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Start Communications page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 183 reviews (164 good) (2 bad)
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Review by gatornation See Profile

  • Location: St Thomas,ON
  • Cost: $92 per month
Good "Everything"
Bad "None"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Been with Start for over 1 year. Nothing but good service. Tech support are fantastic and fast.

Fair warning: reviewer joined this week
updated 6 days ago

Comments:






Review by daeron See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $65 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Excellent product, amazing customer service"
Bad "None!"
Overall "You won't be disappointed"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

May 24, 2012 Original review

Package: Advanced Cable Internet
Speed: 28 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload
Usage: 300 GB
Price: $49.95
Modem: Purchased my own

I called in to Rogers on April 11th to give them my one month notice and ordered the Start service for May 11th.

On the day of my switch over there was an issue. I called in to see what was up, I waited no longer than 30 seconds before talking to someone. They were polite, straightforward and knew exactly what to do and what to look for. Low and behold Rogers for whatever reason didn't provision my modem correctly, I was stuck in their walled garden. My case was sent up to the provisioning team to get Rogers to put my modem on the network.

I called up the next day and there had not been an update from Rogers. I updated my situation on DSLR and Rocca picked up on it almost instantly. He asked me to email him the updates and from that point on he personally kept me in the loop on what was happening with my account. It had to be escalated once more with Rogers, but I was up and running on the 15th.

The service has been fantastic. On rogers they had provisioned my modem as a D2 (even though it's a D3) and had capped my speed regardless of what package I was on. On Start I'm actually receiving the speed I'm paying for. I went from a 120GB cap to a 300GB for 10 bucks less than what I was paying for.

The support was awesome. You never want to have to call in, but when you do you want someone who is polite and knowledgeable. Start support is that and more, they seem to genuinely care about your situation and want to help in whatever way possible.

I highly recommend this service, I can't say enough good things. It's so nice to finally be free from Rogers and on an ISP who actually cares about their customer.

Will update again in a couple months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update August 9th, 2012

So it's been almost three months and I wanted to leave a little update. I have had zero issues since being with Start. My speeds have been consistent and my connection has been rock solid. Highly recommend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update July 15th, 2014

After a few years I thought it would be worthwhile to update my review. Summer of 2013 I moved to a new house and received rogers services for free for 6 months (I couldn't turn down 6 months TV/internet for free). What a disaster that was...as soon as the 6 months was up I went right back to Start. The transfer was seamless this time through (I bumped my install coordination to the top as the first run through there were a few wrinkles that happened). I was on the 45/4 profile but decided to make the switch to the 60/10 when the new speeds were announced. I had put in my request for the speed change and 48 hours later I was on the new profile. Perfect.

I can honestly say I'd had only one blip since being on start which lasted a total of 5 minutes downtime which I can assume was rogers doing work in my area as it's a new build and still looks like a construction site. My speeds have always been consistent even during peak times.

I currently have FTTH available to me but because of the CRTC only Bell is currently allowed to offer me anything on it, no thanks. I'm hoping in the next 6-12 months that CNOC will have made some headway on the issue and get third parties the ability to use the FTTH infrastructure.

All in all, super happy to be a customer of Start and I highly recommend the service.

member for 2.1 years, 499 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 6 days ago

Comments:

want cheap

@99.250.91.x

Start

Glad to read your update and positive feedback about Start. I'm going to try it. Rogers sucks. Do they have any kind of TV packages or do you know of anything besides Bell and Rogers?
daeron

join:2012-05-11

Re: Start

There are a few options out there with IPTV (such as VMedia and Zazeen). In order to use these services you have to have internet with them as well though which is a big of a bugger (you can thank CRTC for that).

Review by teddy See Profile

  • Location: Kingston,ON
  • Cost: $51 per month
  • Install: about 30 days
Good "Good service, friendly support, great price."
Bad "I didn't switch sooner."
Overall "Switch today!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Cogeco Cable
I ordered their "Standard Cable Internet" for $39.95 + $5 modem rental. Switch from Cogeco, calling them first to get a cancellation date & Start to set an activation date. The date of switch over was a Saturday and painless.

Had my Start modem within a week, installation was a breeze. No tech needed, no phone call or anything. An agent called me the day of switch over to make sure everything went ok and asked if I had any questions/concerns which I did not. It was a nice touch to have them follow up with me.

150gb cap is a bit low. My understanding is that this is because Cogeco charges an arm & leg for TPIA services. I use Netflix regularly so I keep it at medium quality to avoid HD as a precaution. Overage is only $0.50/GB, half of what it was when I was on Cogeco.

Start doesn't meter upload data (good for Bittorrent) and there is an unlimited window between 2am and 8am which I use to schedule large downloads.

Have had 2 coworkers switch over and use me as a referral for a $25 credit each time.

My only complaint is not having switched sooner!

Update: July 2014. Still very happy, have referred more people to them now and everyone is very happy with the switch. Plan I'm on is no longer offered, but equivalent is $5 more with 50GB data. All plans now offer an unlimited option which was not the case when I signed up.

member for 12.4 years, 3084 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 7 days ago

Comments:

Review by Verno See Profile

  • Location: Grimsby,ON
  • Cost: $68 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Great speeds, reasonable packages and unlimited options"
Bad "Billing is only done preauthorized"
Overall "Fantastic performance for the money"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Cogeco Cable
I ordered the 20/10 Cogecoland package with the $15 unlimited option. I did my order entirely online which was very smooth and painless. I opted to purchase a DOCSIS3 Thomson modem directly from them, I did my homework first and their price was comparable to other places online. You also pay for the first month of service at the same time so be prepared for a wallet hit. The only real hiccup I had during signup was the discovery that they do not let you pay through online banking with the big banks or bill afterward, you are required to do either mastercard or preauthorized withdrawal. No big deal for me but might be a deal breaker for others.

An agent followed up on my order to clarify one thing and then the order was finalized on a Thursday. I received the modem on Monday which was great. The agent had warned me that my account might not be active until my official swap date (I was changing from Cogeco to Start) but it worked just fine out of the box with no configuration. I ran speed tests, latency checks and several large downloads overnight to check it out, speeds were consistent 20/10 with no drops. Very happy with the performance and reliability so far, will update later on as more time has passed.

I'm very happy, their customer service is top notch and performance is as advertised at a reasonable price. Very rare to see that combo these days.

member for 6 years, 289 visits, last login: 14 days ago
lodged 14 days ago

Comments:

Review by heykoj See Profile

  • Location: Oakville,ON
  • Cost: $56 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 15 days
  • Telco party Bell Canada
Good "Excellent Customer Service"
Bad "none"
Overall "Great Value for Service Provided"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I had been a long term Bell DSL subscriber and was paying $95 per month for slower speeds 5M down .6M up and a lower cap 180G that I was often exceeding.

I have now been with Start thru two billing cycles and am very pleased with the service. As an occasional work at home person using citrix to access my corporate IT services prior to start I would see 2 - 3 disconnects per day. I no longer see disconnects.

The option to download after hours and not impact usage against the cap is very welcome with a Steam user in my household.

My only complaint was that the modem/router that I purchased was delivered after the bell install. This was quickly rectified after contacting customer service.

Very pleased with the Smart RG modem/router that I purchased thru Start. Much better then the consumer routers that I have purchased via the big box electronic stores in the past. Setting up network access for PS4 and Xbox with the correct NAT settings was a breeze.

The key difference I have found with Start is that they offer a very high commitment to service. As a complex service that involves multiple providers issue will occur, Start works thru these in a manner that exceeds expectations in an industry that is often indifferent to the paying customer.


member for 94 days, 19 visits, last login: 22 days ago
lodged 22 days ago

Comments:

Review by bublik See Profile

  • Location: L0R2H9
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Provided service as promised 2 years"
Bad "Last months huge degradation in service quality"
Overall "Lokks they oversold, so the service would be degraded farther"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

My service plan is 20M/10M. Since May 2014 efficient average speed during the day is 5MB/100K and highly unstable. Though sometimes provides full speed. After 8PM on weekdays and whole weekends the service virtually doesn't exist. Multiple calls/emails to support didn't help. They insist something wrong with my side, and even sent a technician to adjust the power on line. The trace evidently show that major problem is with their router/bridge .117, plus heavy congestion all over way to their own website. But support doesn't like term "congestion" as a reason. Anyway, the whole month is almost over and no reasonable solution so far.

member for 26 days, 1 visits, last login: 13 days ago
updated 26 days ago

Comments:

jmck
formerly 'shaded'

join:2010-10-02
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Start Communicat..

subject

i haven't seen a post in the forums about your issue, and i think it's pretty clear from all the other users (i assume Cogeco area?) that there isn't an overselling or global congestion issue.

it might help to start a thread in the forum and seeing if Start Sam or rocca can chime in and help, but it sounds like there was signal issues on your line to begin with. did the signals get better after the tech visit?

rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23

Connection issue

I'm sorry that your line has an issue but this definitely isn't a case of congestion on our end. Your evidence of pinging our edge of the interconnection at 64.140.112.117 still has to pass through your problem portion to get to us and while we've tried to explain this, we're having difficulty with you believing it which has further tainted our conversations. Despite your irate calls, we've patiently worked through trouble-shooting, had a field technician dispatched who installed an attenuator on the 23rd to help improve things (which you reported did help stabilize it) and they indicated that the drop to your home would need to be repaired/replaced. We have continued to follow through on that even without your prompting to ensure that it gets to the maintenance group at Cogeco to have completed. This is the last update that we had this morning, prior to your registration on DSLR and posting of this review.

I hope you can see that we've diligently worked through the problem, managed to get trouble-shooting done so we could get a tech, had them improve the situation while they were there but also find the root cause of being a bad drop line, and further, ensured that this was being scheduled by the maintenance group to be repaired/replaced as recommended.

We continue to have this ticket open on our end and will get to the bottom of the problem, like we always do. I hope once we do get this repaired that you'll consider updating the review accordingly since as you mentioned it has been great for 2 years and we always go to bat for our customers when issues arise with the physical cable plant.

I'm also always available here on DSLR by PM should you feel our team and escalations are not doing absolutely everything they can to get this resolved.

Thank you.

Gixxer

join:2008-08-27
St Catharines, ON
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
·Bell Fibe
·Cogeco Cable

Same Problem, Fuck Cogeco

I had the same problem, around the same time on Cogeco's network through Start, it was a massive pain in the ass so I know how you feel. Coaxguy and myself did a lot of troubleshooting and our results yielded that the issue was past the tap and it was highly unlikely that Cogeco would do anything about it. I'm currently on Starts 50/10 VDSL and I can say that the speed is 100% consistent 24/7.

I've read that Waterdown (I based that location on your postal code) is having a lot of congestion-like issues with Cogeco.
--
I love fish sticks. I love putting fish sticks in my mouth.

Review by sauga_1 See Profile

  • Location: Mississauga,ON
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Great customer service, great attitude, good knowledge about the service"
Bad "nothing"
Overall "go with it, you wont be disappointed"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I had been rogers for almost 12 years and recently they increased my internet price 76$ / month. I decided to call rogers and see if they offer me something similar to start. after spending almost 30 minutes with retention what they offer me is free modem for a year and also I have to give them a 30 days notice, so i end up paying $76.

I called start, my call was picked up quickly and was talking to csr within a minute. I placed my order and book the activation for next month. my order was complete with in 3 minutes and i was told that i will get the modem in the mail. after two days. i was charged $50 for the first month + modem rental. after a week i decided to change my activation date from 8 to 1st of the month. i called start and again within few minutes my activation date was changed.

The good thing was start offered me a 8 days of free internet because of my activation date changed by me. have you ever get this kind of good service from any company. at least me (NO).

on activation date i plugged my modem and waited for half an hour and I have internet. same day i got a call from start asking about the internet activation and problem if i have any. I told them all is good. I have tested the speed and i am getting exactly the advertised speed.

I am really very happy with the service and i might switch to unlimited package.

Keep it up Start and other companies should learn from Start also.

UPDATE (June 24):

Its been 5 months and the service is great. no down time at all. I have tested my service at different times and I am getting constant 24.6 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload. I have already referred two friend to start and they are also very happy with the service.

very satisfied with the service

member for 167 days, 15 visits, last login: 26 days ago
updated 28 days ago

Comments:

Start Sam

join:2014-01-21
London, ON
kudos:2

Welcome Aboard!

Hello sauga_1,

Glad to hear your interactions with our sales team have been been pleasant and that the service has been successfully activated. Welcome aboard!

If you ever have concerns or issues, please do contact us.

Review by Gixxer See Profile

  • Location: St Catharines,ON
  • Cost: $73 per month
  • Install: about 16 days
Good "24/7 50/10mbits, Ping, Customer Oriented, Now Unlimited"
Bad "Difficult To Get Truck Roll-out "
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·voip.ms
·Bell Fibe
·Cogeco Cable
I've been with Start for about 2 years now, the first few months was with their Cable service (Cogeco) and it was a pretty bad experience overall. If I were to review them then, it would most likely be a zero but the service was refunded and I didn't feel right reviewing a service that I didn't pay for. I ended up switching to Bell once I found out Fibe was available in the area but subsequently switched to Start once my promo ran out.

So far it's been over a year and I can say that the service has never went down, maybe 3-4 times the modem reset for 5-10 minutes at roughly 2-3AM -- really no big deal. The speed is consistent 24/7 and I haven't experienced any slowdowns. There have been a few routing issues and that's where I have to give Start a perfect score, each time I was able to get rerouted whenever a ping issue occurred. 99.9% of the time, the ping to most game servers is the lowest I've ever seen, compared to Bell and Slowgeco.

Start could slightly work on price, while overall I feel that it's about average to what other ISPs are offering -- I could go else where, save a few dollars and get a fair bit more bandwidth but things are working so for the mean time I'll stay put.

If I were to doc them any points, it would be that truck roll outs for network issues with Start are difficult to get authorized.

member for 5.9 years, 2537 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 33 days ago

Comments:

Review by Gary See Profile

  • Location: Oshawa,ON
  • Cost: $79 per month
  • Install: about 20 days
Good "Quality connection and no Rogers or Bell:)"
Bad "None as of yet"
Overall "I couldn't have picked a better choice for cutting the cord"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Like many others I had finally had my fill of the big guys, I would like to say never again but as we all know one should never say never, but it is as close to never as I think I will ever be.

The days before install is longer simply because we had just passed a billing period with our old provider, having said that though I was still quite surprised at how easy the transfer actually went, virtually no downtime at all.

I had decided to buy the Thompson 476 modem because Canada Computers was offering a direct replacement warranty of 3 years for only $11, that was a no brainer and I know my way around modems and routers a little bit.

I arrived at the decision of Start Communications because of some online research, mostly though it was this site and of course Rocca and the Start Communications forum

I am not one who ordinarily does reviews so I'll keep it short, we are very happy so far and others deserve to know how well things have gone with Start, as we all know the troubles we have with ISP's in Canada.

member for 63 days, 6 visits, last login: 13 days ago
updated 36 days ago

Comments:

Review by docbill See Profile

  • Location: Stoney Creek,ON
  • Cost: $55 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Quality connection, excellent speed"
Bad "Still has a bandwidth cap, and $0.50/GB overage charge seems abit high"
Overall "Good alternative to Cogeco"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I ordered Start Communications advanced cable internet last week. Now about 10 days later I have service. The cable modem arrived Tuesday, I hooked it up myself. Today the cable guy showed up and plugged in the outside line. I was rather surprised to learn the cable guy is not allowed to even touch the equipment. So this is definitely not a good service for someone like my Mother inlaw. But if you are capable of plugging in the cable modem, this is good service for you.

I did a quick speed test, and I got 30/2, which is better than what Start Communications advertises. I went with a rented modem, mainly because my experience has been that cable modems die every 18 months or so. As such, it did not make sense to purchase the modem.

The only downside, is I still think $0.50/GB is too much for an over bandwidth charge. If I consistently used 600 GB per month, it would be cheaper to have two lines than to pay the over charge. Actually, that is exactly what I am doing right now. I still have Bell DSL with bandwidth insurance, and my new Start Communications service. Eventually, when I run out the Bell special I'm on, I'll probably switch the DSL to another company, but I will continue to have two lines. Not just for bandwidth, but more important reliability.

- update 2013-02-25 -

I see that Start has lowed the bandwidth cap from 300 GB to 250 GB. There is no indication as to whether this will impact existing customers. My last bill still said 300 GB. Also I finally figured out why Start Communications bandwidth total does not match mine. Unlike most providers they really do measure in GB as defined by the standards committees as 1,000,000,000 bytes. Most providers measure in GiB but falsely label it as GB. 1 GiB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. My router also does that. Start is right, my router is wrong... But the other thing is in Cogeco land they don't count uploads, just downloads. What this effectively means though, is if you are comparing with say Bell Canada or Cogeco, you need to adjust your numbers. If for example Bell Canada lists your monthly download as 220 GB, you would add 10% to correct this number to 242 GB. That is what Start Communications will measure your download as.

- update 2013-05-22 -

Cogeco has really put the squeeze on with bandwidth charges to third party providers. Initially Start had hands down better rates. Now for the 12 month rate is a toss-up. Start and Cogeco both have about the same rate for the first 12 months. Start has a lower cap 200 GB v.s. 275 GB, but Start has an non-metered time period from 2-8 AM. I personally almost never use that internet during that time, if I was not familiar with Cogeco's reputation, under the current plans I would probably go for Cogeco for 12 months and then switch to Start if Cogeco did not agree to extend the promotional rate. Fortunately, I am grandfathered with an old plan, so I don't have to make that choice. But for someone who does, I would still recommend Start.ca over Cogeco. Even if you have to pay a bit more for going over bandwidth, it is worth it not to have to deal with Cogeco. And when you factor in the cost of switching after a year, you probably won't save a significant amount of money.

If you need reliability, go with Start.ca cable.

- update 2014-01-02 - Start now periodically toggles me to a new IP address. I wish they offered a static IP address, as I found out my dynamic dns updates from my router no longer work...

- update 2014-06-14 - I was thinking about VMEDIA's 20/10 plan as the price is the same, but there is no limit. My upload speed seems to have been painfully slow, so I took the time to measure my speeds at many different sites today. It seems I've dropped from 30/2 down to 15/1. I've contacted Start Communications, lets see how effective they are at repairing this, as if I get the speed I'm paying for the competition would not seem so attractive.

Wow. Great customer service. They temporarily unlocked the profile to see what the line is capable of:

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/3563296865 (58.4/9.9)

Then they reverted it:

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/3563317289 (14.8/1.27)

Finally they locked me in at:

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/3563322648 (20.8/9.9)

I thought I was on a 30 Mbps plan, but they reminded me I was on a 20 Mbps plan and they just testing 30 Mbps plans at the time I signed up, so I was temporarily boosted to that speed.

member for 7.7 years, 184 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 36 days ago

Comments:

coaxguy

join:2009-07-29
kudos:1

New bandwidth

As long as you don't change your plan, your bandwidth plan / allowance is grandfathered and remains the same.

Also .50/GB is not pricey, especially comsidering what other ISPs charge.
docbill

join:2006-10-24
Stoney Creek, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·Velcom
·Bell Sympatico
·Bell Fibe
·voip.ms
·PortBridge Inter..

Re: New bandwidth

I consider any plan where it is cheaper to buy a second internet connection than it is to pay the over bandwidth fee, pricy. In fact that exactly what I do now. I have 220 GiB limit with Bell Canada, and a 300 GB limit with Start Communications. I don't use all my bandwidth between the two each month, but I use enough that it would cost me more to cancel one of my internet connection than to keep them both.

Really in this regards, TekSavvy wins with a 0.25/GB over charge, and a cap on the total of how much they will charge you each month. But Start Communications wins in other categories, so to me Start Communications is still the better buy.

Shyte
Premium
join:2002-02-27
NF, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

Re: New bandwidth

said by docbill:

I consider any plan where it is cheaper to buy a second internet connection than it is to pay the over bandwidth fee, pricy. In fact that exactly what I do now. I have 220 GiB limit with Bell Canada, and a 300 GB limit with Start Communications. I don't use all my bandwidth between the two each month, but I use enough that it would cost me more to cancel one of my internet connection than to keep them both.

Really in this regards, TekSavvy wins with a 0.25/GB over charge, and a cap on the total of how much they will charge you each month. But Start Communications wins in other categories, so to me Start Communications is still the better buy.

And Start doesn't count your upload against your cap in Cogeco territory anyways. That helps as well.

Shyte