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smbdsl

join:2011-03-14
San Mateo, CA

Reviewing my Sonic DSL $/service, comparing other options

At my location, I've a staticIP block, and run mail, web & file servers. All's behind my own iptables-based, linux firewall.

My choices for ISP are:

(1) ATT DSL, 6x768 
(2) Sonic DSL, 6x768 w/ ATT line
(3) ATT UVerse
(4) Comcast
 

I'd started w/ (1) ATT DSL, then switched to (2) Sonic when they offered a 1-year discounted rate that positioned them just a bit more expensive than ATT per/mo.

In 2 months, my 1 yr plan runs out, and Sonic's raising my rate by $20/mo. In the interim, ATT's dropped it's prices on DSL further, and the price/performance for the both (3) & (4) -- with much higher up-/down-stream performace for not much more $$$ -- have improved.

From where I sit, Sonic's service offering is 'standing still', and they're raising my price. Service is good when it's up; when it's down I still have to deal with ATT. Not terribly happy about any of that. So I'm reviewing my option.

I'd originally avoided (3) & (4) because of the "stateful firewall" I'd heard 'they' put out in front of my network -- and that it would "cause problems".

I've been (re)reading what I can find on the matter, and am unclear at the current state of affairs.

Specifically:

(A) What does sticking with Sonic's service -- at the increased rate -- get me? Is there any advantage left?

(B) What won't function correctly with Comcast/ATT stateful firewalls out front?

(C) IIUC, the stateful firewall is imposed by the router hardware provided. In either the Comcast/ATT cases, can I use my own hardware to eliminate the problem?


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

My guess is that you are connected back to an RT, so "Fusion" is not an option. AT&T is aggressively pushing their customers to IPDSLAM, who are too far for IPTV, so they don't respond to requests to extend promotional prices on the older ADSL lines.

I have no clue about configuring RGs provided by either for what I presume is a business class service.

You are really stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I can't see the best way out.

Would be real easy if "Fusion" was an option, but ...
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


smbdsl

join:2011-03-14
San Mateo, CA

said by NormanS:

My guess is that you are connected back to an RT.

I am. ~1500 ft ...

said by NormanS:

configuring RGs provided by either

There's been much posted about the 'DMZ' zone, and multiple-NAT, etc. All seems a terrible hack, can't get a complete story anywhere yet, and -- per the reason for my OP -- what the functional issues actuall are.

said by NormanS:

for what I presume is a business class service

Kind of, sort of.

This *is* for my business, but I serve these bits & pieces from my home office. IT's a Static/29, and I *do* care abt up-time, etc.

But, atm, it's 'residential' because that's what AT&T deems the line. Therefore, Sonic calls it the same.

Iiuc, I *can* get Comcast 'Business Class' service here. Unclear so far re: Uverse -- getting anything other than Marketing blather from their site is painful.


leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

reply to smbdsl

I think the stateful firewall that you are referring to is the blocking of certain ports or otherwise degrading certain services by the ISP for a variety of reasons:
- prevent the violation of TOS by the customer (for residential service, running of servers is not permitted by AT&T and Comcast)
- prevent SPAM (block outgoing email to SMTP port 25)
- protection of other income streams (especially television service)
None of of this is done inside the CPE and therefore using your own equipment would not allow you to bypass such blocks.
For (3) and depending on your bundling of other services also (4) you are required to use equipment provided by the ISP.
In some areas where (3) is available, (1) has been discontinued. While it will physically exist until the last subscriber is of the DSLAM, no new service will be established and (3) will be provided instead. In fact some (1) customers have been notified that there service is changed to (3) and it appears that AT&T is not always waiting for those last few customers to migrate on their own.
I believe both (3) and (4) require business service (not residential) in order to be able to get a static IP address.
For (3) ATT is deploying CGN (carrier grade NAT) as their solution to provide IPv6 to their customers. While you may or may not be interested in IPv6, this does have an important impact on you if you use NAT on your LAN (very few people don't). Because AT&T chose 10/8 as their address block for CGN you cannot use that block on your LAN despite the fact that it is one of the official network blocks reserved for private networks. It also means that regardless which private network address you are using that all your Internet traffic does double-NAT (doesn't matter for some protocols but causes problems with others).
Comcasts IPv6 strategy is different and therefore (4) doesn't have the same issue.

(A) a clean pipe to the Internet without bandwidth limit, blocked ports or other interference from the ISP.

(B) varies. While both Comcast and AT&T have official policies for this, their enforcement differs both regionally and sometimes even within the same part of a city. Some things can be worked around (e.g. use dynamic dns if you can't get a static IP, forward outgoing email to the ISP email server instead of directly delivering it to the recipient MX when port 25 is blocked) but there is not much you can do if incoming port 80 is blocked to prevent you from running your own webserver.

(C) It is not imposed by the provided CPE and in some cases you are forced to use ISP provided equipment. While uverse continues to use standard based internet service (ADSL2, VDSL) it now authenticates the CPE and only syncs if an AT&T certificate is installed in it. Comcast at this point still allows you to use your own equipment (be sure to check the compatibility lists at comcast.net if you plan to do that) if you only subscribe to their Internet service but requires Comcast provided equipment when other services are bundled.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


smbdsl

join:2011-03-14
San Mateo, CA

> prevent the violation of TOS by the customer (for residential service, running of servers is not permitted by AT&T and Comcast)

Clear. Although, for ATT, if you've StaticIP on a Residential line, servers are fine. That's exactly the situation I had b4 switching to Sonic.

> In some areas where (3) is available, (1) has been discontinued. While it will physically exist until the
> last subscriber is of the DSLAM, no new service will be established and (3) will be provided instead.

I've just started reading/hearing about this. I'll look into what the situation is in my locale. Thx for the heads up.

> For (3) ATT is deploying CGN (carrier grade NAT) as their solution to provide IPv6 to their customers.
> While you may or may not be interested in IPv6, this does have an important impact on you if you use NAT
> on your LAN (very few people don't).

It is, and I'm already deployed -- using HE Tunnelbroker tunnels, as Sonic's IPv6 service/plans remain a "super-secret" as of last, recent check.

> Because AT&T chose 10/8 as their address block for CGN you cannot use that block on your LAN despite the
> fact that it is one of the official network blocks reserved for private networks.

That I did not know. And, of course, I use 10/8 addy's in my LAN. :-/

> It also means that regardless which private network address you are using that all your Internet traffic
> does double-NAT (doesn't matter for some protocols but causes problems with others).

The 'double-NAT' has me a bit concerned. Other than recognizing it's a performance overhead, I'm not at all sure what, if anything, I'd have to modify on my existing FW/Router that bridges out to Sonic-provided 'net.

> Comcasts IPv6 strategy is different and therefore (4) doesn't have the same issue.

noted

> Comcast at this point still allows you to use your own equipment (be sure to check the compatibility lists
> at comcast.net if you plan to do that)

Haven't found any such lists ... yet. Back to the site ...

> if you only subscribe to their Internet service

That's all I'll ever do -- just Internet. All my other services I'd (continue to) get elsewhere.

Thanks.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

said by smbdsl:

> Comcast at this point still allows you to use your own equipment (be sure to check the compatibility lists
> at comcast.net if you plan to do that)

Haven't found any such lists ... yet. Back to the site ...

The list is here . It should support D3 (DOCSIS version 3.0) and IPv6. Unfortunately the level of IPv6 support differs and that detail isn't shown on that list. From what I understand (I'm not a Comcast customer) some modems support providing an IPv6 address to a single device attached to the modem while others support DHCPv6-PD (RFC-3633) which means that they are able to delegate a Comcast provided IPv6 prefix to the computers on your home network.
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 edit
reply to smbdsl

I think the advanced reliability and easy access and responsiveness of tech support are worth much more than people give credit for.

In my neighborhood email list, there is regular whinging about dropped signals and sluggish web response from those on AT&T or Comcast. I never have these issues with Sonic.

The email service is much better, with awesome spam filtering and quick response.

The only thing I feel that is grossly overpriced is the Basic Hosting service, at $20/mo.


signalsays

join:2012-09-18
united state

Bobrk, which Sonic.net service do you have now, what speeds do you get and how much do you pay for it monthly? Just looked into it, Sonic.net installation is pricey compared with Comcast cable - $150 installation and $85 activation. Also takes 7-10 days to get installed whereas Comcast installation is faster.



bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

I have the static elite legacy dsl and I can count on 5Mbps. The service cots $69 plus the $20 for the basic website hosting. I might be able to get the same service from AT&T but I don't think the servers will be as reliable and I probably won't be able to have all the email accounts that I have.


Tobester

join:2000-11-14
San Francisco, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

If you are eligible for either Sonic's re-sold legacy DSL or Fusion service, their customer and technical service is beyond compare.

When I had AT&T DSL it was a nightmare getting technical service, since accessing your personal AT&T administrative site forces you over to a U-Verse site; and then a Yahoo site visit is required for mail service.

Having different passwords to constantly log in and out of various the sites takes too much time.

When dealing with the Comcast website, getting internet pricing information is especially aggravating.

Additionally, I know we are not talking television here, but the Comcast corporate "lack of care" is through out the company.

Whether the website or customer service, getting accurate information is difficult, especially which channels go with each pricing tier level.

With the television digital conversion, I was getting different information from representatives constantly.

I received a postcard saying I need digital converters for my analog tuners. So I ordered them, but the activation process failed.
A technical visit was scheduled and they "no-showed."
On the second visit, the tech called into his Supervisor to find out my service plan didn't require the DTA's.

Guess what Comcast sent in the mail last week? Yes, another postcard saying they were upgrading channels to digital service and I needed DTA converters.

Their is a reason Comcast is one of the most despised companies in the USA

Getting questions easy answered by Sonic representatives is refreshing. There is a genuine helpfulness on each call.

So your internet choices are between Sonic's Excellence, the Bad, and the Horrible!