Review by DownTheShore
Good "It's better than dial-up"
- Location: Beautiful NJ
- Cost: $24 per month
Bad "It's only slightly better than dial-up"
Overall "It's just enough speed to keep me connected to the Web"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I have the lowest-tier DSL service offered by Verizon, so I knew going in that it was going to be much slower than my previous cable broadband service. The tier's service is supposed to be .5-1 Mbps download. My total cost per month is $24.95, with no contract and no termination fee. The Westell 7500 router was free. So, this is basically what I used to pay with my old CompuServe dial-up service. Given that that was 20 years ago and download service speeds now on other services are up to 75/35 Mbps (FIOS), this service is way overpriced.
My speed right now is approx. 1184 Kbps / 384 Kbps, though sometimes that drops as low as 300kbps down and a trickle up. I've noticed that tends to happen when the weather is stormy. When the initial connection was made, my speed was approx 900/200, so it has increased since then.
This is a dry line connection; I don't have phone service from Verizon. I don't know if Verizon still offers the dry line connection package anymore. When I signed up, I was told that I was too far from the Central Office for a faster speed, though after installation I was subsequently offered the next higher tier, 1.1-3 Mbps. Since I figured that I would probably just get the 1.1 Mbps bit rather than the 3 Mbps bit, I declined their offer, and its $15/mo higher price. I believe I have 7-9 mailboxes with this service, but I haven't used them so I can't comment on that. There is a Verizon home page that is set up with the service that gives access to my account, news, a search function, etc., but I don't use it; I always set a blank page as my home page on my browsers because I don't need to waste time waiting for an ISP's page to load.
The service technician who installed the service was professional, didn't rush the install and made the extra effort to get access to additional parts of my building from apt. management. He answered any questions that I had, ensured that my service was working, and gave me his name and number to contact if I had any additional problems. My connection to the Verizon DSL service required only one technician visit. I have no complaints about it, or about the phone service reps I spoke with to set up the service. I haven't had any real major breaks in service that have required re-contact with customer service, so I can't comment further on that.
My current phone service is through Vonage, and I am still able to use it with this Verizon DSL service. There is a breakup in voice if I am downloading when a call comes through, though, because there's just not enough bandwidth for both. Surprisingly, I am able to watch shows via Amazon Prime without any buffering delays. YouTube videos usually have buffering delays. Forget about other video streaming services - it just takes too long to load if it even does work at all. I belong to the Big Fish games site and often buy games from them; with cable broadband the download of a 600MB game used to take minutes, now it can take hours. If I've got a big file that I want to download, I usually bring my laptop over to someone's house who's got a broadband connection and download it there rather than at home. Any website that is graphics-intensive takes a noticeably longer time to load. The Internet Explorer browser is much slower with this connection; Firefox is slightly faster than IE, as is Opera. The fastest browser with this service is Pale Moon (a Firefox variant) which I use. I am also able to use my Squeezebox internet radio with this service.
Basic web browsing, while not instantaneous, is still faster than dial-up, especially if you're accessing forums and mainly text pages. The slowdowns come when there are a lot of images, a lot of Flash, and/or videos on the page that access automatically. FlashBlock is a good extension to have if you're using a Mozilla-flavor browser to cut down on the amount of elements that need to load and thus cut the bandwidth needed.
Right now, in a period of financial retrenchment, this service is just enough to give me a presence online and stay in touch with what's going on in the world. But this is only a temporary situation for me. I've had this service for about 10 months now and I still find its speed limitations annoying, so I will ultimately be returning to cable broadband in the future. This is merely a stop-gap measure for me. This service would probably be useful for a person who just wants basic internet access for email and light surfing.
UPDATE (2013): I did ultimately go back to cable broadband; I was able to come back to Optimum as a new customer and get a discount on the broadband service. DSL was just too slow for my needs; it was like a step back in time speed-wise and the Internet is just not geared to slow connections, nor are software developers as concerned with creating small program downloads anymore.
When I called Verizon to disconnect my service, the rep I spoke to was very pleasant and did offer to see if they could upgrade my speed. When I told her that I wasn't interested and that any speed upgrade they could give me was only going to be minimal based upon my distance from the Central Office, she didn't push the matter and got about the business of disconnecting my service. The service was disconnected without a hitch, I didn't have to return the Verizon modem, and I received a refund for the last month's percentage of unused service in a timely manner.
I have nothing negative to say about my dealings with Verizon. I was able to pick up service when I needed it and drop it when it no longer suited my needs. The personnel I dealt with were professional and helpful.
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updated 41 days ago