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SONIC.NET page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 880 reviews (753 good) (62 bad)
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Review by dslX46 See Profile

  • Location: San Diego,San Diego,CA
  • Cost: $30 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Consistant but.."
Bad "Slow service, unfortunate customer service errors"
Overall "Goodbye "
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Family IT guy here, set up and paid for this SONIC.NET account for the Head of my family who resides in San Diego, CA. The service went on for two (2) years and my family mentioned only some slow speeds with two users online. The time to end my paying for the service had arrived and I had paid for service through 09-01-2014. I contacted Billing to request that at the END of the service month again, paid for in advance, I wanted the service disconnected. The request was "noted" and one day latter, 08-08-2014 the service was abruptly disconnected. When I called Billing to ask what had gone wrong I was told "sorry" it was a mistake and that it would take up to seven days to CORRECT their error , (reconnect service). I have to scramble to get another company to take their place, causing me to look really bad because they also use the line for VOIP! UNFORGIVABLE ERROR!

Month to month, $29.95

1500/384

ztel (?) modem



member for 7.6 years, 6 visits, last login: 23 days ago
updated 23 days ago

Comments:

Review by NedLudd See Profile

  • Location: 94117-4164
  • Cost: $120 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Cust. Service. Very good speed with two bonded, dedicated (no ATT) phone lines. FREE PHONE includes International Long Distance!"
Bad "A DSL issue, not a Sonic issue - I am far from the phone exchange, the wires here in SF are very old, my speed is not so fast."
Overall "Sonic - the only EFF perfect privacy score. FUSION works, fibre is on the way."

I live in San Francisco, in a neighborhood that was developed before 1900. (I think Mr. A.G. Bell strung our phone wires personally.) I am at the end of the loop, far from the telco exchange. I struggled for years trying to get reliable DSL at a decent speed. Most DSL providers use your existing phone line. The lower frequencies are reserved for phone conversations, and the DSL is carried at higher frequencies. Sonic uses a "dry pair"- a phone line that they dedicate to data, without the compromises needed to share the wire with another provider. Their "Bonded Fusion" service pairs two of these lines for greater bandwidth and higher speed - like a divided highway instead of a narrow road with traffic moving in both directions. Sonic's system brought me fast and reliable service for the first time. Customer service is excellent, the tech people respond to the customer rather than reading a script. (I think they may even be located in North America!) Sonic is a small ISP but a technology leader. Google chose Sonic to instal and operate the Stanford/Palo Alto fiber-to-the-home network.

member for 12.4 years, 334 visits, last login: 57 days ago
lodged 58 days ago

Comments:
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Sonic

Google may have used Sonic for 2 Fiber cities, but in the end Sonic got kicked to the curb for the rest of the project. Also Sonic still uses AT&T for the phone lines to deliver Fusion aDSL.

Review by kmcmurtrie See Profile

  • Location: Sunnyvale,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $110 per month (month by month)
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Support, uptime, and telephone"
Bad "AT&T wires, telemarketers, modem fees"
Overall "Good local ISP"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

This is a local ISP offering a wide variety of features for both everyday and power users. Online support has been fast and knowledgeable.

Their Fusion product provides ADSL2+, static IP address options, e-mail hosting, web hosting, and plain telephone service.

The telephone service has free national calls and free international calls to selected countries. The sound quality can't be beat. Call forwarding, voicemail to IMAP, caller ID, and call blocking are supported. Sonic.net's phone service is unfortunately an illegal telemarketing magnet. Expect a phone call every morning at 9:30 and a few more until night. Sonic.net claims to have "Spam Call Blocking" but it has been completely ineffective ever since telemarketers started using random local numbers as their Caller ID. I get more telemarketers on Sonic.net in a DAY than other phone providers get in a YEAR. Support claims they can do nothing to trace or block the calls.

ADSL2+ is delivered at whatever your AT&T wires can handle with about a 6dB SNR margin. That can be anything from near-zero to 20Mbps. There's an option to bond two Fusion lines together to double your bandwidth. Other than that, neighborhoods with old AT&T wires are out of luck. Static IP addresses can be purchased and there's a way to switch Annex M on and off using your phone.

My service is two bonded Fusion lines using Annex M. The combined modem bitrate is a very consistent 8/2 Mbps delivering 7/1.6 Mbps actual. That's usually too low for video-on-demand at high quality. When asked about upgrade options, Sonic could only offer 5/5 Mbps for $599/month on their FlexLink Ethernet plan. I hope to get bandwidth elsewhere but keep one Fusion line for phone calls.

Warning! New Fusion customers must pay a $6.50/month modem rental fee. Only older customers can opt-out.

member for 8.3 years, 529 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 68 days ago

Comments:

Review by dayyan See Profile

  • Location: Oakland,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $52 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Great Company"
Bad "Not Fiber"
Overall "Do it"

I am 8000 feet from the local central office and still get about 7 Mbps.
I follow @dane on twitter, he is the CEO and answers questions. Great company, great leadership.

member for 101 days, 0 visits, last login: 101 days ago
lodged 101 days ago

Comments:






Review by Tobester See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $53 per month
  • Install: about 15 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Great $$ value, Speed, Tech Support"
Bad "modem documention lacking"
Overall "HIGHLY recommend!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

AT&T's newly introduced DSL Terms of Service, including monthly caps, simply rubbed me the wrong way. I know I will never come close to approaching a cap, however, I was angered with AT&T telling me "at our convenience" and with "one month's notice............" Your only option is to accept terms or cancel.

Well, guess what AT&T, you made me get off the fence and try Sonic.net and I have been thrilled.

I switched from a barebones measured AT&T landline partnered with 6.0Mbps DSL.

Now I have much higher Sonic ADSL2+ speeds, unlimited local and national long distance, voicemail, and custom calling features for practically the same price.

No more AT&T, Yahoo, U-verse, or router passwords to juggle or bouncing between two AT&T and Yahoo to change account settings.

»New San Francisco (94115) Fusion Installation (LONG)

11/2/2013 Update

I have had Sonic FUSION for well over a year now and my speeds have consistently remained at 10.5Mbps up and .94Mbps down and the connection is rock solid.

During the past year I did have some connectivity problems, for which I called Sonic Tech support. The problem was finally solved by AT&T finding corrosion in their wire at the neighborhood junction box in the next block.

Not that I would ever consider leaving Sonic, I do keep up to date on the AT&T and Comcast offerings and the FUSION package is the best on the market.

Being able to deal with the Sonic Customer Service and Tech support lets you know they value you as a customer.

member for 13.8 years, 4283 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 110 days ago

Comments:
Tobester

join:2000-11-14
San Francisco, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

Wanted to update my Sonic review

I now have had Sonic's FUSION service for going on two years now and am still thrilled with the speeds, service, tech support, and their genuine concern for this customer.

My latest speed test:
Download Speed: 10415 kbps (1301.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 928 kbps (116 KB/sec transfer rate)
Latency: 56 ms
Friday, January 24, 2014 4:22:34 AM

The connection is rock solid too.
Tobester

join:2000-11-14
San Francisco, CA

May 2014 update

My Sonic FUSION service remains excellent, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who has Sonic as an available option.

Review by leibold See Profile

  • Location: Sunnyvale,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $100 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 8 days
Good "Excellent Support, Great Phone and Internet Service"
Bad "None to report"
Overall "Highly Recommended"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I have been a Sonic DSL customer since February 2006 when I switched from Cyberonic (since they no longer offered the Worldcom/uunet service). In all those years the service has been 100% reliable and I had no reason to use the excellent Sonic support staff.

The reason for updating my review of Sonic.net is that I upgraded to the latest product offering: Fusion. Fusion is a combination of ADSL2+ (which is a faster version of DSL allowing up to 20Mbps down and 2Mbps up) and plain old telephone service (not VOIP!) at one low price. Fusion allows two DSL lines to be bonded together for even higher speeds and I signed up for bonded Fusion ($50 per line) with an additional $20 for static IP addresses. Even at that price Fusion was cheaper then the cost for my two existing DSL lines (one with Sonic and one with AT&T) due to the ever increasing cost for the AT&T phone service.

However the day before my go-live date Sonic decided to drop the price per line to $39.95 so that the total is now just under $100 (not including the phone service related taxes).

For the switchover Sonic provided not just a date but also included an exact time: 11AM. At 11:05 I lost sync at the old DSL line and by 11:13 I got sync on the new Fusion modem. Phone service took a little longer but by 11:33 I was already making phone calls on my new Sonic phone service (which is amazing with all the free features: free long distance, free caller-id, free voicemail, etc.).

After configuring the modem to my liking I get DSL sync of 8.5Mbps down and 2Mbps up (DSLreports speedtest result is 7250 Kbps / 1635 Kbps). Those are the results for both lines combined since I'm pretty far from the CO.

To increase upload speed I had Sonic customer support enable Annex M which trades download speed for upload speed. This changes the sync rate to 3.7Mbps down and 2.9Mbps up. The support call was very nice since all I had to do was call 611 from the new Sonic phone line. The call was answered very quickly and the person who answered the phone was directly able to help me (no endless waiting and no repeated transfers to find the right person).

After one week of DSLreports line monitoring I'm happy to report no packet loss and a very consistent low 10ms latency to the west coast monitor (60ms to the east coast).

Update March 2011: Service is still going strong with low latency and no packet loss but the price has been reduced: dual line (bonded) Fusion is now only $69.95.

Update November 2012: There have been a couple of pricing changes this year that don't effect existing customers like myself but make bonded Fusion more expensive for new residential customers. On the other hand it got cheaper for business customers and International phone users. I'm still very satisfied with my service (no problems to report).

Update May 2014: still a happy Sonic.net user

member for 12.1 years, 5802 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 111 days ago

Comments:

Review by NormanS See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $61 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "No caps! Smooth change."
Bad "Modem rental fee."
Overall "Worth the change."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Pacific Bell - SBC
When AT&T Yahoo! DSL, my former ISP, implemented caps, I went shopping. Sonic.net had good reviews, so I checked availability. They showed about 9,500 to the CO, and a Fusion equipped DSLAM at the CO. I placed the order on June 8, 2011, and the service switch went smoothly on June 15, 2011, as specified in the email.

I did pay attention to other posts in the DSLR Sonic,net forum, and based on the information presented, I did not call AT&T to cancel! The number was switched without issue, nearly as I can tell. I did have to change the router from PPPoE (I had bridged my SpeedStream 4100 earlier in the year) to DHCP, but that was all.

I haven't had it long enough (barely two hours) to say if it is more reliable. But it is faster. A check of the SS4100 stats showed synch at 6208/1024.

So far this is looking like a good move!

I am not sure how to proceed; primarily because I moved, and set up new service at my new residence, but don't want to remove my prior comments.

In looking at the fields, I see I missed the part about including taxes and fees; so that is why I changed the "Total Monthly Cost" figure; still a bargain because the comparable AT&T bill, when I had them, was ~$101.xx per month.

Once I settled on my new location, I checked availability, and was pleased to see Sonic.net Fusion was available at my new residence. I placed my order, and was given an activation date about five days out. Service went live before the modem arrived; but I used a spare from the old residence and was online easily enough.

A tech brought a Pace 4011N-030 residential gateway a couple of days later. He fussed around a bit, and seemed rushed. Maybe he had parked in the 10-minute zone in front of the MDU, and wanted to get going ASAP? He failed to get synch with the splitter/filter, and left with my RG up, but landline down. On checking, he had left the phone connected to the filter/splitter, so I was able to see why he couldn't get synch: He had the phone plugged into the unfiltered ("Voice") port. Easy to set right. I could have done this as a self-install, but it all worked out.

Fusion does not have speed tiers, the modem and DSLAM work out the best data rate for the loop. At the old residence, the distance to the DSLAM was 9,156 feet, and the speed started out just over 5 Mbps, settling out at 4.9 Mbps. Here, the loop is ~3,000 feet, and the speed started out close to 15 Mbps, settling out to 13 Mbps.

At the other residence, I signed up for a single static IP address when they became available. I signed up the new service with a static IP address from the get-go. No charge. They have a control panel where I can set the reverse DNS, again, no charge. For an extra $1.95 ($23.40 a year), they provide DNS for my domain; about $3 a year less than I was paying another provider before.

Update:

Sonic.net turned up 6rd in January, 2014. After smoothing out a couple of early glitches, it has been working well.

The purchased-from-Sonic ZTE 831II died, so I gave the rented Pace 4111N-030 another try. When I first tried bridging the Pace, it failed; apparently due to the firmware version. Shortly after getting it running, I checked the firmware version, and it seems they pushed an update. I tried bridging again, and this time it worked.

My domains being up for renewal this year, I went ahead and moved them. Sonic.net resells Tucows registration, so I have it all in one place now. Sonic allows their customers to use the Sonic.net SMTP servers in their MX field of their domain. They also allow one to map domain email addresses as aliases to their basic email addresses; very nice.

member for 13.5 years, 5135 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 113 days ago

Comments:

Review by klui See Profile

  • Location: Castro Valley,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $70 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "No caps; competent support staff; good company"
Bad "I can't get Fusion; non-fiber service hinges on AT&T infrastructure"
Overall "An ISP that cares about its customers as well as its bottom line"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

EDIT: System asked for an update. Sonic continues to be a great ISP. While our underlying AT&T service has seen price increases, our Sonic ADSL1 service has remained steady. Service has been very stable. I can't create another review for Sonic, but my parents' service from Sonic.net is also working well. They have seen service features added such as free calls to all 50 states, free calls to most-called country per continent, free static IP with no additional increase in monthly payment. My in-laws have seen their U-verse go from a promotional $50/month to $70 for 1.5Mbps service.

EDIT: got the go-live date incorrect. The thread linked at the bottom has the correct dates.

I switched from 6Mbps AT&T legacy ADSL1 service after being served by them for around 10 years because of its transfer cap policy. Having seen Dane's interview at Triangulation »twit.tv/tri5 I decided to give them a try. It's unfortunate I couldn't get Fusion since I'm served off a remote terminal. Sonic also resells AT&T's legacy ADSL1 services but requires that I remain an AT&T phone customer. This is the route I took. Since I just switched ADSL1 providers, the turnaround was ~3 days--I was told 3-5 days--instead of the 5-14 for Fusion. The longer forecast is for people who have AT&T U-verse and a new wire needs to be pulled to a customer's home. The actual go live date was a Monday morning.

Sonic's CPE use ATM bridged encapsulation instead of PPPoE so my Netopia 3546-002 continues to work with the same VPI/VCI numbers with the required change in encapsulation. I was confused by a modem's network bridge mode vs. ATM bridged encapsulation but the people in the Sonic.net forum set me straight.

They offer a modem with rebate for the cost of the device if you sign up for 12 months. The rebate does not include shipping charge. I found that attractive and if things work out, I will give the modem to my parents as I migrate them away from AT&T as they qualify for Sonic Fusion. Sonic currently has a 12-month commitment discount of $20/month over the regular price of $39.95/month for 6Mbps. The monthly cost I entered does not include this discount but includes my AT&T telco portion--and is essentially the same price as my old AT&T package. If I could get Fusion, my cost would have dropped to around $50.

Sonic offers some free services to their ISP customers. Their webpage describes them in detail but the one I thought was valuable is FAX send and receive capability--which I've used several times already. An interesting retro service is shell access but you need to register first as I was not able to login. You're also given free web space with some quota but I have not provisioned the service either. Finally, a nice touch is they provide a Cisco VPN client for their VPN gateways.

A caveat for people considering going to Sonic from AT&T ADSL1 to Sonic ADSL1 is you need to let Sonic know your current speed so you can carry that over. Some people have had AT&T's 6Mbps package but got bumped down to 3Mbps after the switch over and AT&T would not re-provision the line at 6Mbps.

»Cayman 3546-002 w/ Sonic.net documents my transition.

member for 12.8 years, 168 visits, last login: 142 days ago
updated 170 days ago

Comments:

Review by reward See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $39 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Excellent speed, great customer service, locally-owned, price includes a landline."
Overall "I love Sonic.net Fusion, and I wish I'd switched earlier. I'm telling my friends to switch."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Update 2/2014: It's been 3 years and they're better than when I started. I still have nothing to put in the bad category. They have increased the features of their landline service, like accessing the fusion voicemail via a smartphone app. My speed is still good, although I wish I could get fiber in San Francisco.

(The $39 monthly price covers Fusion broadband and a landline. With taxes and fees it comes to $50).

(Original review from time of Sonic.net install)
I've had ADSL here since the late 90s, via Pacific Bell (and its later incarnations as SBC and AT&T). Last month I decided to "port" my phone number to Sonic.net and take advantage of their faster and lower-priced service.

What got me moving in their direction was great word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers. And my temporarily reduced price from AT&T expired, so my total DSL/landline price went up to $65 a month.

Sonic Fusion broadband gives me 14-16 Mbps down, compared to AT&T, where I was getting only 2.2 to 2.5. I also have, included in that price, a real phone line with all the perks included at no cost (call-waiting, 3-way calling, caller ID with name, voice messaging, etc) and unlimited FREE calling throughout the U.S. and Canada!

The self-install was amazingly easy, and the service "port" was done a couple of days ahead of schedule. Their team kept me up to date with emails on the progress of the installation.

Everyone I've spoken with has been very helpful and courteous. The thing I like most is that their tech staff speak to their customers without using scripts, and don't treat you as if you know nothing about networking, if in fact you do.

It's also good to be supporting a local Northern California company which takes pride in providing an excellent product. I highly recommend Sonic.net if anyone in the Bay Area wants to ditch AT&T or Comcast. I can't think of any good reason not to do it!

member for 13.4 years, 48 visits, last login: 177 days ago
updated 197 days ago

Comments:

DJRank1
Meeeoww
Premium
join:2005-09-03
Pittsburg, CA

Fusion in CCC

Sonic is great. I had them at one point here in Pittsburg. I wish they had Fusion out here because there are a ton of people living out here in East Contra Costa County.
Tobester

join:2000-11-14
San Francisco, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

don't forget the free FAX line with Sonic Fusion service

Sonic's Fusion also provides a dedicated FAX number, which converts inbound faxes to PDF files which are sent to your email account.

I also am extremely happy with Sonic, "the little company that can."

dast

@comcast.net

$6.50 for modem month

the tax in san francisco is 12.50 plus $40 for internet phone plus $6.50 for modem

will let you use your own modem but still charge $6.50 fee month

they say put it in a draw
reward

join:2001-03-21
San Francisco, CA

Re: $6.50 for modem month

I signed up before there was a modem rental fee, so without the modem rental fee, I pay just over $50 per month. It's a true bargain. I know not everyone uses a landline these days, but this landline service is the best you can get.

Review by echoreply See Profile

  • Location: Healdsburg,Sonoma,CA
  • Cost: $90 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Competent tech support"
Bad "Dishonest billing, expensive"
Overall "Watch your bill"

Had the residential Fusion (bonded DSL) service at our old house for $70/month, with speeds of 35M up/6M down (I could almost throw a stone to the CO). Moved this summer farther away from the CO and the cheapest new plan was $90 for same service, but still had speeds of 15/2 as seen by the modem- but never higher than 6/2 on any speed test (and often much less). Had a few issues over the years at the old house and at the new, but their tech support was always competent, local willing to work with an IT professional on the "expedited troubleshooting" basis- no stupid fault tree for idiots to slog through. My two issues are the poor "real-world" performance; The reason I know the speed test results are from poor streaming (stalling, jumping, and outright failures of the stream from sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, ABC and NBC). Each time I ran into issues, I would run a test- sometimes my results were consistently under 1M... for $90/month, that is not exactly money well spent.

My final issue was from a double billing that occurred after the move. My wife had her assistant pay the bill and then expense it (it is her work line), and only asked me about the amount when she was questioned. Contacting billing, the response was, essentially, "Too bad for you, sucker!". Cancelled them as soon as a replacement could be arranged.

Expensive, slow, dishonest, but very good tech support. In the end not worth the money, and I don't do business with cheats.

member for 219 days, 1 visits, last login: 218 days ago
lodged 219 days ago

Comments: