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Astound Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 36 reviews (27 good) (4 bad)
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Review by emjayef See Profile

  • Location: Pleasant Hill,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $30 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Twice the speed I got from Comcast for 1/3 the price"
Bad "Extra connections for fiber box; 300 GB/month cap"
Overall "No problems, friendly service, amazingly cheap without bundles"
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My Other Reviews

·Anveo
·Comcast
I decided to disconnect my home phone, which ended my Comcast bundle of phone + internet, and they were charging over $80/month. There were no worthwhile bundles for existing customers, and I had recently gotten a promo from Astound for $29.95/month for 55 mb/s download that I had been a little afraid to try. To be honest, it sounded too good to be true.

But I decided to try it out, and called the number. Found out not only was it 29.95/month for a year, and then $10 higher for the next year, but I'd get free modem rental for 90 days, and no connection fee. Sounded pretty enticing, so I scheduled them to come hook me up.

A few days later, someone came and ran a fiber cable to my house, and put a box next to it on the side of the house. Another 2 days later, on the scheduled day (slightly early), a very friendly guy arrived to connect it all. He seemed pretty competent, and quick. Did a few tests and showed me how it tested very clean, everything OK. Gave me a little Motorola SB6141 modem that connected to the existing wiring, and everything worked perfectly. I was pretty happy about the modem, as this is the same one I was thinking of buying for my Comcast service (a newer model than the generally recommended 6121, and not yet fully approved by Comcast). So, after the 90 days, I can buy this fairly cheaply from Amazon to avoid any rental fees. I could have gotten a wireless gateway, but I'd rather use my own router, so he gave me the modem without any hassles. I wasn't able to get a modem-only from Comcast.

I don't know anything about their TV or phone service. I gave up on TV long ago, and stick to Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Netflix runs much smoother now - mainly just loads faster - no interruptions so far, no problems with my streaming Pandora, which I do a lot during the day.

Got my first bill, and was happy to see the exact price with no added fees or taxes - exactly the price they said.

Tech support has been friendly, though not especially knowledgeable. Fortunately, I have had no problems, only questions about buying a modem, which I did buy on Amazon and had no problems activating it. But when I asked about firmware updates, I never got a competent answer. I was concerned about whether it would get the normal updates, and was told it would. But when I got the modem, I compared it to theirs (same model Motorola SB6141) and saw that my firmware was one revision lower than theirs, and every time the modem was rebooted, it would attempt to upgrade, and fail due to not finding the file. I asked about this, and was told to contact Motorola. I didn't really think that would be helpful, but I did, and the guy there told me it wasn't a problem, and not to worry about the firmware, unless I had a problem.

Then, when I turned in the old modem, I asked again, although that person wasn't really technical support; I kind of hoped she might be able to get someone there to talk to me, but she just punted and said she didn't think they would upgrade the firmware on my modem (but then admitted she didn't really know).

So, I'm assuming that either they will upgrade when the next firmware version comes out, or if I have a problem. Until then, I'm not really worried.

One bad thing might be the wiring to the box on the side of the house is a little uglier than the previous Comcast, due to the need for a box that needs power to convert the optical to electrical. The wires are black, and my house is light, but I can paint the wires pretty easily, and it won't show much. Fortunately, the box matches the house color pretty well.

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member for 6.9 years, 159 visits, last login: 6 days ago
updated 43 days ago

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Review by roreglia See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $200 per month (month by month)
Good "Cable TV, Internet service, and install technicians excellent"
Bad "Astound Home Phone Service unreliable--problem for almost two years."
Overall "I would give a top rating except for home phone service and support."
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UPDATE: home phone service continues to be unreliable; Internet and cable TV are good. Three requests for escalation to supervisor have been unanswered.

I had RCN cable TV, telephone, and Internet service install about 10 years ago. Ownership was transferred to Astound several years ago. The installation was excellent and all services were reliable until about a year ago.

The phone lines were originally POTS lines--plain old telephone service. About a year ago noise on the lines became so bad the it was impossible to send a fax. I agreed to have a new cable modem installed with VoIP service. Line quality has been great but the connection fails on a regular basis. A reset of the modem solves the problem. Time between failures has varied from 3 weeks to 2 days. Currently it is failing on a weekly basis.

Repeated visits from technicians simply confirm that the line quality is good. While one technician did call and say that there was excessive noise in the network I connect to, Astound has been unable to correct the problem and does not seem to be escalating the issue to other technicians.

member for 10.5 years, 12 visits, last login: 1 year ago
updated 1 year ago

Comments:
sparky007

join:2011-08-25
Avondale, AZ
Reviews:
·Vonage

Go with www.basictalk.com

Drop the phone and go with www.basictalk.com. I have had it for 4 months now and it's great!!!

I have had no problems with sending faxes.

Walmart sells the adapter for around 10.00.
For about 12.00 per month I get unlimited phone with no long distance.

It uses Vonage's servers so basically it Vonage in a cheap stripped down form with basic features.

I only had to reboot the phone adapter once since I've owned it.

Review by JD5 See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $40 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 120 days
Good "Solid 50Mbps download & 6Mbps upload for $40/month"
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Value for money:

- $40 / month for 12 month for rock solid 51 Mbps Download & 6.5 Mbps upload
- No downtime at all so far
- Crappy Comcast has high speeds for a few seconds (to look good on Speed test sites) & then they drop their speed to DSL speeds.
Astound holds its 50Mbps download/6Mbps upload speeds continuously. ALWAYS FAST! No problems!

member for 1.8 years, 0 visits, last login: 1.8 years ago
updated 1.8 years ago

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Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Daly City,San Mateo,CA
  • Cost: $50 per month
Good "Price vs/ Speed"
Bad "Connection is unstable, not for gaming or extreme uploading"
Overall "I'm going back to comcast. I would rather pay twice the price for a good connection"
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If you're looking for an affordable broadband connection for surfing the web, Astound is great for the price. Although I guess the area would vary, but here in San Mateo, CA it's not too bad. On the other hand, If you are crazy about bandwidth or into gaming astound is not for you.
Myself, I'm a online gamer and can't deal with the lack of consistency. A gamer would understand what I'm saying. I need a steady broadband connection with a speed that remains the same, regardless of how fast.
I recently swapped over from the high prices of Comcast to the much more affordable Astound. It seemed like a good idea because Astound was offering the same speed for half the price that I was paying with Comcast. While speed testing aprox 20MB down and 9MB up, I'll admit it's fast. Unfortunately speed isn't everything.

Let me sum my review up by saying this....
Astounds connection is garbage!!! I would rather have DSL lite with speeds under 1mb, but thats just me.

Bryan C

(review was emailed from domain gmail.com)
lodged 2.1 years ago

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Review by tvtek See Profile

  • Location: Concord,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $89 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Installation was done the day they rescheduled it to."
Bad "The installation was rescheduled!"
Overall "Not as consistant as Comcast !"
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First of all they sent me an email informing me that the scheduled date that was originally set up was not available. The day of the installation the installer was 1.5 hours late (however Astound did call to inform me). I had Astound over a year ago with HD then switched to Comcast. The internet consistancy with Comcast was better than Astound, but the HD picture quality with Astound is superior with less noticable artifacts of compression.

Update 11/16/09: Cable TV hasn't really had any issues with an exception of a few lock ups on the cable box. At that point I just unplugged the box for 5 minutes to reset it and all was good again. I have had more than 5 times I have lost internet connection and it has taken more that 10 minutes each time to obtain sync again. At this point I will go back to Comcast. When I had Comcast I never lost sync once during the year that I did subscribe.

Update 02/28/12: As of over a year ago, I have been back on Comcast since I use Netflix. Comcast has a 250 GB cap, whereas Astound gives you a measly 100 GB cap

member for 10.6 years, 577 visits, last login: 194 days ago
updated 2.6 years ago

Comments:

spin

@comcast.net

cap

astound now gives you 300GB cap.

Review by socal88 See Profile

  • Location: Pleasant Hill,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 62 days
Good "Delivered what and when they said."
Bad "none so far"
Overall "The introductory rate is great and we will see what the end of 2013 brings."
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I left AT&T DSL for Astound an have not looked back. Price was slightly lower, but the speed and service has been excellent.

member for 10.2 years, 22 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
lodged 2.6 years ago

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Review by wyvern See Profile

  • Location: Redwood City,San Mateo,CA
  • Cost: $55 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Connected quickly, speeds as advertised, no contract needed"
Bad "Caps"
Overall "Great, until they started using caps"
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Update: Now they are saying that they DO have caps (100GB!) and will start charging $5 for every 25 gb. This is, of course, ridiculously high. I'll be going to Comcast.

I ordered bare internet service (no tv or phone) on a Tuesday and was up and running on Thursday. So far everything is working fine. I ordered 10/1 service and am generally seeing 9-10 down and 1.2-1.4 up in speed tests.

The install technician showed up on time and had no problem with the used SB5101 I'd picked up for the occasion.

They said they apply no QoS or traffic shaping (other than capping bandwidth) and despite what their website says about total transfer caps per month, both people I talked to about this explicitly said that this was a mistake on the website and that only the highest tier (18/2 IIRC) has a usage cap. They also claim to be fine with running servers as long as they're not for commercial use.

There was a $20 installation charge since I did not already have service from them. Apparently you can do a self install for free if you already have Astound cable.

I did call tech support since I was experiencing high packet loss, but that turned out to be a problem with hardware on my end, so I can say that their tech support answered quickly and was helpful (and quite polite about me bothering them with something that wasn't their fault).

Overall, I can't complain about any aspect of their service thus far.

member for 14 years, 1713 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
updated 3.1 years ago

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Review by cesnikt See Profile

  • Location: Concord,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "I am ASTOUNDED"
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I just had the 50mbps for $40 a month from ASTOUND Broadband in Concord and the Bay Area. Installation was very quick, and immediate Web connection. No one ever gets all the speed they are promised. The average speed is between 16mps and 38mbps. I watched SLIDERS (Science Fiction) on HULU with no delays. My previous AT&T went up to 6mps (average 3 to 5)mbps. I purchase my own Motorola cable modem with 4 ethernet ports. I now have fast ethernet to my DISH satellite VIP 722 receiver. I have my Wii and DSI connected to the A/b wifi. If I get a fast Wi-FI "N" device in the future like an IPAD, I will have the speed necessary for fast connections.

This is sweet so far. 24 months guaranteed 50mpbs (max) and $40 month for 2 years.

Eat my Ethernet COMCAST and AT&T.

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member for 3.2 years, 0 visits, last login: 3.2 years ago
updated 3.2 years ago

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Review by weap0nr See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $130 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "getting more features (switched from comcast) for less money!"
Bad "none really...getting used to the channel lineup?"
Overall "switched to astound to save money, glad i did!"
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after the 5th straight month with a higher bill i called comcast to see how they could help me lower my bill and they suggested that i lower my internet service from the 15mbps service @ $44.95 to the basic 1mbps down service for $29 which wasn't going to do it for me so i researched other providers in my area and saw that astound was offering phone/internet/cable for the same price that i was paying comcast for just internet/cable plus i got starz and encore free for a year.

I pay 130 total because i have 2 international channels plus hd/dvr service and i have two extra cable boxes. for the same setup comcast wanted $190.

i'm getting the same quality of service for about $60 cheaper. even when the promotion period ends, i'll still be saving about $40.

i really have nothing bad to say about astound, heck even the installation guy came as promised and explained everything to me. the only issue i have is that the channel lineup is different than comcast so i have to get used to it. other than that i am VERY happy with Astound!

member for 14 years, 1644 visits, last login: 26 days ago
lodged 3.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by g0nepostal See Profile

  • Location: Concord,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Reliable service, very few outages"
Bad "Services servers slow, haven't been back long enough to judge if they're still throttling"
Overall "Cable modems beat DSL any day, and Astound seems to be rockin' once again"
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August 2010 update:

I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCKKKK!!

Now that my contract with DSL Extreme is up for termination on 09/01/2010 (see my review of DSLX), I have gone back to Astound cable HSI. Nothing wrong with DSLX, but my residence is simply too far away from the Central Office (8300 linear feet, probably closer to 9000 feet when the street turns are taken into account) for DSL to be a viable HSI option. I can't stand Comcast, so I decided to return to Astound.

Astound currently has a promotion (until 09/08/2010) where 10 Mbps down / 1 Mbps up cable HSI is $30 a month for 12 months when bundled with cable. I decided to sign up for this promotion, but this time I bought a refurbished Linksys CM100 cable modem so that I would not have to incur the cable modem rental fee and would actually just pay the $30/month.

I walked into Astound's local customer service center with my modem and asked that HSI be added to my account, along with a few other changes (damn recession). The rep added the MAC address for the modem, provisioned the account, and told me that I was ready to go.

I then got home and installed the modem. Downstream synchronized OK, but upstream was having some issues; I then called Astound's technical support center; the tech was very friendly and actually scheduled a truck roll for this same evening when he couldn't see the modem remotely.

After this call the modem synchronized for upstream as well, with the speed tests showing an average speed of 12 Mbps down / 1.5 Mbps up.

Kickass!

I then called Astound and told them to cancel the truck roll. Now I'm rockin' away at much faster speeds than I had under DSLX.

Hopefully this go-around with Astound will go better than the last time, when Wave Broadband was first beginning to implement traffic shaping and doing a rather bad job of it. For now I'm simply enjoying the sickeningly fast speed. The real test will come tomorrow when I use a VPN to work from home while also watching movies on Netflix.

$30 a month for 10/1 service is not bad at all. I'm glad I'm back.

gp

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---

August 2009 update: Now that Astound is part of Wave Broadband their service is now being capped/throttled. The last straw came when, despite having a local caching DNS as well as a proxy server on my home network (to help reduce network traffic), my HSI service kept getting throttled to less than 512Kbps downstream - on a 6 Mbps downstream account.

I have now signed up with DSL Extreme and have an activation date of 09/01/2009, so as soon as DSL service is live I am going to Astound's customer service center in Walnut Creek to hand in the cable modem and drop my HSI service from my Astound account.

See you later Astound, and good riddance.

(Original review is below)

I have had Astound Broadband for about four years now after ditching Comcast (Comcast had just taken over ATT Broadband). Thankfully, Concord has the option of either Comcast or Astound for its cable service, so I went with Astound.

Despite some growing pains Astound Broadband has been a pretty good (4/5 stars) ISP. It's connection reliability is excellent: I have had a total of 4 outages - each lasting less than an hour - in two years. Its routing is also not bad at all; we reach most any server in the continental United States in less than 50ms. Since my brother and I do a fair amount of gaming this is important.

NOTE: There are now reports here on BBR that Wave Broadband - Astound's parent company - is now capping its users. I too have noticed (but have not scientifically confirmed) that Astound does now appear to be using traffic shaping, as its speeds during long downloads have been all over the map. I have also noticed several times that the Netflix streamed movies I watch have had the stream speeds slowed down. If Astound is now indeed now capping its service then I will find another, uncapped alternative. Because of this I am downgrading Astound a notch.

When I first signed up for Astound I signed up for 1.5 Mbps down / 256 Kbps service at $40 a month, bundled with cable TV. Astound now has five different service tiers, with a 6 Mbps down / 1 Mbps up tier for $35 a month when bundled. This is the tier I am on now, and having 1 Mbps for upstream is awesome. I generally get about 92% of the rated speeds whenever I run speed tests, so I am getting what I pay for. Astound recently raised its rates for cable television service, but kept its HSI rates intact.

Growing pains for Astound are evident in its DNS servers, which have a nasty habit of going down or being extremely unresponsive. Because of this I previously used third-party DNS servers from Cisco and Level 3 for my DNS lookups and avoided Astound's DNS servers altogether. Also lacking is Astound's e-mail, which while good at blocking spam has a rather spartan (and confusing) webmail interface.

(Update: I have gone back to using third-party DNS servers from Cisco and Level 3; for a while I had been using Astound's but they're too unreliable and slow to use for my network. Eventually I plan to use my own caching-only DNS server, with the third-party servers as forwarding DNS servers.)

I've only used tech support a few times, mostly to report outages and slow DNS servers. However, each time I called I spoke to reps who appeared to be using scripts rather than being competent tech support staff. Since this seems to be a standard industry practice I won't downgrade Astound for this but will mark its tech support as average.

Overall, I'd rate Astound a 3/5 (used to be 4/5 but since it is now capped with traffic shaping as far I am concerned Astound HSI is no better than Comcast). It's not a bad ISP; connection reliability is excellent and the prices are not bad at all. Despite its shortcomings, if you don't mind doing a little work on your own and appreciate reliability Astound is an above average ISP.

EDIT: The monthly rate for 6 Mbps down / 1Mbps up is $25 when bundled with cable TV, and I recently had a short outage. However, given Astound's connection reliability, $25 a month is not bad at all.

member for 13.5 years, 2252 visits, last login: 1.4 years ago
updated 4.1 years ago

Comments: