Good ISP in NYC
June 13, 2011 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I need a recommendation for a good ISP in NYC.

I'll be moving out to New York in a month and a half or so; I don't have a place yet but am hoping to find somewhere around Fort Greene, Park Slope or thereabouts in Brooklyn. Here in San Francisco I've been pretty much ecstatically happy with my ISP,, which is an AT&T reseller and gives me something like 8 mbps on a DSL line for about $50 / month, and I'd like to find something similar out in New York. Are there any good options?

Some details: I don't want or need a land line, VOIP service, or a cable TV package. The things I like about Sonic are that their tech support people are very competent and don't treat me like an idiot once they suss out that I'm technical, they don't have download caps or similar shenanigans, and they have decent newsgroup servers (with maybe 3 weeks of retention).

If it's possible, I'd really like to avoid being a direct customer of Time Warner or a similar megacorp; another thing I like about Sonic is that I feel that they act as an advocate on my behalf towards AT&T. I don't mind paying a higher price for good service. I'll be doing a good deal of telecommuting, so I need reliable service.
posted by whir to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Speakeasy is available, however, after the Covad/Megapath merge, the service was beyond horrible. (Downloads are capped, in an odd way - a large download will start dropping packets to kill it. On purpose.) I've had them for nearly a decade now, but I was forced to cancel them.

Verizon DSL I have less experience with, but people that I know who have it all moved over to cable because it was very lacking. I'd avoid.

Your best bet is to get a business-class cable modem from whichever of the two providers are available in your direct area. I think it is TW in Ft. Greene, but it might be Optimum/Cablevision. Their consumer lines are quick but not to be trusted. The business lines are fucking fantastic. Totally separate billing and support. You can get 50mbps for about $120 a month with guaranteed uptime from either of them.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:02 PM on June 13, 2011

I've had RCN for about a year and couldn't be happier. I'm paying about $30 for a 15 mbps connection. I had a 10 mbps connection and they just upgraded me for free a few months ago. I also have not had any downtime that I can recall.

Looks like you can get the 15 mbps package for $35 a month now.

Something to note is that in NYC availability varies widely from building to building. I was able to get RCN or Time Warner but I know buildings across the street don't have access to RCN (only Time Warner).

If it's available, people have been very happy with FIOS (fiber to the home) too. Looks like its a bit pricier, but I've heard its fairly reliable too.
posted by jourman2 at 12:15 PM on June 13, 2011

If you can get FIOS, get FIOS. It's fast and reliable. If you can't get FIOS, go with cable. You can use one of four different ISPs with Time Warner (I have no experience with any except Road Runner.) But see if you can get FIOS, first.
posted by andrewraff at 1:12 PM on June 13, 2011

Absolutely do not get your hopes up about FIOS in Ft. Greene. Unless you're moving into a literally brand new condo building. And if they had it available, they would have probably let you know about it and used it as a selling point. FIOS footprint in New York City is totally nonexistent.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:43 PM on June 13, 2011

You could try panix.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:11 PM on June 13, 2011

Welcome to NYC, you really only have three options:

Verizon FIOS: Super fast, depending on your plan. However, not all buildings are wired for it.

Time Warner: Not as fast, but it's available everywhere.

AT&T DSL: No idea about this, but I'm sure it isn't as good as Time Warner.

Earthlink is a reseller of Time Warner, but you will still be getting billed by Time Warner.

That's about it. I'd go with Time Warner and bite the bullet. It's the least bad of the three options.
posted by darkgroove at 5:45 AM on June 14, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies, everybody. I've just signed the lease on a place (in Carroll Gardens). From the various online service-finders, it looks as though I can't get FIOS, RCN or Cablevision at my apartment, so it looks as though my options are Verizon DSL or Time-Warner cable. From the comments above, I'm going to rule out Verizon DSL (and Panix, which appears to just resell it), so it looks like I'm left with one of the four ISPs that resell TWC.

Having done a little research, it looks like TWC backed off of its threats to institute download caps in 2009, so that doesn't worry me too much. Is there anytthing else I should look out for while trying to choose between them?
posted by whir at 3:36 PM on June 29, 2011

Response by poster: Well, having looked at all of my options it looks like I'm going to be going for RoadRunner's wideband service, which is "up to" 50Mbps down / 5Mbps up for $100 per month. In some positive news, it looks as though my girlfriend's company will pay for at least some of this, which takes some of the sting out of the price tag. FiOS is supposedly coming soon to my neighborhood, but for now Verizon just offers DSL there. I also briefly considered ClearWire, but their offer of about 3-6 Mbps for $45 monthly isn't that appealing, and the reviews I've read seem decidedly mixed. Thanks for the feedback, all.
posted by whir at 11:40 AM on July 14, 2011

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