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The Internet

Speakeasy Welcomes WiFi network sharing 121

sedawkgrep writes "Speakeasy.net has recently published a policy concerning their subscribers. They're openly welcoming the sharing of subscribers bandwidth via WiFi as long as you don't violate the existing terms of service. Speakeasy has always had a very liberal and open policy with their users. Even though I wouldn't open my network via WiFi, it's refreshing to see a company who is taking a more open approach rather than restrictive when dealing with its customers." I've been a Speakeasy customer for a while now ('tho my move from Boston to Ann Arbor meant going from 768 to 144 *sigh*) and have always been impressed with them. Great step supporting WiFi as well.
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Speakeasy Welcomes WiFi network sharing

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  • Good ISP (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ydna ( 32354 ) <andrew.sweger@net> on Sunday December 15, 2002 @05:50AM (#4891122) Homepage
    I'll second the thumbs up for Speakeasy. I've been using a 768 kbps SDSL through them (and Covad) for a couple years now. There's been only one major snafu during this last Thanksgiving when I tried to upgrade to 1.1 Mbps (the line quality wasn't really good enough despite Covad's claim to the contrary). They cost a bit more, but it's worth it.

    I was previously hooked up via US West. It was exciting.

    • Bad ISP (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Osty ( 16825 )

      And I'll give the token thumbs down for Speakeasy. I started with them almost a year and a half ago, with a 1.5/384 ADSL line that was supposed to be $90/mo, but due to a three-month billing snafu and a major reworking of their ADSL offerings, by the time they actually started billing me (mind you, I was getting service the entire time), that $90/mo line was suddenly $250/mo, plus back charges. Needless to say, I had no written proof that the line should have been $90/mo, and they weren't going to budge, so we met in the middle -- they dropped the charges for that line, and I upgraded to the more expensive 768kbps SDSL.


      Now, fast forward a year to this past November. During my entire time on the SDSL plan, I had been suffering near nightly DSL outages. The first 5 or 6 times this happened, I did call Speakeasy, but the outages were intermittent and short, so they could never track anything down. Also, the power button on my modem never worked -- the modem was always on (which is fine, but this will factor in shortly). Finally, last month, just after the one-year anniversary of my SDSL account and the expiring of my modem's warranty, Speakeasy suddenly decided that my modem was bad and needed to be replaced. (see the correlation with the power button above? The modem was bad since the day I got it, but it worked enough for me not to realize, and Speakeasy figured they'd string me along until I would have to pay for another modem ...)


      To make a long story short, it took me several days and three customer support reps, but I finally got them to agree to give me the new modem for free since there was more than enough documentation on my account in the form of trouble tickets that prove the modem was bad at least as long ago as last February. So now my SDSL doesn't go down every other night, but it'll be interesting to see how they try to screw me next year ...

    • 384 kbps SDSL, no interruption in about 2 years of constant use by people quick to complain when anything goes wrong.


      Speakeasy gave me a chance to try the 1.5/384 ADSL package alongside my SDSL -- sent me a 2nd modem and everything. Since uploads were more important to me than downloads, I decided to keep the SDSL (same price, but seemed more reliable that what I'd heard about ADSL). Held onto the ADSL past the 30 day trial period, but they credited me back for the whole period, without my asking.


      I'd recommend without hesitation.

  • by packeteer ( 566398 ) <packeteer.subdimension@com> on Sunday December 15, 2002 @05:54AM (#4891135)
    Right now i am using my D-Link wireless router to access slashdot. I share my bandwidth from my Speakeasy DSL connection to all who come by. I am glad i can share my luck of living in range for dsl in area area where not many can get it.
  • by phr2 ( 545169 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @05:56AM (#4891137)
    I have PacBell DSL (now SBC) and though the stories of their ever-increasing suckage are all true, they have one redeeming feature. Although my service is supposedly 128kbps up/384 down, in fact I consistently get 1.5 mbps download speed at any time of the day or night, even for multi-gigabyte downloads. Speakeasy seems to charge quite a bit extra for > 384k download speed; if you only pay for 384, what do you usually actually get? I wouldn't mind if it's 384k some of the time and faster at night, but I really like that high speed for large transfers.
    • by Cyph ( 240321 ) <yoonix.speakeasy@net> on Sunday December 15, 2002 @10:32AM (#4891773)
      I have a 1500/384 RADSL account from Speakeasy, and my download speed is the max of 160k/s. I think it's pretty good, considering TCP overhead.

      Also, if you were to pay for 384, the download speeds you'd get would be 40k/s. I know this because I used to have a 384k SDSL account from Speakeasy, before switching to RADSL. :)
    • I have the 384kbps symmetric DSL service from Speakeasy (which uses Covad's lines). I get just under 40k/s download speeds, but unfortunately my upstream speeds max out at more like 29k/s. Other than this slow upstream issue it's been a fine service. But I must admit since I run a webserver from my machine, this slow upstream speed is making me look at alternatives....
    • if you only pay for 384, what do you usually actually get?

      Well this can vary I think. I've had Speakeasy DSL at two locations. The first location I paid for 608/128 and got exactly that.

      The second location I paid for 768/384, but they sent me a new modem. With the new modem I was getting 5mbit downloads!!! and 500k uploads.
      Unfortunately, that new modem was REALLY flaky, so I put my original modem in, and with that got exactly 768/384k...
      Of course, the reason I got the new modem was because they said my old one wouldn't work, so I was a little upset at this.

      I got them to send me a replacement of the new modem, but it didn't work well either. So they took back both new modems and refunded the money I had paid for them, and let me keep using the old modem.

      So despite the issue, my overall experience has been very positive with Speakeasy.
      I've just moved again, and as soon as Covad has my street in it's database, I will be transferring my DSL here. [Although only 144k :( :( :( ]

      Ender

  • by Erpo ( 237853 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @06:08AM (#4891154)
    I'm moving from Cox Cable because they recently instituted monthly transfer caps, and was all set to transfer to pac bell dsl when I read about how they're sending out spyware in the mail. I'm not about to commit for a year (or pay an extra $10/month) when they could very easily make that kind of software mandatory to use their service. Speakeasy.net was my next choice.

    Anyone have any experience to share about speakeasy.net, specifically their customer service as well as how badly the bells abuse their monopoly when you sign up with an alternative dsl carrier? Also, I'm probably just not looking hard enough, but I didn't see any mention on their web site of the speeds provided with each tier of service. I'm looking at either the plain vanilla or sysadmin packages. Preferred rpmfind access would be great, but unless there's a significant speed increase (preferably in the upstream direction) over normal service it's not worth the extra $10/month. Any experience/information would be great.

    Speaking of increased upstream bandwidth, I saw something interesting [216.239.53.100] a while ago and I though I'd ask the slashdot community about it. At the end of the interview with the WinMX developers on slyck.com, someone (it's not clear whether it's the interviewer or interviewee) adds the comment:

    Also I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that as more and more people move away from the crappy 128kbit upstream broadband connections onto the next generation 600kbit+ upstream broadband connections over the next year or two, the amount of available files and other resources will flourish on ALL P2P networks beyond all our wildest dreams.

    600kbit+ upstream connections that people can actually afford? Huh? Has anyone heard anything about this anywhere else?
    • Uh, yes. Bredbandsbolaget here in Sweden, and Bostream also. The problem is that they only cover relatively small areas, and Bredbandsbolaget can only be had in large apartment complexes etc.

    • 600kbit+ upstream connections that people can actually afford? Huh? Has anyone heard anything about this anywhere else?

      I'm on fixed terrestrial wireless and get synchronous connection of around 1.1Mb/s at my business ($100/mo) and at home ($50/mo).

      DSL is available at my business (through Sprint) but the fastest uplink available is their 640K SDSL for $165/mo, or 3Mb/s down & 512Kb/s up for $190/mo.

      Upstream is important to me (at least at the business) because I run a VPN to the house so I can work from there.

      • I have 1.1 mbit downstream and 2.2 mbit up from Sympatico for 60$ a month (CDN). It has been down once for an afternoon in over four years. We had an ice storm which knocked out power to my neighbourhood in ottawa for 5 days but my DSL still worked with my laptop and the modem powered by rigged up batteries.

        I see 130 kbyte/sec reliably up and down, and from time to time i'll get 180kbyte/s downstream. No bandwidth caps and I have had the same IP for 4 years.

        Unfortunately my service is grandfathered and the dsl they install now is the 128kbps upstream and maybe 1mbit down.

        I think they stopped offering my service because it required house calls - a technician had to come and install a POTS splitter on the line.

        My service kicked the pants off cable for a long time, and with the better upstream I have i thikn it still does.
    • Here is the comparison url. Click on selections to drop them on top of the array in the lower half. http://www.speakeasy.net/main.php?page=res_dslcomp are
    • Anyone have any experience to share about speakeasy.net, specifically their customer service as well as how badly the bells abuse their monopoly when you sign up with an alternative dsl carrier?

      Unfortunately there is bad news on this front. If you try to get an ADSL over your POTS line you might end up having a line that goes out for hours switches to your bell's DSL service for days at a time and Speakeasy will give you no support with that problem. My bell said there was a problem with the Covad equipment and Speakeasy's techs said there was a problem with either the Covad or the bell equipment, and billing told me I couldn't cancel the billing on the disconnected line without paying the $300 disconnection fee. I ended up pulling out much hair by trying to talk to several billing people before going to my credit card's ombundsman. I used the helpful evidence from their tech support people, plus some collected from logs by my sysadmin at work, and e-mails from other Covad ISPs to create a report showing the problem and all my efforts at getting the problem fixed. My credit card company reversed the charges and I stopped getting hounded by their billing department after a month or so. But I had to spend way more than $300 of my time and on the report and on learning a lot more about my attorney general, consumer affairs, etc. In case I had needed to go further.

      The really sad thing is that if they hadn't treated me so badly over $300 I would have given them great PR because I felt they really had tried their best to get the line working before deciding it wasn't anything they could fix technically. I didn't agree with them on not confronting the bell, which I was very willing to help them with, but I understood that if they didn't have enough customers with this problem the cost of getting it fixed with lawyers would be greater than whatever money they might make off a few years of providing DSL to those customers. I saw this as a Covad - Verizon problem that they were only secondary actors in, I felt bad for them. Then they wanted me to pay the $300 Covad was going to charge them for a lemon line and had billing people with a phone attitude that had me infuriated. At that point, I was ready to spend years and thousands of dollars disputing the bill. I shrugged when my bike was stolen, I was mildly annoyed by the cost of the dental work when I was attacked in an attempted mugging, I was actually annoyed when a family member that had volunteered to pick up a last paycheck cashed it. It is not easy to get me past annoyed to angry. Speakeasy managed it.

      There are many nice DSL providers outside of the local bell and Speakeasy in most cities. I've had a good experience with a local one that supported WiFi before Speakeasy did. You would serve yourself well to find a good local ISP too.

      • I'm not going to deny this happened, but I will say that based on my experiences with Speakeasy and those of friencs, this is the exception, not the rule. I've found their tech support to be excellent and their billing people easy to deal with (I was double billed one month because of a credit card snafu and they had already fixed the problem by the time I found out and called).
        • based on my experiences with Speakeasy and those of friencs, this is the exception, not the rule.

          I have some friends that are happy with Speakeasy. I think it comes down to whether you have a problems that at the CO that the tech's can't fix. I've had another DSL provider since I canceled Speakeasy and since there's never been a problem I have no idea if their billing department is sane. Speakeasy had a stated policy that they wouldn't cancel a line unless you had three trouble tickets on it; so I actually kept the line, collecting trouble tickets, longer than I should have since they didn't want to honor that policy anyway. Though perhaps that helped convince them when the my credit card's bank went after em. I never got an apology or explanation for their behavior so I dunno. I can't fault their tech support either, they gave me the logs I needed to dispute their own company's billing and spent many hours on the phone handholding a Covad tech through the DSLAM debugging process. There had to have been some process problem there if the techs couldn't get one of their managers to pressure Covad, the fact that I never got an apology makes it hard to believe this process problem has been fixed, even if another DSL provider may have gotten Covad to fix the problem in my CO.

          • by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @04:23PM (#4893664) Homepage
            It depends on what tech you get. Speakeasy has grown a lot as a company in the past few years. It used to be that you'd wait on hold for 40 minutes and finally talk to someone who had a lot of expertise. Speakeasy initiated an effort to hire more tech support reps. There were a few bad apples who were absolutely infuriating to deal with. 90% of the Speakeasy support personnel that I've spoken to have been excellent and have been perfectly willing and able to schedule a conference call with Covad's techs and do a loop test, etc., to get to the bottom of any issues.

            I think the bad apples are (fortunately) gone. My Speakeasy DSL has had minimal downtime, and now that the growing pains are over, Speakeasy is once again a joy to deal with on the phone.
    • I'm using Cox cable and I've heard nothing about these caps. Care to share your information?
    • Well, I guess this isn't really the forum for testimonials and discussion of the quality of different ISPs, but you can go to Broadband Reports [dslreports.com] (aka DSL reports) to get a lot of comparisons and customer experiences. That will hopefully be a bit more representative.

      Briefly, I will say that I've been a Speakeasy customer for over 2 years now and they are great. Our connection (from the DC POP) is almost never down, and we get exactly the advertised speed 608 down/128 up consistantly. Speakeasy is also a cool company, not only for the reason stated in this article, but also because they host an rpmfind server and various other services to the online community. Also, unlike many other ISPs they support multiple computers on one connection (of course you can always have this, but some ISPs at least used to not want to give more than one IP per connection, so you'd be forced to do NAT), and they support Linux as far as I know (I've never called/emailed with any Linux support questions). The only real fault I can think of is that their billing is a bit weird and there have been a mistake or two. On the other hand, they were always quickly cleared up with no trouble.

      In short, Speakeasy rocks! You can choose Speakeasy and support all their geek-friendly policies and efforts, OR you can choose the local telco and support monopoly and a future of deminishing freedom and choice online.

    • Of course, YMMV.

      I moved into a new apartment recently, and before I did anything I checked out DSL. Speakeasy.net may not have been the cheapest option, but they provided multiple statics and no real restrictions on use (a one gb news cap gratis, no running authoritative dns servers, etc, read the link.)

      When I called them up before I had my phone line installed, I asked them the money question, and the answer made me go with them.

      THEY ARE LINUX FRIENDLY.

      I've been satisfied with their service, which I've had for the past four months. As far as dealing with the baby bells: the only bad thing is that you have to stick with one for basic phone service. As long as you don't dial much and don't tack on extra "services", it's cheap (around $13-16 a month). Anti-Tech.. err.. SBC hasn't given me any grief over it. And the speeds are fast and fairly reliable.

      I have had no problems. I have no complaints. I mean, 1.5/384 and clueful tech support. What's not to like?

      • THEY ARE LINUX FRIENDLY.

        What does this mean? Does it mean that they officially permit gnu/linux machines on their network or that they actually provide tech support for gnu/linux users?

        I mean, 1.5/384 [...]

        Which package is this? How much are you paying for it?
        • Re: Linux-friendly: They will help a "nixer get on the network. The modems are straight, no PPPoE. They have Linux-specific setup guides. They even have an rpmfind server.

          My package is 1.5 down, 384 up, with two statics, a shell, and 56k nationwide dialup for when/if i'm away from home for about $90.
  • speakeasy sucks (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    maybe I'll give a shit when they stop blocking port 80 on my dialup account. What the fuck? are they afraid i'll use up all their bandwidth if I run a server on my 56k modem?
    • Re:speakeasy sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CrazyDuke ( 529195 )
      I'd gather that since running an httpd on dialup is essentially pointless to most people; and many users out there are windows users that have default installations of IIS, which are vulnerable to virus attacks, that they just blocked it to prevent port 80 attacks on their customers.
      • I've had a Speakeasy account for almost exactly one year, since @home was trashed.

        I specifically requested, and got, static ip + shell, and believe if I were to connect via dialup that httpd would still function. I'm not prepared to diddle with the constant DSL connection running to experiment

        The following is pasted from the current TOS page on Speakeasy's website:

        Speakeasy believes in the right of the individual to publish information they feel is important to the world via the Internet. Unlike many ISP's, Speakeasy allows customers to run servers (web, mail, etc.) over their Internet connections, use hubs, and share networks in multiple locations.

        AFAIK, Speakeasy has (thankfully) never blocked port 80, or intentionally disabled any other function contained in the internet protocol standard.

        I would also question the blithe assumption that there are large numbers of Speakeasy customers running IIS and/or unpatched billyware machines. M$ is becoming more and more unpopular with every passing day, and my access.logs don't support the speculation.

  • Muahaha (Score:4, Funny)

    by Eric(b0mb)Dennis ( 629047 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @06:34AM (#4891211)
    /me gets his box of sidewalk chalk out

    (God I hope people rememebr warchalking :( )
  • " it's refreshing to see a company who is taking a more open approach rather than restrictive when dealing with its customers."

    Considering how much they charge, you should be able to do pretty much any damn thing you want. It isn't like Speakeasy is trying to do 1.5mbit for $50 a month. They seem to want your personal information before telling you this on their website now. But we're talking hundreds per month for basic 1.5/1.5.
    • Bandwidth costs are getting so cheap these days, its a miracle anyone's in business. "Good" IP T1s are under $400/mo without local loop, and even that's getting inexpensive. I've been quoted well under a grand per month for 3Mbps with local loop.

      In fact, some of the vendors I've talked to say that they've been converting a lot of "business DSL" customers to full T1s, simply because of reliability and cost competitiveness.

      Hundreds per month for 1.5/1.5 is pretty much about right for that bandwidth, and it may still technically be a bargain if it includes local loop. T1s may be a better bargain if all prices are pretty much equal, due to higher reliability.
      • Q: What is 'local loop' ?? Thanks.
        • Local loop is the portion of a T1 carried between the carrier and your building, traditionally handled by the local phone company. Often referred to as last mile.

          Its usually billed seperately to differentiate the cost of what you're actually buying and what it takes to get it to you. I think it matters in some accounting, and its kind of like saying "2.99 plus shipping and handling." You sometimes get quoted a price without the local loop, which can create a low price perception.
    • Yes, speakeasy charges more than the big telco or cable broadband providers, but for my money they offer a much higher level of service and permit you to use your broadband connection for things that should be basic freedoms with all broadband services but aren't...

      Some of the basic freedoms: static IPs, no blocked ports. They'll even provide secondary DNS for up to 5 domains for a one time set up charge, even for ADSL connections.

      Fact is the cheap broadband connections are just like any other massmarket product, which is to say that if all you want is to download pr0n, MP3s and warez, go with the cheapest, fastest provider that you can find.

      But if you do, don't complain when your provider (or should I say pusher?) imposes caps on your downloads. Or cuts your upload speed to 56k.

      Basically it comes down to what you value.

      By the way in response to the fact that speakeasy doesn't post their prices anymore: You can always do a price check on most broadband providers (cable, and satellite too) at dslreports.com [dslreports.com]

    • Look, I once had a great deal with PheonixDSL for 768/768 SDSL for $38/mo. Then they went out of business. Then I had Megapath 768/768 for $50 then they decided it was no longer worth it. So then I had Telocity SDSL 768/768 for $50. Until their back-end carrier (northpoint) went out of business. Then I had DirectvDSL ADSL 1.5/256 for $50/mo until, just the other day, they went out of business. Now my new $90/mo 1.5/384 speakeasy is on order. Know what? I will GLADLY PAY MORE if it means they can actually sustain the business model and keep the lines lit up. The sad thing is, I would have paid a bit more to ANY of them if they could have put forth a sustainable business model. I say GO SPEAKEASY! Charge what it really costs, make a buck, but STAY IN BUSINESS FOR ME!
  • bandwidth sharing... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Toasty16 ( 586358 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @06:51AM (#4891245) Homepage
    I've always found it ridiculous that ISPs want customers to shell out an extra 5 bucks a month for the privilege of a second IP address just to have 2 computers connect to the internet, because even when using a router you're not pulling down extra bandwidth, you're still just sharing the fixed bandwidth that the ISP is providing.

    I talked to a service tech for my local cable company, Mediacom, and he said that service was terrible on campus because college students sharing bandwidth was putting a big load on Mediacom's servers. How can this be? If you've got 1000 customers at 1.5mb each, it doesn't matter if each of them share bandwidth with 10 other computers, it's still a total of 1.5gb for the ISP. Bad service just means that the ISP wasn't equipped to serve out that much bandwidth in the 1st place.

    Fight the power, sign up with Speakeasy ;-)

    • bandwidth. If all customers of your bank were to close their accounts and withdraw all the money this Monday, your bank would collapse too. This is pretty normal. If you want guaranteed 1.5Mb/sec no matter what, you will soon discover that it costs a lot more than your cable subscription.
    • by rnd() ( 118781 )
      Speakeasy doesn't do this. They'll sell you an extra static IP for around $3 per month, but you can have a router and as many internal IPs as you want.
    • Got news for you, now ISP does that. Not unless we're talking about a T1 or fractional T1 -- in that case you're guaranteed the bandwidth. Otherwise, if you're paying $25 - $75 to an ILEC, CLEC, or cable company, you are using shared bandwidth. A true T1 costs hundreds of dollars a month for 1.5Mbit both ways, how in fuck's sake do you think an ISP could possibly turn around and offer that bandwidth for $50? They can't. They rely on a low overall duty cycle and things like transparent web caches to make the financials work.

      I know they advertise it as "unlimited" but that's really not true. You get burstable high speeds, but on the whole if you try to saturate the link they will eventually notice and probably try to cut you off. Again, if you want to complain about "using what you pay for" then get a T1 with a SLA (service level agreement) which is the only guaranteed bandwidth out there. Anything else is a toy and you should be happy that you can get burstable high speeds for $40/month. Not so long ago we were all content to pay $20/mo for 28.8kbps service.
    • Speakeasy basic DSL gives you two static IPs, and doesn't have any language forbidding routers. Most other services only give you dynamic IP and PPP DSL. In addition, they want you to install a lot of extra spy crap. Earthlink, for instance, gives you a single dynamic IP and then charges you 10 dollars extra if you want a home network. This is highway robbbery,
    • Actually, even services that have no problems with sharing still charge for IPs. Why? BEcause IPs are a finite resource, that we are running our of (until IPv6 gets rolling). My ISP,. my webhost, doesn't matter, all will charge me extra for more IPs. However, my ISP is fine with my running NAT and having multiple computers. I don't NEED multiple IPs to have multiple computers, but I have to pay for teh privledge if I want it. Speakeasy charges for extra IPs too.
    • "How can this be? If you've got 1000 customers at 1.5mb each, it doesn't matter if each of them share bandwidth with 10 other computers, it's still a total of 1.5gb for the ISP. Bad service just means that the ISP wasn't equipped to serve out that much bandwidth in the 1st place."... Ever heard or DDos?... it's the exact concept there. You may not hit your bandwidth cap, but you can sure as hell saturate their redback (which is probobly what they are using to do your PVC routing with the DSLAM provider) with icmp, syn, ... requests.

    • The cost of IPs

      For a small ISP, each IP address costs no more than 67 cents per year. For a larger ISP, each IP costs as little as 7 cents per year.

      Divide by 12 to compare to monthly pricing.

      And how many let you configure the reverse DNS?

      Feel raped yet?

  • by EzDi ( 579613 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @06:52AM (#4891246)
    I like many of their policies, gaming servers, rpmfind server, and fileshack.

    Too bad they have the all too common problem of only 128k upstream in my area (unless you want to spend too much on internet). Even Qwest in my old neighborhood had 256k on the base accouns, AT&T had 400k,and Time Warner was even faster.

    But my big problem is a couple months ago they started a 1GB/month download quota for their newsgroups. You can buy more downloads, but it's more expensive than getting a newsgroups account from many newgroup providers, not to mention most places will provide full newsgroup access with your acocunt.
    • Fileshack and File Planet...

      Well, Fileshack and FilePlanet are the same price ($60), and With FilePlanet you get 1 free yearly subscription to Computer Gaming World Magazine, Electronic Gaming Magazine, Play Magazine or Play Magazine. Of course you get pop3 email and webspace with FileShack.

      Also the average wait time for a non-subscriber is 15-17 minutes on FilePlanet or 65-75 minutes on fileshack. Also FilePlanet has thier links fromt he Planet websites, PlanetHalflife, PlanetQuake, PlanetUnreal, etc.. so there is a small advantage.

      Now if FileShack offered unlimited bandwidth to linux ISOs, and cvs updates, that would be nice, every try to download Mandrake Cooker?

      Speakeasy rocks.

  • My 2 Cents (Score:5, Informative)

    by dirkness ( 261872 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @07:13AM (#4891281)
    I've handled DSL installes for about a dozen of friends / family / businesses... from Pac Bell, the now Defunct flash com , verizon, cox (cable), at & t, and Speakeasy. The one provider I feel comfortable in always recomending is speakeasy.

    I have found that the most troublesome area of DSL is getting the line delivered. But speakeasy was the easiest provider to get in touch with a human to help solve any issue that cames up. I've worked tech support for a rival company named after this planet were on. At our call center we cringed when wait times for our customers would shoot up to 40 minutes, which happened regularly. I have rarely had this experience with speakeasy.

    When I have had to call and get someone on the phone they are competant and solve my issues fairly quickly.

    This to me is worth the extra money that they may charge for the service. My only complaint for a while was the lack of online management tools for domain or email hosting like pac bell has. The ability to add, remove and purge email boxes without getting on the phone is a great feature.

    I hope they can continue to improve their service like they have been and keep in mind that some people are willing to pay more for quality service and support.
    • I used to have verizon dsl in North NJ. They couldn't be easier to get dsl from. I called and a week later my self install kit arrived. On the turn on date I hooked it up and off I went. It was moron proof. While it was only 640/128 it only went down once in the year in a half I had it.
      When I switched to cable they gave me 2 months free just to try to keep me and even offered to lower the price $10 a month to match my $39 a month cable price. In the end I switched to cable though. Nothing beats 10mb/1mb. Because of my particular cable moden I'm limited to 600KB but my upload is around 90KB. Not bad for $39 a month. :-)

      More OT its nice to see an ISP who lets you share your bandwidth. It's too bad they all still limit uploading which is really holding back the internet. Only when upload speed matchs download speeds will we really even be ready to move on from the "web consumer model" that exists today. Unfortunately Big Media and Big Business only wants us to surf the WWW. I don't see this changing anytime soon. In fact things are more locked down and filtered then they ever were before.
  • This is dangerous! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    While it may be cool and neat to share your wireless access in this way, I cannot help thinking this gives the green light to all kinds of hacking and other illegal activities.

    I worry that as wifi access becomes more commonplace, hackers will use tools like airsnort and wepcrack to break into people's systems illegaly, and potentially could copy their important private data.

    I would like to see wifi banned for the simple reason that most people are too stupid to set up the security correctly. They need to be protected from themselves.

    • They need to be protected from themselves
      Right, paint a broad stroke across the entire population because a few people don't understand what they are doing. Maybe a better solution would be to simply remove these people from the service if they can't provide a small amount of responsibility for the privaleges they have been given.
    • If you banned everything that could be dangerous if stupid people used it you'd have to pass an IQ test to use the toilet. Before you start banning WiFi as a security risk you'd do well to ban all software, all motor vehicles, all toasters, etc.

      As someone experienced at demostrating possible hack-entrys for my job I'll tell now if you have a dial-up account your just as easy to spy on or hack as a WiFi system. Or if you run Windows anywhere on your network I can use that one weak spot to own your network. Are we going to ban dial-up and Microsoft now also?

      Wired access is no better protected than wireless. It isn't usually protected by any serious data encryption (or any at all) and most places the lines are easy to access. This can range anywhere from businesses with lan ports outside their building to walking into the building with some cable in your hand and just asking a secretary which computer has been giving them problems. For dial-up phone lines can be accessed from outside the building with no special tools required. I can tap your phone lines and record your voice and data calls without anyone ever being the wiser. It only takes about 30 seconds to set up such a tap.
    • First off, I've seen this stupid idea a million times, and everytime, I have to say that I've never seen anyone who keeps confidential information on their personal computers at home. When I use Quicken or GNUCash, I don't put my checking account numbers AND my social security number into the computer. I put a name for my checking account, and neither ever even ask for confidential information like your social security number, or your password to access your banking account online. That being said,any hacker that wastes their time to hack into someone's personal WiFi link just to real their e-mail saying "Honey, I'll drop by the store after work to pick up something for dinner, so I'll be a little late" is an idiot. Wardriving was so last year. [wasatchdigitaliq.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the wifi shares you
  • by TrippyZ ( 526759 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @07:48AM (#4891348) Homepage
    Lets see. If I allow passerbys to use my WiFi dsl connection, and then they use it to crack into remote boxes, who are the Feds going to come after?
    • If you allow passers-by to use your WiFi DSL connection, and you use it to crack into remote boxes, your defense attorney could claim that it was a passer-by. That's at least enough for reasonable doubt, given an intelligent jury (which, unfortunately, is a stretch).
    • To cut down the risk of sharing your connection out, you could always throw up a linux box using iptables and only allow web traffic, transparently forced through your own proxy.

      A bear any of us would scream about if done to us, but then again, beggars can't be choosers.

      It still doesn't address other issues, like someone posting bad remarks about a company on some group and that company forcing records from the ISP and coming after you and claiming you did it.

      Then again, this policy is refreshing. To draw a conclusion that just because bad thing x came from ip y at time z and logs show ip y at time z belonged to your account, and hence YOU are automatically guilty is insane. It could be unauthorized access, it could be a visitor to your house doing it from your PC as you go out to pick up a 6-pack, etc... Just like a criminal call from your premisis could be someone out back or in the basement of your flats hooking a handset up to your telco box. The fact that somehow the owner of an IP is guilty of all crimes committed through that IP is nuts.

      I noticed some dedicated co-lo services have same attitude/policy. If you resell access and one of your clients does a bad thing over your pipe, they treat it as if you did it and subject you to being cut off for actions of a client...

      OK, I'm convinced. Sharing wi-fi is a bad idea, with high risks and little if no reward. Sigh... :-( At least it opens up possibility of sharing with a neighbor with access controls.

    • You could do what I do. Have the wifi router as your main access point to the internet and then have a second firewall behind it so that your computers are protected. Leave the wifi route open and just log everything that happens on a wireless connection along with a network intrusion detection system to notify you when someone is misbehaving on your wifi network.
    • terms of service [speakeasy.net]

      "You are ultimately responsible for any and all activity that originates from your Internet circuit regardless of your knowledge of such activity. This includes but is not limited to activity by other household members, friends and guests. This also applies to security breaches of your own system by others who launch attacks from your machine. It is absolutely imperative that everyone with an Internet connection take proper precautions to ensure the security of their machine."
  • Great service (Score:4, Informative)

    by constantnormal ( 512494 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @08:40AM (#4891412)
    It's a little difficult to evaluate the problem-solving capabilities of Speakeasy, because the actual frequency of problems is pretty low.

    I moved to Speakeasy and a 144K iDSL line (I know, but it's all I could get at the time) from another ISP with a 128K ISDN line who had been acquired and the new parent then acquired, with definite drops in service with each new owner. I had spent 2 months without service (trying to get a new Toshiba router to work following the demise of my Webramp unit) being bounced between the ISP and Toshiba customer service. Neither one wanted the problem solved, they just wanted me to go away. So I did.

    Over the past few years with Speakeasy I have had two problems, one was a telco problem and one was a speakeasy problem. In each case, they took complete control of the problem management, made sure I had access to logs of what was going on and who was expected to do what when, so I always knew what was going on. In one case it was resolved in a matter of hours, in the other it took a couple of days.

    I have NEVER had to wait more than a few minutes to talk to a customer service person -- mind you, the times I have needed to do so have been few and far between.

    They recently expanded, creating a new POP in the Chicago area (I had previously been served via a POP in the Seattle area). The migration was flawless (from my perspective). They gave all their customers plenty of notice as to what was going to happen and when, then carried it off without a hitch.

    I now have additional options -- primarily cable -- that would be much faster and cheaper. I continue to stick with Speakeasy due to their willingness for me to tinker with my own servers, and the fact that for most email and web browsing, faster speeds are not usually much of a benefit. While there are certainly times when they would come in handy (large downloads), I find that probably half or more web sites manage their connection to the lowest common denominator, the 56K modem connection.

    In my case, when I look at all the options, having the freedoms afforded me by virtue of being a Speakeasy customer still outweighs the relatively few times I am seriously bandwidth-constrained. On those occasions, I think about getting a cheap cable service just for downloads and web surfing. I'd still run my email through Speakeasy, as they do a very good job of deflecting spam.
    • Re:Great service (Score:3, Informative)

      by eggboard ( 315140 )
      This is my experience as well. I'm in Seattle, so Speakeasy is local, but it's not why they've been so great. I was using Qwest at home and another local ISP for DSL at the office, and Qwest sucked (five days of downtime once, vast phone waits, untrained tech support) and the other ISP was charging by the gig for traffic!

      I switched to Speakeasy and while it hasn't been entirely error free, they deal with their mistakes or the telco mistakes. When I moved my office a few months ago, I called and said, can we have a new circuit ready to go at the new location and then we switch the ATM circuit from my current office to my new office keeping all the IPs and so forth?

      No problem they said. But we're moving on July 5 (a Friday after a Thursday holiday). No problem, they said. I called them, it took a few minutes, the IPs were moved. I shut boxes down at old office, drove them across town, powered them up, and I was live.

      That's what the extra dough is for.

      Because of the noncompetitive structure under which they have to get service, they're charging a realistic amount. When the next wave of technology comes, however, we should be seeing huge speed bumps in DSL without (in any reasonable world) the same kind of huge price increases.

      Up north of Seattle in the tiny town of Snohomish, you can apparently get 8 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up for less than $100/month. Why? They brought fiber (or lit fiber) into the local switch, and the part of the telco setting prices up there thought this would work out. That puts the lie to the real underlying costs...
  • by jcwren ( 166164 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @08:49AM (#4891439) Homepage

    I've been a Speakeasy customer for about 4 years now, carrying an IDSL line. Short of two incidents, I've never had any problems with service. The first incident was when they had Redback router problems. I can't remember the head honcho's name at the moment, but he was sending out status reports daily on the repairs. Turns out they had a backplane problem in the Redback, and a bad patch bay, and the combination of the two was very difficult to debug.

    So while that was frusterating, at least we as customers knew what the hell was going on. Try getting that out of Bellsouth.net (my ADSL provider). But the *real* story of how good their customer support is this:

    While I'm quite happy with Speakeasy, I really wanted to get another ADSL line (I host a small group of people as a non-profit project). Speakeasy isn't yet offering ADSL in my area, but Earthlink is, and with static IPs (Bellsouth does also, but no statics. Morons.) So my IDSL goes out (about the time Bellsouth has 7 line trucks on the street), so then I think "Well, it's a good time to switch". Bellsouth came out, put in a new phone line, Earthlink provisions it, the ADSL modem shows up, it gets installed, it sort of works. At this point, since I'm now really moving to ADSL, I don't worry much about the down IDSL.

    People can connect to the system. Mostly. Mail works. Mostly. Well, I can't send mail. After much discussion with Earthlink, who lied to me saying "Oh yes, there are no blocked ports", it turns out that they block outbound SMTP. Annoying. But they claim there's no problem in the routing, in spite of the fact that 50% of people can't connect, 50% of my outbound pings don't, etc. Talking to tech support, I said "I need this routing fixed, and I need port 25 unblocked." Them: "We don't see a routing problem, and we can't unblock port 25." Me: "OK, and I can't use your service. Disconnect it NOW."

    So they did, and I go back to Speakeasy, calling in a trouble ticket. I explain that the time the service went out, Bellsouth was had every line box up and down a 3 mile stretch hanging wide open. "Yea, sounds like a line problem. They prolly swapped lines with you and Grandma Jones. We're on it!", says they.

    Next day, someone knocks on the door. It's a technician with a modem. "Dude, gotta new modem for you. We think yours is cooked." New modem is installed, it works! Yay! Everyone is back up, mail flows, Speakeasy makes me happy again.

    Then I get the bill for $300. $150 modem, $150 install fee. Yikes! I always knew a modem replacement wouldn't be free, but $300? No warning? I call Speakeasy, complement them on great service, and say "But this $300 was a little surprising. I mean, couldn't have someone mentioned it?" So they break it up over 3 payments, make it a little easier. Then the girl says "Hey, I can credit you for some service, since you had down time. How long was your service out?" "Well, it went out two weeks ago, but I was switching to Earthlink (only because you good people don't offer ADSL), so I'd say I noticed a week ago." "Gotcha, 30 days. OK, well, that's about $96 credit there. We'll do that!". Yay! $200 for a new modem. But not the end of it...

    So I get the Speakeasy service survey, and because I like Speakeasy, I actually honestly fill it out. Complete with the $300 story. I get a call from the lady in charge of customer service: "Our people screwed up and didn't follow the script. You should have been told that the tech was coming, and the costs involved. We're crediting your for the modem, and the remaining $56 on the service call." I love this woman. Maybe she'll marry me, and we can figure out how to get free service for life.

    There were complaints that Speakeasy had bad customer service at one time. I know they've made very agressive efforts to improve. I can only say that in my experiences to the support center has been nothing but friendly, knowledgable people, who actually WILL do something about your problem. Unlike, oh say, Bellsouth, where IF you can find out who to talk to, generally don't know squat.

    Some of my folks would still like ADSL on that server. IDSL serves them well enough, and ADSL wouldn't see a dramatic improvement in uplink speeds for them anyway. Once Speakeasy offers ADSL, I'll switch. Until then, I'll pay $96 a month (yea, it's high. That was another reason to move to ADSL), but it's reliable, I've got 3 static IPs, no blocked ports, I can share on my WiFi if I choose, and I get EXCELLENT customer service.

    jcwren

    • Just to be fair to earthlink, while the tech was being dishonest they do have a good reason for blocking outbound port 25 connections: spam. Earthlink forces everyone to use their mail relay so that they can control the outflow of spam and minimize it to the best of their ability.
  • by Adam J. Richter ( 17693 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @08:56AM (#4891457)
    As I mentioned in replying to a previous slashdot story, Covad welcomed line sharing the last time I checked, including wireless, including for-profit. This was the big selling point that the Covad sales rep used to convince me to sign up, and I described in detail the idea of reselling my covad connection over an access point just to make sure there was no misunderstanding.

    In general, DSL providers seem to be less worried about usage patterns than cable modem providers, probably because having separate lines from the DSL Access Multiplexer to each subscriber gives them a more reliable ability to throttle individual customers if necessary, as opposed to having a shared local loop in the case of cable modems.

  • I've been getting the 1.5Mbit/384k service for a couple years... I've been more than impressed... The only time my circuit has ever gone down (either than non-payment... oops!) was 9/11 ... And they had me back up (albeit slowly) in 1 day. And I'm in NYC...

    Their customer service is supeerb and their policies are unmatched. I'd reccomend them to ANYONE.
  • Just move to Japan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15, 2002 @09:04AM (#4891478)
    Here in Tokyo I have adsl 8mb down/2up for about $50 US a month. They, and by they I mean probably 5 or 6 different companies, are now offering 12mb. They don't care if you share bandwidth or what. They are concerned with getting customers signed up and using their service. From what I hear, most people in the US aren't too happy with their high speed access. Maybe if companies worked more at customer service and less on pinching pennies they'd get more people opting for high speed access.
    • by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @10:44AM (#4891815) Homepage
      The US is in the unique position of having ancient POTS lines: miles and miles of copper that works fine for voice, but is difficult to squeeze data through.

      In the US, populated urban areas have much more competition and thus lower rates on broadband. Some smaller cities (40-50K people) may have only ISDN or very limited DSL availability at $100+ per month.

      Tokyo sounds like it'd be a good place for broadband: lots of people who want it, relatively small geographical area meaning that the providers' return on investment for infrastructure is very good.

      By the way, if anyone wants to sign up for Speakeasy DLS, Sign up here [speakeasy.net]

    • Of course, your 300 square foot "apartment" costs $2000 a month. At least I can get a 400 square foot studio in manhattan with a seperate bathroom for $1200 a month.

      The reason bandwidth is so cheap in Tokyo is everything else is so expensive no one would purchase it if it cost more. I guarantee that if you were to get a similar apartment in Manattan with a full T1 @$500/month, it would still be cheaper than in Tokyo. And you would be living in a much cooler and cosmopolitan city.

      The reality is in densely populated areas, bandwidth is obviously much cheaper and available, because distance is the dominant cost factor in laying line, not to mention maintaining it.
    • BTW: In the bay area (US) you can get 10mb down for about what you're paying. So, no, Tokyo is not alone in having high-speed, low-cost internet.
    • Ok, so tell me. How much does an apartment cost per month in Tokyo? Say a small 1 bedroom. How about a house? Let's not play the "my country has so much better deals than yours" game. I know how much cost of living is in Tokyo.

      Also the real question then becomes what kind of connectivity does your ISP have? How fast are their links, and who to? Then how fast are their providers' links over to the US and Europe (since a good deal of the Internet is not in Japan). 8mb to your house doesn't look so hot if they have 3000 subscribers and only an OC-3 as upstream, espically if their upstream provider is on one of the more crammed transcontential cables.

      To give you an idea of what I'm talking about (and how I suspect your service works) take the University I work at. Each person in the dorms has a 10mbit connection to their desk, and we may upgrade that to 100mbit in the near future. It's an included cost of living there, but comes out to under $30/month. Wow, great deal, right? Well, sorta.

      The first problem is that each dorm has their bandwidth throttled as a whole. How much throttling depends on the dorm and the time of day, but there is no way you'll get the full 10mbit if other people are using the internet too (which they always are). Then there is the problem of teh campus links. We have about 150mbits to the Internet and another 155mbits to Internet2. However there are 25,000 computers on campus, some with 10mbit, some with 100mbit links. Clearly these links are not sufficient to allow all people to use their links to full capacity.

      So, when you really look at how it work, the kids in the dorms DO get a good deal (their net access is very fast and very cheap), BUT it's not 10mbit bi-directional for less than $30/month as it might seem.

      The conneciton to your house is only one part of the equation. You need to then consider how the upstream form there goes, until it hits the major Tier-1 providers.
  • Speakeasy is GREAT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Sunday December 15, 2002 @09:24AM (#4891540) Homepage
    I've been a speakeasy customer for 3 years now and the service has been excellent. I subscribe to the 1.5/384 package with a couple of extra static IPs.

    By the way, Speakeasy now has a promotion and is giving a free XBox, PSII, or Gamecube to new subscribers for certain plans.

    To sign up for Speakeasy, click here [speakeasy.net] to give me credit for the referral.

  • 2 years, and weve had 3 downtimes. Once was a tunnel fire in baltimore that took down half the east coast, once the billing got screwed up(our fault) and the other time it was down for a whole 2 hours, and i think that was verizon. OH, and to fix the billing problem took 10 mins on hold, and once the new credit card was taken it was 30 seconds, literally. I cannot reccommend them enough.
  • Please remember that the Speakeasy account-holder is responsible for all activity originating from their DSL line, even if it is the result of other users on a shared wireless connection.

    How could you know what everyone is doing on your connection if it was open? It seems that this point is a show-stopper.
  • Where I live I can get Roadrunner or Ameritech DSL. Roadrunner is $44.95 a month includes the modem rental, and I have a 3mbit / 384kbps connection (although officially it supposed to be 1.5mbit) and it never goes out, EVER. Ameritech charges $40 for 768kbps/128kbps plus you need the modem rental and installation of the DSL line can caust $400 and take a month.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have been using Speakeasy iDSL for 9 months. My router, a flowpoint 144 model 132 died. The speakeasy rep said they only sold used units without warranty, he suggested eBay. I purchased a unit off eBay. When I called back, speakeasy said they did not support customer equipment. When I demanded that they provide information I needed to configure the router, I again got "we dont support customer equipment" So here I am, 5 months to go on a year contract and I cant use the service. What a crock.
    • If you need any help with setting up your 144, I have one on my speakeasy line and you can have my configs.

      When I signed up with speakeasy, they were very helpful with my 144 which I got on Ebay. I'd call back and get another support person.

  • The poster obviously missing the basics of network connectivity.

    Nobody opens 'their' network to wifi. You can open your internet connection without opening your 'network.'

    Besides, what does this guy have to hide? He's probably a terrorist.
  • It was April 2000, when I first heard of Speakeasy. I had to move to Cali (bay area) for seven months with my wife, and while at it I wanted to give a try to this new "DSL" technology everyone was talking about.

    Some ISP-shopping later, I settled with a 640k/160k RADSL Speakeasy+Covad solution, with modem rental, $60/mo.

    First and foremost, when in september the price of my account type dropped from $60 to $50, they lowered the actual bill to match the new offer - and that's pretty unique.

    Second, they wanted a full year of contract, but after I told them I had to go back in Italy (I'm italian) after only 7 months, they replied: "Ok, no problem: as long as you don't switch to our competitors, you can stay with us even two weeks, if you wish so". Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.

    Last but not least, when I had to return in my native country, and I needed to arrange the return of the rented modem, they indulged in saying the shipping cost for the modem would have been way too high for them to care, and that I could have kept the modem "as a gift for having been their customer". I was speechless.

    Right now, I'm connected to the 'Net thru a local, italian DSL provider, but the modem is still the dear old Speakeasy's Efficient SpeedStream (with a power adapter, you know, 110V/220V).

    Can you name the provider I will look for if/when I will return in the US?

    The one who provided me with a "human" experience. This "you can share your band, if this makes you happier" attitude isn't really new to me.
  • and they are... static IP's (6 of them)... true 384/384 (Bridged SDSL), treated like a partial frame... no problem with using my own routers (I prefer netopias, plus I have a few already)... no problem running my own servers off of the line... excellent support (they don't talk down to you, I'm a network engineer/IT professional)...great uptimes, in 3 years the biggest outage was Sep. 11th and they credited me for the downtime (wasn't down immediately, but after their generator ran 48 hrs straight it bit the bullet, forgiveable) I am now routed through their new Chicago prescence...I can recommend them without question, and believe it's worth the extra, like they say "you get what you pay for"
  • Around a month ago I decided to take the steps and sign up for adsl access through Speakeasy.net. I had herd and read in reviews that Speakeasy.net was a great service provider, and number one in technical support. Not to mention the fact they were giving me a xbox with two games, as part of the "deal." Now let me tell you what exactly this "deal" includes. Speakeasy.net offers access _only_ through certain providers. This is common knowledge as to be a part of a network you have to have access to it. Little did the flashy sales rep tell me but, I needed to have local phone service through hellsouth, not at&t. No big deal with a simple call to that special person I like to call, "314." (um figure it out, can we say phone extension?) Got me _unlimited_ dial up access until my local service was switched over to hellsouth, woo! So the other day I was surfing around for a little bit, since it is my school break, and got disconnected. No big deal right? I once again try to connect to my _unlimited_ dial up service, and get the lovely error message, "access denied; your account/password is not accepted on this network." Calling up the number one rated technical support, the nice women was kind enough to inform me of the 150 hour limit placed on Speakeasy.net's _unlimited_ dial up access plan. So I was kind enough to inform her that in no were does it state that within Speakeasy.net's terms of service agreement. Her realizing this made myself be granted true _unlimited_ access, right? Wrong, I was simply granted another 150 stay within the regular _unlimited_ agreement. Needles to say I was curious in looking up _business_ class dsl service through Covad(Speakeasy.net's provider). Turns out it is $50 less a month then Speakeasy.net's access plan, along with it being a business class dsl agreement there are fewer restrictions and more standard features. O yea, did I happen to mention even better, more knowledgeable technical support seeing you are under a _business_ class service? So for all who think Speakeasy.net is a wonderful place were us geeks can live happy ever after, I offer you my involvement with such a "wonderful" company. (note: just so my fellow geeks don't think I am lying out of my ass, here is Speakeasy.net's terms of service agreement, regarding dial up access. "Your Speakeasy dialup service is restricted to one simultaneous connection per unique Speakeasy username. Dialup services must remain in an active state without the aid of an automatic connection refreshing program/device for the duration of the session. Unlimited service does not provide a dedicated connection. We reserve the right to disconnect, suspend, cap, or change connection requirements based on the abuse or misuse of your dialup connection." In comment to that agreement, "How do they know I am not a insomniac who likes to look at pr0n 24/7?"
    • klug.... My work does this too. the whole 150 hour bull S#!t... The reason they do it though is because they probobly rent or lease their POPs(dialup locations) from someone else and just have their radius table IP in the pop's connection... you probobly have to do some weird crap with your username to get it to work too :P (that's so the POP knows where to forward the auth request)... anyways (how did I get sidetracked...) since they rent their pops they have to pay the provider network for each login (usually about 5$ a month per username) and almost all pop networks start charging the s#it out of you (about 4$/hour over 150hours) when you go over 150 hours. AOL does it, msn does it... pretty much every1 that doesn't own their dialup numbers do it. And since all the big providers are either going under or don't offer dialup access as an ISP (just lease the numbers to ISP's) hardly any isp's will allow more than 150 hours.
  • I've been happy with Speakeasy, but recently they did put a new quota on usenet news which wasn't there before. To me this represented a reduction in service with no price break.
  • Speakeasy members get a monthly newsletter indicating things like this. To wit, about a month ago, they started a promo that gets you a wireless hub if you sign up for certain DSL packages (IE, not the low end PPPoE connection), hinting that they welcomed the connection sharing (IE, things like "Share your connection!" around the adverts).

    But these guys as many will find oun places like Broadband Reports [dslreports.com] are, suffice it to say, quite possibly the best ISP in the USA (or at least in the top ten), and considering that Speakeasy Cafe (RIP!) started by just selling peanut butter sandwiches to its cybercafe customers, that's one hell of a comeup. The only thing I regret is that, despite their almost exclusive use of Linux in their shop (a tech tells me they have one W2K box that they use for people who need Frontpage extensions, but other than that it's wall to wall Linux), they don't "officially" support it. They still give you pointers though.

  • I've had speakeasy for 1 year in January, and I'm in love. I've only had one period of no dsl, and it turned out to be Verizon's fault (some moron cut a cable somewhere). I think my favorite feature is the hold-o-meter thingy they have in MySpeakeasy [speakeasy.net] It's come in hande both times I've had to call.
  • I've been with the Speakeasy since 1996. I started out with a simple email account, moved up to a dial up account, moved my business' web site over to them, then got 768/384 DSL (turned out to be 768/768! Only paid for the 768/384 though) and had the DSL for about two and a half years. Soaring student loan payments forced me over to AT&T for my broadband connection, but I still keep my @speakeasy.org email because I love the company. Their tech support has always been top notch and they never got snotty when I said I was on a Mac. Major points there!

    My actual first internet experience was at the little internet café that could. Bummer it burned down. They are a great company and do a lot to support social and cultural causes around the Seattle area.
  • i'm glad Debian finally got into
    polar-deep-freeze-we-arent-shitting-you state finally.
    -- Seen on #Debian shortly before the release of Debian 2.0

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