Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rogers High Speed Internet Hybrid Fiber – Fast and reasonably priced compared with the competition (what competition?) ** Updated September 2016

Update in late 2015: I've been a happy user of the latest generation 250u hybrid fiber and I can tell you that it is smokingly fast in every way. Have a look at the new article on that, but keep reading this one if you are interested in the more budget-conscious plans as they too are a good value.

I’ve been trying to get the new 150mbps service for quite a while. Of course, Ottawa being a backwater when compared with the 6 million people in the greater Toronto area (GTA), we tend to get such luxuries a long time after they do in Metropolis …

As of September 2016, I have had their IGNITE 250u service for 18 months, and WOW!

I rave about it here.

But Rogers has recently changed all their plans and obsoleted all the older modems, including the one I own. They also took the $10 unlimited bandwidth surcharge and boosted that cost to $25. And yes, you guessed it, the existing surcharge is incompatible with the new accounts so if you want a new account you get to pay 150% more for the unlimited privilege.

But there is an upside. The bandwidth allocations are decent (as they should be at these prices) and they have an intermediate level for 15 bucks that should be sufficient for most people. And the kicker is that they have doubled the upload speeds, and that is useful to me.

So I decided to get hybrid fiber 60, which will raise my download speeds from a modest 45mbps to 60mbps, still modest :-) … but the upload speeds will go up by 150% to 10mbps from 4mbps. Cool. Of course, I regularly measure around 60mbps now, and if I do all this for no gain (i.e. the new speeds are somehow throttled to match the plan) then I won’t be all that happy. But the upload speed is still there.

There is also a promotion right now that allows you to get the basic model for 8 bucks rental instead of the 12 bucks for the advanced modem. I won’t need the advanced modem until we get the real speeds here, so for now I will grab the basic modem. That promotion will disappear soon, so get ‘em while you can.

Meanwhile, here is the speed of my link, which is still on the old speed until I go in to Rogers in the next few hours and pick up the new modem.

That’s a decent speed for a 45mbps plan and I have no complaints. Since the price for the new plan is the same (with the exception that I have to add the 8 bucks for the model rental for now) I will finish this article after the new service is installed and running.

Ok … easy to pick up the modem, easy to set up the new network. Well, sort of … I am trying to figure out how to get the wireless set up correctly (turned out to be trivial … just disable WiFi in the cable modem.) But meanwhile, my main machine is hardwired and the new speeds are pretty decent. Bearing in mind that my service has gone from the 45/4 speeds that measure out at 58/4.1 … the new speeds are:

So 76/11 effectively … not too bad at all. Rogers seems to have hit a decent sweet spot here …

Update: A few days later and I am still getting excellent speeds. The closest server is not actually the fastest server it turns out. TekSavvy runs one in Toronto that gives stunning speeds, starting with a ping of only 11ms!

Wow … I only wish all servers responded like that server Smile

I have to say that Rogers continues to impress me with superb technology. I don’t really see how Bell can compete with their Fibe service being considerably slower than this in my neighbourhood …of course, both Rogers and Bell have much faster services, but not here … I am especially interesting in Bell’s Fibe 175/175, which is priced pretty close to what I already pay (minus the infinite bandwidth I get.) So I’ll continue watching to see if they ever deploy it here. The 50 has finally hit the neighbourhood, so they are obviously upgrading slowly but surely …

By the way, I actually got a reading one evening on my MAC Mini of 90Mb/s sustained … and that was on WiFi whereas these others are wired connections. Wow :-)

UPDATE 29 October 2014

Now that's what I'm talkin' about ...

Update 6 December 2014

The more typical speeds during the day are still excellent.

Update 7 January 2015

Unfortunately, Teksavvy are no longer listed when hovering over Toronto to select a server, but VMedia and Nexicom both seem to have fast servers. Here I test with Nexicom and the ping is an excellent 12ms while the speed is off less than 1% … so still holding at about the same excellent speeds. Go Rogers!

And then a few minutes later VMedia gives me a ping that just has to be a software bug …1ms?

Speeds right back up there … excellent.

Update April 9

Rogers has again completely changed their lineup of Internet packages, and the new crop looks pretty good. Moving up a level to the 150Mbps variety no longer comes with a major uptick in upload speeds, but it does come with Shomi :-), which looks far less appealing to me than Netflix or Crave. But it also comes with unlimited bandwidth, so all in all I think it is a decent package. I may try it out in the future.