Is this too good to be true?
September 5, 2001 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Is this too good to be true? Last week when I called verizon to transfer my phone service, they suckered me into ordering this dsl service. What really got me, in addition to what they have listed on the site was the 30 day free trial, and that they supposedly use STATIC ip addresses. I was also told that their modem has a router built in that assigns individual ip addresses to each computer. [I have 3 - Windows server, Linux, and Mac]. Too good to be true, right?
posted by disaster (32 comments total)
probably, unless they've changed their ways drastically. i tried verizon at first and it was absolutely horrible: PPPOE connection (i.e. not "always on" and dynamic IP), ridiculous downtime with no explanations, terrible customer support (non-english speakers with 10 marbles in mouth) and a hell of a time trying to get my money back and stop the monthly charges coming.

maybe you'll have better luck. i've been happy with telocity since then.
posted by cheesebot at 7:47 AM on September 5, 2001

One thing to be wary of: I've run across DSL providers who say "static" when they mean "dynamic with long leases". I'll be generous and say that they made an honest mistake...
posted by aramaic at 7:54 AM on September 5, 2001

I've been a fan of speakeasy. They were the only provider I could find that actually encourages you to run a server on your DSL connection rather than banning it.
posted by jragon at 7:54 AM on September 5, 2001

I have found that it is difficult to find a provider of high speed internet who doesn't charge extra for having more than one computer connected at the same time.
The reason I am very interested in a static ip [which may be considerably obvious] is that my partner and I collectively spend about 40 dollars a month on hosting. Plus, we were spending 20 dollars a month for a dialup connection. So, of course, I want to use a provider with static ip addresses to cut out the need for hosting.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for dsl/cable providers who provide static ip addresses and support for more than one computer for a reasonable price? [under 60 dollars per month]
posted by disaster at 7:58 AM on September 5, 2001

It could be true. ..thats if they've had their ears to the ground and heard that Insight Communications (and other cable companies) is ready to start offering phone over cable, *very* soon. Verizon just might feel threatened by cable modems and now cable phone. ...maybe.

but then again, it IS verizon... I've had a fine experience with my dsl, BUT I'm yet to meet anyone else who will say the same (in dsl and/or phone).
posted by tomplus2 at 8:02 AM on September 5, 2001

Verizon's business DSL services (which include static IP and a user agreement that permits running a server) start at $70. Personally, I'd go that route.

How good Verizon DSL is depends on whether your Verizon is the Good Verizon (formerly GTE) or the Evil Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic). In former GTE country, they never used PPPoE, they had me hooked up within a couple of weeks, and I've been generally satisfied with their service. I'm considering upgrading to their 1.5M/384K service.

One benefit of using your local telco's DSL service: you can be fairly certain that they are not going to go out of business and leave you in the lurch.
posted by kindall at 8:05 AM on September 5, 2001

I use Rogers@Home, and I pay $40-CDN a month... That's somewhere around 25-30USD, I imagine. I get a static IP, and they provide additional IP addresses at ten bucks a pop.
posted by Jairus at 8:05 AM on September 5, 2001

Disaster: you should consider buying/building a dedicated NAT box (eg: Linksys BEFSR14) -- that way you only need one IP from the provider, and your NAT handles assigning addresses inside the firewall, plus port-forwarding.

One drawback of this approach is that each forwarded port can only be sent to one internal IP -- so you can't have port 80 going to three different servers. In my case, I handle this by running one FTP server on port 21, and another one on port 2001 (forwarding each to different machines).

Mind you, that places a certain burden on the user -- they have to know which port they want to connect to. In my case, I use 2001 for the more sophisticated users, so in some ways it becomes a badge of honor ("yay, I get to use the advanced server!")
posted by aramaic at 8:08 AM on September 5, 2001

I have a friend who is currently locked into a long-term DSL contract with Verizon (I believe the "evil" formerly Bell Atlantic flavour) and the service is just incredibly poor. I don't believe that we have managed to have one 1/2 hour chat without interruption since she signed on last year - the service "blinks" and occasionally, when things go offline for long enough (20 seconds or more) something (typically the router) has to be rebooted in order for the connection to be reestablished. Calls to customer service and tech support net nothing but headaches, hassle, blame-the-customer routines and the necessity for her to raise her voice on many occasions. Her experiences alone have kept me from recommending Verizon DSL to anyone. I'd certainly never try it.
posted by Dreama at 8:11 AM on September 5, 2001

Cheesebot: I am lost in this tech talk but I went not long ago to a dinner. An Indian fellow, now a citizen, told me he had his consulting firm using Dell. When he need tech help, he discovered that his call transferred to India. And Dell of course had huge layoff in Texas. Much cheaper to use overseas, cheap wages, no benefits. And we were led to believe the Info Age would create job after manufacturing jobs went to 3rd world places! Now jobs going to educated other countries.
posted by Postroad at 8:13 AM on September 5, 2001

i have heard very good things about AceDSL. High user ratings on everything, including customer service. No PPoE and they are happy to help you set up more than one computer on the line.

I don't know the availablility, probably only the North-Eastern US.

I would switch, but I have, remarkably, had very few issues with Verizon. I do hate PPoE though.
posted by o2b at 8:14 AM on September 5, 2001

I am guessing that Verizon must have changed its service in some way, because they no longer require any contracts, nor is there a termination fee. I still haven't found out from them if dsl is available at my house or not.
I guess I will sit and wait for the modem to be delivered and try out the Verizon service. I figure I have three weeks to use their service to search the internet for a better isp.
posted by disaster at 8:19 AM on September 5, 2001

So does anybody know whether AT&T is still blocking incoming port 80 and port 25? I need need need to get a faster connection than dialup (I'm currently on AOL and its been nothing but pain), and I was considering going with Verizon because they supposedly explicitly allow users to run servers on home DSL. After this thread, though, I'm thinking twice about that. Its looking like I just need to bite the bullet and get a cable modem for the higher bandwidth and forego any hope of hosting my site myself...
posted by bshort at 8:21 AM on September 5, 2001

I know it isn't an ISP, but if you want to have more than one PC hooked up, this is the most useful product I have bought in a long time. I couldn't sing enough praises for the product if they paid me (which they aren't). I have hosted Web sites, FTP sites, e-mail servers, and had them all running on mutliple PCs, with one static IP address. Security is tight. Operates via firmware on chip in router, configurable through Web browser. (OK, enough with the brown-nosing...I just really like the product.) I have the wireless version on my wishlist, so maybe if I show some skin on a Web cam, you guys will chip in for me, right? hehe.

And BTW, it supports PPPOE.
posted by adampsyche at 8:22 AM on September 5, 2001

I am going to go with most people and tell you that it really will depend on the previous provider. I have Verizon (BellAtlantic) DSL, and have had... O...K... service, but I am the exception.

For example, a friend's connection went out 2 nights ago, when they finally got through to Verizon, they wre told that the service was shut off as per thier request from April for Disconnection of service (not only did they never call to cancel thier service, but it takes Verizon 5 months to act on it??) Once it was cleared up that they did NOT cancel service, the rep told them that they would have to go through the new install process, and will not be online until endo of Sept...

Anyways... a realy good place to look at the options for your area is not only cna they tell you what is available in your area, but the forums there discuss everything....

posted by niteHawk at 8:25 AM on September 5, 2001

So far I have entered my telephone number into the Verizon and DirectTV websites to find out if I can even get dsl and both have said NO. A big fat NO.
I might just have to get cable. Blech.
posted by disaster at 8:31 AM on September 5, 2001

My firewall is still registering a couple hundred hits on port 80 per day, bshort--as far as I can tell, AT&T in my neck of the woods (southwestern Pennsylvania) has never blocked any ports whatsoever. Is there a Good AT&T@Home and an Evil, the same way there's a Good Verizon and Evil Verizon?
posted by darukaru at 8:33 AM on September 5, 2001

I have Evil (northeast) Verizon DSL. I didn't get the flashy router, static IP, or anything cool at all. I got this cracker jack DSL modem. The set up uses PPPoE, and is all together pretty broke.

I only got it cause the cable company won't sell me internet service at my apartment. I will say, in Verizon's defense, though, that I have been pleasantly suprised by the performance and service.

When I first filled out the web order form, they said it would take 4+ weeks to be set up. Considering I'd just spend 3 months hearing from the cable company "It'll be on RSN", I thought that wasn't too bad. In reality, though, I had the modem in about a week (by post), and they sent me an email that said, "Your okay to set up" before I even got the modem. They even called me after I hadn't activated right away on the chance that I hadn't gotten the email. So it's a DIY set up, and I went from ordering to everything being said and done probably a bit over a week. Not bad, and the service person who called was super nice and helpful. I used to have a Verizon cell plan (I need my cell phone in case I get stuck driving my SUV), and they were the worst to deal with, but so far, this relationship has been okay.

The service itself is pretty good. I haven't experienced any downtime at all (had for about a week or two) yet, and the speed is on average significantly better than that of cable around here (a lot of my friends have cable).
posted by jeb at 8:34 AM on September 5, 2001

I might just have to get cable. Blech.

What is wrong with cable? Not trying to be defensive or anything. But I went from Verizon DSL to cable and my speeds are better and service is actually somewhat better.
posted by adampsyche at 8:38 AM on September 5, 2001

Same with me. Switched from PacBell to Adelphia (with service provided through @home), and get roughly twice the downstream and a static IP.
posted by waxpancake at 8:41 AM on September 5, 2001

you should consider buying/building a dedicated NAT box (eg: Linksys BEFSR14) -- that way you only need one IP from the provider, and your NAT handles assigning addresses inside the firewall, plus port-forwarding.

That will only work if you've got your cache set for the down-sets. Otherwise, the IP goes blooey and you'll have to retool your entire configuration.

So does anybody know whether AT&T is still blocking incoming port 80 and port 25?

It depends. On the Eastern Seaboard, they aren't, but in the West, they are, BUT only if your IP supports their proprietary implementations. It sucks, because who wants to diddle with the hardware like that, but what are you going to do? Gank out the router? I don't think so.

PPPOE connection (i.e. not "always on" and dynamic IP)

See, that's just what I'm talking about! The last time I fired up my RDL, it just smoked all the ports. WTF? I tried calling tech support, but they just gave me the usual line of BARL. As if. So I tweaked some stuff, coded out a workaround, dumped in a little PERL script, and I haven't had any trouble since.
posted by Skot at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2001

Hey! READ THIS - it's the FAQ from the link you gave and it says Dynamic IP Allocation...
posted by andrew cooke at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2001

Okay, so clearly I'm in the minority, but I got my DSL from Bell Atlantic well before it became Verizon. I've had no problems with it. My SMC Barricade switch routinely reports connection times of 100-300 hours, and I virtually never have outages. Yes, the poet software they ship sucks, but I only used it long enough to dig up and install raspppoe, a much better implementation. Of course, now with the Barricade, I don't need any PPPoE software. And I usually have 3 or 4 computers hooked up at any given time. When I signed up 14 months ago, there was no contract, no cancellation fee, the first month was free, and they had my line operating a day or two before the scheduled service date. And I'm still only paying $40/month. While I couldn't in good conscience recommend Verizon given all the horror stories I've heard, it certainly seems only fair to mention a good experience...
posted by jburka at 8:47 AM on September 5, 2001

They LIED to me!!!!! Bastards!

Actually I am not surprised. I just checked the Comcast site and they too told me that their internet service is not yet available in my area. I live in PHILADELPHIA. I should be able to get high speed internet access, no?
posted by disaster at 8:48 AM on September 5, 2001

but they just gave me the usual line of BARL.

Skot: I know just what you mean.
posted by rodii at 8:57 AM on September 5, 2001

Gank out the router? I don't think so.

(I once heard about a guy who did this, and his eyeballs turned black.)
posted by iceberg273 at 9:07 AM on September 5, 2001

Thread metatalked.
posted by dhartung at 9:14 AM on September 5, 2001

Being that I have a cell phone with Verizon Wireless, I decided one day last week that I wanted to switch over from Conectiv's DSL since Verizon seemed to offer cheaper rates. The conversation with their sales rep was something to effect of that I needed to have a "dial-tone" in order to have DSL (I use my cell for calls and don't have a voice line). It was fun explaining that DSL didn't "require" a voice line and that they probably needed me to have one to see how far I was from their switch (it was also fun explaining attenuation). Apparently, you have to have a Verizon voice line in order to have their DSL service. Since I would have never used it, I decided to stick with conectiv.
posted by samsara at 9:38 AM on September 5, 2001

I'll second the speakeasy recommendation — they're absolutely terrific. Static IP, free Linux shell account, free national dial-in for backup (I use mine when travelling), excellent e-mail tech support, $60 a month.

Of course they're at your RBOC's mercy for circuit provisioning so installs can be a hassle, but they're the best ISP I've ever dealt with (including the one I used to own!).
posted by nicwolff at 11:15 AM on September 5, 2001

Let me second adampsyche's recommendation of the little cable/dsl router he mentioned. For those of you stuck with PPPOE, you can set this things up to more or less force you into always-on mode; I haven't had to clicky-clicky the "Connect to Earthlink" icon in many months.

(I was actually going to post a message about this router before I saw adam already had; went ahead anyway 'cause he didn't specifically mention the keep-alive part.)
posted by Sapphireblue at 2:48 PM on September 5, 2001

another vote here for the linksys router thingy
no i don't work for em
posted by juv3nal at 5:21 PM on September 5, 2001

Has anyone used DNS Alias with their DSL or Cable connection? No, I'm in no way affiliated with them. Is TELUS (the Canadian arm of Verizon) "evil" DSL? Their phone service, including CDMA, is definately evil, but I'm happy with the DSL - so far.
posted by goldskin at 3:19 AM on September 6, 2001

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