Verizon DSL
877-483-5898 (Verizon DSL)
800-427-9977 (Verizon telephone service)
$34.95 a month
$29.95 if have Verizon Freedom plan

Cablevision Optimum Online
$49.95 a month
$44.95 if have Family Cable or above
866-949-3278 or 888-467-8468
201-262-5255 (Cablevision TV)


From March 2004

From: schechter@p..
To: teaneckshuls@y..
Subject: [TeaneckShuls] Cable or DSL?
Date: March 21,  2004
We have come to the realization that our dial-up connection is not working for us. We are seeking advice as to which connection would be better for us:cable or dsl (keeping cost in mind). Sorry to be asking a question that we know has been asked in the past. Thank you.

From: szwruble@h..

cable. had both .cable is faster & more reliable. also, there is a problem w/DSL in certain parts of Teaneck- we were just at the outskirts of where the DSL reached & had lots of problems keeping a connection.

From: deb.wenger@v...

Hi, I got DSL about 5 months ago and, after the usual installation hassles, have been pretty satisfied with it. As far as cost, part of it, I think, depends on whether you have cable or not. I don't, and because of that, I think it would have cost me about $25-30/month more than DSL. I didn't think that was worth it for me. But if you already have cable, you may get a better deal than that. You also have to check to see if DSL is available where you live - I know there are areas of Teaneck that are "blacked out", but I'm not sure exactly where they are.

From: lenmoskowitz@o...

We just moved from an area that had DSL to one that doesn't. We had DSL in the old house and it was fine, but not being able to get it in our new house we tried Optimum Online Cable from Cablevision (the Cable TV company). It is much, much faster than DSL. We were paying $39.95 with Verizon and are paying $29.95 for the first six months with Cable -- after that it might get more expensive [$49.95] and we may have to re-evaluate. There were no hidden charges (at least so far). They sent us a cable modem at no charge.

From: swaggerstick@o..

Strongly recommend cable; it doesn't require touching your phone lines. My experience has been great; call me if you have any questions.


cable is several times faster than dsl since it uses fiber obtics. Dsl goes over regular copper wire which is digitized through a modem. Cable is usually deployed through a sonet network which means that the network consists of self healing rings. If one goes down the other picks up immediately. Not so with dsl copper. Also cable companies are now bundling voice services with cable.

From: Emmuna@a..

dsl runs through your phone line, just a faster connection. cable is a totally different thing and runs through your computer as just that, a cable modem. you don't need a phone line. also, if you already have cable tv in your home, then you can hook it up through your provider for only an additional nominal fee. i personally have cable and i use road-runner service which is set up via time warner cable. i am extremely happy with it. it's $29 per month the first 6 months and then i believe it's around $45/mo. if i remember correctly when doing my research that dsl is a bit less expensive. i hope this helps!

From: BFarkas@a..

Cable all the way. 5 times faster Almost flawless service


From: Adina Kirshner <amkirshner@o..>
Date: Apr 28, 2004 
Subject: DSL/Cable Modem and Cable TV/DirectTV/Dish Network
For those of you who requested that I share the information on Dish vs. DSL vs. Cable Modem, here is what I found out:

For DSL/Cable Modem:
Most said Optimum Online is worth the extra $$ over DSL and is the best service around. Some recommended DSL from Verizon, Earthlink Cable, or ATT DSL.

For Cable TV/Dish Network:
Two people recommended Echostar, which is slightly cheaper than cablevision and has free installation offers. Echostar also offers Israeli TV channel for an additional $20/month).
A few recommended DirecTV - they have a large selection of channels, and you have the ability to block out channels that you don't want your kids to watch. Sometimes people experienced equipment problems (i.e. weather, remote/receiver malfunction). It will cost around $44/month (you pay extra for each TV receiver, and local channels are extra as well as the TIVO program which allows you to record any program you want). (Both Dish Network and Direct TV have a range of program options between $30-$50/month which include all local channels. However, you will not be able to get the Metro Traffic & Weather channels. Basically, for the same dollar amount you will get much more with satellite.) I was also told that if we totally disconnect Cablevision, our Modem bill will go up.
One person suggested calling Cablevision and ask for their Disconnect Dept. If you tell them you are switching to DirecTV, they should offer to cut your bill to $29.99

On February 11, I posted:
>  Does anyone have any information about getting a Satelite Dish? We are fed up with Cablevision's price increase and are looking for another option.
> Also, any recommendations about an alternate internet cable modem would be appreciated. (We currently have Optimum online and are curious what other
> options are out there.)
> Thank you.  Adina Kirshner


From January 2004

From: Jacobowitz David [mailto:david.jacobowitz@s..]
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 6:04 PM
Subject: [TeaneckShuls] Verizon DSL vs. Optonline

Can anyone advise me whether it is worth giving up Optonline via cable modem in favor of Verizon DSL? Does the $15/month price difference in favor of Verizon conceal some hidden "gotcha"? Thanks in advance, David. <mailto:david.jacobowitz@s..>

[Note from moderator CS - We get this question very often. I'll ask David to repost the answers to the list, so that the answers can be saved on the web page for future reference. Please also copy crshulman@a.. when replying to this msg]

From: "Karen S. Kissileff" <karenki@o..>
Date: Jan 5, 2004
I did the reverse because the Verizon was so unreliable. You need to check how far you are from the 'station' and whether they can guarantee
service. karen

From: "David Levy" <DLevy35@y..>
Date: Jan 5, 2004
I've had Verizon DSL for 5 months and have been satisfied with it. Please note that some telephone numbers cannot be set up with DSL. I believe you can enter your number into Verizon's site to see if you can get DSL.
My neighbor next door (across the hall) was told by Verizon that his line is "too far from the Central Office(CO)". He cannot get DSL even thoug I have it. It may be that the telephone switch his number goes through does not support DSL.

From: Keith Schreiber <keschrei@y..>
I switched from Verizon to Optimum Online this summer. The main difference I have found is speed; the cable connection is consistently, significantly faster than what I was getting with DSL. If you use streaming video, I would recommend staying with the cable access. If you just want reasonably fast browsing, or even just streaming audio, the DSL is more than adequate, especially when you consider the price

From: "Aharon A. Fischman" <afischman@at..>
The first issue is whether or not either service is available where you live - if not that makes the decision much easier. Since both services are available where you live, you can chose based on other criteria.
The first difference is speed. For the most part, cable is faster than DSL. However, unless you are doing some major downloading (movies or music) the extra speed is not worth the expense.
The second is adding filters to your line. If you have DSL on your main line you need to put a filter on the rest of the phones on that line so that they can be used normally. With cable you only have to run a line from where the cable enters your house to your modem - it does not affect your cable service elsewhere in the house.
The last is reliability. If you are near a Verizon Central office (like next to the old Net2Phone building in Hackensack) you will have a clearer signal with no noise or interference. If you are further away (and Teaneck is) you may not have as clear of a signal when you are finally installed. If you were to go with Verizon, I would ask if any of your neighbors have DSL and if it is any good.
Hope this helps,
Aharon Fischman, Former telephony analyst

From: Patrick D'Onofrio [mailto:patrick.donofrio@p..]
slower service

From: PStein1235@a..
No no no
Unless you live in the country club neighborhood dsl services is inconsistent and spotty.

From: Joel Mizrahi [mailto:joelm@w..]
I normally recommend Cable over DSL because it is much faster and much easier to configure, and always on (i.e. no need to connect every time or set a router to do so).

From: Henry Frisch [mailto:hfrisch@o..]
We tried dsl for a few weeks and disliked the slowness and so never disconnected the optonline.

From: Steve Katzwer [mailto:s.katzwer@v..]
First of all not everyone is eligible for DSL.
Second of all depending on your distance from the central office( max 18000 feet) your transfer rate will vary. Even if they tell you are eligible and you get an installation date (it will be postponed) you still might be told that you are not eligible at installation due to bridges in wiring....etc.
Thirdly be prepared for slower speeds (especially uploading) I am assuming the DSL you are referring to is ADSL basic for home. For general surfing the DSL is surely acceptable and when up and running generally very reliable with very few "outs" or slow downs.
hope I helped.

From: Oren Hiller [mailto:OH3007@a..]
I have Verizon and I am very happy. I had some initial startup problems. Verizon came to my house 2 times and redid some wiring in my house. Now everyhing works great! Setting up the wireless network is simple, my kids are all happy because hey can all go online at the sametime. If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask

From: Linda Stock [mailto:LMStock@a..]
We LOVE optonline!!

From crshulman@a..
If you have Verizon Freedom plan, Verizon is 29 a month, while optonline is 49 a month. So it's 20 difference.
Also, i think Verizon DSL just expanded coverege b/c i had always been told my house is not covered and now they say it is.
My fears of installing it are related to my phone system I have in the house. Not sure how it will interact.
I've had Optonline, but not DSL. So I don't really have a way to compare.

From: je [mailto:ifti99@o...]
I gave up verizon for cable, and i love it. Its faster, and virtualy no problems. Why would u want to switch to dsl?

From: Adler, Hillel [mailto:Hillel.Adler@s..]
I've had both DSL and Cable and in my experience, there's no comparison. Cable is much faster (very noticably especially if you're on line a lot, downloading, emailing, etc) and the connectivity is always on. While DSL doesn't conflict with the dial up line, you do still have to 'connect' like a dial up while the cable is like a LAN - always on, always connected. Because you need to connect/dial in with DSL, I've had a lot of disconnect issues when I had DSL. My 2 cents. Good luck.

From: solr_07666@y..
Date: Jan. 6, 2004
Cable averages 5mbits/sec download, and does not use dial-up networking to establish a ppp connection. Less complicated, and much
faster. Sol

From: "Joseph Fishkin, MD" <joseph@f..>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004
I've used both verizon dsl as well as optonline. I had some minor problems with the dsl (it sometimes interfered with incoming calls temporarily - but this was a very rare bug that nobody else seemed to have), and therefore took up optonline on a 30-day free offer to compare the two to each other (this was about 2 years ago - no idea if that offer still exists). Overall, both services were very reliable. I've found that I attained much faster speeds with the cable modem than with DSL. Also, with DSL, your computer needs to establish a DSL connection when you turn it on, but with cable, the connection already exists. This was rarely an issue, and if all goes well, it takes just a few seconds, but once in a while it had trouble establishing the DSL connection for a few minutes. (Then again, when there's the rare cable outage e.g. after a big storm, you lose internet as well temporarily)
I'm therefore sticking with cable... Let me know if you have any other questions...
BTW, in Japan, the average cable modem user gets speeds multiple times faster than the average US cable modem user - so there's always room for improvement in the future :)
Yosi Fishkin, MD - The Worldwide Minyan Database



Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002
Subject: [TeaneckShulsChat] DSL / Cable ISP's
I'm thinking of switching from AOL to DSL or Cable for Internet at home (in Teaneck).
1. Which carriers do you recommend?
2. How much is it per month (w/o a tie in to premium cable, etc.)?
3. Is installation expensive?
4. Is service reliable?
5. Can you log in to a web-email address to check your email at work, and does that work well?
6. Anything else I should know?

From crshulman@a...
April 2002
I called AOL DSL Dept at 888-849-3200. DSL free activation, free modem, Mail it, phone company flips switch, put into computer & plug into jack. 1 free month. Afterwards it's $31.05 extra (getting billed w/ AOL.) Can't pay for DSL yearly. If paid for AOL would only have to pay $31 a month for the DSL.

From: "Pudell, Steven J." <Spudell@a...>
Date: April 2002
we use optimum
I think its $45 per month or so but i cant rememner
Service has been reliable so far with OPTIMUM
Its really really fast for the internet

From mwatson@c...
Date: April 2002
I just got a cable modem setup last week with cablevision. I love it - it's very fast - I am getting 2MB/Sec - a regular T1 in our office is 1.5MB/Sec - it's FAST!! their pricing is 49.95 if you don't have cable - 39.95 if you have regular cable (not basic for 10 -but a 40/month tv
package) and 34.95 if you have premium cable. I told the guy I was considering a satelite dish to get the Yankee games and in his 'desparation' to keep me as a customer he lowered the 55 install fee to 9.95 and gave me 1/2 off the modem (65 instead of 130). So far it's
reliable - it's only been a few days. My DSL that I used to have was not so reliable and both my providors went bankrupt - plus the speed was only about 384K down to me and 90k up to the web - not horrible but was same price as a cable modem !! Basically, if you are on either dsl or cable modem - you are on the internet (like you would be on a AOL dialup connection) - so you can do anything. I actually access my lotus notes mail at the office directly - I don't need to download it - cause it's so fast !,8691,,00.html
Call 1-888-4-OPTIMUM
Cablevision 201-262-5255
Modem 130
Monthly 50
To come install - 75
To add jack for wall unit $42
If duct work 42 an hour
Booked for Tuesday April 30 bet 11 & 2
Dotti x 58038
Phone: 1.516.918.3300
Toll free: 1.877.YES-2-DSL 

Verizon online No DSL in my area yet
(866) 896-1300.
I'm at 19,000 Expect in Fall of 2002.
They do have it in Teaneck, but not at my distance.
$49.95 a month.

From Caleb Davenlater@a..
Date: April 2002
I'm not crazy about Verizon DSL it slows down the more you use it but it sure beats dial up. Haven't tried Cable but I hear it beats both DSL and Dial Up. So I'd suggest you try Cable modem first. But keep AOL by switching from a dial-up subscription to a BYOA subscription (Bring your own access--$14.95 unlimited).

From: "Aharon Fischman" <afischman@a..>
Date: April 2002
I would recomment Cable modem
1) Cablevision
2) Cablevision is the only one
3) $35 / 150
4) Yes
5) I don't know. I'm maintaining my AT&T worldnet address
6) easy installation

From: "Mark Zomick" <mark.zomick@v...>
Date: April 2002
I have verizon dsl and it works great. It is up 99% of the time and it is pretty fast. It costs $40 a month and they bill it on my phone bill. I use MS Outlook and IE and there are no problems. In fact at home I have a hub and connect 2 computers to the same modem with no problems.

From: "Lederer, David" <david.lederer@n..>
Date: April 2002
I have Optimum Online at home (in Bergenfield) which is a cable modem as opposed to DSL. Have you decided on DSL instaed of cable or is cable still an option?
Optimum Online is $40/month though you may get a discount based on current cable service (if you have). As far as accessing your work's email it probably has to do with how your work's mail server is configured. If it's available over the Internet or if you can VPN into your work network - it shouldn't matter which service you use.

From: "rich999999" <rfeldman@al..>
Date: April 2002
i just switched about a month ago from verizon dsl to cable modem. the dsl was great when it worked, but it went down about 10 times a
day. dsl tech support would blame the teaneck central office who would blame the dsl side. they could never fix it.
the cable modem has been great. i brought it home, snaked a wire from my existing cable and was up and running. it does great on the wireless network i've got set up. speed tests show it's about 2-3Mb down and 1.1 or so up. costs $40 with cable service.
i don't use it for email, but there is a way to check mail remotely. i bought the modem at circuit city where there was a rebate. any DOCIS certified modem will do, but i bought the Motorola one recommended by cablevision.
Let me know if there's more i can tell you

From: "Fiorino, Tony" <tony.fiorino@c..>
Date: April 2002
Dont even consider DSL. I sued verizon for 2+ years before switching to cable in November. It is inferior in EVERY way - speed (my DSL was often no faster than dial-up), connectivity (frequent outages of service sometimes lasting days), software (a few things were incompatable with the verizon DSL dialer), and service.
I don't have cable TV so I pay $50/month for optimum online. Some start-up costs (cable modem - I don't think you need to buy one from cablevision, just get one online or at the Wiz for cheaper) and for me, having the cable installed in the house.

From: "Nathan J. Lindenbaum" <NLindenbaum@M..>
Date: April 2002
I have cable. Fast, reliable, $40 per month on top of basic cable.

From: "Green, Zev" <greenz@h..>
Date: April 2002
Simple answer:
I have had both. Cable is far faster and more reliable than DSL. Get cable!!! I get about 4.5Mb/s-down with cable as compared to 650kb/s-down on DSL. Also, dealing with Verizon is a real pain. The service is intermittent and they don't view DSL as a phone service- it's a network
service (2 separate departments). So if you have a problem they have to send the field tech out to check the wire service than it will go to the
Network services division to get it working..... And I am a network engineer.

Network engineer answer:
The four times I had an issue with the service over the course of a year, I fixed the problems on their DCCs, they didn't know how to configure their own service. Also, they are totally over subscribed. DSL uses a "channelized circuit" over your phone line directly into the DCCs whereas cable uses the MAC addresses on an open-wire to transport the information thereby having a "wider pipe". When you have 11000 individual circuits being cross-connected (DSL) you will have a slow-down. When you have an open-wire that uses the processor to assign information to each MAC address it's much faster. Despite what you hear about slowdown on an "open-wire" like cable you might be reduced to 2 or 3 Mb/s from 5Mb/s. Also they have backup redundancy on their OC-3's running through Teaneck so reliability is pretty good. Go for the cable don't futz with the Verizon union.

From: Barry Farkas <bfarkas@a..>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002
We have a Cable modem at home and in the office. Through Cablevision/Optimum On Line (same company, but I think just a separate group).
We've had it about 4 months. Great speeds. Much faster than DSL. seems to be very similar in speed to the T1 lines we had at my law firm, and which you probably have at work. Haven't had a problem, except that I found that my Netscape browser did not work as well as IE. So I switched to IE. Installation and Modem cost somewhere around $150-$200. Monthly cost is $40 or $50/month. I don't recall exactly. If you have Cable TV service (Expanded Basic is enough. You don't need Premium channels), you get $10.00 off/month. In short, it's been great. Well worth the money. If you call Cablevision, they will tell you whether your block is accessible to their internet system. Not every block is. You're selcome to come and see it in action anytime. Barry

From: "Nathan J. Lindenbaum" <NLindenbaum@M...>
Date: April 2002
I ordered from cablevision right when it became available. They sent me a package, I hooked it up, it worked immediately. Same bill. I had one problem, later on -- turned out to be my fault. Good technical help over the phone.  The most important need is for either a Network Interface Card (NIC) or an Universal Serial Bus (USB) adapter. Otherwise you will not be able to access the Internet via the cable modem network. Many newer computers already have either the NIC or a USB connector installed. If you need a NIC, it's simple to install one yourself. For a tour of the installation process, click here.

From: Larry Kossove <lkossove@h..>
Date: April 2002
I use Verizon DSL and i have never really had a problem with it. i run some heavy software for work over the network and it never freezes or crashes. it costs me about 45/ month. was free installation. they sent me a kit and i did it myself ( and i am not very computer savvy )
I definitely recommend it. any questions, feel free to call me at work during the day (203) 614-2285

From: "Weil, David" <dweil@jh..>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 6:18:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I had DSL until the DSL company (NORTHPOINT) went bankrupt about a year and a half ago. Switched to cable because verizon would not agree to connect me even though
I had a DSL line that they installed for Northpoint to my house. They said I was too far away for the telephone switching station. Never try logic with the phone company. The further away from the switching station the lower the speed of the connection. 400k was more then enough when I had DSL. I was pleasantly surprised to find the cable worked just as well as the DSL. I would most likely be considered a power user. (VPN, citrix, home network and multiple email accounts). Review comments after the questions below.
1. Which DSL carriers work in Teaneck? It depends on how far you are for the telephone switching station.
2. Which do you recommend? Now On cable
3. How much is it per month? For installation? Don't know the current dsl rates via cablevision it is 29.99 month if you have family cable and the cable modem is free with 12 months service. If you need an sdsl modem I have one to spare.
4. Is service reliable? Yes
5. Can you log in to a web-email address to check your email at work, and does that work well? Yes

From: Allan Birnbaum <albirn@c..>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 7:27:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Please note that who ever you sign up with Verizon must cary the service for them . My suggestion is to sign up wityh Verizon and you will get the best service. The others services have to communicate with Verizon on installation and technical problems. I have gone this route many times . Feel free to get back to me

From: David Brusowankin <skidancer@e...>
Date: April 2002
>I'm thinking of switching from AOL to DSL for Internet at home (in Teaneck).
>1. Which DSL carriers work in Teaneck?
>verizon is good
>3. How much is it per month? For installation?
installation is free, when i bought it, the deal was $30 for the 1st 3 months, then $50.
>4. Is service reliable?
so far, so good
>5. Can you log in to a web-email address to check your email at work, and does that work well?

From: "Reuven Ashenberg" <neshoma@i..>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002
I recommendation is to go to Cable. I have Earthlink DSl and I had many issues with it when I signed up. Due to 9/11. Dsl has not been the same. Verizon router at the NY Cirty was badley destroyed. All Ny and NJ traffic goes through there. I recomend Cable. Its faster then Dsl. Dsl is only up to 1.5 MB download and Cable is twice that amount. DSl states 50 X faster than Dial up, and Cable is 100 fasrer then Dial up. If you have cable then is cheaper for CaZble. I saw Cable in action it is much much much faster than DSl. I have DSl for about 1 year and I had toooooo many phone calls and Techs to help me. Stay away from Verzion DSL. Its not recommened to use them.

From: "sartoman" <sartoman@y..>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002
1) I have no experience with DSL, but I do like my cable modem from Cablevision.
2) I think cable modem service costs about $40/month (not sure of installation charges if you don't have cable at all) plus the one-time cost of the modem. You can get a used modem for $50 or for free if you sign a contract and/or prepay (depending on current promotion) at The WIZ. I happened to get a brand-new modem for $50 because they ran out of the "free used modems".
3) If you already have cable in the house, you can get a do-it-yourself kit when you get the modem. It doesn't take a lot of time or know-how to set it up. Your computer must have a network card or a USB port.
4) I have not yet had any problems with the service in Teaneck.
5) You can retrieve any email that can be read with a web-browser (ie Yahoo, AOL, or your office mail if your office has set it up.)
6) Cable modem is the greatest think since sliced bread. When you have it, you'll wonder how you lived without it :)
If you have any questions, please ask. Cablevision's web site also has some information (

From: "Zvi Sebrow" <zvi.sebrow@v..>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002
I couldnt get DSL in my house, due to distance from the Central Office (CO). My CO, for exchange 836-xxxx, is in Hackensack, and the distance is approx 17,000+ feet. Although I tried several different carriers over a 6 month period about 18 months ago, such as LocalISP, Covad, and Verizon, they all "EVENTUALLY" told me i was too far away, although initially they all said, "you CAN get DSL".
When Optimum Cable became available, I ordered it. It was there next day. It is extremely reliable, much faster than my Verizon DSL that I have at work, and I believe a little cheaper as well. I highly recommend it.

From: "jdg148" <greenbja@t..>
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002
for what it is worth, verizon just called me to offer dsl service at 39.99 a month, with a free modem, 30 day money back guaranty and free digital camera (and "another great gift"), whether or not you cancel the service.

- - - - -,0,5410223.column

Lou Dolinar

Verizon's DSL Comes Up to Speed

June 3, 2003

Last week we sorted our alphabet soup of wireless networking standards and gave a qualified endorsement to the 802.11g, and suggested you might want to hold up on buying one of those nifty Centrino laptops until standards gel.

This week we're going to figure out what you're going to connect your network to. It used to be a pretty easy choice for Long Islanders - an Optimum Online cable modem - but we have to detour this week because of recent developments that put Verizon DSL on a more equal footing with our longtime favorite.

Until quite recently, Optimum Online was about 18 months ahead of the phone company in building and supporting its network for home Internet users. Reliable independent surveys, such as those of, consistently put Optimum at the top of the heap for all home broadband providers. Verizon's record for installation, support and speed was dismal. Costs were comparable.

That's been changing rapidly in recent weeks. Verizon chopped its basic rate from $39.95 to $34.95, while at the same time doubling its maximum download speed to 1.5 megabits. (Current customers have to call 800-567-6789 and ask for the speed upgrade and new price.) With pricier package deals that include call forwarding and long distance on your regular landline, the cost of DSL can drop to as little as $29.95 per month.

Cablevision, meanwhile, charges $49.95 per month if you don't get cable TV, and gives you a $5 monthly discount if you have upgraded cable service. Download speeds for cable modems are a bit trickier to rate, but Optimum Online still has a significant advantage, with users reporting, according to our bible,, typical speed of about 4 megabits for downloads.

More important than price, for the purpose of this series, Verizon is making a serious effort to accommodate people with more than one home computer, particularly wireless users. Cablevision wants to sell you a separate connection, at $44.95 per month, for each unit you own, and if you want to set up your own router and share the connection, well, they won't stop you, but making it work is your problem.

Verizon, on the other hand, will sell you a Linksys wireless router (for $129) that lets you connect as many PCs (at $59 each) as you want for the same monthly price, and will help you set it up and troubleshoot connections when they go down. In another move to capitalize on the wireless bandwagon, Verizon has announced that it will convert hundreds of underutilized pay phones into wireless hot spots in Manhattan, exclusively for the use of its DSL customers.

I was initially skeptical, but recent experience with Verizon's formerly anemic tech support has impressed me. Two weeks ago, I was trying to hook up a Linksys wireless router, the installation of which had completely defeated me. Verizon's tech got me up and running in about 15 minutes. It appears that Verizon techs can now check immediately from their consoles whether your DSL line is working correctly; when I originally subscribed a couple of years back, they had to write a trouble ticket and bump the request to a higher support level, which could take days.

More recently, when my router was knocked out in a power outage, one of the Verizon techs volunteered that if his last fix didn't work (it did) he would conference me in with Linksys' notoriously unavailable-to-the-public tech support. "We have a joint marketing agreement so we can always get through to them," he said.

All is not 100 percent rosy in Verizonland. Not all users are close enough to the central office to qualify for the new 1.5-megabit (actually, more like 1.1 megabit on my tests) download speed - they'll be capped at the old rate at the new price. Some people can't get DSL at all because of similar distance issues. And it still takes about a week for the company to ship you your DSL modem, software and filters. Verizon still goofs on installation, too: I got my modem and eagerly spent a couple of hours trying to hook up the PC, only to discover that someone at the company had forgotten to activate my line. And these "package deals" aren't what they're cracked up to be: I have two phone lines, DSL and three cell phone lines on my current bill, and I still don't qualify for the $29.95 DSL discount.

I could go on about their unified billing system, another problem, but this is a how-to column about computing, not mass homicide.

What is the definitive recommendation on Verizon vs. Cablevision? For the wirehead set, most of whom already have broadband, Optimum Online is still the better bet, because of its significant speed advantage. On the other hand, when you combine price, wireless network support with the new wireless hot spots, Verizon DSL now looks like a better deal for the novice user who has more than one computer.

Ain't competition grand? I can't wait to see what Optimum Online cooks up for its next move.


Sent: May 13, 2005
Subject: Dial-Up Internet
Are there any cheap (or free - remember netzero?) internet dial-ups >that work decently?

From dzs@1..:
Check out He is a syndicated consumer advocate.

[Also ]

From: south1141@y..
netzero and Juno both still exist, for 10 bucks a month. Also Netscape now offer's dial up for 10 dollars per month.

From: tekwiz@t..
For people who just don't want broadband, I always recommend It is 100% equivalent in quality to Earthlink/AOL/etc.--they use the same modem pools, but cost only $5.95 per month! No ads, no nothing--pure windows dialup.

The only "free" service now is Juno, but the ads will drive anybody nuts quick. Almost unusable--they want you to get on their $10/month plan...

From: benandmi@y.. 's 6.99 a month is fine (so is the free service if you don't need more than ten hours a month)

[Also - expensive]