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Iowa Network Services page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 4 reviews (1 good) (2 bad)
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Review by linux73 See Profile

  • Location: Clarence,Cedar,IA
  • Cost: $79 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Low Latency"
Bad "Pricey"
Overall "The new tiers are more in line with the norm in terms of price product value."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Clarence TelCo (netINS provider here) has been moving along gradually toward a full-fledged, full-service system. We now have FTTH bundling, which includes the option of adding telephone & digital television services. The "cable" here is still piped in locally off the large dish sitting atop the office up town however; and is essentially a basic DirecTV package relabled as municipal cablevision.

Aside from the 5 year wait during system construction, the service is excellent. My connection is as stable as they come, and downtime/outages are nearly non-existant. Considering the size of the town, we are very lucky to have quality internet service. Tiers range from 768/512 - 10/1Mb business-class service, so there is something for everyone. The price is still a little high, but it has come down since the system launched a couple years ago. The techs here are capable and prompt.

Overall I have to say they have done a great job and come a long ways since EtherLoop... after dealing with that, it is hard to beat my 7Mb bandwidth and stable 6ms ping to Des Moines

member for 12.3 years, 664 visits, last login: 176 days ago
updated 3.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by Tehrasha See Profile

  • Location: Vinton,Benton,IA
  • Cost: $42 per month
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "Stable, reliable, knowledgeable."
Bad "Speed limitations outside of central Iowa. (not their fault)"
Overall "Happy customer for 17+years."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
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I have been with INS since before they were netINS, back when they were InfoNet. Access was a VMS Shell command line via a 14.4k modem.

Through the years, they advanced along with the internet, from VMS to Linux, to PPP, and finally DSL. I have stuck with them through multiple address changes, in multiple cities. For a couple years I used a wireless ISP, but kept my shell account with INS which allowed me to continue maintaining the same email address for last 17 years.
When DSL was finally available here in the styx, I dumped the wireless and returned to INS.

I find their tech support to be knowledgeable, and helpful. Especially in the wee hours, when they only people manning the phones are the die-hard tech-heads.

I have had my share of outages and downtime, but the majority of those are attributable to the telco and not to INS itself.

I am now in the process of moving to Mediacom, not because of bad service, but due to limited service capability. In my area they currently only provide 1.5Mb down / 768kb up. You can be sure that I will be keeping my shell access, and await the day that they can offer competing speed in my area.

member for 10 years, 602 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
lodged 3.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by VicMB See Profile

  • Location: Neosho,Newton,MO
  • Cost: $79 per month
  • Install: about 35 days
Good "dsl service available in small town"
Bad "price $79 for 3000kpbs of course i only get an average of 2300"
Overall "my uploads are only about 160, they say it must be "my equipment" its not."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
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Value for money:

I really dont know if I have anyother option out here. I get it from seneca telephone in MO, but the isp is in Iowa? it goes out all the time, My biggest complaint is the upload, i cannot get it over 160. shouldnt it be over 400 with the 3000 speed?

member for 7.6 years, 39 visits, last login: 6 years ago
lodged 6.5 years ago

Comments:






Review by Turbocpe See Profile

  • Location: IA
  • Cost: $46 per month
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "Initially good service and (unofficial-BBR)support"
Bad "Frequently, and quick, to blame Qwest for issues. Monthly maintenance frequently breaks things."
Overall "Not exactly Premier. Blames Qwest for most issues. Frequent glitches -usually after "maintenance". Questionable staff experience"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I've been a netINS (Iowa Network Services) customer for a few years now. They are a 3rd party ISP, with Qwest providing the physical line from the home to the telco building.

Through the course of the years of being a netINS customer, I've experienced numerous issues that have allowed me to further see how well, or not, netINS handles the reported issues.

Over these issues, I've learned of the following:

1) Whenever there is a problem with the service, netINS is quick to initially fault Qwest. One instance of this was when I contacted netINS' support due to packet loss that was making even browsing webpages painful. Despite the packet loss being reported on a netINS router, netINS immediately blamed my physical line (provided by Qwest). They were persistent that my line distance was the culprit.

A plus to using the ActionTec GT701 DSL modem, is not only does it keep track of line errors (FEC, CRC, etc.), but it also keeps track of accumulated errors within a 30 minute time period. The DSL modem showing no physical line errors between it and the DSLAM, and in one case, a Qwest manager investigating one of my reports where netINS blamed my Qwest physical line and confirmed the line was clean over X amount of time, makes it difficult to believe netINS over such facts. If the issue was due to line distance, funny that this issue didn't appear during the first 2 years or so that I had the service

After over 2 weeks of reporting this issue, netINS finally admitted that the issue was due to a vendor issue on one of their equipment, and that it would be fixed. It was.

2) netINS performs semi-monthly maintenance. While this sounds like a nice feature, unfortunately, this has often caused numerous problems immediately after their "maintenance". In fact, the example issue described above was out of this "maintenance" issue.

Overall, such problems range from large scale packet loss, certain internet application protocols not working, or poor performance. Once getting passed the stage where netINS is quick to fault Qwest, it usually gets corrected days after the issue appears. It begs the question as to how much experience, and testing, goes into these procedures ahead of time? Unfortunately, these issues have occurred several times during their "maintenance", which makes it appear that these questions are indeed valid.

3) When calling into technical support to report an issue, it takes a considerable amount of time to get the ball rolling. When I've called into technical support, it has taken a good several minutes worth of question/answers that should already be on the account (name, address, phone number, etc.). The times I've called, those questions haven't been used for verification, but instead, you can hear the technical support person typing in all the information (name, address, phone number, etc.) as you answer their questions. To save time on the customer and support staff, you would think it would be easy to pull up accounts and document any events, especially when you give them your phone number up front, as requested. The fact I heard one "hunt and peck" at the keyboard (while confirming spelling of my name and street), further tells me that they're system is a bit rudimentary.

4) Although I've mainly only called outside of business hours, which is likely when most people use the service, whenever I've logged an issue over the phone, the end result is a "we'll have someone call you back". They don't appear to escalate the issue on the spot, consult with other staff, run any tests on their end, etc. Instead, it sounds like a messaging service when they take your personal information, the problem you're reporting, and then end with a "we'll call you back". I suppose in a way this could be good for customers to keep from having their time wasted on the phone - especially if it is a netINS issue and not within the customer's control. Of course it probably helps netINS' staff, too. However, it makes you wonder the type of staff that is on-call when they have to get back to you the next day, meanwhile the issue remains through the rest of the evening, night, and next morning, and sometimes beyond.

One of the things that sold me on netINS over Qwest.net providing the ISP, is that netINS uses technology that allows them to "chose" backbone providers, rather than be limited to one provider.

This technology sounds good, especially on paper. But I've really yet to see this be a benefit. Numerous times when I've seen large scale packet loss or abnormal latency, it has either been shown on a netINS router, or a backbone provider that remained that way for some time. Where was the multiple backbones and the "switching" when one of them "goes bad" that was described as an advantage of netINS? Part of the selling point was that netINS can switch traffic to another backbone provider to minimize the effects of another backbone provider that "goes bad". In all of the years of being a netINS customer, I have yet to really see any benefit from this feature. Anytime there has been an issue with a backbone provider, I had not seen any "switching" in any short time. Instead, the issues remains for a few days.

However, one side-effect that may be due to this backbone "switching", is that I've had frequent, short-term, outages where (all at once) a video stream will disconnect, an audio stream will disconnect, and a messaging client will disconnect. However, the DSL modem will still show a connection to the Qwest DSLAM, and with no errors. I can only guess that either netINS is switching backbones, or that there is an issue on netINS' side and it interrupts my traffic for a brief amount of time. As this occurs rather often, and noticing my tracerts using a different backbone before and after, I believe it may be netINS routing changes taking affect.

Lately, I've been having a lot of difficulty in streaming any video content, despite the content being streamed at a lower bitrate/bandwidth than the package I subscribe to (1.5/640), and the host having plenty of bandwidth available to stream to the users. When trying to stream the video content on a bitrate less than half of my speed package, and no other major bandwidth being used, I'll get an endless rebuffering where the content will frequently have to rebuffer while playing. This issue continues despite having "tweaked" my machine with BBR's tweak tool, and having played with different video players and their settings.

Interestingly, while using a 2nd DSL line that uses Qwest.net as the ISP instead of netINS, and while testing with the same computer that normally is used with the netINS connection, I can easily stream the same video feed without any buffering while using the Qwest.net connection. This tells me that the rebuffering issue while using the netINS connection is either due to their backbone providers, or an issue with netINS' equipment.

On top of the above noted issue, I've also recently started to see less than average performance from the 1536/640 package. Testing with FTP, BBR speed tests, and netINS' own speed test hosted within their network, all show inconsistent, and below-average, speed results for the 1536/640 package. I would not consider this speed package as cutting-edge, so I would expect it to be fairly easy to provide.

Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with netINS. Initially, I started out with impressions that the service was indeed "top-notch". Unfortunately, soon after, the glitches here and there started to increase, and once having to deal with netINS' official support, those "top-notch" impressions sank. netINS charges a bit more than other ISPs, as they consider themselves to be a "premier" ISP. Unfortunately, it appears to come with a lot of short-term (and some long-term) glitches and faulting Qwest for any issues their customers report.

One important note I'd like to make was that the support through BBR (an employee of netINS) was helpful in many of the issues that I've experienced. He looked into my issues and gave updates. He also helped sale me on the service, which I admit appeared to be good at the time. Unfortunately, he isn't as active anymore.

The attachments:

The first two attachments att=1207050 and att=1207051 show no route to BBR, which was one glitch that lasted for a while. Many other websites was also affected. Notice it got to the first hop in netINS, but was lost inside netINS.

The last three attachments att=1207052 att=1207053 att=1207054 illustrate the packet loss issue I had with netINS as described in the first part of this review. As you can see, packet loss was fairly constant, especially later in the evening. This issue persisted for a few weeks before netINS concluded there was a vendor issue with one of their equipment.

Attachments:
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member for 13 years, 6612 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 7.3 years ago

Comments: