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TowerStream page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 10 reviews (7 good) (2 bad)
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Review by bn1221 See Profile

  • Location: Cortland,Cortland,NY
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $550 per month (25 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "FAST....great pings"
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I had a primary T1 link in my LA office. Its too far from anywhere to get DSL/cable or affordable fiber.

I hooked up with Towerstream within a week after signing the contract I have a 6 Mbit link that is not only 4 times the speed of my T1 the ping times and general snappiness of the connection are much superior.

When my $350 a month T1 contract is up I might bump to 10 or 20 mbit.

member for 5.3 years, 1191 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 1.1 years ago

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Review by hcmk13 See Profile

  • Location: Miami,Miami-Dade,FL
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $330 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "quick install"
Bad "goes out in heavy miami rain, awful upload speeds"
Overall "good as a backup line or for non critical use"
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The order and install process was quick and easy and I was very pleased without. We got Towerstream as a second T1 for our office, and separated the voip to a hard wired sprint T1 and use towerstream for the straight internet for employee machines. The main bad thing is that it goes out every time there is hard miami rain, if only for 2-10 minutes. Also, the upload speed is awful. I thought i was getting synchronous, or at least reasonable upload. my upload speed averages about 150k...

member for 1.7 years, 2 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
lodged 1.7 years ago

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Towerstream

@towerstream.com

Please contact us

Hi -

I'm sorry to hear that you're not pleased with how the connection is performing. We strive to keep customers happy and would like to work with you to resolve the issues you're having with the connection.


Please reach out to us at 800-306-6993 so we can troubleshoot the connection.


Thank you,
Towerstream Support
support@towerstream.com

Avgjoe1985

@towerstream.com

Translation.

1.5 Mbps = 192 KBps thats what the translation is from KBps to Mbps. So you are getting nearly your speeds while going through your network more then likely. Enjoy the input.

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Brooklyn,Kings,NY
  • Cost: $500 per month (24 month contract)
Good "No good, Great Company, Great Price, Great People Great Service"
Bad "The only bad thing in high speed interner is Verizon and Taxes and Line Charges"
Overall "Charideem reccomends."
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I have been running my Charity company off Tower Stream for my Charitable
Fundraising company. At Charideem, we believe that two key concepts make a
company. 1 - Are you really paying for what you get? Well with Towerstream,
you do and you get every nickels worth. 2. Customer service. Let me say WOW,
this is where they really impressed, I got a install within 2 days during
the height of Verizon's last strike.

Towerstream, and my Rep MOLLY GREEN did a great job of getting and keeping
our business.






(review was emailed from domain charideem.org)
lodged 2.6 years ago

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Review by burritobot See Profile

  • Location: Brooklyn,Kings,NY
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $550 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Works well, good customer support"
Bad "Pricey for decent bandwidth"
Overall "Use this when no other option"
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There is no other decent hi speed ISP option in my area, so we had to spring for Towerstream. $550/month is a steep cost, but the good news is that I've never had a problem with the service going down. Pretty reliable and good customer/tech support when I get them on the phone.

member for 2.8 years, 0 visits, last login: 2.8 years ago
lodged 2.8 years ago

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Review by heperez6 See Profile

  • Location: Secaucus,Hudson,NJ
  • Cost: $699 per month
  • Install: about 30 days
Good "When it works it works well"
Bad "Bandwidth is lacking"
Overall "Jane ... get me off this crazy thing!!!"
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I'm the Network Analyst who painfully had to migrate to Towerstream for Q1 in 2010. It was down for several days at one point without any sense of urgency from tech support. We went with 10Mbps down/5Mbps up. It went well in the beginning. It didn't last long. This is our primary for two of our locations. I'm just glad that I didn't pick them!!! This is the worst thing I have ever experienced. REALLY. Never again.

Please note: This isn't venting. This is my personal experience with this company. The onsite and their hired consultants/techs raise an eyebrow when I tell them it's our primary connection. Do your own research. I would use the towerstream pricing as a bargaining chip.

member for 3.8 years, 2 visits, last login: 3 years ago
updated 3.8 years ago

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Review by ITBoston See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Fast install time, temp links if needed"
Bad "Lies about speed, horrible customer service"
Overall "STAY AWAY FROM THESE JOKERS"

Having had a good experience with AIrband when I headed IT for a Houston firm, someone from towerstream kept calling my office in Waltham, Mass stating there was a tower a half mile away with WIMAX. Their pricing special LOOKED great (8 mbps for $999), yet we could never get any more than 4-5 mpbs and the connection is NOT symmetrical.

Called their customer service to ask why I can only get half the speed they promise and they hung up on me. Then I call back and get this cocky kid who tells me to read what the contract says and that they will credit my bill if we have downtime, not poor performance.

Talking to others in my field, they used to get tons of telemarketing calls from towerstream from people who didn't even know the product they were selling. While they claim true redundancy you have to pay a LOT more to have added ODUs installed. Their POPs are not built to handle more than a few select clients and if you have a 1.5 mpbs T1 you're out of luck in the rain or snow.

One major selling point they lie about is that weather does not affect their signal. When there is a heavy rain or snowstorm we get 2 out of the 8 mbps we pay for. They are fraudulent, I cannot believe they get away with lying to the IT industry with their gimmick "military grade" connection.

If they call you, pass. Trust me.

member for 4.8 years, 0 visits, last login: 4.8 years ago
lodged 4.8 years ago

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Review by ieee1394 See Profile

  • Location: Bainbridge Island,Kitsap,WA
  • Cost: $999 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Works great when it works"
Bad "Definitely not a replacement for copper or fiber-based Ethernet"
Overall "Get this only if you can't get anything else"
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DISCLAIMER: I'm a strong believer in wired connections (meaning copper, coax, or fiber). My personal belief and experience dictate that wireless is inherently flakey because of the line of site requirements, distance issues, etc. Case in point: If something gets weird with our Towerstream connection one of the first things I'm asked is: "Do you see any cranes in the way?" You see, downtown Seattle has been going through a mini construction boom and it is highly possible that a crane can swing between the AP and a subscriber's radio...thereby taking out your Internet connection entirely or at least introducing significant error. And then there's the part about things working great until they stick someone else on the same AP as you...and then you end up sharing radio time. Now way to get around that either because of those darn laws of physics! So as you read my comments/complaints below, keep in mind that I forever remain skeptical about this technology and expect it to fail; it's a wonder it work as well as it does when it works (which is most definitely most of the time, but only if it has been setup correctly).

---

On our little island, located in the Puget Sound (right across from Seattle), there is no metro Ethernet, there is no fiber, there is no real business broadband connectivity available. The locals all seem to think that Comcast Business (a re-branded consumer offering) or Covad DSL (provided over Qwest's copper) are real business broadband. Sigh. To get any connectivity with symmetrical speeds around here your options are single or bonded T1's, or (shudder) SDSL. This is the kind of place where in 2009...I'm surprised no one's flogging IDSL (heh) or ISDN (double heh!).

Late in 2008 I came across an article about how TowerStream acquired SpeakEasy's wireless POP on the SpaceNeedle. "Hey," I sez to my self, "We have a straight, wide open, line of site to that there Needle! So I call TowerStream, since they also had a "special" running: 8Mps/8Mps for $999/mth. Then things started to go down hill. Sigh (again).

They like to say this is a bonded T1 replacement. They say they will assign you a netblock (just like they do in the real world when you contract for business connectivity). But they lie. Because all you will ever get is a bridged, and not a routed, connection. But they will tell you that "Yes, you will have full routing just like you do with your T1 from ATT!" But they lie, this time because their tech people don't understand what a Point-To-Point connection looks like, smells like, etc. But anyway...on we go. And this one's a doozie...

They no longer have an AP on the Needle. They have instead moved to several buildings in Seattle, most of which are blocked from my trees. "But we'll find someone out and they'll find a signal for you [embellishment: come hell or high water]." And they sent someone out.

They sent someone out who was 1) Afraid of heights; 2) Was expecting a flat roof and got a 4-story office building with a peaked roof; 3) Had no real equipment to do this other than his eyeballs and the signal strength monitoring built into the WiMax radio. Triple sigh.

So said guy just couldn't get a signal on the first day because line of sight was partially hidden behind trees. Being the PacNW these are, of course, 60 foot trees...tough to simply shoot over. I was ready to let it go at this point, not wanting to get stuck with some flakey connection. But no, the TowerStream people were determined!!

So they ordered a cherry picker and a tall ladder. And the guy came back and found a signal! But then it was a weak signal. So instead of the normal small antenna, they installed a 2 foot square antenna. And the connection we ended up with was about 10Mbps down and 12-14Mbps up. Rockin!

But that didn't last.

Before you knew it we started to suffer outages. Then our DSL line started acting up. So I decided to move VOIP onto the TowerStream connection. And that's when I noticed the (more or less) consistent packet loss that connection was suffering. And then before calling tech support I ran some speed tests (which I hadn't done in a while). And that's when I noticed that we were now getting 8-9Mbps down and 4-8Mbps up.

Now the tech guy goes: "Well, you are only subscribed to an 8/8 plan." To which I respond, "That's right. But if I was getting way better speeds before, then someone has either throttled my connection or you've expanded your subscription base on that tower I'm hitting. But he couldn't tell what has happened either way. Instead, they chose to go with scenario 3: there's something wrong with the equipment and we'll send someone out.

I have to point out, unfortunately, that we didn't get to that point until I insisted that packet loss was unacceptable on what is supposed to be a T1 replacement. I also pointed out that there's no way you could ever run VOIP or any streamed data across this connection when there's packet loss. Indeed, I have noticed this as my iTunes streams have started to drop out as this problem worsened.

So at the moment, I have this really expensive connection that I can only use for casual web surfing and file transfers because trying to use it for everything (meaning I can't currently consolidate both data and voice on the same connection because it...well, kinda sucks).

And now I'm waiting for the tech guy to show up. Which is an ordeal on its own, because they ask you what time, you tell them, and then the guy just shows up whenever despite the fact that you had to coordinate this with building maintenance.

Essentially, TowerStream is an overpriced consumer offering. It is in no way comparable to bonded T1s or any other similar technology its trying to replace. Don't be fooled. And I hope TowerStream can prove me wrong at some point.

UPDATE O3/28/2009 -- See comment below.

UPDATE 07/28/2009 -- Well, unfortunately the good times came to an abrupt end today at around 1:00pm. The office has been without phone or data since that time (I'm writing this at around midnight). Although Towerstream states they monitor up to the client's Demarc, I've never experienced this to be true. Unlike AT&T, Towerstream won't proactively call you if your circuit suddenly suffers performance problems (such as packet loss), even though they could monitor that. I opened a ticket at 2:00pm and have yet to receive an update (remember, this is midnight); in contrast, AT&T calls you on a regular basis (hourly) with updates unless they've isolated the problem and are waiting for an update at their end. My staff started leaving the office at around 3:00pm because no work could be done from that point on. And who knows when this will be functional again...like I said, still waiting for an update from Towerstream.

The funny thing is they are now openly offering a variety of services on their web site. I couldn't imagine subscribing to an OC3 level of service ($5K per month) with this crappy level of service when the thing stops working suddenly. OC3! Could you just imagine how many people that would impact? Comcast just ran fiber straight into the building a couple of weeks ago...so now I just might have an option if I decide to tear up the Towerstream contract.

Once again I must state that THIS IS NOT A BUSINESS LEVEL connection. It's a wayyy over priced consumer level offering and actually comes with the same level of repair turn around.

UPDATE 07/29/2009 -- And we're up again. Still no news from Towerstream customer support. I'm seeing our ping times all over the place though. This is kinda a telling me we're on a tower (gateway) that nos has other traffic on it as well...enough to delay ICMP responses (because of prioritization) at least. I can't see this as necessarily being a good thing for voice. Viewing my Speedtest.net history I can see that as recent as the 20 days ago we were still hitting just under 13Mbps...now we're down to 9Mbps.

UPDATE 07/31/2009 -- We've been up and stable since that last post. Looks like they have throttled speeds (which makes sense, otherwise there's no incentive for me to upgrade I guess) as they are capped at the speeds I'm subscribed to (8Mbps/8Mbps)...just not sure why they didn't do this before. With the network idle this morning (no one else in the office) ping times seemed to have settled to a more consistent niceness of between 3ms and 12ms. I can live with that. Apparently, they had to change frequencies on the radio. Which is a bit worrisome since there are only so many frequencies available and these aren't point to point connections (although that is what they use for their 1Gbps service). At the end of the day, once again I have to give them kudos for fixing this within 24 hrs...I just think the repair should have taken a lot less than that since it didn't involve a truck roll of any sort. Any better communication would be nice...although I do like that once a particular tech starts dealing with your ticket it seems that one tech sees it through to the bitter end.

UPDATE 09/25/2009 -- Ah and so here we are again. How many days has it been? Yes, we almost made it through 2 months without problems but ya didn't think that would last right??? This morning we are once again losing packets at the Seattle Internet Exchange (SIX). Last time this happened the net admins at my data center facility confirmed that Towerstream had indeed indicated they were having issues with their SIX connectivity. So I can only assume that this is once again the problem. And it just makes it painful to try and access any of our SaaS applications hosted on our co-located racks.

Once again I have opened a ticket. This time through their incredibly crappy online form with an incredibly tiny text form that allows you to only add a very short message (forget about really long ping or traceroute reports. Let's start the clock and see if anyone calls.



member for 12.9 years, 1180 visits, last login: 2.8 years ago
updated 4.9 years ago

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Review by jtl10 See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $380 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Good service, fast connection, quick installation"
Bad "none so far"
Overall "Good option to avoid Verizon local loop"
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I've had several problems in the past with T1 connection failing because of problems with the local loop (ultimately Verizon's issue), so it was nice to find an alternative provided that totally bypasses Verizon. Towerstream is a line-of-sight wireless solution that uses a very small roof mounted antenna.

Installation is very fast. Our T1 provider wanted 45 days to install a new connection. Towerstream was up and running in just 4 days. The service so far has been very good. We consistantly get the rated speed (3mbps up/down) on the line without any issues.

Pricing is similiar to local T1 offering, which isn't bad. If we could get cable internet or local fiber it would probably be cheaper/faster, but since the only other options we have are DSL or T1, Towerstream is a great choice for us.

member for 7.5 years, 37 visits, last login: 4.1 years ago
lodged 5.2 years ago

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Review by upton5 See Profile

  • Location: Boston,Suffolk,MA
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $450 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Excellent - stepped in very quickly to provide backup when XO went down"
Overall "Good service, no run-around, people take personal responsibility for any problems."
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Well, I had a great experience with Towerstream. They were fast, knew what they were talking about. Most excellently, there was no "XO says it's Verizon's fault and vice-versa" problem that had been driving us crazy for months.

I've now cancelled XO service, and they didn't even ask why.. (odd, since it must cost them to get customers - a golden opportunity to fix things).

Anyway - very happy with these folks who are providing us T1 access via WiMax.

member for 12.6 years, 545 visits, last login: 3.4 years ago
lodged 6.4 years ago

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Review by SterlingJ85 See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $625 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
Good "No Verizon (NYC businesses really get this one), Works!"
Bad "Customer Service starting to really lag"
Overall "Not bad, and its nice to get around Verizon altogether."
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My company is located in the Empire State Building, and unfortunately, the building management is too inept to have our building wired with any fiber companies (like Cogent). Our only inbuilding providers are Eureka Networks and TimeWarner. Both offer up to about T3 speed, but its far too expensive to even really be considered against other ILEC/CLEC (telco) offerings. Read up on TowerStream and it seemed pretty good, so I signed up for TowerStream's 5 Mbps for $500 with a free install.
The 5 Mbps is symmetrical, but only 1.5 is guaranteed (99.99% annualized SLA) with the remaining being "best effort". So far i'm pulling around 2 Mbps during peak times, still have to check out the off-peak times. The link has been up for about 15 hours so far, and it's looking pretty good.

I will update again once sometime has passed.

Updated: 3/2/06
We were having a little bit of a problem with speed being lower than it should have been (pulling about 1.4 - 1.6 Mbps, which is RIGHT at the minimum levels.
After a couple of calls to TowerStream, they agreed to send out an installer to move us onto another access point that was lower utilized in an effort to take advantage of better speeds (again, at best effort - not guaranteed).
We are now hitting right around 3 Mbps up and downstream, pretty consistently.
The new point is on the Citi Group building in Long Island City, which thankfully we have an excellent view to as well!

Doing pretty well, I have SiteUptime.com pinging our router every 5 minutes and only 1 ping or so doesn't make it through around 2:30 - 3 AM once every 2 days or so.

Updated: 4/26/06
I called 3 weeks ago to increase speed to guaranteed 2 Mbps (burstable to 5 Mbps) for $625.
Using Packeteer and other monitoring tools, I am seeing a consistent and solid 2 Mbps minimum with very frequent bursts up to 5 Mbps (average of about 3.5 Mbps).

Things are great, last month had 100% uptime (5 min pings), and April is looking the same!

Updated: 10/11/07
No major downtime to speak of, the connection has been pretty solid.
However we are moving up in need for speed.
I have placed an order for a DS3 with XO because TowerStream is more expensive *than any other telco or CLEC i've gotten a quote for*. A bit odd, since their marketing tag lines talk about freeing yourself from telephone companies. You'd think there would be some competitive pricing there!

Upon trying to cancel service I was notified that our 1 year contract signed in Jan. '06, auto-renewed itself. So now I will be forced to pay for 2 more months of service we won't even use.

Kind of glad to be leaving TowerStream now. The lack of customer service is really starting to suck to be quite honest. Tech support however is fantastic, always answering the phone and will usually tell YOU about outages before you even realize it (this was a backup connection, not a primary!).

member for 13.7 years, 2405 visits, last login: 7 days ago
updated 6.8 years ago

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