[kwlug-disc] OT - EyeSurf

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Wed May 23 19:01:09 EDT 2012

[Yep, long, but, I think, pertinent.]

TekSavvy DSL, or Cable?

Also, you ask if an ATA is needed. As far as I know, an ATA is needed 
for any VoIP (or use the computer soft phone client). Otherwise your 
phone is either cell, or POTS. I assume from your message that you'd 
like to get off of POTS if VoIP service is acceptable.

I'll also assume they currently have POTS and internet. (But are looking 
to see if alternatives are viable.)

I have no direct experience, but I have looked around pretty hard, for 
exactly the same reasons.

One way or the other you are supporting Bell / Rogers, be it dry loop 
fees, or whatever they call the cable equivalent. Horror stories abound 
where there is a problem with the underlying Bell / Rogers service, and 
the 3rd party is helpless to get it resolved in less than weeks. I've no 
doubt that is the exception, but it is out there.

Things seem to go better when you are establishing new (internet) 
service than when migrating. e.g. Stories of when prior service cut off 
but new service not yet established, and Bell / Rogers don't play nice 
to your 3rd party aren't infrequent. This isn't a problem when switching 
from DSL to Cable (and probably vice versa), as you can leave the prior 
service up until the new is proved. I suspect that it all just goes 
right, and you never look back, or things glitch up front and you're in 
for a (unpleasant) journey - mostly to do with the line being 
disconnected or filtered due to miscommunication that your 3rd party 
will be using the line.

I would not go back to DSL. DSL speeds will never match cable - due to 
underlying technical limitations. Think VoIP, plus ISP, plus Netflix 
(presumably, or at least much more internet TV streaming) some day. I've 
been entirely happy with Rogers, except for the cost and, of course, 
that they're Rogers. I don't yet VoIP. I almost went with Acanac (~= 
Distributel / 3web) [which would mean purchasing a modem (convoluted 
story)], particularly because their terms of use is wide open (unlike 
TekSavvy's or Distributel's), e.g. servers / e-mail permitted. But 
happened to hold off long enough for prices to increase. They are now 
within $2 of Rogers, and given the migration stories and need to 
purchase a modem, I decided not to switch. If/when I move, though, I 
expect I'll migrate to Acanac. I don't expect to ever not have Rogers 
cable TV (cheapest package I can get) - so using a cable ISP and losing 
Bell entirely seems appropriate.

 From all that I have seen TekSavvy support is well regarded. Not so for 
Acanac / Distributel / et al. For you I would have no problem suggesting 
Acanac. I would not for your parents - when something has gone strange, 
they will need responsive service at the other end when they call for 
help (if it's not you). Acanac has a service reputation for exactly the 
opposite. If Acanac or TekSavvy cable ISP does not appeal to you, then I 
have no problem recommending Roger's internet (even if it leaves a bad 
taste in my mouth). It is cost close enough, and avoids the underlying 
3rd party can't get Roger's attention, problem. If your parents have 
Roger's TV now, but not Roger's internet, it's a reasonable option if 
TekSavvy doesn't appeal to you. (Avoiding both dry loop and cable 
equivalent fees.)

As far as I know, VoIP.ms uses VoIP.ms lines, and Unlimitel uses 
Unlimitel lines. So, your "VoIP.ms <http://voip.ms> for Unlimitel/Sprint 
for VoIP phone service" isn't clear to me.

VoIP.ms is free to use and set up, even with an ATA, as long as you are 
calling a VoIP endpoint. Thus, you could probably fire them and an ATA 
up and investigate whether all is well when they call you, for example. 
It may also help you discover whether VoIP is suitable at all (to them). 
Crossing that learning curve would let you (i.e. them) then choose 
whichever VoIP service appeals to you, with some confidence that you'll 
get where you intend. e.g. If you set up your VoIP contact info on their 
ATA (speed dial), they could just use a speed dial to call you, rather 
than try to enter the goofy 'number' from a telephone keypad. If they 
currently have POTS, you can assure yourself of complete confidence in 
VoIP before cutting it off. Including forwarding your POTS to the VoIP 
for a real trial. As Raul points out, for a $25 investment, you can call 
real phone numbers, and if ultimately unhappy, you're only out the $25.

     If your parents typically call only a few people long distance, and 
they, like you, have an ATA, you could program in direct dialing on 
their ATA for them, and there would be no long distance charges for 
those calls at all. There is an argument for having our 3102's even 
without a VoIP provider.

     As I said, I have yet to actually make the switch myself. I'm not 
advocating VoIP.ms specifically here, but as you no doubt know, Raul 
thinks highly of them. As far as I know you've been entirely happy with 
your Unlimitel and ATA - certainly my confidence of Unlimitel is based 
on your comments (based on John's). Based on Raul's comments and my own 
limited user interface playing with VoIP.ms, whereas I would have gone 
with Unlimitel at one time, today I would try VoIP.ms. Gary's note on 
Callcentric.com I find intriguing, feels more VoIP.ms like than 
Unlimitel like, in terms of web page user friendliness. Friendliness 
perhaps being an element for your parents.

On 5/22/2012 10:03 PM, Oksana Goertzen wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> Sorry to bother everyone again with this question but my parents are
> looking for an ISP and I've sort of settled on either TekSavvy or
> Eyesurf.  The main issue is that they make a fair number of long
> distance calls and it seems like Eyesurf might be the better deal.  Is
> anyone using them, and if so - are you happy with their service?  Do you
> need an ATA for telephone service?  Otherwise I think we'll go with
> TekSavvy and maybe voip.ms <http://voip.ms> for Unlimitel/Sprint for
> VOIP phone service.

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