Tag Archives: isp

Vancouver ISP Search

There’s a game you have to play if you want to want to pay a reasonable price for internet. Every 2 years you need to shop around for promotions and switch service providers (or at least threaten to). We’ve been lucky to avoid the game for the past 8 years with Novus, which offers affordable fibre connections but only serves dense condo developments. When we moved I got ready to play the Telus vs Shaw game.

Back in November, I started looking for Black Friday promotions and found Telus offering Internet 75 on sale for $50 (normally $70). I signed up and scheduled the installation for December 9. But that failed when the installer couldn’t get access to the telephone room in our building. After a game of broken telephone between Telus, myself, and the property manager, a second technician was sent out 10 days later. He ran into the same problems because the first tech hadn’t recorded the updated lock box instructions. Our installation date was pushed back until December 29. Upset about not having internet for Christmas and worried this frustrating cycle would never end, I searched for alternatives.

I found Freedom Home Internet, a repackaged Shaw offering with a simple router that could be self-installed. It was offering 150 Mbps speeds for $55 a month without any contract or price jumps after a year or two. It sounded too good to be true, especially right before Christmas. I was skeptical it would just work, but the woman at the Freedom store said I could bring it back within 2 weeks for a full refund. I took a chance knowing I could always go with Telus if it didn’t work out.

Turns out it was really easy to install. I just plugged the coax cable into the wall and powered it up. For 10 minutes a little yellow light blinked at me while it configured itself. I wasn’t sure it was working, but the the LED turned solid white and it was done. I had a fast internet connection without needing a technician to visit.

The wifi antennas on the router aren’t quite powerful enough to send signals to all the corners of our 3 story townhouse, so I spent a day tweaking settings and adding my old router as a 2nd access point upstairs. Now I’m really happy with the setup.

With Freedom Internet 150, I’ve been consistently seeing speeds of over 170 Mbps.

After 10 days on Freedom (via Shaw), I was sufficiently satisfied and convinced the download speeds were good. I cancelled the Telus appointment and closed the account. Telus was offering me a pretty sweet deal with $250 in account credits (details below), but it wasn’t worth the installation stress or frustration in 2 years when the price jumped.

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Novus – Faster and Cheaper Internet

novus
We finally ditched Shaw and moved to Novus for our internet provider – it’s faster and cheaper, and the customer service is better. What’s not to like?

novus_vancouver_availabilityNovus is a fibre optic internet provider and the only real alternative to the big telecoms (Shaw and Telus). They’ve been expanding out of downtown Vancouver, hooking up buildings to their fibre optic network. Our building was the last one in the Olympic Village to gain access, but it was worth the wait.

Now that we’ve made the switch, our internet bill has been cut in half. I ran a speed test on both Shaw and Novus while I still had access to both. The download speeds are comparable (our download speed with Shaw was double what we were paying for) but the upload speeds are 20 times faster on Novus. Uploads on Shaw are noticeable slow, especially when syncing files with Dropbox or uploading pictures to Flickr. With Novus uploads fly.

A quick comparison of our Shaw and Novus plans.
Shaw – High Speed 10
Cost: $55 + taxes
Download Speeds: Up to 10 Mbps
Upload Speeds: Up to 0.5 Mbps

Novus – Internet 25
Cost: $32.50 + taxes
Download Speeds: Up to 25Mbps
Upload Speeds: Up to 10 Mbps