have to get a T-1, which is probably why it is more expensive ($225 or so I believe on special), since if consistent upstream speed (as opposed to overall reliability and consistent adequate throughput, which is what I was after) is what you're looking for -- short of a T-1, SDSL is your best bet. I believe it also travels further than comparable ADSL. They don't market SDSL much, and they call it other names (Ethernet over Copper, as I understand it, is actually 2 or 3 bonded SDSL pair with a mission-critical repair priority, and the same circuit speed throughput guarantee. I'd get it if I could afford it.) I also get the satisfaction of supporting CLECs, and if I can have fully adequate internet service without supporting attempts to promote fiber loops on which ILECs don't have to sell UNEs to CLEC providers, I feel better about myself until UNE issues on fiber loops are resolved by those states that even try to ensure there are alternatives.
The other advantage is my reliable internet is independent of coax; so I can go from promotion to promotion with Cable TV (or drop it entirely) without having it affect my connectivity and be able to tell them I am stopping without worrying about anything else.
I hope this was helpful. I'm a longtime user of DSL reports, though mostly a lurker, and thought it deserved a review from my area.