Recommend me a RELIABLE ISP in Columbus Ohio?
March 15, 2013 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm a professional poker player and internet disconnects cost me money. Each disconnect averages around 5 dollars, but obviously if it disconnects at the wrong time it could cost me thousands. I want a very reliable internet, (I've heard there are some that guarantee 99.x% uptime for business usually) But I think those are super expensive ($1,000/month), so please also give some common ISPS
posted by crawltopslow to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You aren't going to get that kind of uptime without paying. And no service level agreement is going to be able to stop a truck from backing into a light pole.

Your best bet would be to get two ISPs, like cable and then Clear, and use some kind of router magic to instantly fall back to the other one when one drops. I'm not entirely sure how you'd actually accomplish this, but it's probably possible.
posted by gjc at 2:06 PM on March 15, 2013

I'm willing to accept some amount of down time/disconnect (maybe one disconnect per 300 hours of modem on time) I have thought about trying to use two ISP's together, but it seems pretty difficult to set up. Currently I'm using WOW!.
posted by crawltopslow at 2:12 PM on March 15, 2013

Can you set up a hotspot from your cellphone (this might cost extra), and connect to that wifi network when your main internet disconnects?
posted by milestogo at 2:25 PM on March 15, 2013

The cheapest way to do this would be to get a dual WAN router, and set the timeout low before it switches interfaces. Like 5-10 seconds.

Anything else will cost more than getting two residential lines(and different types of service, say dsl and cable, or fibre and cable)

Dual wan routers start at around $200. Two basic to mid range Internet packages should be around $100-120 a month total. I really doubt there's a cheaper solution.

It's very common even if you have a connection with an SLA to still have a fallback, usually dialup(if you're doing low bandwidth stuff, say running credit cards). They are NOT 100%. I've had "business grade" connections go down multiple times a year at sites I've worked at/at my work.
posted by emptythought at 2:32 PM on March 15, 2013

Also can people please give me ISP recommendations?
posted by crawltopslow at 2:34 PM on March 15, 2013

Yes, I would just set up a cell phone hotspot that you can quickly switch onto if your home internet goes down. (And then test it regularly to make sure it works when you need it.)
posted by katrielalex at 2:39 PM on March 15, 2013

Are you sure the provider is the problem? It's hard to tell from your question what the actual problem is and how you know changing providers would fix it. I've had a number of problems with my connection since I started working at home, but almost all of it turned out to be the heat levels where my router and modem live. I cleaned that up, bought new equipment and did some repositioning for the wireless and improved things a great deal.

What qualifies as a disconnect? Is this literally no internet connection even though you are connected via a wire to the modem (through a router anyway) or is this dropouts while using a wireless connection?
posted by yerfatma at 2:39 PM on March 15, 2013

I currently have no problem I'm just doing preventative medicine. A backup internet, actually mostly so I can connect quickly (I get 90 seconds to log back in).
posted by crawltopslow at 2:45 PM on March 15, 2013

I'd try out one of those USB 4G internet sticks from the big mobile networks and see if it'll get you up and running within 90 s as a backup.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 3:31 PM on March 15, 2013

Seriously, if you have one connection and it goes down, a second of almost any sort from a different carrier will help you out the majority of the time. You can probably use a smartphone for this already, so you don't even need to incur the additional cost.
posted by Brian Puccio at 3:51 PM on March 15, 2013

First of all, are you connected to the internet with a wire? If not, do that. Wifi is utter crap for persistent connections.
posted by fritley at 4:15 PM on March 15, 2013

I develop redundant networks like this for a living. My recommendation for something like this would be using something like a Cradlepoint router with a normal landline based connection as primary and an always on wireless backup using a cellular USB stick. The setup is very simple and would be the most cost effective.
posted by Octoparrot at 4:39 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Load balancing using multi-wan on pfsense
I am using this hardware as my pfsense firewall / router. Claims to route up to 80Mbit, I've only tested up to 40Mbit, but never a hiccup or a crash (3-4month uptimes, I only power cycle when there is a power failure long enough to drain the UPS). I have not implemented multi-wan on this box, but it should handle it fine.
posted by defcom1 at 6:09 PM on March 15, 2013

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