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Comcast Business Class page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 59 reviews (34 good) (10 bad)
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Review by muranternet See Profile

  • Location: Saint Paul,Ramsey,MN
  • Cost: $52 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Decent speeds, fairly good uptime"
Bad "Sometimes variable speeds late night, stupid SMC 8014 gateway, inconsistent support"
Overall "Good option for >250GB traffic, esp. if in a low usage node"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I was on a Comcast residential account in my address before this one, when it took over from the AT&T Broadband account at my loft in Lowertown. I was apprehensive due to widespread negative reviews but I have to say I have been very lucky with Comcast overall, with a few exceptions. (Had a node-wide problem that took me a LOT of calls to get resolved, but that was when I was on residential and had to suffer through lousy tech support calls.)

I signed up for Comcast workplace through my employer after pondering it for about a year. I wish I had done it sooner. I moved from a residential account with basic cable TV, standard broadband service (was getting about 16mbps/30 with powerboost down), and the usual taxes and mystery charges that go with them, totalling around $57/mo. (I bought a modem.) When I switched to business class, I dropped the basic cable TV, as that was really only there because of Comcast's pricing structure that essentially forces you to get some kind of TV service, or it actually costs more. Note: Basic cable services are always available, if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Speed has basically been about the same, and my account rep was surprised when I told him what sort of bandwidth I was getting under my residential account. I suspect I'm in a low usage area, with a lot of people using DSL instead of cable, so I may have lucked out. I know other people in different metros do not have the same experience, so YMMV. I think my old residential account was supposed to be 12/2, and my business account 12/2, but since I was basically running faster than rated anyway I saw no difference. Unfortunately I don't think the speedtest.net node in the Twin Cities is available anymore, so I can't apples to apples compare my speedboost. Sustained throughput is about the same, however.

Under a business account, Comcast forces you to use their modem, not a privately owned one, but at least they don't charge you for it. The bad news is that unless you get a higher tier account you wind up with an SMC 8014 business gateway, one of the most reviled pieces of hardware ever. DO NOT USE THIS AS A ROUTER. After having it crash several times a day due to poor handling of routing tables, I just set my own router to a static in the gateway's address range (10.1.10.x I think, check your nonexistent manual) and stuck it in a DMZ. The gateway works passably for a straight modem, though I'm still unhappy with it as it still occasionally hiccups and the double-NAT setup results in weird things like tracert not working. After talking with tech support a couple of times, they said they had seen people go crazy trying to make this work for a while, and suggested I just get a surfboard modem and provision it. Some of them will tell you you cannot do this on a business account, but this is absolutely not true unless you need a static (which I don't), so just keep hounding. I have not changed this yet, as I keep thinking I'll drop by the local Comcast office and just pick up a modem, but I have not found the time yet.

Phone support is worlds away from residential support. On residential, when my entire node was having problems, I would have to call about 12 times (no kidding) until I finally got someone on the phone, delayed them for a while, and then told them to look right at the moment that an intermittent drop was occurring in order to get anyone to fix a problem. On business class, your first call is basically to tech support 2, with people who have (so far) known what they were talking about, and had actual information and the ability to fix problems. Apparently, a truck roll is guaranteed within 4 hours of a call, though I have not had to try this yet. I may tonight, just to change out my modem.

Note that if you change from residential to business class, your old account with disappear (at least mine did) and you will be assigned a new address under Comcast. This can be pretty frustrating since I got minimal documentation when my account was changed over, and I needed to call up and find out what my new login information was. I autoforwarded all my mail so I didn't lose anything, but if you actually use your comcast.net address, make arrangements to move all your stuff to Gmail or a similar service before it poofs.

I am also a moderately heavy user with videoconferencing, streaming services, FTP, etc., and I'm sure I must have come close to the 250GB cap a couple of times in the past. The fact that business class caps are, if not non-existent, at least much more lenient (I've heard from 750GB/mo to 1-2TB/mo), is very comforting. Your sales rep may say "no cap" but that's not entirely true. What I generally hear is that the real rule is, "don't bring the node down."

I cannot comment on the other services offered with the account such as Sharepoint, Outlook server, static, rDNS, etc. as I don't use them and have intentionally turned off as many of them as I could.

In conclusion I think this is a very viable option for people who work at home, or who have employers who offer a program for it, or just people who know a bit more about what they are doing and want higher quality tech support and service. I don't know if I would be comfortable running a 20+ person small business using this as my only pipe (maybe as a backup or one of 2 "prosumer" linked pipes), and I still don't think QoS is high enough to reliably serve from a Comcast account, but at this tier of service you are basically paying slightly more (or less) for a souped-up residential account with much better support, not a five 9s service. I am quite happy about it.

UPDATE 2/17/10: 4 months in, very satisfied. I still have not changed out my SMC8014, but it has gone down maybe once very early. Has not crashed since turning off all options and DMZing my DD-WRT router to handle all port assignments and DHCP. I have gotten a couple of different answers every time I call in about changing out the gateway, from "just pick up a modem at the local office and we'll provision it" to "we have to roll a truck out and swap your SMC at the same time." As long as the SMC doesn't give me any problems I won't worry about it.

One thing to note about support is that if you call during business hours M-F you get the local office and very good techs. If you call outside of those hours you get a call center with techs who are slightly better than the residential techs but much more limited. I'm lowering support to 4 because of this and the modem swap answer flipping but still satisfied.

My contract was for 12/2, not 16/2; have update the review to reflect this. Sustained speeds are minimally 12/2, occasionally higher.

UPDATE 2/24/10: I called into support this morning at 2 and 5AM after experiencing 5% loss and effective tested uploads at 0.06-0.20Mbps for a few hours. The tech thought it might be a problem with the gateway, and offered to swap it. I asked for a SB5120, to finally be rid of the 8014, and set up an appointment for the afternoon.

However, at 1PM, speeds were fine, and I called into support again to find out how much of their troubleshooting ability they lose if I switched to a 5120, and the answer was "most of it." Therefore I have made the surprising decision to keep the 8014, double NAT and all, rather than switch to a standard bridging modem just to keep better remote support capabilities. Time will tell if it works out or not.

I'm pushing my support rating back up to 5 because I got excellent answers to my questions and support from the national call center, which I was a little leery of before.

[URL=http://www.speedtest.net][IMG]»www.speedtest.net/result ··· G][/URL]

UPDATE 11/1/10: Last week I had a network failure at about 3AM. I rebooted everything in my network and got nothing. The SMC8014 was visible, and had a public IP assigned but could not ping out. I called support. They were able to log into the modem but also could not ping out. After booting the modem again it was not visible, so they placed an order to have it replaced; I asked for a standard DOCSIS modem, and they agreed.

The next morning I got a call from the Tier 2 guy. Naturally at that time my network was working fine, and so they cancelled the call. He also stated that it was "not their policy" to use standard DOCSIS modems on business accounts, even dynamic ones. I told him every time I called I got a different answer on this, and personally knew 2 people who also had this service who were on standard modems, but he would have none of it. "Happy that I could resolve your problem," he actually said. I told him he really didn't do a thing.

Lowering my support score because of this unpleasant experience, but generally still happy with the service.

UPDATE 1/8/11: I've been experiencing severe upstream power drops and packet loss at night for over 2 weeks. The gateway got replaced (another 8014) and an old analog filter removed from my drop, but it wasn't fixed. I spent a week calling in most nights to report the problem, but the desk was less than helpful. Fortunately, I had a very good tech come out when the gateway was replaced, and he kept notes on the situation. I called him back directly, and he put the line techs onto it, and discovered that there was an area issue around my node. They're working on monitoring it now, which doesn't mean it's fixed yet. When I called the desk back to update the ticket, it was closed. This was because the issue had been escalated (to whom I have no idea). They did measure severed upstream power drop and loss. I got half a month's credit, but I'd rather have a working line available at night. I'm not changing my support rating, since like in all services it all depends whom you get on the phone or in the truck. I am lowering my reliability score though, because even though it's been pretty solid over the life of my service, an area line issue can still take forever to get fixed. You're still on the same infrastructure as residential customers, apparently with the same headaches if a problem happens.

UPDATE 6/21/11: Sorry I haven't updated this, but a couple of interesting things happened. First, Comcast FINALLY tracked the problem to a node in my area as they were measuring similar loss at other residences, including another business customer on the same node. It was finally taken care of. Of course, I had to call a higher level desk to get an analysis of the area done. I don't think they were very happy about a mere customer calling, but whatever it takes.

Second, I was contacted by a CC service rep on the East Coast who actually did bridge my SMC 8014. Hallelujah. I can no longer access the control panel for the modem as it no longer had a maintenance address, but since it no longer drops dead, I don't care. Powerboost speeds are also up to what they were on a 5101 residential modem (up to 30mbps boost). I posted this information in the HSI forum, and it set off a veritable cyclone of back and forth nonsense between extremely knowledgeable people who enjoy debating over what a layer 2 bridge really is and what the correct terminology is for a cable modem, all the while debating whether or not the 8014 could go into dumb modem mode. Nobody believed it until I posted the telnet command, at which point it was confirmed by a number of people who are also now out of their 8014 double-NAT hell.

Of course, nobody at CC can agree over whether or not this is a good thing, but then again nobody has actually honored my request for a standard DOCSIS modem for over a year. Therefore my support rating is not changing. To those helpful individuals who insist that the proper way to to things is to get a DOCSIS modem out of CC business: well, no shit. That's why I tried to get one for over a year. Why not ask Comcast why they don't just do things the proper way?

So I still think support is better than Residential support. Incalculably better. But how much better is still a function of who happens to answer the phone.

UPDATE 1/14/2014: Haven't updated this in a while. Still on the same service, although it's now 16/3 but no powerboost (affects almost all business class customers I think). About a year or so ago CC started charging an equipment rental fee, which I wouldn't pay for that 8014, so I returned it and got them to provision an SB6121. When PB was still active I could get 50mbps powerboost, although sadly that's gone now. Still way more reliable than the 8014 ever was even in layer 2. There are still slowdowns at times when the weather gets cold, but I haven't had a massive disaster like I've had in previous winters.

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member for 5.4 years, 708 visits, last login: 13 days ago
updated 1.2 years ago

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Review by RnVteam See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $70 per month (36 month contract)
Good "Techs want to be helpful, but their hands are tied."
Bad "service intermittant at best, slower than dial-up for days at a time"
Overall "not worth the $"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

»www.speedtest.net/result ··· 7205.png
»www.speedtest.net/result ··· 3672.png

member for 1.2 years, 1 visits, last login: 1.2 years ago
updated 1.2 years ago

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Review by smunro622 See Profile

  • Location: Madison Heights,Oakland,MI
  • Cost: $110 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days

3 days from order to install, 5 static ip addresses.
about 45 mins to install and get things running

member for 9.1 years, 2178 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 1.3 years ago

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Review by keason See Profile

  • Location: Ann Arbor,Washtenaw,MI
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $96 per month (24 month contract)
Good "Fast, hosted exchange accounts, static IPs, good service"
Bad "expensive install on 1 & 2 year contracts, monthly fees for faster tiers"
Overall "Expensive but works well"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I ordered the 22/5 service with static IPs. It took about a week after the order was accepted to installation. Comcast gave a 4 hour windows and arrived about 1 hr later than scheduled. Hint: (Don't schedule an afternoon installation if possible!) It took less than an hour for the install, most of which was spent waiting for static IP assignment. The installer carefully matched signal strength and installed a 2 way splitter for future use.

Ping times showed a different distribution than with the dynamic residential service I had previously. Pings around Chicago averaged 25-30ms, Atlanta 60ms while Michigan were closer to 70ms with west coast pings close to 100ms. Comcast employs some strange routing logic.

Speed tests were positively inconsistent with powerboost. Downloads ranged from 55-85 Mb/sec, while uploads ranged from 5-6 Mb/sec. Sustained downloads average about 24Mb/sec, slightly better than advertised.

Comcast included an DOCSIS 3.0 SMC cable modem, configured in bridge mode. A separate box is used for a telephone connection. It worked perfectly with my firewall, unlike the Motorola 5100 DOCSIS 2 modem which was provided in a previous installation.

Overall, it worked as promised with no hassles.

Update 6 Jan 2011 - Comcast credited my account $20 for the late appointment (unsolicited). The CS in business is much better than residential. So far no glitches, drop outs, or speed issues. VoIP has worked flawlessly, and the modem has remained stable.

Update 12 Jan 2011 - Had our first outage. Called at 6pm, it was fixed at 9:30am the next day. Tech was on time and professional. It turned out that a different tech had disconnected the cable at the pole due to a residential disconnect order. The two divisions are not well coordinated. The performance difference was very noticeable compared to our ATT DSL backup - ATT constantly lagged, web pages did not load correctly, and VoIP occasionally stuttered .

Update 6 Feb 2011 - No problems or slowdowns. Speedtests have been averaging 85-95Mb down/ 5-6 Mb up at all times of the day. Sustained transfers 25Mb down/5.5Mb up.

Update 20 April 2011 - No hassles or glitches. SMC router has been very stable. Only a few momentary dropouts during the past 2 months, and no outages. Speedtests range from 15Mb/3Mb to 75Mb/6Mb depending on server used. No noticeable slowdowns during peak usage time

Update 21 May 2011 - Comcast came out again and tried to disconnect service due to a residential disconnect order. I intercepted the tech at the pole. Comcast now claims that their system is clear and it won't be disconnected again. Amazing that one outage and one near outage were caused by no communication between residential and business groups. Otherwise service working fine, powerboost still inflates speedtests. No slowdowns during peak periods.

Update 13 June 2011 - I was experiencing severe packet loss and slowdowns. Reported Sunday, was fixed on Monday. Squirrel had chewed the line.

Update 21 July 2011 - We now have upstream channel bonding. Speedtests average 80/35, and powerboost is uncapped. Uncapped powerboost is a great feature - VoIP traffic, browsing, and even some streaming services (which mostly transfer multiple small files) work very well even during long capped downloads, and we don't see much of a spike in latency when the connection is in full use.

Update 15 Jan 2012 - Well, the good stuff didn't last. Upstream bonding disappeared, Comcast started charging $7/mo for the formerly free modem (even while in contract!) , and speed is down to 15-25 down, 2-5 up on speed tests during peak hours (about 40/6 off peak). I change the 'Pre-Sale" ranking to worst as Comcast lied about the modem pricing - it was free only for the first 12 mo in a 36 mo contract! Latency is also higher during peak times. To cut costs I dropped the Static IP's and bought my own modem, and now use Dynamic DNS. Bill dropped from $127 to $100 after returning the modem and purchasing a Moto SB6120 (the only other supported modem for business class)

At least the service is still uncapped and VoIP works well. It would be nice to have the higher upstream bandwidth back.

Update 2/27/12 : Comcast added a $34 fee to switch to my own modem. They credited upon protest but acted surprised that I wouldn't pay it. Lame.

Update 6/1/12 : Comcast restored upstream bonding (4 down, 3 up) , Upstream speed tests are a little better . Used to get 80/40, then 70/8 with no bonding, now 70/12 is typical. Have had several outages but each was resolved within a few hours after calling in.

Update 2/1/13: Comcast upgraded the connection to 27/7. The increase in upload speed is much appreciated. Apart from a modem failure, connection has been pretty solid. In high use times, latency rises a bit and speed tests drop, but so far continue to exceed the 27/7 promised. Most times speed tests show around 70/30. Support has not been too helpful in diagnosing problems if you don't have their modem.

Update 11/22/13: Updated to 50/10 service, added business TV (local SD channels), and resigned contract for new $96/mo rate. Powerboost is gone, but connection runs consistently at 50/10. No outages to report so far this year. Hosted exchange continues to work well with no issues. Still pricey compared to residential since caps disappeared.

member for 12.9 years, 2671 visits, last login: 3 days ago
updated 1.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by Trevor See Profile

  • Location: Sultan,Snohomish,WA
  • Cost: $60 per month (36 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Due to bandwidth caps enforced at the time on Comcast Residential, Business Class was the best option. In addition to dropping Comcast Residential TV, the overall bill was lower, although at a reduced speed from my previous package. I currently have the Business Starter 16/3 service. Pre-sales and initial install were absolutely painless. Originally when I purchased the package, I was forced to use the SMC gateway provided by Comcast as their rules hadn't yet opened up to allow any supported modem, such as my previously purchased Motorola SB6121. The SMC gateway was a poor piece of equipment, and Comcast had difficulty placing the device in pass-thru mode, but eventually completed the request. Roughly 6 months later, I was allowed to replace the SMC gateway with my SB6121, coordinating with customer support located out of Denver, CO. Additionally, I had no issues returning the SMC gateway to the Comcast store.

Unlike Residential service, my equipment has never been the blame of any technical issues with the service.

All service outages have been related to other customer equipment (such as VCRs) feeding back onto the line. Credits were appropriately applied when these issues occurred.

member for 1.4 years, 106 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 1.4 years ago

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Review by mpritcha47 See Profile

  • Location: Fremont,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $225 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Fast, steady internet with static IP without any bandwidth caps"
Bad "Only fast and steady when it's working"
Overall "When you're a monopoly, what choices do you have?"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I moved from Comcast Residential to Comcast Business to help with SLA issues I was having with Comcast, since I am unable to get any other kind of broadband at my location. I ordered the $200 package which only gets you 50Mbps up, 10Mbps down without any kind of bursting. Not the best when residential is twice as fast for half the price.

Order and install processes are basic for Comcast. You must sign at least a 12 month contract with a ridiculous early termination fee. (75% of what's left for the 12 months??) Comcast comes out and plugs the modem into your coax, verifies you have service and that it's working and heads out. No big deals here.

You only get the basic Comcast Business approved cable modem/router: (SMC's SMCD3G-CCR) Don't even bother trying to get your own modem on this service. The excuse I was given is they can't give a 4 hour SLA with any other modem. This modem suffers from severe buffer bloat issues, bumping up my latency if I maxed out the connection (not too difficult these days).

It's almost impossible to get your modem/router into just a bridging mode without getting a static IP. I opted for that so I could run my own routing services.

Tech calls are quick and you do get someone knowledgable who helps try to do initial troubleshooting, with a Tier 2 callback within 4 hours. Then if the issue can't be resolved, they send out the local tech VERY quickly.

I've been suffering from latency/packet loss issues that Comcast can't seem to fully resolve. But ever since I've been on the Business Class, they've done a much better job of getting me back up and running each time the issues occur.

Overall, I wish there were choices in real ISPs. Comcast is okay, but only if they don't have oversubscribed issues. Local municipalities should hold Comcast to standards, seeing as they're the ones preventing any other ISPs coming in.

member for 1.6 years, 2 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 1.6 years ago

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Review by Voodoo288 See Profile

  • Location: Richmond,Chesterfield,VA
  • Cost: $129 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 600 days
Good "Customer service is good. Not great, but not horrible."
Bad "Issues inside residential areas."
Overall "Recommended"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

As a Network consultant I deal with Comcast not only in my office, but also in the field. Customer service is good and like other providers, get the right person and troubleshooting goes smoothly. Sadly there are folks like the technician I was meeting at a site survey for connectivity since the site did not have a physical connection. First thing he said to me "There's no cable here." *Facepalm*

If interested in Business Class make sure you know where your node is located. Ask the technician that comes to do a site survey. Shouldn't be an issue but in my location (Home Office) our node is about a half mile away and on the same power grid. We lose power and so does the node. I can power my servers fine with a generator, but no connectivity if the node is out. I've since had to move my servers to a co-location adding expenses and rendering my statics useless. The more you know...

member for 12.6 years, 5193 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 1.7 years ago

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Review by redschmed45 See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)


I have Comcast business. Whatever that means. It is very unstable. From
one day to the next, speeds vary so much I just don't understand. But for
the money it seems to be the best thing going. I live in the downtown SF
area, and there are "public" wifi signals for $20.00 a month that give
pretty good service. Very consistent. I used one for a month and I was
satisfied. Maybe I should go back to them...


member for 7.3 years, 5 visits, last login: 4.3 years ago
updated 1.7 years ago

Comments:
wrad

join:2003-09-11
Fort Pierce, FL

Comca$t Business

Good luck getting rid of them. I learned that my building was serviced by a private Wi-Fi for $45/ month for 10/2. Then learned Comca$t required 80% of whatever they would have gotten for the length of the contract.

Review by Spilnerfact See Profile

  • Location: Phoenix,Maricopa,AZ
  • Cost: $80 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Cost"
Bad "QOS, Tech support, Phones, Hardware"
Overall "I left this company and moved to comvoice."

I really don't know what to say, I have never been with a worse comapny in my life.

I won't go into EVERY detail but lets just say they screwed me with no lube or reach around. I have then left the company and moved to a smaller more reliable provider named comvoice.

I would highly advise everyone to stay away from comcast as they almost ruined my business with their crap phone service and internet.


member for 1.8 years, 2 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
lodged 1.8 years ago

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Review by wolves01 See Profile

  • Location: Crystal Lake,Mchenry,IL
  • Business customer Business customer
  • Cost: $80 per month (36 month contract)
  • Install: about 45 days
Good "Internet works good"
Bad "Would be nice if they gave business class a speed boost. TV add ons pricey"
Overall "Does What I need it to."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Comcast Formerl..
I've used Comcast for my business (a small insurance agency) for about 5 years now. I had started out with phone and internet but had recently switched to VOIP for voice. The internet service has been stable and delivers enough to keep three PC's and our 3 phones working well.

We recently moved to a new location and the installation process was flawless and they came out when they promised. Had to confirm the appointment via email and phone several times. I felt that was a hassle, but I guess they don't want their tech's getting stood up.

I have the included TV package and would like to upgrade that to include some additional channels, but it is very pricey.

I am also a Comcast home user for voice, TV and internet. It would be nice if Comcast would give the business class a good speed boost similar to what I just got at home.

member for 12.4 years, 2838 visits, last login: 79 days ago
updated 1.9 years ago

Comments: