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SONIC.NET page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
More reviews are required before ratings can be averaged

Reviews:
bullet 882 reviews (755 good) (61 bad)
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Review by bobrk See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $70 per month
  • Install: about 8 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "great support, instant setup"
Bad "costs more than some competitors, but worth it."
Overall "as good as the reviews say"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

This review has turned into somewhat of a connection diary. Every 6 months, DSLReports asks me to update my review, so that's what I do. My original review is at the bottom, and each update is placed above it.

The straight summary here is that I have had this service since 2002 and love it completely. I pay for high speeds and a website as well, which is why my monthly costs are slightly higher than normal. But I get a solid 6Mbps which is enough to watch internet streamed television and everything else.

--------------------------------
1/15/15

Still pretty awesome, waiting for them to start offering a new product in my area, essentially resold U-Verse. The moment that is available, I will jump on it.

Otherwise, day to day 6Mbps down, like a rock.

--------------------------------
8/28/13

Always available and always listening, this company rocks. If I wasn't behind a remote terminal, I would use them for Fusion and get my phone from them, too.

Rock solid in the modern era of streaming Netflix. And they waived my website fee. I guess it pays to be a long time customer.

--------------------------------
8/13/12

Steaming along perfectly still.

I also switched my account from Dynamic IP to Static IP to try out the IPV6 Tunneling which seems to work ok.

--------------------------------
10/7/11

The service is reliable like the water supply. With DirecTV disconnected, we have two HDTV's pulling numerous different feeds off the Roku and AppleTV with nary a hiccup.

As I stated last time, the only possible improvement that could be made would be moving to Fusion, which is impossible because I'm connected to a remote terminal.

--------------------------------
1/25/11

Still awesome. Still bummed I can't get the fusion service, though. I've just unplugged my satellite tv and need more bandwidth!

--------------------------------
7/7/10

Well, since I'm on a Remote Terminal, I can't get the Fusion product, which is now available in my area.

Good thing I'm still happy with my 6MB service and my 100% availability.

--------------------------------
1/1/10

Pretty much a perfect year. I don't think I had to call them once.

I am hoping that their fusion service will come to my neighborhood. It's bonded DSL lines that produce even more bandwidth.

--------------------------------
6/15/09

Service is so good that it is almost completely out of sight, out of mind. Even BT and Netflix traffic do not perturb its perfection.

--------------------------------
12/12/08

Same old, same old. I was just looking at my monitors here at DSLReports, and they are delightfully boring. The Zoom modem they setn me has been flawless with no rebooting needed at any time. The spam filtering on email is nearly perfect, maybe 1 or 2 spams get to my mailbox a week. People use my sonic hosted website as a test of their networks, since it's always up.

I would recommend Sonic to anyone in their service area.

--------------------------------
6/11/08

Not a lot new to report. My Meraki doesn't get much use from outside folks. I have a plan to reposition it, but I haven't done that yet. The Zoom modem is still working great.

I've begun using some of the other features of my account, using 4 real mailboxes, 4 mailing lists and 20 domain email addresses. It usually just takes moments to set something new up.

The spam filters catch between 5 and 20 emails a day, with only one or two hitting my mailboxes.

Otherwise, service is rock solid, with published service levels always achieved.

--------------------------------
12/6/07

Time for the 6 month checkup. I still have the high speed account. I still have dynamic IP, although it pretty much never changes.

I also signed up for the Meraki WiFi access point. They send you a tiny WAP, and an ethernet switch, and you plug it all together and if somebody uses it, either a freebie user or a Sonic customer, you get a kickback. No one's used mine yet, but hey, I'm giving it a shot.

The spam filters are pretty much perfect. I have to go save an email about once a month or less from the grey mail system, but other than that, it stops anywhere from 5 to 30 emails a day.

The network rocks. Super solid, and ping to first hop has been 8ms pretty constantly. Network issues are dealt with quickly and you always know what's happening there with an MOTD mailed to you whenever they come out.

So after all these years, I'd still recommend Sonic.

--------------------------------
6/6/07

Indeed, the connection is rock solid once again, and the speed is insane. I should have gotten a new modem right when this first started.

Anyway, much has been made of the fact that Sonic uses AT&T DSL to get the job done and that AT&T gives Sonic the run around. Well, I just have to say that it really isn't true in my case. I had an earlier incident right after Sonic started selling the 6MB service, and Sonic was able to get (then SBC) AT&T people out to check out the situation, where they did a very professional job of analysis. In this most recent case, the AT&T guy did a great job once again, and even asked me where I got my NID POTS DSL splitter--he'd never seen one like that before.

So I feel that the idea of AT&T giving Sonic the runaround is a myth.

--------------------------------
6/1/07

Well, it turned out that the modem was probably dying. After another month or two, the modem started dropping packets and losing sync all the time. I thought it was either the line or the internal network, but both of those checked out fine.

I asked for another loaner Zoom, which arrived earlier this evening. After a few hours, it seems to be working great. We'll give it a few more days, but I think it's going to work just fine.

--------------------------------
2/13/07

In one week, I had to reboot the modem twice. I went back to my good ol' Broadmax and everything is back to speediness.

--------------------------------
2/7/07

Just upgraded my speed. Took less than a week to do and the only hitch was they didn't tell me to reboot my modem, which would have been nice. Until I rebooted it, the speeds were funky, but afterwards they're great. They offered to send me a loaner Zoom modem to trouble shoot, with an option of upgrading to it for $50. I'm currently evaluating the modem to see if it's any better than the Broadmax they sent me back in '02.

--------------------------------
7/19/06

Still great. The network seems to just get better and better, and the attention to detail and service levels is astounding. I would recommend this company to anyone unequivocally.

--------------------------------
1/18/06

I moved. Sonic moved with me. Was pretty painless once I understood the system, and as always, the DSL synced before the due date.

--------------------------------
9/14/05

I decided to downgrade my service to save money. I'm now on the Pro DSL service. Solid 3Mbps service down and a lot less money.

--------------------------------
12/22/04

Well, it's been nearly two years since I signed up for Sonic, and I still can't believe how good the service is. You can read about most of it above, but I think the thing that really needs to be emphasized is the great customer service. From diagnosing a bad card in an R/T and rolling the SBC truck to fix it to telling me to reboot my modem in a nice way when my dsl dies, it's really a company that is a pleasure to deal with.

--------------------------------
6/16/04

Just added web hosting to my account. This involved moving my domain name from my last ISP, repointing MX records and signing up for the new service. All were accomplished using automated tools, and everything went quite smoothly. The web hosting is a little pricey at $20/mo, but I like having everything in the same place. Basic Hosting also includes 24 email aliases and 100MB of storage.

--------------------------------
2/21/04 update

Just received the 6000/608 upgrade service offered by Sonic, and it rocks. There were some problems with people that were on RTs, as I found out I was, with ratecaps being needed in the Redback routers to limit the amount of speed. This keeps the downloads and uploads very stable and gives the user the full experience of what can only be described as AWESOME INTERNET! I'm extremely happy with Sonic and would recommend it to anybody!

--------------------------------
8/5/03 update

sonic.net rocks. There are simply no problems. My modem always syncs now, the speed is decent, certainly what I paid for, although I think I can get it higher by installing a point-of-entry pots device, but I haven't made the time for that yet. The email is great, with built in spam controls, which are easy to configure, and there are 3 news servers available. When there are problems with the ISP, notices are sent out via email and newsgroups as well as being posted on the web page.

--------------------------------
12/30/02 update

I got the new modem and it acted just like the old one. I got a sync light, though, but I had to unplug all my phones to get it to come on. Plugging them all back in did not cancel the light, so i guess it does have something to do with all the filters. In any case, the speed is adequate, and the support great. I haven't phoned them at all, but they've followed up every email inquiry and even checked up on my situation several times.

--------------------------------
(Original review)

After years hearing about sonic net on ba.internet, I finally had the chance to give them a try. I was with DIRECTV DSL when they went out of business, so I ordered sonic.net on my other line. I tend to judge isp's on how easy it is to hook up on line, and within just a few moments, I had a username and a basic internet account on line. The DSL installation went smoothly as well, with a clear email telling me what was going to happen, when to expect the installer and when to expect the equipment.

The Broadmax modem came, I plugged it in, and I didn't see a sync light. It blinked a couple of times, but that was just the setup. When my supposed hookup day arrived, I went ahead and switched my router over from the DTV modem on the second line, to the new modem. Sure enough, I had traffic, and yet the sync light was not on. WAN and LAN told me that everything was ok.

I didn't know if the sync light was supposed to be on, and the modem was working fine, so I bounced this off the sonic.dsl newsgroup (one of many that are hosted there) and Dane suggested that I contact support. If you become a sonic.net customer, you will get to know Dane. He probably interacts personally with every customer. The support people offered to trade modems, to see if the modem itself was defective, and I'm now awaiting the new modem.

My only beef with the service right now is I'm getting slightly less on download then I was getting with DTV. It's countered by slightly higher upload speeds and a low 20ms ping.

I'll update this review when the modem situation is solved.

member for 15 years, 5651 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 43 days ago

Comments:

Review by Skyrunner8 See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $52 per month
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Great company policies"
Bad "AT&T is holding them back."
Overall "Support Good ISPs that do good things."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

What can I say about Sonic.net. I had been a customer for 4 years and moved to an area that they do not service very well.

Sonic has been what I would expect out of an ISP: Helpful, transparent, accessible and actually loves their customers. They do not artificially limit you in any way. Their Customer Support is also their "sales" staff. Sales is almost a bad word when it comes to ISPs, but not here. They do not try to upsell you (because there is nothing to upsell!), they do not try to prevent you from canceling.

The only real downside for Sonic is that they are limited by AT&T. Since they are forced to use AT&T's copper to the home, they are subject to AT&T's issues. If Sonic sped up their fiber to the home initiative, I would be one of the first to sign up.

member for 13.1 years, 2983 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 74 days ago

Comments:
TIGERON

join:2008-03-11
Pacifica, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T Yahoo
·AT&T DSL Service

starting a petition to bring sonic to my area

Click for full size
hate AT&T. want sonic

»petitions.moveon.org/sign/please ··· =4516097

Review by wsanders See Profile

  • Location: Lafayette,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $50 per month
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Outstanding Tech Support"
Bad "Still Pac Bell's B**ch When it Comes to Line Repair"
Overall "Best alternative for DSL"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

For $49 per month including taxes and fees, you get DSL at whatever speed your local loop can handle (no caps, standard annexes), a static IP if you need it, no usage caps, old fashioned POTS and voicemail, free long distance, and 8 hrs of free international calling to select foreign countries' landlines. Plus, Sonic is a local business.

But it is *all* about the tech support. Actually being able to reach a human who isn't an idiot, without holding for an hour, and getting the problem solved without any buck passing has added years to my life. A case in point - we live about 8000 feet from the CO and our local loop is complete crap. When we set up service years ago, it look a lot of phone calls to set a low (2 Mb) cap so that our line would be reliable. Recently, I took a guess and called them again to uncap the line, and one 10 min phone call later, it's working at 6 Mb. Good enough for me. Comcast is faster, but more expensive, and the rest of the family wants a POTS line.

The only drawback is Sonic doesn't have much leverage with PacBell if you have physical problems with your line. You'll need to prepay $200 or so to roll a truck. I don't know what their reimbursement policy is, but when I had service with PacBell it was only marginally easier to get a tech out to fix a broken line.

member for 12.4 years, 124 visits, last login: 147 days ago
updated 147 days ago

Comments:

Review by BronsCon See Profile

  • Location: Walnut Creek,Contra Costa,CA
  • Cost: $56 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Quick install, fast speeds, low pings"
Bad "Hmm..."
Overall "Great ISP"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Comcast Business..
UPDATE [Dec 24, 2013]:

A year in, I'm coming back to update my review and fill in the newly-added review fields. Still nothing bad to say about these guys, I've only ever had to call support when I had a service question, never for a service issue, and I've gotten responses directly from the CEO (see below, as well as on the Sonic.net support forums) on multiple occasions. I can't seem to get Annex-M working properly, but that's more to do with the old copper in my building than anything Sonic.net has control over.

I sync at a little over 18mbps down and 1.3mbps up, so 16/1.1 is right on the money. I also love that they don't cap and, since my stats are good and line is stable, they were more than happy to put me on fast-path; they even took me off the automated throttling (in place to resolve service issues on marginal lines) after I accidentally triggered it one night while messing with my cabling, at my request, of course.

During one of my "do you guys care if I *** on your network" calls, I grilled one of their support reps really good, asking all kinds of questions the average user might run up against (hey, I have friends who aren't as tech-savvy as me, I wanted to know if it was safe to refer them!) and they passed that test with flying colors, as well. Definitely recommended for anyone who wants a stable connection and doesn't necessarily need the fastest of fast speeds, whether tech-savvy or completely new to the internet.

UPDATE [Nov 6, 2012 #2]:

Looks like I jumped the gun on that last update, as I'm able to connect to mail services on my VPS on port 25. Looks like that's open for me, as well. Whether that's a result of my having a static IP or due to my request in the comments below (in reply to Dane), I don't know, but the fact is it's at least possible to have outbound port 25 opened up. All kinds of good over here.

I also realized I didn't explain the points removed for pre sales info and install co-ordination, so I'll do that in this update. Also, the total monthly cost is an estimate for now, as I haven't gotten my first non-install bill yet.

Pre Sales Information: My entire pre-sales experience was the Sonic.net website, which seemed to indicate that I was actually getting less than is actually included with my account. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, from the point of view of someone who is getting more than they expected. However, from the perspective of someone who may be looking for a small amount of online storage space and a dedicated fax number along with their internet connection, making it clear on the website that these services are included might sway a few more people who are still unsure about making the switch to Sonic.net.

Install Co-ordination: I can't fault Sonic.net for this one, but they had no idea AT&T had been out to connect my phone line already. I placed the order after office hours on a Friday, so I'm considering it as placed on Monday, allowing for the fact that AT&T doesn't do weekend installs. Come Thursday, I decided I may as well hook up my phone, so I can decide where I want it (the phone jacks are in odd locations in this apartment) and I was surprised to find that I had a dial tone, despite never having been notified by Sonic that AT&T had even been scheduled to come out. It turns out that the tech who connected my office lines on Thursday had grabbed a list of all pending installs in the area and swung by and hooked the line up (it's an apartment complex, so I didn't need to be home to allow them access to the NID, and Sonic does the final hook-up so they didn't need in my apartment). Since the install wasn't scheduled at that time, Sonic had no way of knowing it was completed. When I called Sonic and informed them that I had dial tone, they made a test call to the number to verify that it was correct; since it was, they were able to cancel my install and refund my install fee. They overnighted me a modem (which UPS failed to deliver so I had to go pick it up, no big deal) and I was online the following Monday. Since I didn't need to call them once I had the modem, and I had dial tone on Thursday, I'm considering Thursday to be "success"; Monday -> Thursday is 4 days, so there we go.

UPDATE [Nov. 6, 2012]:

Port 53 inbound isn't blocked, I simply misconfigured my router. It sounds like port 25 outbound may be blocked, however, so I'll have to look into that, as I was hoping to move mail services off of my VPS and host them locally. I'll come back and update this review again once I get around to that, likely sometime in January.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

Simply put, they don't cap (though they will on request; for example, my home line runs great uncapped, but my office lines are both unstable unless capped to below their max attainable rate). What your line syncs at, that's the speed you get. To top it off, the price tag includes a modem, a phone line with all the features, unlimited long distance, 8hr of calling to a long list of countries outside the US, web-based faxing with a dedicated number, web hosting, and, for single-line accounts (e.g. the TMC listed on this review), one free static IP.

My office is 6500ft out, my home is about 6200ft out. I get ~18mbps down and ~3mbps up on 2 Annex M lines at the office and ~18mbps down and ~1.2mbps up on one Annex A line at home (Annex M had no effect other than making the line unstable at home). Internal wiring quality dictates a much larger performance difference than would be expected (e.g. the wiring at office sucks, while the wiring at my home is pristine). None of this is Sonic.net's fault, it's just the nature of DSL.

The few times I've called in for support (static IP, switch to Annex M, switch the home line back to Annex A, switch the home line to fastpath [5-12ms pings to local servers, BTW]), hold times were short and the techs were knowledgeable enough to hold an intelligent conversation about line stats and capabilities. One tech even went so far as to email me a tone index for one of my office lines that was unstable; I was able to determine from that information that a bridge tap exists in the internal wiring for that line (thereby saving me from paying a tech to come out to tell me they couldn't touch it since it's internal wiring).

Speeds are great, I've not once gotten less than expected from either my home or office connections (based on sync rates). Pingtimes blow away any other ISP I've dealt with; even the office connection, which is on an interleave profile, has pingtimes ~30ms lower than our old ISP. My home connection, on fastpath, enjoys typical pings of 5-12ms with 1ms of jitter to local servers.

My only complaint is that inbound port 53 is blocked, but I only noticed that tonight and have not called to ask about getting it opened up, so I won't hold that against them.

I highly recommend this ISP if they're available at your location. Take the time to get your line set up correctly and you won't regret it.

member for 11.3 years, 2487 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 175 days ago

Comments:

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

53 not blocked...

Port 53 inbound is not blocked - on the Fusion platform, the only blocking is on port 25 outbound, to limit spam from compromised hosts.

BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET

Re: 53 not blocked...

Thanks for that, I actually realized it after reviewing my router's port forwarding settings and seeing that I had failed to input the correct IP address for that port. I just haven't gotten around to correcting my review yet; I'll do that after work today.

Is port 25 OB blocked for static IPs and can I request that it be opened up for me?

Review by jkreuzig See Profile

  • Location: Yorba Linda,Orange,CA
  • Cost: $56 per month
  • Install: about 8 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Easy order process, great communication, good pricing"
Bad "Nothing so far"
Overall "Go for it if you can get it"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

UPDATE - 09/03/2014

I've been a sonic.net DSL customer since Feb 2006. They finally opened up Fusion service in my area of Orange County, so I jumped on it. Turnaround time was great, only 8 days from the time I ordered to the switchover.

As always, the order process was painless, and customer service has been top notch. Only hiccup was that I am the first customer in my area on the network card in the CO (according to support). It needed to be rebooted in order for me to get an IP address for the modem. Tech support was fantastic, actually called me back when they said they would.

So far, so good. It looks like my line is starting at just under 8 mb/s. I'm hopeful that after the first couple of weeks it will jump.

************************************************
I've been waiting about a month since I got my connection before writing a review. I can honestly say that I'm really glad I switched to sonic.net. The only problems I had was trying to get covad to release my old circuit so sonic could provision. The connection was up and running 3 days before the install date.

Yea, I'd like to have the 768 up I had with cyberonic, but that's an SBC issue.

member for 13.6 years, 657 visits, last login: 31 days ago
updated 177 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 14.2 years, 4483 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 290 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 12.6 years, 6019 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
updated 291 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 14 years, 5443 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 293 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 13.3 years, 168 visits, last login: 322 days ago
updated 350 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 13.9 years, 48 visits, last login: 357 days ago
updated 1 year 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.