dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



SONIC.NET page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 880 reviews (753 good) (61 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

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 13.7 years, 4243 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 79 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 years, 5758 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 80 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 13.4 years, 5078 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 82 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 12.7 years, 168 visits, last login: 110 days ago
updated 138 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 13.3 years, 48 visits, last login: 146 days ago
updated 166 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 goodkarma See Profile

  • Location: Los Angeles,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $58 per month
  • Install: about 6 days
Good "Great people and company. Super friendly. "
Bad "None so far."
Overall "I feel good supporting a smaller ISP instead of AT&T"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

They were super friendly and helpful and made ordering easy.
My self-install didn't work (problems with the lines in my building) and they got a tech out to my place at 8am the next day. Amazing!
The modem is made by PACE and it seems to be a better wireless router than the 2WIRE that At&T gave me at my last apartment. The range and signal seem to be better.
So far, I am a happy customer.

member for 197 days, 0 visits, last login: 197 days ago
lodged 197 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)

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 10.7 years, 2294 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 219 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:
·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 peterdmar See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $53 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "extremely fast uncapped ADSL2+ plus pots telephone service"
Bad "None so far"
Overall "Extremely good value and excellent service"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I've been keeping my eyes out on sonic.net Fusion service for quite some time now and when they started offering uncapped ADSL2+ with free pots unlimited national telephone service, I have decided to make the switch from AT&T. This telephone service also included all of the goodies that AT&T charges extra for. The phone service does not include taxes and government fees that add about another $14 or so per month for the city of San Francisco. The unlimited telephone service is subjected to their fair use policy that at present includes up to 10,000 minutes per month or 12 hours daily and up to 100 call outs daily per line. They also offer bonded where for double the price and double the speed for those who needs it. It comes with two phone services instead of one. I opted for the single line service and have my existing phone number ported to the new service. I placed an order on October 25, 2010 and shortly receive an e-mail from them that the installation will occur on November 1, 2010 at 11 AM. On the morning of November 1, at around 11:10 AM, I noticed the Internet service went down followed by the phones. I've immediately reconfigure my old Efficient 5100b modem that had been from AT&T to bridge mode. At the time of ordering I did not buy a modem from them but instead bought the recommended generic Motorola 2210 modem from someone else for less without DSL micro filters. At 11:25 AM the DSL service was up again only this time it's with sonic.net. The phone service takes another 10 minutes more. When the DSL service was back up, I have no idea what the sync speed was because my old modem does not show statistics when under bridge mode. I ran some online speed tests and the results shows about 6.3 mbps download and .9 mbps upload. When the new modem finally came, I exchange that for the old one and was surprised that the modem self configure for the service. I checked the log and noticed the modem try to connect using PPPOE before trying to bridge mode and then finally connects. After the service was up and running, I have decided to go into the web interface to check line statistics. As soon as I gone into the web interface, it prompt me for language preference and then require the input of the password for future access. After I typed in the password it require me to retype the password to gain access to the modem's interface. With this new modem, it's possible to see line statistics under bridge mode. It has a built-in fire wall that I felt I don't need since my router also has one. Under the interface it shows the sync speed at 8.4 mbps download and 1 mbps upload.

I've decided to replace the cat3 cable run from the phone company's entry point box or NID in the garage to the middle of my basement one floor below, where I have my junction box where all the lines branch out to various rooms in the house with cat5 cable. All my existing phone wiring is about 5 1/2 years old, done with 24gauge four twisted pairs cat3 wire. This new cable run has fewer sharp curves in it as well as more isolated from other metal pipes. Somehow after the installation the sync speed drops a little down to 7.5 mbps to a maximum of 7.9 mbps download. After I tried rebooting the modem several times to see if I can get a higher sync speed each time and cannot get higher than 7.9 mbps. I did some experimentation by using two twisted pairs instead of one out of the four connecting them in parallel. After doing this I was able to achieve a maximum of 8.7 mbps. Even this, I was only able to achieve between 8.3 to 8.7 mbps. After more experimentation, I discovered that it is best to use only one twisted pair to achieve the highest and most stable speed and not to run them in parallel. The thing about ethernet cables is that each wire pairs have different amount of twist to avoid crosstalk. This is apparently also true of some Cat 3 cables to some degree. The trick is to select the pair that has the most twist per inch of the four to cut down on nearby interference. After this was done, I was able to achieved very close to capped speed of 11 mbps most of the time.At that basement junction box I've connected one micro filter that feeds all the phones in the house. The DSL modem gets a dedicated short unfiltered line that runs from that junction box.

On November 8, 2010, I have decided to e-mail sonic.net's support asking them to tweak my line for a little bit more speed and less CRC Errors by setting Data Path to Interleave from Fast as well as setting the SN margin down a little. My DSL line was also capped at 11 mbps to make it more stable. I already knew that setting it to Interleave would increase latency but don't care because we don't do gaming. I've also asked them about my loop length and the answer was 7800 feet from the central office. The results after the tweaking is a somewhat higher speed at 10.196 mbps. Even before the adjustment, the service has been excellent with no known disconnects. I was surprised how prompt sonic.net support in tweaking my DSL line on their end. I've e-mailed support at around a little after 11 AM and the tweaking was done by 1 PM. Considering the loop length, I am extremely satisfied with the DSL service from sonic.net. At the present time, no one else offer better service than sonic.net.

Update November 15, 2010: At this point with two weeks of Sonic Fusion DSL service, it has been great. At the present time, I don't have enough experience on their phone service yet to make much of a comment. So far, the local phone service has been just as good as AT&T when it comes to audio quality. I haven't use their long-distance service yet to judge the quality.

Update December 9, 2010, the service has been uneventful for month and nine days since I switched service from AT&T. Last month it achieve a sync speed of 10.972 mbps for 23 days straight before it resynced at 1.7mbps due to noise on the line temporarily at the time. When I reboot the modem, it then resynced at 9.8 mbps. After a couple tries it varies between 9.8 to 8.5 mbps. I did an experiment to see what happened if I remove the DSL filter and phones from the circuit. After a series of rebooting the modem, it somehow cannot achieve any speed higher than 8.5 no matter how many reboot I tried. Next, I reconnected the DSL microfilter along with the phones back on the line and then reboot the modem again. This time it synced up at 10.2 mbps and after several hours it resynced 10.266 mbps and held for several days through to now. This is rather strange that it performs better with the micro filter in place. I believe the reason for this is that the micro filter somehow filters out some of the line noise and makes it possible for the modem to achieve a higher sync speed.

The nature of DSL that utilize the telephone twisted pair line is inherited noisy because of noise introduction from adjacent twisted pairs in the cable. This is especially critical when the noise is being introduced by other DSL line on the same cable bundle. This is specially true of longer loop length. I've been monitoring my line and I noticed that the download SN margin varies between 10 and 4 yet remain in sync. The use of DSL 2+ which operate at double the frequency than standard old-fashioned DSL which accentuate the crosstalk noise problem on adjacent lines in the same cable bundle. This could be the reason why sonic.net is proposing to use ASSIA's Finesse dynamic spectrum management solution in the coming months for their Fusion platform. With the use of ASSIA which controls the transmitting power of all of the DSL lines under the control of sonic.net, it would be able to achieve better crosstalk noise management. The end result is better sync speed and reliability for everyone on the same cable bundle.

Update January 16, 2011: Because of my Motorola 2210 modem overheating, I've been experiencing re-syncing several times a day. Every time when it re-sync, the speed may go down. I noticed it was very hot when I put my hand on the modem after it has been on for a couple hours. I did an experiment by substituting my spare 2Wire modem-Wi-Fi router to see if any improvement. After connecting and configuring it for Sonic.Net's Fusion service, it synced at the maximum capped speed of 10.972 mbps. I've tried restarting the modem several times, and each time it connected at the top speed. It remained connected solidly with no more re-syncing. After this experiment, I realized the problem is that my new Motorola modem is overheating and causing the retraining. This problem has been well known on the web for this model but I assume that Motorola corrected this problem on the later edition. It turned out I was wrong and this is still the problem with this model. Do not buy the Motorola 2210-10- NA DSL modem. But perhaps instead get the Actiontec GT701D Ethernet DSL one. It has a much more favorable review then does this Motorola piece of crap.

I decided I didn't care about the warranty and modify my modem for much better heat dissipation. To read about the modification please go to »Is my modem dying? .

Update March 14, 2011: Our service with sonic.net has been uneventful since we signed up back in late October. After the modem modification, it has been consistently syncing at the top speed of 10.972 mbps and remaining connected consistently. On most speed test sites, the speed test results shows about 9.3 mbps on average download transfer speed and .92 mbps upload speed. So far in the 3 1/2 months timeframe I have not noticed any evening peak time slowdown with my Sonic.net's Fusion Service to a point where it would impact user experience. I did notice during a series of speed tests it did fluctuate a little from a low of 8.5 mbps to 9.61 mbps download speed. The upload speed is very consistent that it varies from .90 to .9.2 mbps. Since this is not a dedicated bandwidth type of Internet service, but a low price consumer grade highly shared bandwidth infrastructure some slowdown can be expected.

As compared with other DSL Internet services, Sonic.net Fusion Service is worth looking into if available in your area. But unfortunately at the present time it's only available in the greater San Francisco Bay Area areas and around their Santa Rosa homebase. This is more true today because AT&T will start capping their legacy DSL and Uverse Internet service starting in May 2 of this year (150 GB and 250 GB per month). Also at the present time there is no plan for sonic.net to start capping their Fusion Service. That is because they own their own equipment at the central office to provide both POTS phone and Internet service. This is not true of their legacy DSL service from AT&T which may be subjected to capping in the future. With that DSL service, sonic.net is basically is just a reseller of AT&T DSL service with sonic.net handling all technical services.

Update March 23, 2011: Last week, my Motorola 2010 modem finally failed from basically overheating in spite of the fact I modified it with an extra heatsink on top of the chipset. I've noticed day by day the sync speed was dropping and then finally when it lost sync, a reboot was required to get back online. By last Saturday, I placed an order with Amazon.com for a new modem. The modem that I selected is the Actiontec GT701D and it arrived on Monday morning. I've immediately installed and configured it to see how much better this one is. I've noticed that this modem is little bit more difficult to configure for sonic.net's Fusion Service than the Motorola one. To read more about what happened with my DSL service, please click on this link »Fusion Sync Speed Dropping Day By Day . After several hours of running, this new modem is definitely much cooler running than the old one. Here is my speed test results from Speedtest.net »speedtest.net/result/1220045774.png .

Update December 2, 2011: Our Fusion service has been uneventful over a year with download speeds varies from 9.7 to 10.4 mbps downstream and a consistent 1 mbps upstream. Just recently, sonic.net offers a single static IP address for free to Fusion customers. The price for static IP addresses are: a single static IP addresses is free, for 4 static IP addresses the cost is $10 a month optional and for 8 static IP addresses it's $20 optional per month. This comes in handy for me to set up an IPv6 tunnel at sonic.net as well as another one at Hurricane Electric. The combined tunnels provides about 6.5 mbps downstream speed tested under IPv6. Before with dynamic IP address every time the address changes, I would have to reconfigure the tunnel so I can browse IPv6 websites. For the last couple months, the dynamic IP address seldomly changes even if you reboot the modem. There's also added features to the landline service for free as well.

To set up a static IP address just login to Member Tools then go to Internet connection from there, Fusion and then click on IP configuration. Once you get your static IP address be sure to copy that down so you would be able to configure your router for the new static IP address. It takes about 5 min. from the time you request the new static IP address to the time it will actually be implemented on sonic.net's equipment so be patient.

Update December 9, 2013, The service with sonic.net remains an uneventful. But they did make changes to their policy, where you have to pay for the modem rental of $6.50 every month in addition. And this applies to new membership only. The old members are grandfathered in under the old policy but any old members can opt in in if they wish to use sonic.net equipment and then pay the monthly rental. Other than this, the rates remain the same since the time I signed on in spite of the fact that they offered more calling services to their landline. Such as more countries that you can call long distance for free for up to eight hours per month as well as more calling features.

I've decided not to use sonic.net for my IPv6 tunnel but instead used exclusively Hurricane Electric. I've set up my router exactly according to their instruction for my tunnel endpoint. The result I got after configuring it this way worked exactly as it should. I did a speed tests using Comcast's IPv6 speed tester. The my latest results was under IPv6 was 10.06 mbps for the download and for the upload was 1.01 mbps. Under IPV4 the speed was slightly faster at 10.24 mbps for the download and the upload was at 1.06 mbps.

member for 13.5 years, 2737 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 233 days ago

Comments:

Review by hrioo See Profile

  • Location: Glendale,Los Angeles,CA
  • Cost: $20 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "No more disconnects finally"
Bad "None so far"
Overall "Excellent support"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I switched to sonic.net from att because i was having constant disconnects with their att elite dsl service, which they could not fix. When my sonic.net dsl kicked in, i got the same disconnects, so i opened a trouble ticked and their customer support identified the problem and sent out an att technician to fix the it the day after i opened the trouble ticket.

Although i have not been with sonic.net for a long time, so far i am very happy with their service and support. I think they understand that by providing high quality service to their customers, they won't need to provide a lot of it, because if things don't break often, people will ask for support less often.

Update: Oct 27, 2013

I've been with sonic.net for 2 years now. I decided to stay with them even when my dsl fee went up to $40/month after the initial 1 year, because i've been getting rock solid connection with excellent speeds.

Recently i moved and luckily i can get fusion at my new location. I called sonic.net and they switched me over from regular dsl to fusion in a few days and they even ported my existing att number.

Luckily, i am only 1,300ft from switchboard and i get download speeds from 16.5mpbs to 18.5mpbs. Sonic said that i don't have to rent modem from them, since i've been an existing customer with own modem, so my monthly fusion fees are $51/month including taxes.

It's worth mentioning that the first day my new service was connected (by an att tech), it did not work. I called sonic.net and they sent out a technician in a couple of days, who fixed the wiring that was done by att.

It's also worth mentioning that in the first few days my fusion got a lot of connection drops, which i found was because of my Actiontec modem and not because of service. I got a new modem and hooked it up to an old router and everything has been rock solid for weeks now.

I hope sonic.net keeps up the quality of service they've been providing.



member for 10.4 years, 61 visits, last login: 277 days ago
updated 277 days ago

Comments:

Review by litephaze See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $62 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
  • Telco party Covad
Good "Small "Mom/Pop" experience, while Offering 'business-office' caliber of services in the residence."
Bad "I am juuuust (by hardly 100' or 200' too far from C.O. (~4100')) Therefore, can't get the "
Overall "If you want to have an ISP that REALLY cares about their Customers... Sonic is it!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Comcast®/Xfinity™ was tempting until I learned that they are STILL known to block ports and an element of 'privacy' seems to hatch every now and then...

The only down-side is I am at the 'fastest' DSL/XDSL2 at 4987kb/111.6kb (Approximately 5 Mbit down and ~1 M Bit Up) Though I would LOVE the bandwidth of Comcast/Cable, they SWEAR it is not possible to offer Static-IP service, short of paying $$$ for "Business-Class".

Sonic.net is the ONLY ISP in SF/Bay Area that offers Static IP for a reasonable price.

Overall, I TOTALLY dig Sonic! I am NEVER on hold when I have to call AND the Sonic Team from ANY/ALL departments has ALWAYS taken the extra step to do the BEST they can!


member for 8.6 years, 242 visits, last login: 47 days ago
updated 311 days ago

Comments: