Good "Consistent Speeds, low latency, great uptime" Bad "Support can be a bit of trouble when a problem is with the line, or is an unusual issue." Overall "It's a good service to use overall, but keep in mind it is DSL."
Pre Sales information: Install Co-ordination: Connection reliability: Tech Support: Services: Value for money: (ratings above consensus)
I subscribe to 5Mbps/768kbps at the current time and run with a FastPath profile. The Verizon backbone has been seeing some issues as of late with other transit providers. While I'm sure this is not a Verizon issue, it's bothersome when trying to stream video or play games over the connection. I just hope things are improved soon, especially before Winter.
Overall, the DSL service has been reliable. I've had a few outages over the past 9 years, two of which were PPPoE outages, and two of which were due to fiber cuts affecting the remote terminal I feed out of. If you're fortunate enough to get a speed higher than 3Mbps, the service does have a snappy feeling to it. If you're unfortunately stuck in an area that is limited to 3Mbps or less, the service does start to feel antiquated and slow. Minus the note I have above about the backbone and peering issues that have been plaguing both DSL and FiOS, the service works as expected. I get my speeds consistently, day and night, games work well, and 1080p HD Streaming (Netflix, YouTube, etc) is possible with the level of service I am receiving. That's about all that is to this review. It just works.
Besides the connection itself, most of the problems I have run into were administrative issues on Verizon's end. While I have yet to run into billing issues, I have come across plenty of technical issues which Verizon has fallen short on resolving in some cases. A prime example is a problem which I'm continuing to troubleshoot as of this review. Since late July, after a heavy thunderstorm crashed through the area, my DSL connection has been plagued with an intermittent "Sync-no-surf" issue. In essence, the modem shows it is synchronized and my router is holding a PPPoE session, but I have a heavy amount of packet loss on the connection. The modem shows a high level of noise when this happens. During troubleshooting, I supplied all of the troubleshooting information I have produced to Verizon, indicating I have tried different supported modems which work, checked Transceiver Statistics and landline voice quality, and have inspected all wiring inside of my home and in the NID. I even provided information on problems even my neighbors started to have with their services after that storm.
When troubleshooting began, Verizon's automated testing began to cause provisioning issues on my connection. Since I am on a Litespan remote and happen to be getting 5M service, I am also tied into a Juniper edge router. For me to have properly working service, the provisioning had to be set up a certain way. The automated system, against my warnings to Verizon, went through and made changes which resulted in the line being nearly unusable. A video of how unusable the service was, is posted below. In addition, my speed was also turned way down, with the belief that the problem was due to my speed being set too high. Unfortunately, I also told them this was not the problem, and got the speed turned right back up the next day. Lastly, I was sent a new modem, an ActionTec GT784WNV, which despite being a good piece of hardware, suffers from firmware issues which promptly caused me to retire the modem into storage. Two primary functions of the router, the DHCP Daemon and the WLAN daemon, were found memory leaking despite all efforts to resolve the leaking issue, and this as a result caused the gateway to crash and reboot anywhere from 12 hours, to five days later.
For now, troubleshooting continues on the line. I've managed to get my provisioning reset to where it was last was before the support started after taking that problem away from support's hands and into my hands (took me 10 minutes vs support's 4 days), and Verizon has started sending line technicians out to check the line after much insistence and scolding. Some improvements of my line have come out of these visits, and I feel support is now on the right track, but I am bummed out that I had to do a lot of educating/explaining as to why XYZ process is not proper troubleshooting, from the perspective of a SysAdmin/NetAdmin to a telephone company/ISP. I am also a bit bummed that I had to be the one to coordinate some of the fixes, that otherwise, didn't need the customer's help besides feedback as to whether or not the problem is solved. In the past, I certainly don't remember support being this bad, where I've thrown other oddball issues at them and have gotten results in hours. That's why I'm not completely docking the support rating in this review, but it is something Verizon should work to improve on.
But support issues aside, the Verizon DSL service has been working fine, and I hope it continues this way. I am looking forward to getting the FiOS, or another Fiber service when that becomes available.
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