questionswill you help me pick my isp?

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Another bundle I was looking at with Comcast is $49.99 for a year with more cable channels, requires a two-year contract and goes up to $65 after a year, I believe. The price seems more fixed which I like.

Cable isn't a huge selling point for me, but I wouldn't mind having it.

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how much internet do you need? have you considered dsl?

no1 no1
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@no1: Unless it's different than where I live, Century Link is DSL.

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Always buy your modem. I have no idea if it matters the brand/style. I have an older motorola that is identical to what Comcast would rent you. They aren't that expensive - they pay for themselves fairly quickly.

I have Comcast and have very little problems. I also use them for cable. My husband also works for one of their contractors, so he knows how to fix things. I tried to get DSL once and it was a nightmare (apt complex - my apt was too far for it to work) but that was a random issue. The nice thing about Comcast (at least around here) is they have a ton of free wifi hotspots all over that you can use if you are a Comcast Internet customer. Not sure about anyone else.

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@woadwarrior: oh. where i live, our low speed dsl is only about $25/mo, so i thought c-link would be something fancier.

no1 no1
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@agingdragqueen: I can relate to the whole being PO'ed at a company for horrible service. I'll never have anything to do with Sprint again. (I had phone and DSL service through them when I bought my house.) They screwed things up bad enough that I was able to get out my contract with them without an early termination fee. (Although they did try 4 or 5 months later to charge one.)

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Count me as another vote for Comcast and buying your own modem (it doesn't matter which brand so long as it is DOCSIS 3.0)

If it costs the same (after the first six months), why not get the faster service... Especially since you already said that customer service at both places made you less than happy.

I've had Comcast cable modem service for probably going on 10 years (sort of I guess as I got it as soon as it was available in my area via Insight before they were bought out by Comcast). I've moved a few times and had no troubles moving service. My annoyance with Comcast is more about their television service and the fact that they waste tons of money mailing me (and at least eleventy-seven other existing customers) all kinds of shiny paper every week to show us offers we aren't eligible for because we aren't new customers.

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@mkdr: when I clicked through to Comcast's list of "approved" modems, it sent me to a broken link, but I assume that a modem is a modem.

I have no idea what Comcast did to me but it was early in my apartment dwelling years. I wonder if it was just me being stupid and feeling entitled.

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@no1: nah, there's no real viable lowish speed option and Century Link and Comcast art the only ones who service my building.

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@no1 : I imagine that the prices @agingdragqueeen was quoting were for top tier service plans.

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@dubdubdub: I guess now my question is, should I get in on a contract with Comcast or should I assume that the ISP field won't grow in Seattle substantially? Because, I think we'd like to hop over to something else if offered more of a selection in the future. And then that being said, should I invest in a cable modem or will cable-modeming become obsolete?

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Is there a significant difference in upload/download speeds? Personally, I don't do much that's bandwidth-intensive (occasional streaming video), so speed doesn't matter that much to me, but it matters to some.

As for pricing: keep looking around for deals on both services, and try soliciting deals via chat as well as phone calls. Does either offer a discount for amazon employees? Some folks have had luck playing Comcast against another service. Sites like fatwallet.com have forums where people share deals and information about how to get them. Unlike, say, the price of electricity, it seems like cable costs are negotiable. (I don't really have the stomach for prolonged negotiation, so I went with an employee discount and called it a day.)

(I found those links by googling; I can't vouch for them, but each has "face validity" based on what I've heard in the past.)

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i have not used their service, and have no info about reliability, but another option is 4g service (see for example http://www.clear.com, at ~$35-$50/mo)

no1 no1
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@agingdragqueen: Here is a list of supported modems for Comcast: http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/

For Centurylink, look here: http://qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/modems.html

I personally went with Centurylink because their deals were better than the alternative around here (Mediacom). I also was not impressed with Comcast when I had them in another state.

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@neuropsychosocial: thanks! I actually just was talking to Century Link and they're not giving a crap about me threatening to leave. Good news is I have no contract with them, so I'm able to leave at any time.

For some reason I'm finding prices for ISPs lower in Seattle than I saw in Dallas, so the price differences aren't really the hugest issue. The problem I've been having with Century Link is that the modem they gave me is just terrible (and they have no interest in sending me a new one) and the service gets throttled randomly. I dealt with it since I was paying about $35 a month total, but now that it's up to $56, I'm willing to make the change.

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@agingdragqueen: Ask to speak to someone in the "customer retention department" these individuals can usually do some things that the other reps can't. I have decent luck going this route. I had one provider actually cut my service on one day then had them re-install the next day so that O qualified for all sorts of new customer deals. I ended up with the highest DSL speed available in my area(4th tier) for the same price i had been paying for 2nd tier service.

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I had pretty good luck with Century Link.. I've had better luck with DSL in general actually.. Century Link has random "service/down" periods they don't warn you about or let you know about unless you spend 10 minutes on the phone, that kind of sucks.. only happens probably once a month or so though.

If the speeds/prices are comparable I'd say Century Link.

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Go to Goodwill/Salvation Army/Thrift Store/etc.. you can usually find cable modems for about 5$

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@agingdragqueen: like someone else said. buy your modem. i previously used a motorola surfboard when i was on comcast (i'm still on comcast but had to get a different modem since i'm using xfinity voice). the SB6121 is docsis 3.0 compliant and should do the trick if you decide to go with comcast.

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I live just North of Seattle and I have had Comcast for over 10 years. I have had very little in the way of outages (maybe a handful of days where I lost a couple of hours - I lose power more often than I lose my cable). The only drawback I have is the 250GB limit. In a household with 4 very active users, we have to monitor usage so that we don't exceed the limit and get put on probation or canceled. But if you decide to go with Comcast buy a cable modem of your own.

We use them for cable and internet. When our cable box went out we had no problems getting the replacement ( I chose to exchange it at their office as it is near my work but they offered to do a service call the next day, if I wanted one).

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My dearest @agingdragqueen:

Comcast sucks. My bill is often different each month because this promotion runs out, this one starts, that promotion runs out. It goes up, it goes down, then goes up some more. However, my service has been good. My bandwidth isn't throttled, my cable/internet never goes out. They're usually Ok to talk to on the phone once you get through to someone. And if you mention Century Link they almost always give you $10 off for a few months.

So when your rate goes up, call them and complain. Also buy your own modem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!1!oneone!!1

My opinion is they are both terrible, horrible companies. But when it comes to service, the cable will be more reliable. If you decide to cancel CLink though, have fun - both companies are a nightmare to cancel service with. Be prepared to be hung up on and transferred to nowhere.

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@agingdragqueen: I would also say that I can only imagine what Comcast did to tick you off...the stories I hear are insane. I will say that if you were trying to leave for someone with a lower price, you would likely get some better response from Comcast than you appear to be getting Century Link. Sounds like you don't have FIOS as an option? That is where we would make the switch away from Comcast if it ever became available in the ghetto where I reside (read: when hell freezes over). Again, one thing that keeps me with Comcast is the "bundling" with the TV and the nice add-ons features that come with it (controlling my DVR through my computer and iDevices).

One drawback if you intend to use their email address and an iDevice - I have issues with syncing emails (I can see them, but actions like marking as read, deleting, moving) when using the native email program, I have to use the Comcast app for full function. It's a good app though.

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So, the Comcast franchises in each locality are vastly different.
The Comcast that I grew up hating with every fiber of my being in Atlanta is different from the good, responsive, helpful Comcast that serves Chattanooga.

It is possible that the Comcast franchise in your current location is the Happy Fun Time Rainbow Unicorn variety. Or it could at least be the responsive and helpful type.

At any rate, I hate their price structure, constantly offering starter rates that expire. You have to call Cust Svc to complain and threaten to leave to get the new teaser rate. That's why I dropped Comcast in favor of my local power company, EPB, which offers fiber for the same ballpark price and a consistent pricing structure.

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@no1: Stay away from Clear/ClearWire at all costs! They used to have customer service based in Florida a few years ago then it was outsourced. When it was in Florida the customer service was great though their speeds were not that fast. Then they moved overseas.

I noticed my speed had dropped dramatically which on occasion it would for a few hours or a day when one of their towers went down or had to be restarted (something the guys in Florida would explain. After 3 days of dial up speed I called support. The following is an excerpt of my conversation. Me: Call clear, wait on hold until they pick up. Don't remember how long I was on hold but at least 30 mins.
Them: Thanks for calling Clear. blah blah blah.
Me: My internet service is slow and has been for about three days.

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(continued)
Them: Restart modem, make sure it is pointing towards tower, clear cache, reboot computer, go to speedtest.net, etc. so on and so forth.
Me: Me no change here (I am starting to loose my cool at this point as I am the IT manager where I work and their solutions are making no sense).
Them: Try this(something else)
Me: (Pissed off and cussing) Don't remember what I said but it must have gotten her attention.
Them: "You use too much internet".
Me: What?
Them: You use too much internet. You should turn off your computer and not use internet for 3 days.
Me: So I guess what you are telling me is that Clear sucks and I need to find a new internet service provider?
Them: Yes
Me: So you admit that Clear sucks and you recommend I find a new ISP?
Them: Yes
Me: Cancel my service immediately. I will find a new ISP tomorrow since you admit Clear sucks.
Them: No, No, No, I didn't say Clear sucks.
Me: Yes you did, cancel my service. I hang up the phone as they are talking.

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The cable modem brand doesn't matter at all. Comcast rents/sells the Motorola modem, but I preferred my Linksys Cable Modem. I bought it on sale and never had any trouble with it for 6+ years until I pulled the power plug and cable out of the back of it in favor of my EPB fiber service.

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@theoneill555: oh butts, I didn't think of limits. We listen to streaming radio (overnights some times) and watch Netflix pretty regularly (there's just two of us though), do you think we'd meet the imposed caps? I'm fairly sure Century Link did not have any.

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@bill7718: that is SERIOUSLY almost exactly what I got with Century Link recently, except instead of admitting they were throttling my service they told me I needed to pay to upgrade my account so it could handle all our devices. I have never lost it on support people but I just could not handle that guy.

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@meh3884: see! And that's what's getting me about going over to Comcast, I read their fine print and in the $39.99 package they can only estimate what the monthly charge will be after a year. That's just crazy, I just want to sign up for one consistent fee and I'm clearly not seeing that option with Century Link OR Comcast (but sadly, they're all that service my building).

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For people who like closure: we're fairly sure we're going to go with Comcast and pick up a Motorola combo wireless router + modem. We'll probably call up Century Link and see if they'll do anything to keep us, but it's not looking likely. We've already had to pay Century Link for October, so we're in no huge hurry to switch- we may wait to see if a better deal comes up.

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@agingdragqueen: I just glanced at a few of your last posts and saw that it looks like you're going with Comcast, but the "Throttling" thing reminded me: THEY THROTTLE YOU. lol..
I completely forgot about that.. which is weird because there's been more than one time where I was playing Battlefield and screaming obscenities at my Xbox because my speed all of a sudden took a nose dive. Not to mention many-a downloads and Netflix movies :)

I actually need to call 'em again about that.. I did awhile back and they said I needed to pay for a higher tier of service (10Mbit I think).. well, I was paying for 7Mbit (I think) and I was running ~3Mbit. Coincidentally shortly after my speed [temporarily] increased.

Moral of the story: Comcast. (which it looks like you already decided on.. but still, I had to let you know)

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@agingdragqueen: do not forget to slow play Comcast perhaps you can get a better price. Tell them you are thinking about switching, but the other company is more competitive.

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Comcast > Centurylink......but not much.

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@agingdragqueen: Unless someone just got done burying fiber along your street that was intended for consumer use, you won't get burned by a 2 year contract. As for if buying a cable modem is worth it or not... It will pay for itself and Comcast has given me new hardware even though I didn't buy (or rent) mine from them. Find out what they sell/rent and then try to buy the same elsewhere for less.

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@dubdubdub: There actually WAS someone recently digging a hole directly in front of adq's apartment for some reason. Maybe it was just jewel thieves.

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@agingdragqueen: I was all excited about fiber but the price is so high. The weird thing is the company has a monopoly of cable in a neighboring town and prices are so low.
What I am saying is you may be expected to pay for fiber.

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Before you consider staying with Century Link, have a look at how shabbily they treat their customers: dropping their line speed, then calling it "Line optimization". Pretty blatant.

http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/176f8cf2-04b7-4882-97be-381ec0fc600f/have-you-heard-about-centurylinks-line-optimization-program