Recommendations for Internet service in LA?
August 3, 2017 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Seems Spectrum is actually worse than Time Warner, and my internet is now $90/month. Anyone have an idea of what options I have?

That's pretty much the long and short of it. I'm in Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley/Encino. I'm in an apartment, so limited in what dishes or additional wiring I can accommodate.

I stream a lot (cut cable TV cords a year ago), but no online gaming.

I assume I won't get the speeds I currently enjoy, and that might ultimately mean I keep with them, but I have no idea what my options are.

Thanks!

PS Modem recs if I'm going to buy one instead of using Spectrum's rental?
posted by crankyrogalsky to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
For LA, usually you only have a choice of one or two DSL providers, one cable provider, and maybe one fiber optic (FiOS) provider. Here's the difference.

I'd maybe go for FiOS over Cable (usually faster upload speeds for FiOS, but I've heard complaints for users of both on reliability-- seems to be area specific). Definitely both over DSL (DSL has slower download speeds.)

So I'd check Verizon to see if they have FiOS in your area and compare.

If you decide to stick with Spectrum, check their approved modem list for your area, but I typically recommend the Arris SB6183 (only a modem, not a wireless router.)

I don't recommend getting combined modems + wireless routers (too often glitchy, often difficult to differentiate wireless connection issues and internet connection issues) so you'll have to get your own wireless router. I like the long-in-the-tooth-but-still-great Apple Airport Extreme, but a lot of people are moving to the mesh wireless router systems like Eero.
posted by bluecore at 2:01 PM on August 3, 2017


We have used-to-be-Time Warner-now-Spectrum at the $59.99 a month tier up where the 118 meets the 405. No real problems watching Netflix/Amazon/gaming, but it used to be cheaper.

I've been looking at Frontier FIOS, but the numbers don't make sense for our household unless I piggyback a home-based business that does a lot of up- and downloading onto the connection.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:50 PM on August 3, 2017


I'm on Spectrum, was on TW, and haven't noticed any issue. I'm on the east side. I have whatever the Wirecutter recommended a year or so ago.

A comment: though Sonic is supposed to be one of the best ISPs, I've heard they can be spotty in LA; not their fault, parts of LA have ancient lines that are prohibitively expensive (and not theirs) to fix. I'd still look into them if they offered it in my neighborhood. I have nearby friends that are with them, and though the service is spotty, the company is great.
posted by Pacrand at 2:57 PM on August 3, 2017


Just a quick note: I have Spectrum and the service is fine. Is it $80/mo fine? Maybe, but I'd like to cut that down if possible. At least know my options. At least when it was Time Warner they would cut the price if I called once a year or so. Spectrum told me to F off.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 4:16 PM on August 3, 2017


$90 per month? That seems to be rather high indeed...

We live in the Valley Glen area by Sherman Oaks (think Oxnard/Woodman) and we have TWC-turned-Spectrum as well. We have the second highest tier (Ultimate 200 Upgrade for 200/20 Mpbs down/up) plus cable and we pay $30 ($10 modem lease + $20 for the tier) per month for the internet portion of the bill. I just checked and upgrading to the highest tier (Ultimate 300) would add $30 for a total of $60 including modem rental.

The quality of the connection/service has been near spotless except for a few area outages due to wind etc so it might be worth calling them to negotiate or check why they're charging so much. Perhaps it's because you're not bundling with cable.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:18 PM on August 3, 2017


*jinx*
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:19 PM on August 3, 2017


Not bundling - that's the rub. Unbundle and it all falls apart.

OK, no more threadsitting.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 5:04 PM on August 3, 2017


I have Spectrum internet only, 50mbps tier, $59.99 per month.
posted by bluesky78987 at 5:49 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


FWIW I'm paying $90 in Houston for unbundled Internet. I think the issue is lack of competition in my specific neighborhood. The download speed is ~okay.
posted by Jane Austen at 5:40 AM on August 4, 2017


I've moved over to using an unlimited data hotspot from the Calyx Institute. It's fast enough to watch Netflix/HBO/etc in HD, but the ping times are not great so it isn't a good idea for gamers.

The real upside is that this is cheaper than anything else: it costs $500 the first year and $400 after, which comes out to $42/month -- a lot cheaper than the land line services you will find. It also has the perk of being completely mobile, so you can get free internet wherever you go.
posted by eigenman at 3:12 PM on August 4, 2017


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