Best internet providers for a new grad student in Toronto?
June 14, 2012 10:19 AM   Subscribe

What's a good and cheap internet provider for a grad student? Right now I'm considering Rogers, Bell, Shaw and Telehop Internet. Look for the best price/performance ratio.. what were your past experiences with any of the aforementioned providers?
posted by mike_a to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked into TekSavvy? No contracts, higher bandwith caps -- good things for a grad student if you are planning on doing a lot of streaming video instead of purchasing cable tv.
posted by modernnomad at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yes, I've been with Teksavvy six years now. Their prices are good, and their tech support staff eat the fruit of the clue tree frequently.
posted by scruss at 10:26 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wind? Virgin mobile?

Don't go with the big three (Rogers, Bell, Shaw) unless you need the improved rural reception. Each of them has a rather dire reputation.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:30 AM on June 14, 2012

Yes, Teksavvy (unless there's some reason you didn't mention them in the question).

They use Bell/Rogers infrastructure, but provide better customer service and better pricing options (higher caps/unlimited, far lower prices for overage, and unlike Rogers they won't cancel your service if you go over some hidden limit on your 'unlimited' service). Unless you're already getting a bunch of cable/phone services from Bell/Rogers and get a sweet bundle deal, there's no reason to go to one of the big guys for internet service.
posted by Gortuk at 10:42 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Slackermagee -- neither Wind nor Virgin mobile provide normal internet services, other than limited data plans for cell phones/tablets etc...
posted by modernnomad at 10:53 AM on June 14, 2012

Also, check out for reviews of services available in your postal code.
posted by Gortuk at 10:55 AM on June 14, 2012

I've heard good things about Acanac as well as Teksavvy; my SO and I have just ordered Acanac (lower prices for high speeds than Teksavvy).

For light internet usage (email, websurfing but no streaming video), I find my cell phone service (Mobiliticy) to be sufficient - I can make a portable hotspot and I have an unlimited dataplan.
posted by jb at 11:07 AM on June 14, 2012

I mostly love TekSavvy -- cheap, good speeds, rarely goes down. When it does go down, though: euuugh. They blame everything on Rogers (since that's who they rent the pipes from) and it takes forever to fix (last summer it was down for me for 6 days). It's also important to note that if you're switching to them from someone else it can take up to 3 weeks (!!).

Acanac, however, you should AVOID. I waited 6 weeks (!!) to get service from them, and it turned out they lied about the speeds I could expect when signing up and then told me to my face that they had done so. They also charged me for the 6 weeks I went without internet. They were blatantly rude. The service was down, oh, 30% of the time. We actually left Acanac and went back to Rogers (this was before TekSavvy was available in my area) it was so bad.
posted by AmandaA at 11:59 AM on June 14, 2012

Using acanac cable, I pay for a 10Mb/s plan and get a 30Mb/s peaks speed. Unlimited bandwidth. $35/month. I love it.

Best price/performance may go to bell, they have both 50 and 175Mbps plans now.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 3:46 PM on June 14, 2012

Love Teksavvy, never had a problem.
posted by dripdripdrop at 4:43 PM on June 14, 2012

I've actually been done well by Shaw over the last decade (Kerrisdale, W. Broadway corridor - Vancouver) by their high-end cable internet. Getting 5.7 MBps (48 Mbps) sustained consistently, perpetually, from a premium usenet server (Astraweb).

Been subscribed at various "extreme" levels and although they had advertised caps, they never really monitored them at the higher pay levels. Their unlimited is almost certainly truly unlimited.

I don't have cable TV. Shaw wants me to have cable TV for some reason. I am currently on a 1 year cancelable deal with super-duper-extreme internet and cable TV (which I don't use) for $44/mo, which is cheaper than just the internet.

Shaw keeps phoning me with deals like this - I can remember at least five times in the last decade, with the deals lasting 6 months or 12; pay less per month AND get free cable (or just free cable). The only caveat is that I have to remember to cancel before/when the deal runs out.
posted by porpoise at 10:32 PM on June 14, 2012

Oh - wow, just remembered. This would have to have been around the beginning of 2003. Had a residential high speed account with Shaw, the monthly cap was 20G or something, I broke that, internet stopped working, got a call from a representative from Shaw before I got a chance to call them.

Told me that I was over the cap. Suggested that I upgrade to the next tier (it might have been like $40 up to 60 or something) with a "high cap limit." Quotes enunciated. I kept tabs on my useage on their secure website. There was no correlation between what they logged and how much that I sucked guzzled down with abandon.

Haven't looked back since and their "free cable" WTFness keeps me with them.
posted by porpoise at 10:39 PM on June 14, 2012

Response by poster: Okay, sounds to me that Teksavvy is the clear winner lol ... maybe Shaw too.
posted by mike_a at 11:12 AM on June 15, 2012

To the best of my knowledge, Shaw does not offer any services inside the city of Toronto.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:05 AM on June 16, 2012

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