Choosing a Broadband ISP
September 29, 2005 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Which Broadband ISP and Cable provider should I choose?

Just moved into a house from an apartment (thanks for the help everyone) and Time Warner, my current cable/broadband provider, wants 80 bucks to do a "custom install." The house is already wired, but from a different provider (Wide Open West). So, my choices seem to be:

1) Suck it up and pay Time Warner for the install

2) Try out Wide Open West and hope they can use their current cable in the house

3) Try out Direct TV, DSL or some other combo

Thoughts? Anyone want to recommend their current service providers? I'm in Columbus, OH 43235 if that helps.

posted by Otis to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
I like Time Warner only because for me here in NYC, DirecTV + DSL (plus landline required for DSL) is more expensive than Time Warner Cable & RoadRunner. But from what I've heard, outside of NYC, it's the other way around.
posted by riffola at 12:18 PM on September 29, 2005

There's always reviews at DSL Reports.
posted by GuyZero at 12:38 PM on September 29, 2005

I'm a long-time Time Warner RoadRunner customer up here in Maine, and it's been pretty decent.

The bandwidth tests tell me I'm getting in excess of 2mbit download speeds. This is up from about 1mbit when I started with them 9 years ago. The downside is my upload speeds have become dismal, recently 70-80kbit or so. The other caveat is you share the cable bandwith with your whole neighborhood. If you have a network hog as a neighbor, you can see a fairly good slowdown. This isn't something I've noticed myself, though.

The benefit of DSL is you can generally rely on a fairly consistent, albeit slower throughput.

I second the suggestion to check DSL Reports. The forums have lively discussions about the different providers.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:08 PM on September 29, 2005

i pay $30 total for a MINIMUM (like, with a minute plan, instead of unlimited calls) landline and 1.5 mbps Yahoo/SBC DSL. Even though Yahoo has some funky software, if you buy any half decent router you'll never have to install it and after that can just treat your router like you would anything hooked up to always-on Ethernet. No install fee, simple in-a-box setup. I think I either bought or rent the modem, I can't remember.

Cable is way faster for dls, but the upload speeds (ime) are about equivalent (if not worse than my dsl). I do like having cable for dling large binaries from usenet -- it can be up to an hour difference.

still, I've been pretty happy with it, but I am considering upgrading to the "Pro" version for 24.95 a month now (it was 29.95 when I signed up) which has speeds up to 3.0.

I believe yahoo is available nationwide, but I haven't done the research to back that up.
posted by fishfucker at 1:29 PM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: Just to clarify, I've been happy with Time Warner for the past two years, but I'm a little reluctant to fork over 80 bucks for the installation to get the privilege of sending them over 100 dollars every month. That's why I'd like to check out the other options.
posted by Otis at 5:49 PM on September 29, 2005

SteveInMaine, your speeds should be much higher than that. Have Time Warner switch out your old modem with a new one and you'll probably see a nice speed increase like I did.
posted by Serena at 10:10 PM on September 29, 2005

Comcast, although quite stupid at times, has always been consistent with my cable internet/cable tv service. Maybe 1 outage a year.
posted by starscream at 9:50 AM on September 30, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. After some negotiation, Time Warner agreed to a one-time custom install charge of $39, basically splitting the costs with me. Seemed pretty fair and I was a little surprised they agreed to it.

For the record, I was going to go with Yahoo! DSL before this agreement with Time Warner.
posted by Otis at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2005

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