Internet services in Minneapolis, MN. Thoughts, experiences, suggestions?
September 9, 2011 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Internet services in Minneapolis, MN. Thoughts, experiences, suggestions?

I've just recently moved to Minneapolis, and I am in need of and ISP. All of the previous locations I've lived at had internet included in rent/provided by the landlord, so I'm completely new to this. Does anyone have any recommendations for me? Or perhaps ISPs to stay away from? Or just general ISP experiences to share?
posted by Forerunner343 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
I have been very happy with Comcast Business (not consumer!). Cheapish rates, good service. If you look at the Comcast site, they will say your address isn't a business. Ignore it :) If you call them, they will do it.

I have also had Visi for DSL, which was mostly frustrating because it was DSL (nobody makes gear!) and having to deal with Qwest.... erm, CenturyLink... at all.
posted by gregglind at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2011

We have MediaCom. In previous years we had horrible service that required 40+ minute calls to customer service, but we haven't had to do that lately, thank god.
posted by gumtree at 2:40 PM on September 9, 2011

What do you guys know about USIW free wifi?
posted by Forerunner343 at 2:44 PM on September 9, 2011

USI is hit or miss depending on your immediate location. It's fine for small bandwidth needs for many people.

We have a 6Mb cable internet through Actually, it's the same as Comcast (billed and serviced through them), but when we signed up, it was cheaper to buy it through Earthlink. It's fine.
posted by advicepig at 2:50 PM on September 9, 2011

USIW isn't free except for in a few scattered areas (and I believe it's 1Mb service there).

I have the 3Mb (1Mb up) service in south Minneapolis and it works pretty much as advertised with the wireless modem you can buy from them. It's $30/month, though, so I've been thinking to switching to Comcast for as long as I can get promotional pricing since it'd be faster and not much more than that.

(USIW includes roaming service, though, which is occasionally useful)
posted by substars at 2:53 PM on September 9, 2011

USIW is a little sketchy in certain types of construction. I lived a quarter of a block from a transmitter but still could only get a connection if I was out in the sunporch of my old brick apartment building, ie, where I could actually see the transmitter through the window. Also, that was the pay service, the free hotspots are here and there but not ubiquitous.
posted by padraigin at 3:08 PM on September 9, 2011

I have USIW. It is very cheap, I get about 4.5 Mbps on the 6 Mbps plan, and I live 2 blocks from a transmitter. However, it probably cuts out once or twice a month for a couple of hours at a time, and it always cuts out during severe rainstorms. For this reason, I would not recommend it if you ever have to be on the Internet. Their tech support is very friendly; I bet you could ask them to do a site survey at your location to make sure you'll get a good speed before buying.
posted by miyabo at 3:16 PM on September 9, 2011

Having a job where I work remotely from a laptop, I would probably need at stable 3mb or faster connection.
posted by Forerunner343 at 3:21 PM on September 9, 2011

Yeah, if you really need it for your job I'd go for Comcast Business. Even cable does go down sometimes and it would be nice to get someone to fix it right away.
posted by miyabo at 3:27 PM on September 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have Qwest/CenturyLink. They're currently running all sorts of offers, I guess because they think people hate them after the merger. Of course, this is pissing me off, as I doubt they'll extend the offers to me. There's not much to say for it other than that it goes out less frequently than my mother's Comcast connection (in Illinois). Qwest customer support are idiots, though. When I was talking to them before I moved here, they told me they weren't an ISP. Rather, they 'provided internet service'. They thought an ISP was something like what the AOL software was/is.
posted by hoyland at 5:36 PM on September 9, 2011

Do not go with Centurylink - they are absolutely terrible. I live in Chaska and had them, paid for 10 MBPS, barely got 1.5 on good days. Less at peak times After 3 months, canceled and went with Comcast. Much better. Look at Centurylink on, they are in the toilet and with the massive expansion they are doing - their network infrastructure is crumbling fast.

I would go with Comcast around this area, my girlfriend has it as well in Maple Grove and we haven't had any problems with either of our connections that wasn't resolved in 24 hours.
posted by lpcxa0 at 6:41 PM on September 9, 2011

I've had Qwest/CenturyLink for five years now, using it to work from home fulltime for two of those years, and have had zero problems. *shrugs*

Some friends of mine have USIW and it seems like their internet goes down at least once a week or more. Very spotty service.
posted by anderjen at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2011

I am outside Minneapolis in SE Minnesota, but I have Qwest/Centurylink and have never had a problem with the service going down, and have never had a problem with the upload or download speeds. Not saying they're anything amazing either but they were the lesser of 2 evils in my area.

I chose them because when I called the competitor, the competitor's rep tried to upsell me to a package that was going to be something like 79.99 a month minimum. I asked her about their cheapest package and not only was it not at all cheap, she condescendingly said "you'll never be able to do anything on that connection." Well, yes we will, we can, and we currently do fine including online gaming and Netflix On Demand at the cheapest promotional rate on Qwest (I think I'm paying $24.99 a month or so, this is for internet connection only with no phone line). What a racket.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:27 PM on September 9, 2011

Have Comcast broadband here, with basic cable thrown in to lower the price a little. Look around, see what kind of intro deal you can get, and note when it expires and your rates go up. Sometimes you can call and badger the reps into renewing a discount, but I've never been lucky with that.

Usually the packages offered are for open-ended contracts, but there are apparently fixed length contracts too if you ask about them.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:37 AM on September 11, 2011

I also have Comcast Business. It is well worth the cost. When I upgraded to the 22/5 tier, the new DOCSIS3 modem stopped working the first night. I called in at 10:30 PM and they offered to have someone out by 2 AM to replace it. I didn't take them up on the offer at the time, but it was good to know they were ready to fix the issue right away.
posted by Climber at 7:55 AM on September 12, 2011

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