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Bell Sympatico page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1127 reviews (409 good) (477 bad)
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Review by BuzzWorks See Profile

  • Location: Brossard,QC
  • Cost: $39 per month
Good "Loop test was done, as per schedule."
Bad "Too many to mention..."
Overall "I wish they would get with the program...wake up and follow the rest of humanity."
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Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Buzz

Well after placing my order, I recieved my package three weeks later, I wasn't impressed but hey everyone can have "some" glitches. After recieving my kit I promptly installed the necessary hardware/sofware, everything seemed to be going great, since the kit was recieved long after my account had been activated, I was eager to get going!! To my dismay nothing worked as was supposed to, I didn't have the final service installed after all, well that took another week

Reason being, the high deman for tyhe service...Well I grinned an beared it, till when eventually I was "Wired". Then the fun really began...When I had ordered the service the maximum distance was advertised as 5 kilometers, and a guaranteed dowload speed of at least 800kbps, which they had translated as 100KB, and uploads, at 320, which was also translated as being 40KB. After trying, several attempts to get decent speed, I contacted the technical assistance, dept.

What a joke that turned out to be!! I knew more than the low level techs, and became irate a few times when they went through their standard checklist. After 20 or so calls I managed to bully my way through the filtering low levels and got to speak to someone who actually knew what they were talking about, Chris was very understanding, and helped go through every aspect of the setup, which was something I had done many times, I was escalated to another level, whereapon, I was told a week later that, I was now out of range, my loop being redone, and the ISP having changed the limits, I have been with this ISP for years and have paid them a small fortune, for dialup, now I was paying more and still getting the same speed!...About a month later I recieved, an email from technical services saying they were sorry but they couldn't guarantee, any speed at all since my loop test failed the required distance..(which had been fine when I enrolled). Their solution was to return the modem and I would get a complete refund, well that was not good enough, I needed more, and I asked for a VDSL service, but was told that service was not available yet...It has been out for a couple of years and would require very little effort to supply me with one, as I have later learned, they are doing testing with it now...After finding some tweaks here, and there I manage to get my d/l at about 60K on a good day but my ups don't ever go faster than 13k, I regard this a false advertising to gain market share, and resent the fact that in total I have been given the runaround for 6 months now...I'm going to find some other ISP, and spend my hard earned money on them...Sympatico, well U SUCK!!

member for 14.3 years, 12 visits, last login: 13.4 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by Joem6 See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $40 per month (month by month)
Good "Decent Tranfer Rates, great for surfing, D/L'ing"
Bad "Upload slow, some game servers slow, DNS sometimes slow"
Overall "Some minor glitches but SWEET!"
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(ratings above consensus)

Hi Everyone,

Have my sympatico(964/128 service) set up for about a week now, heres the story:

Called bell for the free month promotion, set up an account and they said my kit would arrive in about 3 days. It did. My account was setup within 5 - 10 business days also as promised. Plugged in the Ethernet Adapter and modem, install was a snap. On the 6th day, my account was activated so I opened up access manager then presto, I was connected.

My transfer rates at first capped at about 40Kbytes/sec. Applied the speedguide mtu/rwin patch, the rates went up to about 67Kbytes/sec. I got a bigger Hard Drive, and decided to install win98 clean on it. For some reason, I started seeing tranfer rates of about 100Kbytes/sec on some sites.

Heres the bottom line on transfer rates:
slowest D/L ever - 30Kbytes/sec
Average D/L Speed - 80 Kbytes/sec
Fastest D/L ever - 105 Kbytes/sec
Fastest U/L ever - 14 Kbytes/sec

DNS - Never a big problem here, but I find it slow on occasion.

Mail - Only used it once, worked OK.

News - I dont use it.

Tech support - Emailed them once, I asked them a question about my IP address, and it seems like the person cut and paste a very generic article about IP addresses, that had nothing to do with my question(About 6 hrs to respond). I sent the message back thanking them for the lesson on IP's, but could they answer my question. Someone who knew what they were talking about answered my question by the next morning.

Gaming - I play Unreal Tournament often, and average about a 110ms Ping. Often I will see my pings in the low 70's. No packet loss so far, smooth gameplay.

member for 14.3 years, 22 visits, last login: 12.8 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

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Review by kmedcalf See Profile

  • Location: CANADA
  • Cost: $42 per month (month by month)
Good "Cheap"
Bad "PPPoE / Poxy / Brainless Dolts"
Overall "Good for Cheap transit. Don't expect too much!"
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Ordered very soon after initial availability announced (within a few days). Was order 940! Install went very well. Unfortunately, between the time Bell "announced" the service and the time Bell delivered the service, they decided to "cripple" it by installing port blocks on port 80 in their core backbone routers forcing you to go through their "crashing slowifying poxy server" in order to access HTTP (or anything, on port 80, whether it is HTTP or not). The Poxy server is mucho overloaded and engenders a 75% performance hit on what would otherwise be a great network connection. With the implementation of PPPoE (using *extremely* cruddy software written by first-time windows programmers) the poxy is now "transparent interception" type, making it more difficult (though not impossible) to bypass. Bell has attempted to improve poxy performance by disabling expiry checking on their poxy server, and you will often find the poxy returns pages that are months out of date or from sites that have closed months ago. While the Proxy could be worked around (by pointing to a decent SQUID proxy on the general internet), PPPoE cannot. THerefore, I have now dumped Bell/Sympatico in favour of "real" ADSL.

As to technical support -- they have none; and, what they do have is extremely clueless. There are some bright folks at Bell who *do* know how to fix things, but Bell wants you to reformat your hard drive and re-install at least seven times before escalating problems on *their* network to DSC. Also, they (Bell) does *not* monitor their card drawers, nor do they provide any useful notice of when they are updating/maintaining their systems. During the time I was a subscriber, some yahoo playing with the card drawers put dozens of customers out of service (and caused alarms to go off, of course), but they just ignore the alarm state (happened every 45 to 90 days! When this happens it takes weeks to get anything done, unless you happen to march up the street and bang on the door of the CO and get the operator to re-initialize the failing card. Bell and DSC only support the network 10-4 M-F excluding holidays and lunch breaks, so if the problem is with their network, it can take FOREVER to fix.

member for 14.5 years, 948 visits, last login: 3.4 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by dcann See Profile

  • Location: Canada
  • Cost: $39 per month (month by month)
Good "Fast easy install & activation, reliable, fast connection"
Bad "Variable download speeds, Dead toolbar, varaible tech support knowledge"
Overall "Well worth it! Delivers what was promised!"
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(ratings well above consensus)

I ordered Sympatico HSE late on a Friday and received the setup kit the following Wednesday. I was installed the same day and with a little coaxing, customer services activated the link on Thursday. Up and running in 4 business days...that's excellent service from my point of view. I also appreciated the inclusion of 4 filters for my phone line and the documentation was excellent. Tech support has been acceptable to very good, but I have a great deal of knowledge and experience with computers and know how to evaluate a support person's abilities, extract what they do and do not know, supply a lot of troubleshooting data and get what I'm after.

Performance was below par until I increased the RWIN to 16K...this resulted in a 20% gain and I now have seen up to 867000kbps download and 112000 upload. This is over 105K download and over 13K upload. This is around 90% of the maximum spec (960000 & 120000) and excellent performance in my book. Of course performance varies with internet traffic, hops, etc...downloads vary from 30K/sec to 92K/sec. But Bell promised UP TO 30 times a 28.8 modem and that's what I got! I suggest forgetting about the proxy server as this adds another hop and only seems to slow things up.

Other technical data: D-Link DFE-530TX Ethernet adapter, Nortel Networks 1-Meg modem, dynamic IP address.

Am I happy? Yes, completely! Douglas R. Cann

member for 14.4 years, 76 visits, last login: 12.8 years ago
lodged 14.3 years ago

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Review by VenomMan See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $39 per month
Good "Always Fast, and up"
Bad "None,, just the tech support is terrible"
Overall "The service rocks if you can get it working,,,"
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I just got DSL in Windsor, and I have to say that it is the best thing to happen to the Internet. Im always getting around 800kbps, or 95 k/s, and the connection is rock solid.

The only thing that is bad is the tech support,, and I guess installation. It took me a day of rewiring and treaking to get the thing working right, I mean what ever happened to the(just plug it in the phone jack).. I still know ppl in Lasalle that got activated but dont get a syncronizing signal.. and the tech support just keeps backing off...

The tech support is terrible, with dumb "did you plug in the modem questions", they dont help at all..

So if you can get it working right, its amazing.

Mike S

member for 14.4 years, 12 visits, last login: 11.4 years ago
lodged 14.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by LoneWolfXIII See Profile

  • Location: Schenectady,Schenectady,NY
  • Cost: $40 per month (4 month contract)
Good "Unlimited Download/Upload"
Bad "Stupid Upload Cap"
Overall "Not bad if you never exprerienced DSL"
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My name is Anonymous (you'll see why...)

I work at Sympatico, as a Tech Agent. I can tell you, the tech support
is really bad, but what can you expect, with more than 600 employes, you
have a lot of morons. I can say that 1 out of 5 agents you will get know
their job, I am a advanced tech, and I take all the calls that can't be
resolved by Level 1 tech, and to tell you I saw things like:

Customer can't receive or send mail, entered the DNS in the TCP/IP
protocol, should work...

When I first got this package, it took them something like 2 weeks to
unlock my account, no good service this way. Put the hardware
installation was easy. For the software installation ok here's the
problems:

- Access Manager just sucks, get another PPPoE protocol or WinPoeT...
- The network card install fine, it detects as a Realtek (it's actualy a
3com) you can use the Realtek drivers no problem, but if you try to
install the 3com drivers, you can go into problems (like they won't
install correctly 2 out of 3 times)

At least with the HSE (Sympatico High Speed Edition) they support IE and
MSOE, which I think are more stable than Netscape for now...

Ok for the run time now, I can download at speeds of 80k/s, not bad and
upload at 15k/s, sucks ass. I normaly download something like ~1
gig/day, and sometime upload ~600 megs/day, so the fact we can
Upload/Download as much as we want is good)I can stay connected for like
2 weeks no problem (with Linux and Win2k), so this is good. The DNS are
now better (we got 4 more DNS at Sympatico)

Another bad thing, the IP is Dynamic, so forget ftp server or get
DynIP...

Ok that seems to be it..

One more thing, some inside of the company, they will get a new service
later this year, higher speed no more cable... ^_^

member for 14.4 years, 19 visits, last login: 11.3 years ago
lodged 14.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by Alligator9 See Profile

  • Location: Burlington,ON
  • Cost: $39 per month
Good "Faster then Dial-up"
Overall "I have no complaints"
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I have only had HSE here in Hamilton, Ontario for a short while. However, I am happy with my service to date, and I am pleased that the transition went from Sympatico Dial-up to HSE smoothly. As a quick note,I want to also thank the members from www.sympatico.org (as well as dslreports ) for helping me "tweak" my settings....

I orignally got about 700+- kbps then after tweaks I am now about 800+- kbps.

Ummm... my only compliant, if any (not a real big issue to me though) is a "known" error message "Internet Explorer 5.x warns that the connection isn't available, Try again".

My fix:

I downloaded the beta version of I.E. 5.5

otherwise, I`m pleased with HSE. Hope this helps anyone.

Allen

member for 14.4 years, 18 visits, last login: 11.3 years ago
lodged 14.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by pbeyer

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $29 per month
Good "Everything, so far."
Bad "None, so far."
Overall "I would absolutely recommend this service to everyone."
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(ratings well above consensus)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I just can't say enough about
this service. I am 100% satisfied. I installed the equiment and
software myself, which was quite easy. The two calls I had to make to
Technical Support were handled simply and efficiently, not to mention
that I got through to them in less than 30 seconds. Most importantly,
the service is incredible. I consistently average 840-896 kbps
(105-112k/sec). In case those numbers don't mean anything to you,
imagine downloading at less than 10 seconds per megabite. Even a few of
my friends who have a Rogers@Home cable connection marvel at this
speed. I have since convinced my brother and a friend to get the
service and they, too, are amazed and satisfied. As far as the price is
concerned, I couldn't be happier. At $29.95 per month (if you're a Bell
long-distance subscriber), it was only a few dollars more than my
previous dial-up connection. Yes, there's still the additional $10.00
per month for the 1-MEG modem rental, but you'll soon forget about that
once you experience the Internet the way it was meant to be
experienced. I have since learned that Sympatico intends to increase
the modem speed to 1.5-MEGs. Whoa, I can't imagine surfing any faster
than I am now. And, finally, the connection reliability is perfect. I
have yet to have a single problem in this regard. Sympatico, keep up
the great work!

Regards,
Peter Beyer

(review was emailed from domain sympatico.ca)
lodged 14.4 years ago

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Review by BigSilverHotDog See Profile

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $39 per month
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings match consensus)

I have been using there service for about 2 weeks now. I've had no problem with them so far. I signed up over the web and got my kit 2 days later. I wasen't able to connect at first but that was because my account haden't been activated but I called them and they let me use it right away. 6 days early. The only thing is the speed that bothers me. The max I can get is only 30K/sec. I'm going to call them soon.

P.S I am using sympatico from montreal.

member for 14.4 years, 4 visits, last login: 14.4 years ago
lodged 14.4 years ago

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Review by rick581 See Profile

  • Location: Grand Falls-Windsor,NL
  • Cost: $30 per month
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Hello,
I have had a subscription to Sympatico Newfoundland ADSL for the
last few months. When the service was first installed I was unable to
get any speed except on a mirror site of Tucows here in Newfoundland. I
phoned the Service Dept. and they were first rate in helping me out. I
eventually had to format my hard drive as I was told that remnants of
dial-up accelerators that I had installed were interfering with the
operation of the ADSL modem. Once this was done, everything worked fine.
This is my only experience with having to seek help but each of the
three calls I made were handled both courteously and professionally.

Regards,
Rick Murphy
Newfoundland

member for 14.7 years, 16 visits, last login: 11.2 years ago
lodged 14.6 years ago

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