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Etheric Networks page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 84 reviews (51 good) (11 bad)
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Review by cherf See Profile

  • Location: Boulder Creek,Santa Cruz,CA
  • Cost: $139 per month
Good "Promising technology"
Bad "False advertising. Nonexistent technical support. Cavalier attitude."
Overall "Don't do business with them."
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I began negotiating with Etheric on the installation of a 5 GHz 2x2 MIMO link between my business and the Loma Prieta tower in California's Santa Cruz mountains in May of 2009 based on a positive review from one of my neighbors who subscribes to their service.

I have been using Verizon's 3G wireless product for over 5 years. I am very happy with it and with their customer support. I was lured to try Etheric in the hope that I could achieve 4G performance before Verizon completed their network rollout. That was a mistake.

member for 4.2 years, 6 visits, last login: 4.2 years ago
updated 4.2 years ago

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Review by jasmina See Profile

  • Location: Watsonville,Santa Cruz,CA
  • Cost: $180 per month (6 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
Bad "Bad reliability, worse tech support, worst value for the money"
Overall "Don't use Etheric if you have any other choice"
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Unfortunately, this is the only choice available in our area, and we were among the founding members. Now we are moving, and poor Internet service is a big reason. We never get the bandwidth we paid for, and quite often there is no service at all. For example, last 12 days the service has been so slow that it has been unusable. Repeated calls to tech support got no answer or call back. We will be so happy to be rid of Etheric!

member for 5.1 years, 0 visits, last login: 5.1 years ago
lodged 5.1 years ago

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Review by tcraig72 See Profile

  • Location: Los Gatos,Santa Cruz,CA
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $139 per month
Good "They sure talk a good game"
Bad "Had service for 4 years, clost to 5 and it has NEVER been stable..."
Overall "Do not go with this company... Customer Service is terrible, techs have limited knowledge"
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Worst ISP ever... Do not listen to these positive comments. Almost had the service 5 years and it is terrible 80% of the time.

member for 5.7 years, 16 visits, last login: 5 years ago
lodged 5.4 years ago

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Review by bryancox4 See Profile

  • Location: Saratoga,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Sales"
Bad "Poor tech support, no return calls 3 times in a row for same connect issue"
Overall "Looks like it's time to try another provider"
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While the salesperson did a nice job detailing the various service options, the organization behind him completely failed. Three times in row for the same issue, the tech support organization failed on promises to contact me and resolve my connection issue. Since my home already had the equipment installed when I moved in, you might expect that it would be an easy setup. The final straw came when the Support Manager was out to dinner during support hours and made me wait for 3 hours only to be told (after I called them) that they'd fix it another day. For a minute, I thought I was living a BOFH episode. Take my advice and pass on these guys until they figure out that paying customers keep them in business.



member for 6 years, 4 visits, last login: 6 years ago
lodged 6 years ago

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Review by Iamzim See Profile

  • Location: Mountain View,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $99 per month
Good "Fast when it is working"
Bad "Mostly doesn't work"
Overall "Stay AWAY"
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Been with them for almost a year. The connection is extremely unstable, high latency, dead connection. They said 24 hrs support but whenever you call them you get an answering machine. If you are luck they may return your call in a week or so.

My backup Comcast line is more stable than this... what a waste of money

member for 10.7 years, 24 visits, last login: 6.4 years ago
lodged 6.4 years ago

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Review by djwARI See Profile

  • Location: Sunnyvale,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $99 per month
Good "It provided the best speed in our area at the time."
Bad "Poor reliability."
Overall "Could not recommned for a business that had an alternative choice."
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We original had a AT&T DSL connection for our small business. Due to the distance from the nearest center, our speed was not much faster than dial up. We switched to Etheric, the speed is normally good. At times the upload and/or download speed is unusably slow. This seems to have been improved slightly. In the past few months we have at least 4 instances where we have had no extremely limited internet connection for a minimum for 2 hours to over a day.. One time they changed there firmware, which left us with connection until they came out and upgraded our firmware. There is no excuse for this happening with a notification or upgrading the firmware in advance.

There are many customer phone support people who seem to have little knowledge as to what is going on. "I think that there might be some one climbing on the tower" is not an acceptable answer when service is down or limited. After hours phone support cannot provide any answers based on my experience.

Our upload and download speed is typically in the 1200 to 5500 kbps range. »/testhistory/1513050/1c683

If I needed a home connection, I would likely be ok with Etheric. For a business, it is not reliable enough. To start the day with no e-mail access as frequently as happens to us is a problem.

member for 6.9 years, 60 visits, last login: 2.7 years ago
updated 6.7 years ago

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Review by provos5 See Profile

  • Location: Mountain View,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $149 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "static ip and reverse dns"
Bad "very unreliable and almost no customer support"
Overall "better find somebody else"
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I have been using Etheric for about three years now. When I got the service initially, it was very good. Unfortunately, after a few months, high packet loss and high latency became the norm. Sometimes this was due to weather and equipment damage which was outside Etheric's direct control.

It took me a long time to discover that the initially installed equipment did not support link layer error correction and the higher the packet loss became, the more often data was corrupted during transfer. It essentially became impossible to download large tarballs of source code. My workaround was to download the tarball to another computer and then do repeated rsync over ssh until the data finally arrived on systems in my house.

Last year, Etheric installed their Gen3 equipment on our roof, without charging as a courtesy to make up for past problems, and promised that I would really like the improved quality. Things were fine for maybe three months but now 10% average packet loss is not unusual. The web servers I have been running over Etheric's link have become so unreliable for visitors that I had to move them to a co-location facility.

My frequent emails and phone calls to the support line remain unanswered for the most part. When I am able to solicit a reply, the promised fix or phone call usually does not happen.

So, although I had great hopes for Etheric, I cannot recommend them. I am still using them right now, but probably have no choice but to finally engage the telcos or cable companies for connectivity :-(

You can see smokeping snapshots for the first hop Etheric router attached.

Attachments:
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Click for full size


member for 8.9 years, 15 visits, last login: 7.6 years ago
lodged 7.7 years ago

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Review by qwery See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $80 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 9 days
Good "fast, when it works"
Bad "unreliable service, horrible support"
Overall "can't recommend"
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The service is awfully nice when it works, BUT...

- frequent outages with no warning
- periods of high packet loss and/or high latency, with no explanation
- support that never returns e-mails/phone calls (and is not 24/7, btw!) and a phone system that feels like dropping you half the time when you're on hold
- radio equipment is unreliable and prone to needing replacement

More details: at this point, my service has been out over a MONTH. Every call with support rehashes information that has already been discussed (I'm not sure why they insist on opening a Netsuite case, they only occasionally refer to it). Promises to call back are unfulfilled. They said they would send someone out to take a look, but he never did show up. There are one or two people that know what they're doing over there, but most of the rest are whack.

They are at efficient at one thing, however: charging your credit card. But god help you if you have a billing dispute, because you'll never be able to get hold of accounting at Etheric, and they won't respond to your e-mails. (Yes, btw, they did charge me for the service the month that I was down).

I really, really wanted this to work out: local company, cool technology, some good people, who could ask for anything better? But the support is so dreadful I can't recommend it. They give the impression of a company on the ragged edge, not the bleeding edge.

It might work for you if you needed fast service that didn't have to be 24x7 and... you were related to someone who worked there so that you could get support.

member for 8.2 years, 14 visits, last login: 8.1 years ago
lodged 8.1 years ago

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Review by Samboca3 See Profile

  • Location: Redwood City,San Mateo,CA
  • Cost: $149 per month (3 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
Good "Fast.... when working"
Bad "Significant outages and >600ms latencies, aweful customer service"
Overall "DO NOT Rely on this company for your network needs - expect frequent outages and unusably high latencies"
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I'm going to summarize the good and the bad, the then give my Etheric situation as I've experienced it.

Good:

The network ***when working*** is very, very fast, with low latency

Relatively inexpensive, excellent value ***if it was reliable***

Bads

- Significant, use-stopping network problems on a weekly or daily basis

(long term disconnections, horribly high latencies (currently I'm ranging from 650 to >1000 ms))

- Packet loss is often > 1%

- Customer support ranges from abysmal to pathetic.

- Network is "reconfigured" at whim, often dropping service for some random Joe customer.

- Continued dose of unfulfilled promises and commitments

The Story;

I've been with Etheric for two (2) years, and have really wanted to like this company. I really want to tell friends, relatives, and neighbors what excellent service I get from my ISP. I've held off in order to write a good review. My only comment thus far I've made has been to respond briefly to a thread about my being "disappointed". But I can hold off no longer, as being disappointed is only the tip of the iceberg.

To say the Etheric has trouble is an understatement of inestimable size. In the two years I've been with them, the network has either been down or has had such high latencies and/or packet loss as to be entirely unusable. This is common with Etheric; not just occasional, but the expected weekly or twice-weekly network-on-the-fritz-again trouble that warrants the next level of aggravation, contacting their awful customer support.

As I write this article, I see that between about 7:40am and 10:10am, my network was averaging about 450ms, with a 7% packet loss. Latencies often above 650ms, peaking at about 1200ms. I see this is the beginning of a fun day with Etheric. Yesterday, between about 1:30pm and 3:30pm, same story, and again between 4pm to about 6:45pm. There was a heavy rain yesterday, so I'll cut them some slack on matters that are Acts of God. Or we can go to 3/26/2006 where the average latency between 12pm and 9:30pm was >600ms. And there several hours like that on 3/25, and on 3/24. It goes on and on and on, and has gone on each week for almost 2 years. Bottom line, this is one flakey network, one that does not meet their claims of " Latency: Avg: 24ms Low: 4ms High: 51ms", "99.96% uptime."

So when trouble occurs, one contacts Etheric's support. However, this is as unreliable as it can get. As I'm typing this, I'm first in line in the queue, and have been so for 59 minutes. Earlier I tried to leave a message and as per instructions (after waiting 15 minutes in that session for someone to answer), but the voice-mailboxes are full, so nobody can leave a message. I then tried contacting the CEO (Alexander Hagen - aka: "aligzanduh") on his cell-phone, as per his instructions. No answer, and his cell's voicemail won't accept messages either. Next, I contacted his home and was able to leave a message. Since I never get a return acknowledgement call, I have no idea if the message is even received. So I sit and wonder how many more hours / days the network trouble will last. On the rare occasion that someone actually does answer the support line the first line of support is entirely inept and amateurish. They have shown a complete lack of understanding of what it means to support the customer, set expectations, and that leaving the customer without a network two days until Monday is entirely unacceptable. They simply have no sense of ownership of the problem, and are not being taught as much. Rather, the problem is yours, and you have to deal with it. Oh well, sorry, please drive through.

One of the downstream hops between Qwest and Savvis, a critical part of Etheric's connection to the internet was suffering from routine, often constant excessive latencies (100-900ms) for about 6 months. Although I had reported the problem on numerous occasions when it started occurring, tech support said they were aware of the problem, and were working with Qwest to resolve the problems. In fact, the claimed they had resolved them, on several occasions. Recently, I was told that they could use more network trace data to help support their case to Qwest. This was a known, on-going problem for 6 months, and yet they had insufficient evidence to provide to the Qwest engineers?

For two years, Etheric claims it is or will soon be monitoring the network to proactively detect network and router problems. However, they are routinely surprised when I (am able to) inform them of serious network trouble. Simply put, they have no idea when there's trouble. Perhaps this explains their request for me to send my trace data to them. Hmmm.

Each week, there's some new tower climb, new equipment going in, cutting over of the 3-year old service to something new, fault-tolerance, reliable, blah, blah, blah. Its like listening to an alcoholic who really believes this time he won't have that one drink.

I could go on and on about the dropped phone calls (hang-ups), bounced email to their support group (due to full mailboxes), no answers on the support-line, no system available during network outages (its a VoIP system), the unfulfilled "I'll call you back" promises, the out of date, unreliable "network status messages", no response from email, etc. But what's the point. If you don't have a sense by now of what you're getting into, that's as good as I can do.

Customer support and commitment starts at the top in a company, and is reflected downward to others in the company. And the general method of operation at Etheric is for unplanned, inconsiderate network configuration changes at whim, which routinely disconnect some poor user who happens to be wirelessly adjacent to the user with the current network problems. It reminds me of those Vaudevillian plate spinners. Imagine PG&E or AT&T just turning off the power grid or phone system at seemingly random times throughout the week.

Urgency at fixing their network problems is relatively low. In fact, Alex is often the only one who can fix the problem. And if he's tired (and he's happy to inform you when he's been working for 30 hours, climbing towers, etc.), or if the trouble occurs on a weekend and Alex has visitors, fixing the network will simply have to wait until he's done socializing. Chalk up one for Alex's commitment to family. But such a priority when trying to run a 24x7 Internet networking startup company, where customers are your bread and butter and have "always up and running" expectations, probably is not going to pay for the bread and butter for long, let alone the enormous capitol costs involved. This lack of customer focus and support has cost Etheric at least a dozen customer recommendations from me. Although I want to be able to, I simply can not recommend Etheric. I would not want anyone I know, friend or foe, to suffer Etheric's service and support as I have.

Alex (aligzanduh) will likely respond to this post as he usually does to any such post, with deflections and and denials, by pulling bits of pieces, singling out items, and overall trying to minimize or trivialize the points raised here. That's fine, its his prerogative. He's obsessed with having the "world's fastest internet connection" and showing it to DSL reports, but he and his boys simply, fundamentally, do not appreciate and understand that consistent, reliable uptime and usability is by far more important and critical than being Number 1 on DSL Reports speed-o-meter. Fast enough is fast enough, but downtime sucks. I'm sure if DSL Reports had network uptime / reliability metrics, Etheric would not fair well at all.

A couple more comments to consider. Etheric claims:

**** "Highly secure encryption options, (AES or 3DES)."

I asked for a 3DES secure connection 2 years ago. They never had that capability, and still don't that I know of. It was a "real soon now" projection hyped as reality. This is shameful.

**** "Customers purchase their own equipment ($599 to $699 + tax) or lease it with a security deposit ($750 to $850 + tax)."

I was told this too, and opted to lease the equipment. I was billed full price for the equipment, and told no lease option was available.

**** "We have the highest reliability of any wireless providers at 99.994% uptime... our wireless links has 1:3000 packet loss, "

These numbers at best only represent some static measurement taken over 2 years ago, and do not match reality in the least. I have packet loss and latency data for two years, and Etheric's claims are complete nonsense. For example, looking at the current data, in the last 3000 samples (1 sample = avg. of 3 samples/10 seconds), there are 36 Ethernet errors at their second hop, 2-3% packet loss, and an average latency of 290ms. Looking at 30,000 samples (that's 50 minutes), the picture is worse, 27-124 errors, 3% packet loss, and average latencies of 348. And earlier in the day, a period of two hours (72,000 samples) showed 4% loss, average latency of 453. 3000 samples from 3/26/2006 shows 194 errors, 7% packet loss, and 614ms average latencies.

**** "My broadband nightmares seem to be finally over!!! No more 50 minute hold times every week trying to resolve my 54% DSL downtime."

I wonder how this customer feels now? After waiting over 1 hour on the phone for a customer support representative to answer, I gave up. They simply do not answer the phones most of the time. Of my last dozen or so calls, only 2 have been answered, not counting the two where I waited 30 and 50 minutes respectively, only to get an immediate hang-up. I'm not sure I can boast 54% downtime, but its well above .006%.

".. not one subscriber has yet cancelled."

Ok, well, this is just plain wrong. Do not be misled by this entirely false claim.

Etheric seems like a start-up with good intentions, but does not have the crack-team required to do the job. Alex does not really delegate authority and responsibility, instead opting to control essentially everything. He's a customer support guy, message-of-the-day voice, troubleshooter, CTO/CEO?, tower-climber, etc. etc. He's trying to do way too much and use inexperienced people for other critical parts of the company. ( I've seen this in two situations: when the head hauncho is a control freak, or when the main backers are not generous enough to attract top notch talent for equity positions. My bet is that Alex and other principals are looking to have Etheric purchased by a larger company. )

And for a company-overloaded, understaffed, and under funded, Alex spends too much energy on extra-curricular activities, and losses focus on his own business (he wanted to volunteer and setup a wireless service for the post-Katrina disaster relief efforts, yet doesn't have the ability to maintain his own networks here at home - bless him for his altruism, but shame on him for considering and almost abandoning his current customers - some of whom might be directly aiding in other ways! ).

In all, I want to like Etheric, and Alex personally seems like a nice guy. I've waited two years to write this review, trying to get 1 month of reasonably solid service so that I can write something positive and glowing. I've waited in silence and feel I can no longer put off the inevitable. Quotes for T1s are arriving this week.

member for 10.3 years, 39 visits, last login: 8.2 years ago
lodged 8.6 years ago

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Review by ckafoelife See Profile

  • Location: Belmont,San Mateo,CA
  • Cost: $199 per month
Good "Fast sometimes"
Bad "Always fails Always down"
Overall "Ok Serice Not Reliable always fails"
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Ok i had etheric service for one year. First they came out to see if i could get service. They said i couldn't but will call me when did. So they called me back a week later and said i could get service so i said ok. They said i had to pay $2949.23 just for my equipment it was a lot of money but i paid it. Ok after i get my service it was good for the first few days they the signal always drop. So i called Alex whos the president of etheric. He fixed it and it was ok for a few weeks. They i get a letter saying i have to move my antenna so they Thomas from etheric came out to move it. After moving it the service got worse becuase there were trees in the way. By that time I called alex he told me to spend more money around $1000 to get a better antenna that can go thru trees. After getting the equipment and getting it installed it didn't work. So i called Alex again. He got it to work for a while one month with speeds that go up and down. I called Alex again he said again if you pay some more i can get better suff to make it better promised that it will work. But it didn't. Bottom line I called alex so much that he knows me actually every one at etheric does. At the end i cancled there service they refunded me only $1600 for 2 months of service that i didn't get and the equipment. I wanted to keep the equipment but they would let me. But i have to give it to them for trying. Oh yea there Customer service sucks. WARNING: ALEX NEVER CALLS YOU BACK

member for 12 years, 46 visits, last login: 8.8 years ago
lodged 8.8 years ago

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