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View Full Version : Can anyone recommend a new Internet server for me....give me the pro's and con's



BrokenArts
16th Aug 2002, 16:46
I am thinking about switching from AOL to another Internet service. Can anyone point me to a good one. Give me the pro's and con's to what is out there.
Thanks

Whatz His Name
16th Aug 2002, 17:14
I currently use Time Warner Cable internet services. I don't know much about telephone internet providers now. In the beginning, I was on Earthlink. They had pretty good service.

Komag
16th Aug 2002, 19:05
I've been loving my AT&T Cable Internet service for almost a year now, GREAT!

Danventry
16th Aug 2002, 20:10
Time Warner is eeeeeeeeeevil!!! lol Sorry, my mom is managment for a cable company and that's their biggest arch rival. If you can (I dunno if you can, coz it's not everywhere) look for "Cox Communications". They have High-speed internet throught a cable connection. It's extremely fast. Doubles the amount of your talking here because you've got twice as much time to do it. :D

BrokenArts
16th Aug 2002, 20:17
Daventry, since your in Texas. Where about's are you man? I will check into it.
I just wanted opinions for the different companies, we all have different opinions, just curious. thanks all. I know there are pro's and con's to any company.

RicknMel
16th Aug 2002, 20:33
If you can get Time Warners Road Runner service, DO IT! :p

I got it when it was fairly new...and it was fairly buggy, but they've worked the kinks out and it's great. If you still have dial up...you should definatly get some kind of cable access.

Besides the rock solid service from Road Runner, you also get free website hosting with no annoying pop ups.

Vanguard
16th Aug 2002, 20:36
Go to www.computeruser.com under their Resources -> ISPs link to see if they list providers in your area. If you have area codes that are local calls (my area code divided into 4 but all are local calls), do a search on each one to get a full listing. I found dial-up services ranging from $6.50 to $9.95 but won't pay more than that since all I want is the Internet connection, not their "home" page and not their content. I usually bias my choice to local providers since they are more responsive (but may have 24x7 coverage) and definitely more intelligent (rather than getting 1st-level tech "readers" whose expertise amounts to reading a knowledgebase).

Many of the real cheap (<$10) ISPs require you to sign up for their annual plan to get the discounted price. Just check if they'll prorate a refund if you wish to terminate their service early. Some still provide a trial period (or a refundable period) to let you test their service. Or pay the regular price for just one month to test them and then pay the discounted annual rate if you decide to stick with them. In this case, look for those with no or little setup fees.

If you're looking at cable ISPs, you're usually stuck with whomever is the only provider in your area.

Danventry
16th Aug 2002, 22:22
I live in Abilene, which is south of Lubbock a little. It's in almost all of West Texas.

Thorin Oakenshield
16th Aug 2002, 22:51
Guys, I'm getting ADSL at the end of the year.
I've heard you need a firewall more than ever. I'm using zonealarm pro Anything else I should know?
Thanks

BA: Sorry for butting in to your thread:( :D

Vesper
17th Aug 2002, 00:13
I'm with Vanguard on this one......Go Local !!!

I've tried AOL(4mos free), MSN(1mo free), Compuserve(1mo free)and hated everyone of them, Juno(1 mo free and stuck with them for 2 years until they decided to screw me over).

They all seem to have the same worthless stuff that you end up paying for in the long run...buddy-buddy stuff, ISM, latest news stories and weather, homepages with nothing but advertising and hard to navigate around, just stuff in general that just seems to clutter everything up when all you want to do is get on the net and check out things that interest you or come down to the "Crippled Burrick", pop up ads, down time when you couldn't connect at all, and lots of busy signals, more advertising, and idiots who try to help you when you call tech support (that's when you can get ahold of em).

My theory is DOWN WITH MEGALOPOLIES!!! Help out the little guy, and keep that money local.

I now have a local ISP and am very happy with them. I pass by thier office on my way to work everyday and everynow and then stop in and just chat game stuff with on of the guys there. I get to pay them by check or cash now, no more credit card over the net BS. They provide a very quality service with a simple easy to navigate home page and absolutely NO ADS anywheres. The added big plus is they are also cheapr than the Big Boys. My dial up only runs 12 bucks a month........they also offer DSL and the faster service, but I can't afford that yet. Nathan down there just informed me that they are upgrading all their lines for dial-up to V.92 and will be done by the end of the year so that will boost my dial up just a little more. I plan on getting a new modem V.92 modem when they finish, and the guys down there will help me pick out one of the best to get(software wise).

Vesper
.........who found here local ISP through a local free weekley computer magazine.

LeatherMan
17th Aug 2002, 01:44
GO LOCAL!

I did the AOL thing for a while but quickly tired of the pop-up ads and the monopolistic attitude they have. When I was ready to can AOL I first went with a couple of free ISP's. They quickly folded so I tried my local telephone company. After a few months of dial-up, I went DSL (when their rates dropped from $50 to $40 a month) and have never been happier. I could have gone Time-Warner RoadRunner, but since they were bought out by AOL I will have nothing to do with them.

I recommend DSL (best if you can get it directly from your local phone company and if you can get it) since it isn't a shared network like cable is, but if you must get dial-up I can't recommend anyone. Broadband isn't that expensive if you consider the cost of a second phone line and the speed boost you get as well as never having to reconnect.

To find local broadband service, start at BroadbandReports.com (http://www.dslreports.com) (formerly DSLReports.com). Lots of info and reviews.

BrokenArts
17th Aug 2002, 15:06
Thanks everyone for the information, I appreciate it. :) I will see what I can do.
I'm already loco. :p
Going over the broadband reports in my area, interesting reading, thanks Leatherman. I knew it was good to ask here. :D
Boy with my new system, I could host a server for Thievery. *Hhhhmmmm*

GMan
17th Aug 2002, 15:35
BA, two years ago I signed up for dial-up service with Earthlink. At the time they were rated #1 in customer service and reliability and loyalty. I never had any problems with them. Check out PCWorld.com to see how they rate in your area. I now have broadband with ATTBI (AT&T Broadband International) and have found it very reliable here. The service technicians spent a bunch of time getting my home network set up but I only got charged the basic hook-up fee.

bravus
17th Aug 2002, 16:40
BA, I use Telus, which is my local Canadian telecoms company, for ADSL - I'm very happy with them, but they ain't available in Texas!

You probably want a direct ISP service (i.e. just connection to the internet) rather than one of the portals like AOL that limit your interaction with the whole net, try to sell you stuff and make you use their (broken) software... Check it out - you should be able to get it good and cheap: though my CN$39.95 a month for unlimited is pretty good, I think, for pretty much unlimited download and upload.

Thorin, yeah, because DSL (and cable?) are 'always on', you keep the same IP address for a long time, so it might be simpler for a hacker - or more likely a virus with a trojan payload - to attack your machine.

I bought a hardware router/firewall box (an SMC Barricade): paid CN$120 but got a $30 rebate: they're offering a $50 rebate on the same one now, so they're pretty cheap. It's a 4 port router, so our desktop, the kids desktop and this laptop that I'm writing this on are networked and all get the fast DSL. Because the router is the only thing the Net as a whole sees (a) it can't be hacked, and you don't need software firewalls on the various computers (none of the other networked computers even exists as far as the net is concerned) and (b) for all the computers on the network you only need one IP address (some ISPs charge for extra IPs). This one also links to the printer so that we can print from any machine in the house very easily.

I highly recommend this firewall solution, particularly if you have more than one computer in the house you want to use the DSL with, rather than messing about with software firewalls. Having said that, I use Tiny Personal Firewall (free) on this laptop because I sometimes connect from hotels when I'm on the road and so on.

Bravus

Edit: and just to be a pedantic git, BA, what you're looking for is an 'internet service provider', not an 'internet server'. If you were asking about an internet server I'd probably recommend an SMP Xeon with DDR-RAM running Suse Linux and Apache... (the open source server software, not the cute FM designer!) ;) Something like this: http://www.integritylinux.com/dualxeon.html I only mention it in case you want to ask anywhere else...

BrokenArts
17th Aug 2002, 16:54
Originally posted by bravus

Edit: and just to be a pedantic git, BA, what you're looking for is an 'internet service provider', not an 'internet server'.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, details details, schmdetails, :p
You knew what I meant.

THEthief
17th Aug 2002, 16:57
Hi BrokenArts! :)
I hope you decided to check the local servers - they are, a lot of times, really, really good! Mine's great - fast service (that is, for a dial-up), doesn't disconnect hardly at all (they upgraded to AT&T, from where-ever they were, so it's better service, I guess)...the only problem is that AT&T has been having 'outages' lately - where we can not use the internet for hours and even days. :mad:
Ah well...hopefully (after a few more months:rolleyes: :p) it'll (finally) work right. :p :D
Wait a minute...that was more discouraging than anything, wasn't it...:eek:

[EDIT: I agree with all the other people, who say don't go with the huge servers - I've never had one, and won't. Go local - you'll get local support, from local people, who will care about your happiness - if their server drives you crazy, you won't want to use it; the little guys care, whereas the monopolies really won't give a darn if they lose the respect (and business) of a customer - there's so many more out there...:)]

BrokenArts
17th Aug 2002, 17:04
THEthief, ha, yes it was discouraging, but I will take you at your word for it. This is why I am getting opinions. ;)
I have a bit of homework to do first. I want the best I can get, for the right money. We shall see. :)

Peter_Smith
17th Aug 2002, 23:09
BA, I have used Mindspring DSL for two years, which nas been absorbed into Earthlink, and I have never had a problem with them other than with the initial installation by Covad, which was a bit of a problem getting scheduled. One or two short outages as I recall.

If you are going for broadband, you can get a lot of information and ratings from this web site:

http://www.dslreports.com/

I do not agree that local is always better. It is the luck of the draw. Rely on references and referrals. I have had a couple of local services that were not so good. One, a dlal up, started out OK, but in time their performance deteriorated badly, in terms of available lines and connection speeds. They were ever so kind and cooperative, blaming it on the phone company's switches. I finally solved it by changing providers to Mindspring dialup (and later DSL), which demonstrated that the phone company was not at fault.

Huntress
18th Aug 2002, 22:59
I have had a few different ISP's and I agree, it's kindof a luck of the draw in some instances. I started with AOL and used their servers...then later on when they changed their option to "Bring your own", I fortunately did have another independent provider at that time called "ccnet" who merged with and became "Verio"...they were a very good ISP and was very pleased with their service which I had for several years. Unfortunately for me...they decided not to provide dial-up service any longer...so I had to hunt for a new one.

OK...so to clear things up a bit...after first getting started on the Internet and becoming familiar with it somewhat...I eventually discontinued AOL and just used "ccnet/Verio" till that fell apart. I really have no quarrel with AOL and did provide me with a good method of being connected, etc., and using my own ISP brought additional benefits to that service. I only really quit because I wasn't using what they had to offer that much any longer.

Well anyway...I went on a hunt for a new ISP and did find one relatively locally...and even though I'm not getting quite the support for my 56K (connection wise) they did recently made some changes with their hardware and where their routers/new access numbers are and did send me an email back asking if I was getting any better connections? So I feel they are making an attempt to provide better service. I do seem to get connected to them a little faster now (it really was pretty slow) and I think I'm getting a little better ping when I'm playing on LM's server?
However, in my area (S.F.) I am only paying $14.95/mo. So I'm getting what I pay for :D However, additionally, I have another computer where I use Juno...and I also pay $14.95/mo and have limited Ads but also their portal (which I wish I didn't have) but I also get better connection speeds for the most part. :D This of course emanates from my same phone line, etc. but naturally the call goes through a different router, etc. So I'm getting a reading right now of 37333bps vice 28800 from Astragate (my other ISP).

Do I wish I had DSL/ASDL...sure you bet...and perhaps one day I will (it's getting closer I think) but I was concerned about having to get setup with firewalls and all that goodness...but thanks to Bravus...he made some very good points about getting a router. It is an expensive item and still has to be installed, etc. but if you can afford it...it really is the best way to go. David, my Son, has ATTBI where he lives and basically satisfied with it. He did have @Home...but you know what happened to them...so you pays your money and takes your chances, LOL and at least try to get the best info you can...which is what your trying to do :) So good luck and Good Hunting! :)

Rommel_1891
19th Aug 2002, 02:22
Well BA, anything is better than AOL... lol :p

I don't know if you have Powernet in your area, but you can look. www.powernet.net I think. They provide a good dial up for about 20 bucks per month I think, and they're dsl service is stable too.

Charter communications provides cable if you have them in your area. The cable i had from them was crappy at first, and never seemed to work, but after a couple tech visits, everything ran smoothly. :)


OH, and Thorin... I think using the Zonealarm firewall should be all you need. If not already, use a regular virus scan to. I recommend, Norton. Also, you can look at Linksys for a hard firewall/router if you build a network off your dsl/cable link. ;)