What are my choices for Broadband Internet service in Toronto?
February 12, 2007 8:30 AM   Subscribe

What are my choices for Broadband Internet service in Toronto?

I just dumped Rogers Extreme; they started throttling bit torrent traffic again, which I find a bit annoying. Is my only other option now to go with Bell? If so, are there any Bell plans that are particularly good?
posted by chunking express to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I should have added: Is their Optex service worth getting at $70/month?
posted by chunking express at 8:33 AM on February 12, 2007

I've heard really good things about Look. But that's just a string of recommendations from others, not a recommendation from personal experience.

Do not give Bell any of your money. As a Torontonian (and a Canadian), you should know this by now! Expensive and terrible customer service. And they try to steal your soul.

As for Rogers, I just have their regular cable internet service, and the speeds for torrent-ing seem pretty decent to me (someone who does know a thing or two about that kind of p2p service, and is a member of a couple private trackers with a good ratio history). I will admit that the upload speeds are kind of weak -- never more than 50kB/second, but my download speeds can hit up to 600+kB/second. Not too shabby.

Sorry that's not much help, but I've seen this question asked before, and I've never seen much more of an answer than the one in my first paragraph.
posted by freudenschade at 8:45 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I used to get several hundred KB down a second, but the service has been more or less unusable the last couple weeks. I hate Bell too; i'm not sure if I hate them more than Rogers though. They both suck in their own way.
posted by chunking express at 9:09 AM on February 12, 2007

I hated Bell much more than I hated Rogers when I used them. Also, if I recall, Bell was quite vigilant when it came to billing for overage charges as well. This was about 2-3 years ago, but I can't imagine they would have become *more* lenient when it came to overages... But that may or may not be an issue for you. Has Rogers throttled *all* torrent traffic, or just torrent traffic on specific ports?
posted by antifuse at 9:15 AM on February 12, 2007

No experience using them myself, but Wireless Nomad is a Toronto-based co-operative. Unfortunately, they're closed to new connections at the moment, but the service seems promising.
posted by purephase at 9:34 AM on February 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm going to buck the trend here and say that my experience with Bell has been much better than my experience with Rogers in all respects. I've never had any throttling take place, or overuse changes or whatever it is they do these days. And I'm a pretty heavy user. Support is about as good as you can expect and speeds are excellent.
posted by sid at 9:53 AM on February 12, 2007

I've noticed the same thing with my Rogers connection in the last couple of weeks. This would be the third time they've throttled my connection in two years. It does seem to go back to normal after a few weeks in my experience. PITA in the short term, though.

It may have been coincidental but switching from Bitcomet to Azureus set things back to normal when they last throttled me.

I'm a little gun-shy to switch back to Bell at this point. I wasn't overly pleased with their service for the five or so years I was with them. I'd definitely steer clear of Look if for no other reason than they're constantly going out of business or threatening to.
posted by ChuckLeChuck at 10:09 AM on February 12, 2007

Here are a couple of websites you might find useful.

Canadianisp lists 170 ISPs in Toronto, and I found RBUA to be pretty useful the last time I switched.
posted by gwynp at 10:31 AM on February 12, 2007

Bell may be a tiny bit better than Rogers, in my experience. I'm "too far from central office" though (yes, even though I'm at Bathurst and College, inexplicable!), so Bell has added disadvantages. I'm on DSL anyway, because of price.

I've had a Teksavvy login for the last couple of months, and they seem very promising. They are very responsive online, and if you phone them, a real person answers!

Reading through that second link, you will see that they have had some growing pains, and I suspect that Bell's uptime is probably somewhat better. Six weeks ago they had a lengthy scheduled outage, which caused the online gamer in my household to be very, very frustrated.
posted by Chuckles at 10:38 AM on February 12, 2007

Response by poster: TekSavvy is what the networks guys I work with suggested I check out. They are well reviewed online too as far as I can tell.

And antifuse, all the various tricks you can use to try and hide your bittorrent traffic don't work for me anymore: changing ports, encrypting packets, etc. I really have no interest in having to do any of this. Why pay 50+ dollars a month for high speed and not be able to use it without jumping through hoops.
posted by chunking express at 10:40 AM on February 12, 2007

Best answer: I am a network technician, I was part of the support crew at Bell when ADSL was initially rolled out for residential service. Teksavvy is what I use.

I would include a warning that it isn't meant for the casual user. Technical support, if you get it, will possibly be limited to "your link is up and we see your connection, the problem must be on your end". Note that I have never had bad service or had to deal with a condescending/unhelpful agent, but I do have the firm impression that the service is really meant for "Tech Savvy" people.

Their prices are right, they have no caps on transfers, bittorrent and whatever other software I decide to use works fine and is not shaped in any way. I regularly (and usually) max my bandwidth on upload or download without problems. The service is stable and I haven't noticed any extended down time. I don't even remember the down time 6 weeks ago, although perhaps it was regional (I am in Ottawa). They are also willing to do reverse DNS mapping at your convenience with no extra cost, which I should get around to for my email needs.

At any rate, I am very satisfied with the service.
posted by splice at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2007

I've been using Look Communications since I moved backed about 4 yrs ago. I get DSL and TV for about 80$ a month. When I bought the DSL, they just told me that they buy the same thing in bulk from Bell and then sell it to their customers. Customer service has been great and the service is reliable.

The only downside was that I had to buy my modem and tv reciever up front, so there was a installation cost. However, by my math, I was making significant savings relative to Rogers/Bell within 2 years.

I would confidently go with Look.
posted by commissioner12 at 1:59 PM on February 12, 2007

« Older Japanese IME on Ubuntu   |   Why is my TV picture flickering when I don't use a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.