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BoteMan

join:2002-11-11
Fort Lauderdale, FL

[Business] Business vs Residential service

I am very close to ordering Comcast cable Internet service in southeast Florida (Broward County). What are the salient differences between residential and business Internet service with them?

This would be in a residential 1-story townhouse/apartment, not a commercial location. I'm pretty computer-savvy, if that matters.

I have read the FAQs and numerous forum messages and am getting analysis paralysis. Right this moment I'm leaning toward business class because the residential service apparently blocks ANYTHING resembling a server. Does it? I might want to set up a FreeSwitch pbx here as a hobby experiment for myself, not to resell VoIP service, and really don't want to be hobbled by such restrictions. Are there other considerations?

Bottom line: is Comcast business Internet worth the additional expense? Sorry if this is answered in a wiki, FAQ, or sticky post somewhere, but I just haven't found it. Please direct me there if it is current, not from 2008 like so many of them are.

Thanks in advance.
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NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 edit

1 recommendation

Here is a list of ports that are blocked for business class service (yes business class has blocked ports too):
»businesshelp.comcast.com/Pages/H···upport=1

Here is a list of ports that are blocked for residential class service:
»customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···d-ports/

The last time I read the TOS, Comcast officially did not allow you to operate an internet facing server that served content to the public for either a dynamic business class account or a residential class account. However, that rule is generally not enforced. The only time you are likely to get into trouble for operating a server (even on a residential account) is if someone complains about the content, or Comcast detects activity that they interpret as botnet traffic.

If you want to be 99.99% safe from Comcast complaining about you running public servers, then get a static IP business class account (but you can still get dinged if someone complains about content, or if Comcast thinks you are part of a botnet).

The biggest advantage of a business class account is better, faster tech support if you have problems. The lack of a bandwidth cap used to also be a factor, but currently there is no bandwidth cap for residential class service either (but that is likely not permanent).
--
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noc007

join:2002-06-18
Cumming, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to BoteMan
According to their TOS, you can't run a server unless your pay their insane monthly rate for a Static IP: »business.comcast.com/smb/terms-conditions

I personally have had the Residential and Business internet services and ran a server without a problem. I'm presently on the Business service since I couldn't take the chance of going over the 250GB cap. My server runs a website that only I use and gives me remote access into my network. I don't think running a a PBX for just yourself would be a problem.

Using both services, I have found that the Business service gets one better customer service. Last time I had Residential internet, service for the whole apartment complex would be down for two days and they didn't care. Also, I seem to get better sustained speeds that what I'm paying for and what others in my area are getting. YMMV obviously.

For what you're doing, I don't see a reason to go with one over the other when excluding the customer service side of things. In the 1:1000000000 chance they catch you, just play dumb, say you misunderstood the TOS, and apologize.

keason
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Ann Arbor, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
reply to BoteMan
Business >cost, except standalone 12/2 vs rack rate residential 12/2
Business - not great for bundles including TV. Bundle phone
Business - 2 (12/2), 8(22/5), or 16 (higher) exchange accounts. Great for syncing your email ,phone, calendar between smartphones, ipads and PC
Business - better support
Business -no caps, no overage charges
Business - 1-3 year contract, auto renewals - no price increase during contract term, 70% of remaining contract cancellation penalty
Business- can get static IPs when renting comcast router ($7/mo), TOS permits servers, etc....

Residential - overage charges (TBD), can bundle TV/phone, poor support, more supported modems, no static IPs, limited TOS, usually 30-50% cheaper, especially for faster packages.


BoteMan

join:2002-11-11
Fort Lauderdale, FL
OK, that's a good summary. I don't consider having the ability to run any kind of a server a driving factor, that was more of a nicety to know about, and now I know, thanks. And I doubt that I'll be bundling anything, certainly not phone since I can get that all day long from my switch at work.

The deal breaker for a business account might be the contract. What kind of commitment (past the initial 30 days) do they hold you to when you subscribe to residential Performance tier?

The outages around here seem to have tamed down according to my neighbor who has had Comcast Internet for over a year. Compared to the way AT&T DSL is performing any more I could stand a few hours of Comcast being down hard as a trade. This DSL is getting close to dial-up performance at times and I can't stand waiting any longer since I'm spoiled at work now.

Thanks for all the input.
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n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
said by BoteMan:

The deal breaker for a business account might be the contract. What kind of commitment (past the initial 30 days) do they hold you to when you subscribe to residential Performance tier?

For residential, none at all.
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KI6RIT


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to BoteMan
The main reason I have a business class account is the static IPs - I run several servers @ home.

Secondary is better support. It is better.

Lastly would be the cap issue. In practice I rarely exceed 250GB on 12/2 business class.

those three make it worth the additional expense
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BoteMan

join:2002-11-11
Fort Lauderdale, FL
If I can upgrade to business class without penalty (can't see why there would be) or extreme difficulty, then that would be my exit strategy if residential doesn't work out so well.

I'm gonna go with the SB6121 which is on the list for biz class, so I'll be ready to go. I really can't see paying for static addresses, particularly at the prices they charge. The server consideration is minor for my needs.
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n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
No penalty for upgrading, other than the mandatory installation and the accompanying fee. The cost for that varies on the length of the contract; longer contract=lower install fee. It seems to vary by area, but I think mine was $49 for installation, with a 3-year contract.
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KI6RIT