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Speakeasy page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 2179 reviews (1258 good) (478 bad)
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Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Flushing,Queens,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Pre Sales information:

Hello, I'm from Flushing, Queens, NY and I have not ordered DSL yet but I plan on getting a 384/128 package for $50-$60/Month or something roughly similair. But I need help in deciding which service to choose from. I was about to get DSL from BA when a friend told me about this site so i decided to wait. From the reviews I've seen iNYC and Speakeasy seem to be the best for my area. If you are from Flushing ,or Queens , NY area and has ordered a 384/128 package for around $50-$60 please respond to this message and tell me which you thought was better iNYC or Speakeasy or other? Better as in speeds you get, stability, customer support, and better for your MONEY. Also, do any of you know how to get free install or/and free or under$100 hardware without having to sign like 2 or 1 year contracts?! Thanx a lot... Or if you actually do have BA's DSL service in the Flushing, or Queens, NY area, and think its good, post a reply or E-Mail!

(review was emailed from domain aol.com)
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by mcbr5 See Profile

  • Location: Germantown,Montgomery,MD
  • Cost: $80 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 25 days
  • Telco party Verizon
  • CLEC party: Covad
Good "static ip, can run servers, allows vpn"
Bad "support can be a little slow"
Overall "great isp!"
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Install Co-ordination:
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My Speakeasy experience was great! I ordered 786/384 service on 10/29 and was up and running on 11/23. The big delay was the Bell Atlantic loop install that was not completed until 11/16. I ordered a single static IP with two email accounts. My speed is OK - using netperf (»www/netperf.org) I'm getting about 600Kbps downstream and 380Kbps upstream running from the Speakeasy server in Seattle to my node in Maryland... YMMV. The Covad tech was great and was in and out in 20 minutes after installing the RJ45 outlet (I had already run the inside wiring), hooking up the SpeedStream 5250 (BTW the 5250 documentation is wrong, the 10BaseT link is half-duplex only!), and verifying the link. I had a single startup problem where I couldn't ping the router. Things looked OK on my end (bridge showed all green, tcpdump showed arp's going out but no response), so I called tech support. They indicated that they could ATM ping my bridge so they thought the problem was on my end. They asked what OS I was running and when I said Linux, I got "Hmmm... I'll have to check our web pages." They were very polite and said it looked like it was my problem. They were willing to go through my config, but I declined and said I'd work on myself. Well, turns out they were right. My NIC had decided to go out to lunch - replaced the NIC and life was great! Based on my experience I would recommend Speakeasy to anyone.

Mark C. Brown

Germantown,MD

member for 14.9 years, 109 visits, last login: 8.8 years ago
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by lykme See Profile

  • Location: Peabody,Essex,MA
  • Cost: $79 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
  • Telco party Verizon
  • CLEC party: Covad
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Here's my little story and thankfully it is a good one as far as I was concerned. I was a bit weary about trying to order DSl after a really bad experience with the dreaded Flashcom in the spring of 1999. After bantering it about in my head and since cable internet and dsl are not available from the cable company or through Bell Atlantic in Peabody, MA I decided to check out Speakeasy.

I called on November 4th and ordered the 768/384 variety of thier service for a home user. The kid that answered the phone was sounding kind of bored and asked me what I would like for a email name and after telling him he said that I would here back from someone in a couple of weeks. I should have been more forceful with him as I guess it is thier policy to provide a dial-up account immediately but it wasn't volunteered and I didn't ask.

Less than a week later I received email from Covad's Boston Dispatch stating that Bell Atlantic would be out to provison my new line on November 18th and that Covad would be here on Friday the 26th ( tommorow as I type this). I happened to have the day off on the 18th and sure enough Bell Atlantic showed up at noon and at 1:30 my line was all set. I sent an email off to Covad and went about my chores leaving my computer connected to my dialup line.

At about 5:00pm the doorbell rang and the gentleman at the door introduced himself as a technician from Covad and appologized for just dropping in but my phone had been busy and would I like him to do the installation right now or wait until my appointment next week. I must have looked a bit strange to him as I started at him with my mouth hanging open. Upon my recovery I invited him in and an hour later I was synced up and online. It was 14 days almost to the minute since I had placed my order and I was now online with DSL.

The service has been very good so far. There was a mail/web server outage last Sunday for about 6 hours and since they don't have 24 hour support I was left not knowing if I had screwed something up or if they were having a problem. I was still online and able to access everything on the internet except for thier mail and web server. Of course I had picked that morning to set up my web page and was out of luck. So I guess that is one of my criticisms of the company so far. Since they are on the west coast and I am on the East I am out of luck with any technical problems I encounter prior to 1:00 pm my time. I imagine that as they grow larger they will either end up going 24 hours with tech support or be sold to a larger company so that point will become mute.

They are also a bit expensive at $89 for the 768/384 service I chose but it is worth it to me. One thing I especially like is that they allow servers and provide up to 4 static IP addresses for a Home User.

I found another peculiar policy when I went to fill out my rebate forms They had changed the deal to a better deal since I had signed up which provided for a higher rebate amount and the first month's service being free but I didn't qualify for that even tough it was the policy on the day I was hooked up. They only honor the deal that you signed up under. Fair enough I guess but seems that they would make those offers retroactive like most other companies do in order to prevent people from withdrawing thier order and then placing a new one. Gateway Computers comes to mind as doing just that as I benefited from that policy with them.

Overall Service from Bell Atlantic and Covad was much better than expected, an A+ if I was a teacher grading performance and I would give Speakeasy a B- mostly due to my presale contact and the lack of tech support during my entire morning.

member for 14.9 years, 30 visits, last login: 7.8 years ago
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by schlag See Profile

  • Location: Merrimack,Hillsborough,NH
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
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I've read about a lot of dsl install nightmares on this site and in the ngs. but all I can say about speakeasy is my order went through like a breeze. the only complaint I could possibly make is the long delay I encountered between ordering and getting my loop installed. other than that, it has been A-1 all the way.

I ordered 384/128 service on 9/28/99. after a few weeks, on 11/3/99 I received my install dates for my loop (11/12) and covad (11/19). on 11/12/99 bell atlantic came out to do the loop work and the guy was here for about 30 minutes. I didn't need to be home, but I figured I would be here just in case. he never even knocked on the door as everything is located outside.

then on 11/15/99, covad left me a message asking if I wanted to install my line sooner than 11/19. I said "sure!" and they came out the next morning. the covad guy was here for about 40 minutes and was finished. we tried to check my IP address but it hadn't yet been provisioned because I was scheduled for 11/19.

however, no problem. I sent an email to speakeasy and within an hour or so, they sent me all the requisite IP information. when I got home from work, I punched in the info in the win98 tcp setup, rebooted and was connected to my dsl line.

I then did a few bandwidth checks to see if all was well and I was consistently running in the 230-260 Kbps range. not quite 384, but not bad considering I'm nearly 10000 feet from the CO. this sure beats the 3 Kbps I could squeeze out of my 56k dialup line.

in the end, I would definitely recommend speakeasy as they answered the phone everytime I called and I spoke to a person instead of a machine. I was even able to reach their dsl coordinator frequently and very easily by email. another nice thing speakeasy provided is a web page I could login to find out the status of my dsl order. it showed every entry from both speakeasy and covad. definitely very helpful and kept me in the loop the whole time.

member for 14.9 years, 10 visits, last login: 13.5 years ago
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by dsleeve

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
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I have only had the service for a few days but so far it has been fantastic. Every part of the process from inital order to instal went without a hitch. I was even able to get my covad instal date pushed up a bit.

The order process was painless as can be. Robert was able to answer any questions I had with ease. About 3 1/2 weeks later bell showed up at my door and did what they had to do. Covad came 3 days later and got me up and runing. All this time I was able to use a free dial up account provided by speakeasy and check on my order status on line.

Another aspect of the Speakeasy service that I feel should be praised is their billing and 'contract' policy. Speakeasy did not ask me for any money until my service was up and working. They then sent me an email requesting the payment that I am more then happy to give. When I was looking around for a DSL provider I was amazed and somewhat frightend by the contracts and legal jargon most providers threw at me. 2 or 3 year binding contracts, inflated termination fee's and what have you. What a pleasure it was to find Speakeasy. There is no 'binding' contract to speak of with speakeasy. They only want a $250 fee if you want out. Thats much beter then paying 7 or 8 months worth of $89 payments or more, depending on whatever remains of your contract. I really dont see myself paying the $250.00 fee as I am so happy with the service I will never want out.

Now that I am connected I can not see how I lived with a dial up modem. I have the 768/384 package and have yet to see a download speed under 50-70k a sec. To make the situation even better Speakeasy is going to instal a NY server for us east coast folks! This is really awsome because a NY server would make my gamming pings low as hell. I am in NYC.

I only wish I had found Speakeasy sooner. It would have saved me the hassle of dealing with all the other troubled providers.

Speakeay is wonderful.

D. Zucker

(review was emailed from domain speakeasy.net)
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by jkwan See Profile

  • Location: Lexington,Middlesex,MA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Pre Sales information:
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My experience with Speakeasy has been great. I ordered the service on Oct. 1, the Bell Atlantic guys came on Oct. 19. And then I got call from Covad the next day telling me I could re-schedule an appointment for the FOLLOWING day! I was all set by Oct. 21! I ordered 384/128 and I've been getting very reliable speeds (20-30 Kbytes/sec downloads). The SpeedStream 5250 has been working without a hitch.

All the computers in the house have been working fine with the DSL line.

The most amazing thing about ordering from Speakeasy is their attention to giving customers status info.

I placed a phone order with them, and once everything was setup (accounts, etc). I could check it all online with their TAC (Total Account Control). All calls with Covad were logged in their DSL worklog. The 8 step status is awesome. This is the most impressive customer information tool I have seen yet.

In addition, I get 5 hours of free dialup a month for when I'm on the road. They have access number across the US AND Canada! For an extra $13, I got unlimited dialup.

People are very friendly there, never got a rude person on the other end of the line.

Excellent service and value.

member for 15 years, 5 visits, last login: 14.4 years ago
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by Dstaples42 See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
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Long Review by
Daniel Staples

First off,
I ordered 768/384 SDSL from Speakeasy and am extremely happy now that everything works.

For Speakeasy & Covad's part of the install all went as well & quickly as anyone could ask.
The only problems that arose were the problems caused by my local ameritech. I find it most upsetting that they just don't seem to understand what an appointment is for or how it is supposed to work.

Speakeasy's tech support is very knowledgeable and more important they
understand that it's OK to say I don't know, Ill find out & get back to you.
And they do call back, in a suprisingly short time.

Additionally they didn't bill me for anything until it all worked.

One odd thing that I didn't understand until I was installed & working, my packets route invisibly to the gateway in speakeasy's network & my packets
hit the internet in Washington state.
It really doesn't seem to make any difference (except that the Half life servers with 90 pings are in Washington) the local Chicago servers now ping at around 120 -130.

I got 8 static IP addresses

They use Supernews for their news server.

They also provide 2 Email addresses and unlimited? aliases pointing to those two

Overall I would grade the Speakeasy and Covad parts of this adventure as very good, A+
I however have to grade ameritech at a D- their lack of respect for their customers is appalling. If I wasn't home (due to being an independent consultant) to let them in when they just arrived, I likely still wouldn't have service.

-------------------- Timeline & install details ------------------------------

I Ordered on 9/13 estimated install time 25 working days.
Actual install time 39 working days or 52 real days (I can't believe it took that long!)

ameritech "committed delivery date" 9/23 Appointment blown off by ameritech. ameritech reported a successful appointment to Covad.

Covad install initially proposed for 10/1. I emailed and asked to reschedule for the day before or after, Covad rescheduled during the call for 9/31.
On 9/31 Covad tech called 3 hours before appointment window & arrived 20 min. after I said it was ok cause I was there. Connected hardware to line (I had previously run cat 5 line from the ameritech box to my install location,) and to the ameritech box, It didn't work (no surprise) Tech called in trouble ticket from my phone. He was very happy to tell me anything I wanted to know about my service.

2 more blown off appointments by ameritech and 3 unexpected arrivals (that I was here to let the ameritech guy in for) and still no connection. I should mention that the ameritech interface is inside the building.

On 11/4 A speakeasy rep called & asked me to check the line & it was up.
but slow, an ameritech tech arrived 2 or 3 days later (no appointment & unannounced, he just rang the doorbell) tested the line & pronounced everything was "clean". Speed improved by 100% (The tech said he didn't do anything but test, yea right.)

Speeds were still slow, showing 50 to 60 Kbytes per second to/from
Speakeasy's servers

I spoke with a couple of techs at speakeasy, trying various test scenarios
until one tech suggested doing downloads from multiple sites, Just to see...

I ftp'd down a 10mb file from Netscape's server & uploaded it to my speakeasy homedir. Used 2 running copies of Cuteftp to download the same file again from Speakeasy & Netscape at the same time.
I got 80kbytes per second download total. (WOW)
I then pronounced the install complete & they agreed

member for 15.1 years, 20 visits, last login: 13.2 years ago
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: West Chester,Chester,PA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Pre Sales information:
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Connection reliability:
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Value for money:

Here it is nice and simple:

Speakeasy.net Rocks! They are reliable, helpful and don't impose a lot of BS rules on you. I HIGHLY recommend them.

--Chris
SDSL 384/384 bridge w/ static IPs

(review was emailed from domain xnewmex.com)
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:






Review by johnn71 See Profile

  • Location: Vancouver,Clark,WA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
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This tail is a bit long, but it is my hope that it will provide a good picture of how difficult it can be to order and get DSL service, and more importantly, how well one ISP can do their job.

I run, out of my house, a small consulting business. We specialize in helping small and medium sized businesses get more return out of their information technology systems. In the last few years, of course this has led to an ever-increasing appreciation for the utility and power of Internet connectivity. More and more however, much of the power and utility seems to be throttled by slow dial-up Internet access. For many of us, dial-up access has been the only economically feasible method of connecting to the net. Yes, ISDN has been available for a few years, but getting it from US West has been tricky at best, and with an aggregate bandwidth of 128kbps, it barely over twice as fast as a 56k dial-up connection. Traditional broadband connections like frame relay, T1, etc. are ridiculously expensive.

So when US West finally announced the availability of DSL in the Vancouver area, I immediately took action. At last, we would be able do some serious work via the net, and if a few Quake II sessions slipped in here and there

As anyone who has tried to order ISDN or DSL from US West can tell you, US West doesn't seem very eager to deliver it. For months, they said 'No, can't get it to you yet . I'd periodically check back with their pre-qualification web site. Finally, I received a shock when I was informed my line qualified. The elation lasted about two days until US West called me and informed me that my on-line qualification showed a 'false positive . No they don't have any DSL to sell me after all. Answers to queries about when it would be available were vague at best.

In July of this year, our local newspaper ran a story about DSL becoming widely available in Vancouver, WA, including the US West central office that served my area. Hot dang! Call US West again. Much puzzled conversation later, we finally agree that yes, they still won't sell what their customers want to buy. A little more research on my part, and I finally learn that it isn't US West that is delivering DSL to these areas, but rather a company called Covad Communications. Covad is a 'competitive local exchange carrier , one of many aggressive new companies that lease capacity on the 'incumbent local exchange carrier's local loop.

I hit Covad's web site and discover a list of ISP's who will gladly arrange for DSL service, through Covad, for me. On July 9 I called Speakeasy, a Seattle based ISP. My choice was made first on price, followed closely by features and services offered. After speaking with a thoroughly knowledgeable sales rep named Danny, I discovered that Speakeasy would also provide up to 8 static IP addresses. I ordered 384k SDSL service. Typical wait, I am told, is 25-30 working days.

Knowing that I have only two pair of copper between my house and the street, I ask if I should call US West to cancel one of my POTS (plain old telephone service) lines, since I won't be needing it, and it might speed the DSL installation along if that pair were available. 'No. Don't do that I am told. The line might be immediately reassigned to someone else before the process is complete. No sense in doing without that second phone line. Okay, whatever.

Due date comes, and goes. Nothing. I call Speakeasy. This time I speak with Jessica. Again, a very short wait (about as fast as one can key-press through an automated call center) and I'm talking to a pleasant and well informed customer service rep. 'No facilities is the reason I'm given. Ah, I've heard that before.

Because I've heard it before I know exactly where to place the blame. US West can't find a pair of wires over which to deliver service. It is an all-to-common excuse given by US West in this area. In fact, US West often can't tell you, with any degree of reliability, just how many wires they have running where. This fact will be illustrated shortly. To be fair though, in this case I know that US West is at least partially correct. I have only the two pair of copper. Someone is going to have to dig up my yard and run more from the street to my house. Whatever.

So I tell Jessica, not to worry. I understand what the hold up is and that they are powerless to do much about it. I'll check back.

Check back I do. Again, and again. Same story. Finally, in October, I'm told to expect a visit from US West, who will do part of the installation of my DSL line, followed a few days later by a visit from a Covad technician to do the rest of the install. Curiously, the utilities locators haven't shown up to in advance of the guys who (I assume) will be digging up my yard. I'm starting to get a little nervous.

The appointed day arrives. So does the US West technician. In classic homeowner fashion, that I am sure annoys the hell out of service technicians from all trades, I hover over his shoulder as he tries to work. He opens the NID (network interface device) on the side of my house and tries to ignore me. He seems puzzled. 'You got data running on that line? says he as we hear the buzz of modems talking through his test gear. 'Yes I mutter tentatively. 'Well we can't do this. Both your lines are in use. Well duh. I tell him that I was afraid it might happen this way, and that I rather expected to have my yard dug up. He explains that this wouldn't do any good. 'There isn't any more copper at the street either. Huh?

My service tech explains that, for a time, the engineering guys who design the telephone network, decided that residential customers would only ever need two phone lines to their house. So they developed a scheme called encapsulated service, wherein each premise has two, and only two, pairs of copper that extend all the way from the NID to a neighborhood junction box several blocks away. He adds that the field guys knew this would never work out.

Ever helpful, he explains that the only thing to do is cancel the service on one line and have Covad re-schedule the installation. I thank him for his time, apologize for his company's incompetence with regards to network record-keeping, and go inside to cancel service on one of my POTS lines.

I then call Speakeasy and Covad. I am a little steamed, at this point. I wanted to cancel one of my lines when I first ordered the DSL line because I knew facilities would become an issue. I just didn't know how much of an issue. I just didn't want my yard dug up.

Once again, Jessica was very helpful, and very apologetic. Through subsequent emails and telephone conversations we manage to all get educated on what happened, why, and what needs to happen now. Apparently, Covad can NOT directly 'take over an operating POTS line for a DSL installation, even if that is precisely what the customer wants done. It seems that US West has managed a court order preventing this, citing 'anti-competitive practices . Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

We reschedule. A few days later, another US West tech arrives. She seems less prone to ignore the hovering homeowner, so I bend her ear about my ordeal. She's unimpressed. No doubt she's heard this tale before, a lot. So I chat her up about some other telco work I have in the offing, hoping to pick up from one of the 'grunts some intelligence that I might use to avoid some of these pitfalls in the future. She's very helpful, even calling another senior tech to answer some of my questions on the spot. I am amazed at the difference between US West's field technical staff and their 'customer service staff. Perhaps they should have the technicians give customer service lessons to the customer service staff.

Later that same day, Jessica e-mails and says that the loop tests okay, and offers to move up my appointment with Covad. Well , duh. Covad technician arrives and is just delighted that he doesn't have to crawl under my house. He seems a bit impressed by the installation I've prepared (jacks, patch bays, shelves, etc.), and remarks how he wishes it were always this easy to do an installation.

I explain. 'Well , I have had a little time to prepare for this

P.S.

I should also add that during this process, I sent an email to Speakeasy president Mike Apgar, telling him about the problems I'd had. I figured he's a busy guy but could probably use a heads up on what appeared to be a gap in their provisioning process. To my surprise, I received a personal response almost immediately. I don't get that kind of responsiveness out of my current ISP, and the president is a personal acquaintance!

The Speakeasy DSL service, from this point on, has functioned flawlessly. Speakeasy has never been less than pleasant to deal with. Their tech support people are sharp. Very sharp. The phone queues are short. I honestly can't recommend them highly enough. This company has definitely 'gotten it right .

member for 14.9 years, 3 visits, last login: 11.9 years ago
lodged 14.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by whitfb See Profile

  • Location: Brooklyn,Kings,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
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Services:
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[Note: I tried to log on rather than be Anon, but it's broken!]

It took some effort to get the full details on pricing and options, but they were friendly about it. Several of their competitors never answered queries, or quit answering them after failing to answer them completely at first, and my pressing them. Ordered 384/384 service at end of September, installed November 1. They got Bell and Covad out here right when they scheduled them, although there was a mixup on scheduling Covad for the afternoon, as they'd offerred and I'd asked - it took a number of e-mails and calls to get it set for the afternoon rather than their initial scheduling for 8 am. The Covad installer set things up rapidly, but used the wrong cable (the crossed-over one) from the bridge to the jack, so I was confused for a half-hour afterwards, but no real harm. (He said he hadn't had a day off in weeks.) Not sure why the technician was even needed really, a jack and a bridge, and I could have hooked it up myself.

The first day of service the ATM line to Seattle from NYC was having problems (evidently in the ATM network itself), which degraded service, but now the second day with that fully functional things look very good indeed. (And they do plan a right coast NOC in a couple months.) Their tech support is available by 800 number, and friendly and helpful, but not fully informed on all aspects . The SpeedStream 5250 bridge seems to be a good piece of equipment. The contract is a bit strange, since it gives them the right to change any term at any time. But they assure me they've never pulled that clause on anyone, and unlike most of their competition they don't even take a credit card number before the service is fully and happily installed. (How to get Ultracom to stop responding to you: ask them if you still have to pay them if the install fails.)

They provide 8 static IPs with their SOHO account at $150 a month. Setup with a Linux box as router/firewall works fine with the bridge, if you know your Linux. I did try their instructions for a Windows 95 machine here, and it didn't work - which is most likely a Windows 95 issue. But I have no problem masquerading that machine through a Linux box in the standard Linux way.

To be honest, a large part of my reason for going with Speakeasy is knowing where they're from - I lived on the edge of their neighborhood, Belltown, Seattle in the 80s, and the business culture is much less corrupt there than here in NYC (it's easy to get mugged in Silicon Alley, I can tell you) ... as long as you don't go NE of Seattle.

-Whit

member for 14.9 years, 1 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
lodged 15 years ago

Comments: