eHam Forums => Computers And Software => Topic started by: NI0C on February 12, 2007, 07:44:54 AM

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: NI0C on February 12, 2007, 07:44:54 AM
After years of sharing a dial-up connection with my wife, I fell for a promotional ad for Earthlink's DSL service.  What an exercise in frustration that was!  Without going into all the gory details, suffice it to say that I spent a total of eight hours on the phone with six technicians (and one arrogant "master" technician) from Earthlink, and none of them could offer any constructive clues to get me connected.  One tech offered to send a replacement modem (which I was to pay for!).  

This morning I cancelled the service, and arranged to send back the modem for a refund (this phone call took a half-hour during which I was subjected to repeated pleas to call their technical support again, and to sell me additional products).  

My question is-- is this typical?  Who can I turn to for reliable service without all this hassle?  

Chuck  NI0C

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: W5GA on February 12, 2007, 10:41:10 AM
Check out WildBlue satellite service.  Not as fast as DSL, but LOADS faster than dialup.  My experience with the installation was seamless.  $50/month (approx) and a $300 up front equipment and installation charge.  See

Good Luck

Doug W5GA

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: W3LK on February 12, 2007, 02:07:31 PM
Have you tried contacting you local TelCo?

My experience with EarthLink in any fashion has been similarly frustrating.


Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: KE4DRN on February 12, 2007, 04:50:16 PM
hi chuck,

not sure of your telco provider,
see what promos are available for your area,

most have website to see if service is available
and that gets you started.  final word is after
they check the circuit(s) to your qth.

I just changed from a dial up to adsl, now the family can share my connection on their own computers.

you'll get the dsl modem free with a rebate most of the time so your net cost is zero for equipment.

then add a Wireless-G Broadband Router - WRT54G by linksys,
this will give you wifi in the home and add a firewall to your home network all in one box,
easy to setup and be up and running fast. about $ 50 or so at walmart, etc.

73 james

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: NI0C on February 13, 2007, 08:32:16 AM
Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions.  I found that I am not alone by doing a google search on "earthlink sucks."  It was amazing what came up, including a web site that someone has put up by that very name!

Chuck  NI0C

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: KB3LSR on February 13, 2007, 08:47:28 PM
Look into cable internet, it's a lot faster and cheaper.  If you add up the prices of services (~$20 for the phone line, and ~$50 for the DSL subscription) and compare them to cable (~$10 for BASIC TV service, ~$30 for VoIP phone and ~$40 for high-speed internet) you can see what's best for you.  Cable speeds are much higher, I get 5MBs through cable and it's more bandwidth then I'd ever need, but it cuts right through on Linux ISO's and makes Echolink/realtime voice flawless.

73 de KB3LSR

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: KAISERSOUSE on February 15, 2007, 07:42:34 AM
Do NOT get satelite internet if you plan on doing anything other than web surfing and email.  You cannot do any P2P sharing, you cannot download more that 250MB in a 4hr window or you get knocked back to 56k speed.  I have hughesnet, and for me it blows chunks. No gaming, no downloading, horrific telnet/SSH, cant telecommute..but I sure can snipe ebay auctions and download spam email like nobody's business!

Cliffnotes: Internet from space sucks.

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: K8AC on February 15, 2007, 08:05:04 PM
Perhaps I've just been lucky, but my experience with Earthlink DSL has been very good.  The installer, unlike cable TV installers I've seen, was a senior in the Electrical Engineering program at NC State.  He quickly had the service up and running and I've had only one 2 hour outage in 8 months.  On the other hand, I signed up for the Earthlink DSL service through Sprint (our local telephone provider) and they promised me the service for $24.95.  When the first bill came, it was for $39.95.  After a few arguments with them, they gave up and sent me to Earthlink, who reduced the price to $29.95.  Sprint (now Embarq) continues to run the ads locally for their $24.94-for-life price, but you can get that price only by buying an array of overpriced telephone add-on features.

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: AA4PB on February 16, 2007, 04:50:51 PM
Regardless of who the ISP is, the DSL service itself is provided by your local phone company. I've set up a number of Verizon DSL services for friends and family. In most cases there was no problem. When I did have a problem however, I got the run-around because Verizon provides the DSL and a different part of Verizon provides the ISP services. Whoever you are talking to at the moment automatically assumes that the problem must be on the other side. You get a clue when they give you two different trouble numbers to call, one for phone service and one for DSL service.

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: WX4O on February 22, 2007, 02:54:18 PM
I use cable exclusively and have for about 3 years.
The speed has increased by double and the price is the same - $39.95/month. Very reliable.

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: N0FPE on February 23, 2007, 05:35:20 AM
I have used only cable for the last 4 years. Blows DSL away! A coworker has DSL at home. I can login to our company website, do my dayly paperwork and be done before he gets to the login page. And its not a matter of his DSL not working right, because it does. Its that cable is so much faster! Heck there are times when he calls me to close his work orders while he tells me what was done over the nextel! Forget DSL or Sat. get cable....

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: KE4DRN on February 26, 2007, 06:11:12 PM

perhaps your coworker needs to flush the cache and
run defrag and check for some spyware.

loading your corporate webpage and the login screen should not take more then a few seconds.

if the dsl is working fine then the problem in on
his pc.

Yes, cable is faster but if you don't download or upload a lot of content you may not need the speed and the price that is charged for it.

The top speed is best effort, also depends on the site(s) you visit and the speed from their servers.

One example is the microsoft update, they are very fast to download and once in a while they are very slow.

73 james

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: W6GF on March 06, 2007, 06:16:33 PM
As a retired supplier of data communications equipment, my off the record advice is get your service from your local TELCO.

George, W6GF

Title: Reliable DSL service?
Post by: KE7CDV on June 14, 2007, 10:06:04 AM
DSL is not always a worse choice than cable.  At least where I'm at, the choices are:

Cable model: $64/mo (unless you have cable TV, which gets you a $10/mo discount), 3Mbps downloads, 128kbps uploads

DSL: $45/mo (unless you have dial tone, which gets you a $5/mo discount), 1.5Mmbps downloads, 768kbps uploads.

(We have neither dial tone -- just use cell phones -- or cable TV -- just satellite.)

As you can see, depending on whether or not you qualify for discounts and *particulary* how much you care about upload speeds, cable is not always the best choice.