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This FAQ text is copyright dslreports.com
Reproduction of all or part only with our permission..
This FAQ is edited by: MacGyver See Profile
It was last modified on 2012-05-03 20:45:06

1.0 General

Should I get (or switch to) DSL or Cable? Which is faster/better?

Ultimately, it is impossible to know what the actual performance of any broadband service will be until it is completely installed and operational. There are many varying factors that may affect the quality of service received. Someone in your neighbourhood or even next door might receive a completely different quality of service than you.

There is a wide array of companies you can get internet service from. You can get all types of service as well. They vary from dial-up all the way to dedicated business lines. If you want to find out what is available in your area go take a look at The Canadian ISP List or consult the Yellow Pages under "Internet".

You can find an ISP in your area and read reviews of their service written by their customers.

If you are currently a broadband customer, and are considering a switch to a different ISP, it is a good idea to keep your existing service and evaluate the alternative for a short period of time. Some ISP's will even let you try the first month free. Then you can decide which service to keep and which to dump.

When comparing services, some things to check for include:
- upload and download speeds
- connection reliability and stability
- internet routing and latency (ping times)
- email service reliability and speed
- newsgroup service completion rate
- technical support and customer service

Bandwidth Poll

So people can see what others use.

Bandwidth Poll

Steve

List of ISP technical support numbers

Abacom (819) 820-2929 ext: 1

AEI Internet (877) 305-4155 ext: 731

Aserty (613)746-0515

Axcessnet (514) 915-3211 or 1-866-773-0330

B2B2C (800) 965-9065

CUIC (877) 343-8325

CanDSL (613) 688-1404

Colba.net (514) 856-3500

Cyber Jet (416) 410-4239

DSL.ca (416) 598-0032

Durham Net (905) 725-1016

E-Gate Communications (416) 447-8505

Echo Online Internet (800) 661-2319 ext: 3

Electronicbox (450-653-6004)

Golden Triangle (877) 446-5343

Groupe Sig-Net Plus (866) 289-6011

Ia CanadaON Line (416) 324-2665 & (905) 624-1953

IAM Net (866) 344-6544

IGS (800) 268-3715

Info-Internet (514) 342-4636

Inter.net (800) 920.7873

Istop (800) 999-0532

IAW (800) 560-4560

Look Communications (800) 356-5665

Magma Communications (800) 576-7704

Microlink (905) 875-5465

MTS (800) 773-2121

Net100 (877) 343-8325

Nexicom (888) 639-4266

Nexus Internet Solutions (905) 725-9038

Nothing But Net (519) 457-9009 or toll free 1 877 277 0702, option 1

Openweb Communications (800) 423-9706

Oricom Internet (866) 967-4266

Primus Canada (800) 370-0015

Rocler (866) 377-1898

SecureNet Information Services (514) 744-4242

TekSavvy Solutions (877) 779-1575

THT (877) 881-0689

Trytel Internet (800) 548-3440

VIF Internet (888) 321-3737

Wave II Networks (800) 263-8433

Web Machine (514) 482-6881

ZiD (800) 642-6714 ext: 700

List compiled by julez_atf See Profile

1.1 Troubleshooting

I have a problem but I don't know what it is how can I find out?

Before you go and post a question in any forum there are a few things you should do. If you are having connection difficulties or are having some sort of other surfing problems there are a few things people will need to see before they can help you.

Firstly run these two tests.

1. Line Quality
2. Tweak Test

1.For the line quality test

Click on the button that says My public IP is then take the IP you are given and enter it into the the box and join the queue. You will get an IM from the system when its done.



When you get your result you are going to copy this line and put it in your post. Do not take the page URL as it will give out your IP address



2.For the tweak test just copy the URL for the page. Please make sure you enter your line speed if you know it.

When you post in a forum asking advice provide any information you think would be relevant in solving your problem.

2.0 Services

Which ISP's carry the best newsgroups?

The following ISP's have a reputation for carrying better newsgroups than most other ISP's. This is by no means a complete list, nor a recommendation of any ISP over another. Do your homework before having any service installed.

Rogers Cable - used to host their own newsgroups, however they are switching to Giagnews near the end of Sept 2004. Connections are limited in number and speed.

Magma DSL - newsgroups provided by Giganews.

IGS - newsgroups provided by Giganews. More info: /forum/remark,9844652~mode=flat

Please use the feedback link below to send additions or corrections.

2.1 ISP Reviews

Where can I find a review of an ISP in Canada?

Check out the Canadian ISP Reviews Section.

Also consult the list of recent Canadian ISP Reviews.

Why aren't there more Canadian ISP's listed on this site?

There are three possible reasons:
1. The ISP has not chosen to maintain a listing on this site.
2. The ISP does not qualify to have a listing on this site.
3. No customers of that ISP have submitted an ISP review.

There are standards for listing on this website that a lot of small Canadian ISP's don't meet. Those standards can be found here.

A company that, for example, is a pure reseller of another ISP's service, is run out of somebody's basement, or that has unresolved consumer complaints is generally not going to get listed. This ensures a high quality of listings on this site.

However, if a customer decides to submit a review on their ISP that is not currently listed and/or does not meet the listing criteria, then a placeholder listing will be created for the sole purpose of showing the reviews for that ISP.

If your ISP is not listed and you wish to review them, send the body text of the review to reviews@dslreports.com and follow the instructions in the autoreply to complete the review.

I want to review my ISP but it isn't listed on this site.

If your ISP is not listed and you wish to review them, send the body text of the review to reviews@dslreports.com and follow the instructions in the autoreply to complete the review.

VIF

Some information on user experiences with VIF can be found here:

/forum/remark,9987932~mode=flat?hilite=vif#9990840

VIF is a pure reseller of other ISP's services and as such, does not qualify for an ISP listing on this site.

3.1 DSL

Where can I ask a question about my DSL provider?

If you have either Telus or Bell Sympatico there is a specific forum for you to post your questions. If you have any of the smaller DSL ISP's such as AEI and IGS please post your questions in the Canadian Broadband Forum

Canadian Broadband
Bell Sympatico
Telus

DSL availability & troubleshooting


Thanks to

julez_atf See Profile and
quanta See Profile

for compiling all the information contained within this FAQ.


DSL availability & troubleshooting

Is there a DSL FAQ?

You bet there is. Find it here

I need RASPPPoE help

Find all your help here

Will this DSL modem work with my ISP?

In Ontario and Quebec, any DSL modem that supports the G.DMT protocol will work with any DSL ISP. Before purchasing a modem, ensure the modem supports G.DMT or it will not work.

The modem must also be able to be configured to a VPI of 0 (zero) and a VCI of 35. Most modems will allow this change, but check that the modem has this ability. If the VPI and/or VCI are set incorrectly, the modem will still sync but you will not be able to negotiate a PPPoE connection.

What is a line transfer ?

said by goden99 :
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why is it a pain to get a Line Transfer ??? Should it be super easy, go to switch box and switch where my line is going
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A line transfer is more than that. If all I do go to a switch box and change the cable pair you are using from one to another, what happens? You lose dial tone. There is more involved than just changing the cable pair.

When a line transfer is performed, you phone service changes termination points, so the network has to be "reprogrammed" to show you are working somewhere else. If this is a change to different switch (CO to remote or vice versa), then the new switch has to be programmed by a Bell employee with all your line features etc, or you get nothing. This has to be co-ordinated between a field tech and a CO tech to ensure that it is done quickly, or your service will be down until all the work is completed.

So, you have (a) person who figures out where the move is going to go to (and from), (b) person who sets up all the new programming for the line at it's new termination point, (c) CO tech who undoes your connection once it is moved away from there, (d) field tech who moves the connection from one cable to another, and (e) the tech at the new termination point who does all the wiring at their end to make sure the jumpers to the switch and DSLAM are done (although this could be the same person as (d) doing a different job).

Now, if this all doesn't work, how much time do you think has been taken up in a futile effort, and what happens if it has to be undone so that someone else who is actually within range and wants the cable pair you now occupy to get service? They will either be denied as if there are no other spare pairs around, or your transfer has to be all undone so that yours is made available. Again, cost is incurred. Does that seem like "just moving a cable"?

How do I get those line test results everyone else is posting in the forums?

There are only a select few modems that can display line stats to the end user. They are:

Alcatel SpeedTouch Home, Pro, or 510v3
/faq/7477
/faq/9776

Alcatel SpeedTouch 510v4
/faq/9792
/faq/9793

GNet BB0050
/faq/7556
/faq/7726
/faq/7579

Some revisions of the Efficient Networks Speedstream 5200
/faq/9693
/faq/9782

Efficient Networks Speedstream 6300
/faq/10077
/faq/10078

If your modem is not listed here, then it simply not capable of displaying any line stats. If you know of another modem that does, please use the feedback link below to let us know about it.

Why can't I get a cancellation number from my ISP?

Cancellation numbers are only given out by Sympatico. You don't get or need them from any other ISP.

Can I get DSL if I don't have local phone service?

Yes. Contact your ISP for more information on how to have this set up. Although this is now fully supported by Bell Canada, some ISP's may not be set up to handle this type of service.

A nominal fee for use the of the copper lines may apply.

Where can I obtain DSL filters for a reasonable price?

Home Depot carries filters for approximately $9 each. They can be found in the section with the telephone wiring and jacks. Radio Shack also carries filters but they are considerably more expensive at $20 each.

If you need a lot of filters, you can try bidding on an auction on ebay.ca

Common manufacturers of filters are Excelsus Tech, Cisco, and Corning. Any of them will work.

What are all the different speed profiles available?

Not confirmed as a complete list:

Maintenance Profile (Sync 678/160) - only used for lines that can't support 1 meg, only applied at the discretion of tech support
1.0meg (Sync 1184/160) - Advertised 1.0meg service
1.0meg (Sync 1184/384) - NOT Advertised
1.0meg (Sync 1184/800) - NOT Advertised
1.5meg (Sync 1728/384) - Advertised 1.5meg service
1.5meg (Sync 1784/800 & 1784/640) - NOT Advertised, some people have been put on this profile as an upgrade, if their line cannot support higher download speeds.
2.0meg (Sync 2496/800 & 2496/640) - NOT Advertised
2.5meg (sync 3008/640) - NOT Advertised
2.5meg (sync 3008/800) - Advertised 3meg service
3.0meg (sync 3488/800 & 3488/640) - NOT Advertised
3.5meg (sync 4032/640) - NOT Advertised
3.5meg (sync 4032/800) - Advertised 4meg service

The speeds you can expect for the above profiles is as follows:

425/80KB/sec = 4032/800kbit sync profile Current "4meg package"
375/80KB/sec = 3488/800kbit sync profile
310/80KB/sec = 3008/800kbit sync profile Current "3meg package"
250/70KB/sec = 2496/640kbit sync profile
175/80KB/sec = 1728/800kbit sync profile
175/70KB/sec = 1728/640kbit sync profile
175/40KB/sec = 1728/384kbit sync profile
125/70KB/sec = 1184/640kbit sync profile
125/40KB/sec = 1184/384kbit sync profile
125/16KB/sec = 1184/160kbit sync profile
credit HiVolt See Profile

How do I know if DSL is available somewhere before I move in?

You can never know for sure because many factors can affect the quality of service delivered. But you can get a good idea of what kind of service you can expect. Do some research before you move in.

1. Go to »www.411.ca and do a reverse lookup for the street you're thinking of moving to. You'll get a few names and phone numbers of people who live on that street.

2. Go to the availability checker on IGS's website and see what the results are for some of those phone numbers.

This will give you a reasonable idea of what level of DSL service is available, if any, in the area.

This method is not foolproof. In some instances, one resident could have 4 Megabit service, while a neighbour may not be able to get anything because there is no spare equipment available, or their line is poor, or routed to a different head end, etc.

How do I get my speed profile changed or interleaving turned on or off?

You must call your ISP's technical support department and make the request. They will forward the request on to Bell on your behalf.

Bell charges your ISP for each request opened. Therefore, if you try to call Bell directly, they will not assist you.

Why don't DSLR/BBR speed tests reflect my DSL ISP's advertised speeds?

Some DSL ISP's in Canada now advertise the maximum speeds of their services using the sync rate, instead of the actual usable line rate. DSL ISP's used to advertise their services using the usable line rate, however they have changed this policy to align with how other ISP's (especially cable) advertise their services.

A good rule of thumb is that approximately 80-85% of the DSL sync rate equals the usable line rate.

(Actual 2.5 meg service advertised as a 3.0 meg service) customers with a sync rate of 3008/800 can expect speed test results of about 2500/680.

(Actual 3.5 meg service advertised as a 4.0 meg service) customers with a sync rate of 4032/800 can expect speed test results of about 3400/680.

Is there a guide to telephone wiring?

3.2 Cable

I have a specific question about my provider where can I post it?

There are message boards here for the larger Cable ISP's in Canada. Find yours in the list below

Rogers
Cogeco
Shaw
Videotron

3.3 Wireless/Satelite

I need help. Where can I ask my question?

Firstly you can try the Canadian Broadband Forum. If you don't find the answer you are looking you you can try the Wireless Forum or the Satellite Forum

4.0 Other ISPs

Canadian ad-hoc forum listings

Provider Ad-hoc forum link Official Site
Acanac http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2744
Link
AEI http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2087
Link
B2B2C http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2234
Link
Bruce Telecom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3364
Link
Caneris http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3086
Link
CFB Pet Net http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2685
Link
Colbanet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2937
Link
Compton Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,1879
Link
Distributel Cable/DSL http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3810
Link
Distributel VOIP http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3259
Link
Eastlink http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,1962
Link
ELECTRONICBOX http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2618
Link
GorillaNET No DSLR presence
Link
Iktel http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3814
Link
MNSi http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2731
Link
Mornington Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3773
Link
Mountain Cable http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2134
Link
MTS (Allstream) http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,1671
Link
Nexicom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2951
Link
Novus http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2439
Link
PrimusTel http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2019
Link
Radioactif http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3353
Link
RipNET http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3236
Link
SaskTel http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,207
Link
Start Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2941
Link
Storm Internet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2266
Link
Telnet Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3549
Link
Velcom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2880
Link
ViF http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2841
Link
WaveDirect http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3804
Link
Wightman Telecom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3523
Link
Xplornet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2584
Link
Yak Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3359
Link
YouMano http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3701
Link
ZiD Internet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2974
Link


Canadian ad-hoc forum listings

Provider Ad-hoc forum link Official Site
Acanac http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2744
Link
AEI http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2087
Link
B2B2C http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2234
Link
Bruce Telecom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3364
Link
Caneris http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3086
Link
CFB Pet Net http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2685
Link
Colbanet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2937
Link
Compton Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,1879
Link
Distributel Cable/DSL http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3810
Link
Distributel VOIP http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3259
Link
Eastlink http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,1962
Link
ELECTRONICBOX http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2618
Link
GorillaNET No DSLR presence
Link
Iktel http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3814
Link
MNSi http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2731
Link
Mornington Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3773
Link
Mountain Cable http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2134
Link
MTS (Allstream) http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,1671
Link
Nexicom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2951
Link
Novus http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2439
Link
PrimusTel http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2019
Link
Radioactif http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3353
Link
RipNET http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3236
Link
SaskTel http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,207
Link
START http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2941
Link
Storm Internet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2266
Link
Telnet Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3549
Link
Velcom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2880
Link
ViF http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2841
Link
WaveDirect http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3804
Link
Wightman Telecom http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3523
Link
Xplornet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2584
Link
Yak Communications http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3359
Link
YouMano http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,3701
Link
ZiD Internet http://www.dslreports.com/forum/cover,2974
Link


10.0 ISP Specific

10.1 Aliant

What are the VPI/VCI settings for Aliant?

Why cant I find any technical details for my Comtrend CT-301 ADSL modem?

The Comtrend CT-301 was custom made by Comtrend Corporation for Aliant high-speed internet and Aliant has yet to give any technical details on this modem. This is why Comtrend has no such product called a CT-301 or a history of such on their homepage.

However, the CT-301 is very similar to the CT-300, and to a lesser degree, the CT-500. We have technical documents available on those modems which may be of some use:
downloadCT300.zip 497,967 bytes
(CT300.pdf)

Why does my DSL become unusable when I have many open connections at once?

Aliant has imposed a maximum concurrent connection limit of 200 connections. Many applications will break this limit, such as online gaming during pinging of a server list, or popular multisourcing P2P apps, such as Bittorrent. Once you break the connection limit, your connection will become useless until you relogin with your router or PPPoE software. Aliant has no real true explanation other then to prevent router congestion, but this totally breaks their advertising claim of the service being dedicated rather then shared.

Any other information available on Aliant?

Check out these threads:

/forum/remark,9973206~mode=flat
/forum/remark,9819317~mode=flat
/forum/remark,7970266~mode=flat

Is Aliant part of Bell Sympatico?

Aliant is owned by Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), but that's all it shares in common with Bell Sympatico. The networks are completely different and separate, the modems used are completely different, there are different VPI/VCI settings for the modems, and the management does things differently.

Is there a web interface for the Comtrend 301 modem?

Yes, see following information provided by S_D See Profile

From as much analysis as I have been able to complete, I believe that the CT-301 is nothing more than a reworked CT-300 (some lights on the front got changed but I believe that the base hardware is the same [no proof though]). The CT-300 & the CT-500 share many features and also a common firmware upgrade file. I have used one of said firmware upgrade files to upgrade a CT-301 and it appeared to be working afterwards. The CT-301 as released from Aliant has a default IP address of 10.0.0.1. To access the modem, you need to connect a crossover cable from the modem to a network card in your computer. Then you need to setup the TCP/IP properties for your network card as follows:

IP Address: 10.0.0.3
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 10.0.0.1

Once you have applied those settings, you need to open a telnet session to the router.

telnet 10.0.0.1

Then it will ask for a username and password combo. (I will not go into details about the pain I went thru to tease the correct password out of the device, but here it is).

Username: root
Password: RM60008

That will get you root access thru the FTP interface. You should then go to Configuration and HTTPD and set it to Enabled to re-enable the web based configuration which Aliant turned off for some brilliant reason.

You can then save the changes and exit the telnet session.

Now you can browse to 10.0.0.1 with your web browser of choice and logon. For read only access use user/user otherwise use root/RM60008 for root access. I recommend the web interface over the telnet one for ease of use.

Note the web configuration dialog has a nice statistics page allowing you to check line quality and such while online with the modem.