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The Almighty Buck The Internet

ISPs for the Little Guy? 118

jjshoe asks: "While access to the Internet varies greatly, depending on where you are in the USA, I recently went on the hunt for an ISP that provided me the ability to have a 'broadband' link to the Internet. I am looking for would be the ability to lease/rent static IP's, so I could host my own DNS/WWW/E-mail server. I was wondering what ISP fellow Slashdot readers use for themselves, as well as what they pay. I have gotten quotes for $50 a month for a single static IP on top of my monthly DSL fee. This seems slightly outrageous to me. Colocation is not an option as it generally runs $150 a month and does not provide me Internet access. I am open to any other ideas the community might have."
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ISPs for the Little Guy?

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  • Remember (Score:4, Informative)

    by igabe ( 594295 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @11:42PM (#7325421) Homepage
    I apologize for patronizing you, but definitely make sure that the ISP you choose does not block ports required for hosting email, dns, or web servers.

    I know I once payed Verizon ~$70/month thinking I would host my own site, only to find out they don't allow home website hosting.
    • Shoulda commented that just because the ISP's tech rep. says you can run a web server does NOT mean you really can. Please don't make my mistake.

      I am semi-aware of being able to choose what port to host your site with, but I gave up on that. But of course, if you are determined, then you can probably work around this.
      • Re:Remember (Score:2, Interesting)

        strictly speaking, since the ISP tech rep is (or should be) more knowledgable about the service than you, anything he tells you is warrantied under fitness of service. Not that it means anything when it doesn't work.
    • With each isp i have been making sure about what i can and cant do, asking for copies of the TOS as well as asking if i can speak to someone more familiar with the technical side of the service, definatly not the lacky who wants to just make some quick comission.
    • Most ISPs don't allow this.
      Optimum Online blocks 80 and others I think.
      22 is left open, I know.
      SMTP and FTP are almost definetly blocked
    • In Germany, one has to pay approx. 60 Euro/Month for an 768/128 ADSL connection with static IP. A perhaps typical setup there is:

      • 20 Euro for T-DSL (german telecom)
      • 30 Euro for unlimited traffic through an independent DSL-ISP (e.g. KAMP DSL [])
      • 10 Euro extra for static IP

      This ISP doesn't block ports, has no objections of you operating your own servers, and is well-connected to major backbones.

      Bigger ISPs are generally more reluctant to give you full access to their backbones, but smaller ISPs com

  • Omsoft (Score:5, Informative)

    by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Monday October 27, 2003 @11:46PM (#7325453) Homepage Journal
    You're probably going to get a lot of this particular answer (or at least I hope), but if you live in California Omsoft [] is incredible. Not only do they allow you to run your own server, they encourage it. They are responsive to user requests and very knowledgable. Sure it's only a DSL connection, but my site's been happy about. Good luck!
    • Re:Omsoft (Score:3, Informative)

      by BrynM ( 217883 ) *
      Forgot to post the rates [] Omsoft charges. Sorry. I pay $52.95 per month for the whole shebang - known to them as "Static IP Address Pricing". Repeat after me (and smile): "No blocked ports"...
    • Re:Omsoft (Score:5, Informative)

      by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Tuesday October 28, 2003 @12:19AM (#7325700)
      I was torn between modding BrynM up and making my own post. I'm very happy with Omsoft as well. For my business, I have 768 SDSL and 10 fixed IP's. I've never had a bit of trouble with them, 100% uptime since I was connected. $169/month.
    • I have also used Omsoft for over three years. They are great! Even when I moved out of their DSL service area I kept my shell account for my webspace and email. Customer service is top-notch and reliability is fantastic.
    • biggest problem is price. Here in NY I can get cable and DSL for $35 (of course both with port blocking and not being allowed to host stuff) Perhaps I'll convince my parents to pay $20 extra a month. Yeah right.
  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @11:50PM (#7325486) Journal

    I want something that's exactly like a T1, except I only want to pay $60 a month. TIA.
    • Your trolling, but i'll bite. Speed is not an issue. I just want something reasonable where i can do what i want. If im paying for the connection i should be able to do what i want with it. I am willing to pay considerably more then $60 a month if the service is right. My main point of this question was finding out what other nerds are doing.
      • > Your trolling, but i'll bite.

        That isnt a troll what so ever, its a perfectly valid point.

        > Speed is not an issue. I just want something reasonable where i can do what
        > i want.

        Those are called T1's. T1's are resonable for what you get. DSL is resonable for what you get. Expecting one service for another services super low price is not resonable however.

        > If im paying for the connection i should be able to do what i want with it.

        But you arnt paying for it. You dont want to pay $400, you
        • The $60 line does not include those abilities, that is WHY its $60.

          On the contrary, if you can get service from the right company, it absolutely can include those abilities. See my post further down re: this type of service (static IP address, servers, etc) for only $50/month.

          You're not going to get it from any of the major ISPs but, in more populated areas at least, it definitely is available if you look for it.
        • I'm dying to know what ISP routes a /24 across a dial-up link (no, really!). I have a couple clients for which that would be incredibly useful. Care to provide a pointer to the ISP?

        • T1s are not reasonable for what you get, they
          are an obsolete business model which depends
          on monopoly to persist. In locations where
          there are competitive service offerings,
          tarriffed T1s don't sell, period.
    • Re:Ask Slashdot (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kidbro ( 80868 )
      I want something that's exactly like a T1, except I only want to pay $60 a month. TIA.

      Funny thing is that this exists. Dunno about the US, but my ISP in Sweden offers a .5/2.5 Mbps line (soon to be upgraded to 26/26) and several static IP-numbers. No ports blocked.
      Well, the differance is that it's more like $40 a month.
  • . . . 1&1 hosting [] is claiming to offer 3 years of hosting free. Since TANSTAAFL, there must be a catch; I just haven't figured it out yet.
    • This is simply webhosting, nothing near what i was asking about. I am more intrested what nerds are doing to support their home brew solutions.
      • For some reason, I hadn't parsed that you wanted to host your *own* services. (The 1&1 claims to offer DNS, WWW, and email--but hosted with them, of course.)

        As others have suggested, I'd look into Speakeasy. For now, they're pretty reasonable to folks who run their own services. And the extra $50 you're paying should put you into the price range of 3.0 Mbps/768 Kbps service.

  •, just to pick an example, charges $1 per gigabyte transferred plus $0.02/day for DNS service that includes email forwarding.

    You cannot host a site off your own internet connection as cheaply or robustly as a dedicated provider. I don't recommend hosting your own site unless you already need "fancy" service (multiple static IPs, fast upstream) for other reasons.

    • I host my own domain ( on my DSL line.

      1) Most people don't need robust. When my mail goes down, everyone just queues it up for me until I fix the problem. It's never my server, it's always the Linksys router or the DSL modem crashing.

      2) Cheap. It's the cheapest solution that I could find that meets my needs. It's hard to find someone who will provide a service where the server is located in my bedroom. I pay $65 a month for the ability to open that server up in my own bedroom, at 3 AM, naked. Do
      • This is exactly the nature of my question. No more corporate conglomerate. The internet is for everyone. Why are we the people who dictate the internet getting screwed? If we want to sit naked and update dns entries we should be able to. Why should big buisness be the only one allowed to 'run' the internet
    • Reliability isn't always everything, at least for me. I host my own site because I like using odd languages on the server side. Just try to find someone who'll let you run Ruby and Python CGI scripts. There are a few cutting edge hosting services that have heard of Python, but nobody seems to know what Ruby is. And even if they have, what about tomorrow when I decide that my Apache needs mod-lisp or mod-brainfuck or whatever?

      For me, it's about learning and experimenting as much as it's about reliabilit
    • You cannot host a site off your own internet connection as cheaply...
      That kind of depends... If you've already got ADSL, with static IP, then the added cost of hosting is very small. If you want to host several hundred MB of MP3s or JPGs you're not going to find a cheaper commercial solution.

      ...or robustly as a dedicated provider.
      I've had some pretty poor experience of dedicated service providers. They go offline for a week, every day promising it will be up in 2 hours. They lose backups. They arb

  • Check out They have really good prices, good servers, and are geek friendly. They even have a 'sysadmin package'.
  • (Score:3, Informative)

    by kinema ( 630983 ) on Tuesday October 28, 2003 @12:03AM (#7325586)
    Check out Speakeasy []. I have never come across a single unhappy customer. They allow the customer to use their connection for pretty much anything, even WiFi hot spots. They even offer symetric DSL up to 1.5Mbit.
    • I agree with this post. I was a Speakeasy customer for a while until the DSL provider decider to cut service to my CO. Now I'm with, a local provider.

      Both providers were roughly the same: $45 per month for SDSL 384Kbps (symmetric) with 3 static IP addresses and no filtering. Pretty good tech support, too.
    • True, speakeasy is the same price as other DSL type providers, but they offer "Sys-Admin" packages with 8 IP's to host with, and a shell account on the server, even access to a fast RPMFind server.

      Prob one of the most linux friendly ISP's in the world.
    • Speakeasy has my undying loyalty.

      When I couldn't get a dial tone after September 11th, 2001 (I lived a mile from Ground Zero at the time), Speakeasy still had service.

    • Agreed. I also like Speakeasy.

      I only get 144k (18,000 feet away from the switch, darn it), but my bandwidth is mine to do what I want with. No filters, no restrictions.

      The only burp I've ever had with them is that they switched my IP once without telling me, and had no record of it when I called. *That* was annoying, but their phone support was quick and accurate, as always. I only wish I'd have known so I could have put my DNS records on a short leash beforehand.
    • Alas, I knew of the wonders of SpeakEasy at one time - but no more. Where I currently live the most they can give me is 384k SDSL, which sucks. So I'm toughing it out with good ole Time Warner cable. To tell the honest truth, of all the places I've lived and all the cable modem services I've used, Time Warner out of Milwaukee seems to be the best. They just bumped up my DL, so now I'm getting a consistent 3100/365. Upload sucks, but oh well. They don't block any ports and it has gone down on me.

      I'd still r
    • SpeakEasy one called me, on the phone, personally, to appologize for a small outage, and that was the only outage i've ever had. It was one of the best things i've done. I Use more upload then download due to the various things I host and have not yet once had a complaint or even a slowdown, the speed is acctually usually above what the plan says I get.
    • I, too, will vouch for Speakeasy. I have had few problems in 4 years of service, and even the couple of times I did call them, their tech support was available, friendly, and helpful.
    • Very happy with Speakeasy ADSL. I have 1.5/768 service with a single static ip for $90/mo,and it's been very reliable other than the DSL modem just locking about every 2-3 months. I imagine I could replace it with another brand,but afraid it doesn't bother me enough to deal with.
  • Try August.Net in the DFW area. They are great!
  • Speakeasy [] has been a very Linux-friendly ISP who has allowed me to host all the services I ever wanted. They are pretty affordable [], too, with "plus" packages offering such goodies as 4 additional static IPs, or low-ping goodness for gamers.
  • I will try not to advertise too much here, but you should try to run your servers at a hosting facility that offers low-cost virtual servers. My company does this starting at $150/year including 3Gig of disk and 10Gig of transfer running "User Mode Linux" w/ RedHat 7.3. We are not alone and there are a number of vendors that can give you small "dedicated" servers for much less than $50/month.

    There are two "classes" of virtual servers. Companies that offer shared hosting, and companies that offer true "v
  • They give you a static IP, and allow you to host your own mail server, web server, the works...

    I've been a pretty satisfied customer over the last three years.
  • (Score:4, Informative)

    by hawkfan ( 11267 ) on Tuesday October 28, 2003 @12:09AM (#7325624) Homepage []. they're not cheep but you get what you pay for:
    • Static IP is the default.
    • They not only allow but encourage running servers. They're even reasonable about secondary DNS and MX pricing.
    • Free reverse lookup changes.
    • Encourage sharing your connection [].
    • Don't block ports.
    • Provide NTP services on all their local POPs
    • Heck they even host game servers on the local POPs
    I have no affiliation with Speakeasy other than being a more than satisfied customer. Go check out [].
    • (Score:4, Informative)

      by base3 ( 539820 ) on Tuesday October 28, 2003 @12:25AM (#7325734)
      Speakeasy's good, but static IP is no longer the default. The inexpensive plans (e.g. $49.95) come with a dynamic IP and use PPPoE. Good plans are still available from Speakeasy, but you have to make sure to order the right one.
    • I concur. Speakeasy owns. I now have (for $140ish/month) 3mbit down and 768 kbit up. With 4 static IPs.

      And no blocked ports.

      I can't believe people settle for anything less. (I also can't believe other posters think that "no blocked ports" is that unusual. Speakeasy's been that way for at least 3 years (as long as I've had their service))

      Is Speakeasy really that unknown?

    • Speakeasy and Cyberonic are my two recommendations in this area. Speakeasy is definitely the shit, and a server of mine is hosted on a friend's Speakeasy DSL line.

      Cyberonic, at least ~Chicago only offers 1.5/768 single static IP connections. The cost is $40/month, but you have to pay upfront for 18 months. You can use it for servers and business as long as it's a residential phone (or the price goes up).

      Speakeasy has more options and better service, but Cyberonic was cheaper at 768up. Both, generally,
  • I have been a customer of LMI [] for many years. They are quite geek-friendly. Things may have changed but when I got DSL they didn't even offer DHCP - if you bought an always-on connection you got a static IP. They don't block ports or have funny bandwidth caps either. They will run email/DNS for you or, of course, you can run your own. I don't think they operate outside the SF Bay Area, though.
  • In California? Try DSL Extreme []. I'm getting 1.5 Mbit downstream, 256 kbit upstream plus one static IP for $65/month. No blocked ports. Additional IPs available at $8/month. I'm running SMTP, DNS, HTTP.. no problems.

    Routing is good, just a couple hops from major backbones. I often ping 100ms to the east coast.

    No questions asked, they just provide the pipe. Works great, fast installation. I don't work for them or anything, I'm just a satisfied customer.

    Pricing varies by local telco and region.

  • I would like to thank most of you for your honest feedback. I will be checking into speakeasy tomorrow to see what they offer.
    • I was hunting for xDSL service 2 years ago and could not get speakeasy so after some hunting found LinkLine.
      • Static by default
      • Servers OK
      • no ports blocked
      • Knowledgable staff
      • extra IP @ 5 bucks
      • Primary and secondary DNS

      If Speakeasy is not available, talk to linkline
  • You don't say what part of the country you're in, but Linkline [] offers pretty good DSL packages [].

    I'm paying $50/month for 768/128, but I get up to 1.5 downstream easily, I've got a static IP address, and I have their blessing to run whatever servers I want. They even set the reverse DNS on my IP address to my own host/domain name. Additional static IP addresses are $5/month each.

    Also, they're small enough that if it goes down or something, once you've shown that you know what you're talking about it's fairl
  • My ISP charges 4$ canadian per month for a static IP... I get mine free, I'm grandfathered.

    Seriously though, if you can't afford a dedicated server (80$ at RackShack or ServerMatrix), maybe a virtual server (10$/mth), like here: []

    10$ a month, unlimited transfer, 100MB storage space, and it comes with:

    One domain name hosted (purchased separately)
    Unlimited email accounts
    Unlimited email aliases or forwards
    Unlimited FTP access
    FrontPage 2000 extensions
    • again, i wish you would have read my actual question. Colocation is not an option at this point. It may be some day.. but not right now..
      • Which is why I mention low end (10$/mth) and mid end (80$/mth) options. I didn't give ANY colocation options, only shared servers and dedicated servers.
  • In the SF Bay Area, look up They're more expensive than SBC or Earthfink, but what you get for the price of DSL+hosting compared to the other guys is (besides the usual):

    Something you can actually run a server with, like 250MB storage, 10GB transfer per/month, up to 384Kbit/sec upstream, a real router and not a broadband "modem", no PPPoE, support for all operating systems, routed subnets and firewalling by default, extremely minimal restrictions on usage.

    The guys running it are very helpful, an
  • 1. Depending on the ISP, you might not be able to obtain more than one IP address w/ your line. Needs two to run DNS.

    2. Uplink speed generally sucks, at only around 50KB/s.

    Something like virtual (machine) hosting would be a better bet. I am a happy customer of You need the Linux package to run DNS thou.
  • They seem resonable so far.
  • I am using comcast cable in the dallas area, and im not too impressed. My connection is down about twice a month, and sometimes the lines get really cluttered and i get insanely slow download rates and gaming pings. My parents pay for it, so im not going to complain to them. If you want the connection for hosting, just google for a web host company. There are thousands who will charge $5 to $10 a month for a dns, web server, and email server like you need.
  • Depending on what you're planning to use it for, I'll just give you some space on my server. No big deal.. Just send me an email. :P
  • My service is with isomedia I pay $22.50/month plus an additional $5 for a static IP on top of my verizon DSL line. No hastles, no problems with servers etc.
  • I use RR business class for my home connection. $109.95/month for 2 statics in a dmz, 1 meg down, 128k up. It's the cheapest service they have, more bandwidth costs more money, but it is available. I run mail and host for a couple domains (one being the URL above.)

    Other than some problems with shit Cisco routers, which they fixed this past Saturday (weekend tech trip to my apartment, for free, can't beat that for service,) I haven't had less than 3 9's downtime in more than a year.
  • Colo cage (Score:3, Funny)

    by smoon ( 16873 ) on Tuesday October 28, 2003 @06:12AM (#7326856) Homepage
    Get a cage at a colocation facility. Sell all of your stuff, get a sleeping bag and a laptop then move in.

    100MB+ internet access and it's only a few $hundred a month, but since you will live there (cm'on -- you're probably on IRC 19 hours a day anyway -- right?) you can eliminate rent.

    Just get a few boxes of 'wet naps' -- maybe from your local KFC and you don't need to worry about showering or whatever.

    Hey -- where else is it 70 degrees all day every day? Hawaii? San Diego? Who can afford to move there? Plus you would have major geek bragging rights at the local starbucks.

    Good luck!
    • Heh, someone could turn that into a very lucrative business model.

      Throw in some communal showers and bathrooms, make each room the size of a small dorm room....

      A geek hostel. It'd be great.
      • Actualy if you lived in a high geek ratio area it wouldnt be bad at all :)

        But I imagine you just painted a perfect picture of mit..

  • I pay $46.95 a month through Mikrotec which mainly serves Kentucky. They give me a static IP address and all ports are open. Great deal for me.
  • unfortunatly, here in Sarasota, FL (50 mi. S of Tampa), we don't get speakeasy DSL (anyone know how to twist the arms of speakeasy/verizon to get a connection down here?) I used for hosting for over 2 years, $14.95 for basic hosting, no PHP/MySQL or anything fancy, then i learned the stuff and suddenly needed it :-/ grabbed an account with a friend of mine, who runs the local LAN gaming group , and used to run a BBS in town but now runs said group, and manages the network for a locally based furn
  • Here in Sandpoint, Idaho I've got DSL. The way they provide it is a bit strange. Verizon handles the transport at $32.50 per month for 768x128 but then you also have to choose from a list of about a dozen ISP's. The ISP I use gives me a static IP for only $22 per month. I think they also give me some mail boxes and http space but I do my own so I wouldn't know.

    So for $54.50 per month I've got static IP and 768x128.

    I do have numerous problems with my ISP as everything they do is Winblows based. They g
    • --If you too could have BETTER SERVICE for $5 a month more, why don't you switch?
      • Several reasons:

        1) I'm a county employee (i.e. broke)

        2) I'm married.

        I'm lucky to have DSL at home at all, I don't dare push it. Besides I get a certain joy in troubleshooting my ISP's problems. Usually I call and inform them of a problem, the cause and a solution before those idiots know what hit them. Not bad for a Linux hobbiest. It's fun in its own maddening way.

  • They have decent speeds and allow static IPs / servers but once something goes wrong their support people are completely and totally clueless.
  • Not the cheapest, but absolutely the closest thing to a pure "Internet dial tone" out there. Unabashedly hobbyist-friendly. Customer service is relatively prompt, courteous, and knowledgable. Customer over 2 yrs now; two brief outages (not counting the time the tree in my backyard fell on the wire); d/l throughput has increased about 40kb/s since I signed up.

    While I'm at it, I can recommend [] for DNS service. Relatively high but one-time cost; dynamic and static routing; servers are fast and r

  • I've been very happy with Speakeasy, have had 1.1mb SDSL as well as ADSL with them. They allow you to run whatever you want, as long as its legal, with no problems.

    Best ISP known to man or beast. Standard $50-60 for 1.5/384 dsl and a static IP. More static IPs are like $2 per month per IP. No blocking, no unreasonable terms of service, no unreasonable outages, excellent service, excellent web service interface. What an ISP *should* be.

    Disclaimer: I do not work or recieve compensation from speakeasy. I have been a customer of theirs for 3 years now, and currently enjoy 1.1mbs sdsl home connectivity through their service.
  • I use Covad at home and they have been reliable.

    I recently got my mother-in-law set up on Britsys, and though she hasn't been up for long, they look quite good too--and less expensive than Covad.

    In both cases I have a static IP, I know I don't have any blocked ports on Covad, I have to admit I haven't confirmed that for Britsys, but I don't think they block any.

    Now if I could only find any decent non-dialup for my parents at 952-472-XXXX...

  • by aquarian ( 134728 ) on Tuesday October 28, 2003 @03:23PM (#7331034)
    Everyone wants to play amateur sysadmin these days. I have to admit, I've been tempted too. It's fun to mess with Your Very Own Server (TM). But when you do the math, it just isn't worth it.

    A much better value is virtual hosting, which is getting very cheap these days. By virtual hosting I mean your very own server -- an instance of Linux, BSD or whatever running on a big box via MWare. To you it's exactly the same as running your own box at home, but better. First of all, it's much better connected -- usually with at least 2-3 T1 or better connections to a major backbone -- not some silly upload-capped 128k DSL or cable line. Second, no more hardware worries -- everything is kept running by the hosting company, and all you do is admin your own software. You can even get Microsoft-compatible stuff. Finally, the cost ($20-30/month) is often less than the extra cost of a static IP on your home DSL or cable, and that's not even considering the savings on hardware.

    I don't know why anyone messes with home servers anymore, except to satisfy a gearhead fetish.
  • I'm in Maryland and I get my voice and DSL from Cavalier Telephone []. 384k DSL, static IP (you can get more than one for an additional fee, I just run my server on the static one and NAT my other boxen), total cost for voice and data about $65/month including all the taxes and fees. I'm quite happy with it.

  • Like everyone else said on here, Speakeasy provides elegant service.

    For what it's worth, I'm getting ADSL, 1.5/256, and it comes with a shell account, 2 static IPs, 2 email addresses, 1 GB of Usenet per user courtesy of Giganews, Rhapsody access for music, and a few other bells and whistles. That package alone runs me $59.95 per month plus FUSF, and for an additional $9.95 per month they are also my primary DNS for my domains.

    This is the same ISP who, when I was first interested in 2000, asked me if

  • by b!arg ( 622192 )
    Here in Seattle I use It's very good. The uptime has been remarkable. It is $50/month for Qwests 640k line. You get 8 routable IPs plus unmetered transfer, which is really nice.
  • Here in Canada static IP addresses are much cheaper... I looked up the five dozen ISPs that offer DSL in my city, Toronto, using this link []. And I wrote some of the sites that offer static IPs... The extra cost ranged from $0 to $12 CAD per month. Broadband is, in general, cheaper here than in the USA too.

  • by adolf ( 21054 )
    At home, I've got normal consumer-grade (Time Warner; somewhere around 3mbps/384kbps, $50) cable. The service is dead-solid reliable, and the IP address has never changed.

    Oh, sure - it *might*. But dynamic DNS services are easy to set up, and free [].

    And if you insist on running BIND yourself, there's ways of doing that [], too, without bothering your registrar every time you hop IPs or costing you a cent.

    Once you've got the DNS issues resolved, the rest (SMTP, HTTP, whatever) is cake.

    (If this all seems too
  • I should have you around instead of Consumer Reports.

    Now, can you hunt for ISPs for the rest of /.?
  • (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    NOIP is a dynamic dns provider.. you install client on your end.. it it will send you new IP info back to them.. and your dns will adjust accordingly. The service is free - if you use one of their domains.. not sure how much they charge to host your own domain.. There are other dynamic dns providers out there as well
  • $50/mon for DSL line through Qwest (Qworst as we like to refer to them), $19/mon for ISP at Can run as many machines, as many servers as I want, and can get up to 5 static IPs for $1/each/month. Uptime's been great, customer suport that's been reliable and very available.

    My work also has a T-1 through them. Not only the T-1 connection, but also a full Class C block of IPs, all for the price of -just- the T-1 from anyone else 'round here. Then again, we signed up as the ISP was first

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