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Ask Slashdot: Best Inexpensive VPS Provider? 375

David Greene writes "After many years of waiting for my provider to upgrade DSL service from the measly 1.5 Mbps I have now, I've decided to go another route. Unfortunately, no other provider in the area (Twin Cities) offers static IPs and permission to run servers. I am looking for a VPS solution to host the public parts of my personal site. What can the Slashdot community recommend as a good, inexpensive VPS provider for personal use? This will mainly be hosting a blog and a couple of Free Software projects (wikis, git repositories, etc.). I would prefer something with KVM so I can manage my own OS install but I am open to other options. Root shell access is essential."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Inexpensive VPS Provider?

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  • FDC Servers (Score:5, Informative)

    by InterestingFella ( 2537066 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:40PM (#38477874)
    I can't but recommend FDC servers []. I've used them off and on since 2008. I've also tried many others but there's always been something wrong with them. Never had problems with FDC tho. They also give unlimited bandwidth so you don't need to worry about extra costs, and they have three datacenters. Two in US (Chicago and Denver) and one in EU (Czech). Servers are also quickly set up. They're an established company too. I've had a few porn sites hosted there, and anyone in the industry knows how demanding those can be on hardware and bandwidth. Never had any problems with FDC tho. Their VPS plans start at $9/month which is hard to beat. Even shitty providers have higher price.

    I would avoid any unknown company. While there most likely are many good ones that are less known, it's a hit or miss. Sometimes they just close, either because it was unprofitable for them or just for no reason. There's many VPS providers who are just run by some guy, who leases the servers from DC's. So go with established company that has their own datacenters and years of experience. You save lots of headache.
    • Re:FDC Servers (Score:5, Informative)

      by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:50PM (#38477968) Homepage
      I'll have to check that one out... I'm always on the lookout.

      I used to use Slicehost, but they haven't really improved anything in years and they were not staying competitive on pricing. I've been migrating everything over to Linode, which I really like.

      Those both have the usual local console feature, in case something goes wrong.
      • by ep32g79 ( 538056 )
        I use Swvps [] been with them for three years now

        $9.99 []
        50GB drive space
        1 GB guaranteed ram, 2GB burst
        1000 GB Bandwidth

        Their ticket response time is kind of slow but if you know what you are doing in linux it isnt much of an issue.
        I would highly recommend either the Texas or California location. The Pennsylvania one is up and down all the time.
        • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @01:27AM (#38479608) Journal

          after trying FDC, Slicehost, Swvps, & Linode, i finally found a hosting solution that had everything I needed for a good price.


          • by KazW ( 1136177 ) * on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:19AM (#38480028)

            after trying FDC, Slicehost, Swvps, & Linode, i finally found a hosting solution that had everything I needed for a good price.


            A publicly posted support ticket they show one their site:



            Charlie Sheen started a hosting company?

            This hosting company is a good joke, I have mod points but couldn't mod you 'funny' since I wanted to post this, too bad.

            P.S. All kidding aside, anyone willing to pay this "company" for services of any type would be brain dead.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:13PM (#38478186) Homepage
      I guess you don't use them for outbound email since FDC Servers has a terrible reputation for hosting spammers and having a completely non-responsive abuse department. There are more than a few members of anti-spam lists that advocate a block on sight policy for SMTP as far as FDC are concerned, and I know some that kill them for web as well due to hosted malware.

      Of course, that may or may not be an issue for a given individual since it depends on what you want the server for, but I'd strongly recommend a few search queries for "$provider" in connection with "abuse", "spam" and "malware", etc. If they have an entry on Spamhaus, or lots of IPs listed in DNSBLs or URIBLs, then that's generally a bad sign too.
      • their abuse dept is far from non-responsive --- except when you need to have to get them raise an machine back online which they took down on Friday afternoon, so earliest it could be brought up is monday morning.

    • Re:FDC Servers (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thesis ( 1983882 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:41PM (#38478764)

      I had a machine colocated at FDC in Chicago, at CBOT, for two years. Here is my take on their service from my personal experience. The service was cheap, and attractive to me at the time, for I was just getting my feet wet in colocating. I found the bandwidth at that time (2006-08) was terrible in consistency, and oversold. I guess what I am really trying to say is their network went down quicker, and more frequently, than a cheap street walker. When the network was up (as in their equipment not letting out the magic smoke, or maintenance degrading the service temporarily for upgrades), the DDOS attacks on the network were crippling and frequent. I found out quickly through other customers there, that it was a haven for botnets, and IRC servers, which were always at war with each other or someone else. As far as physical support to a machine (needing a reboot, help diagnose an issue such as bad network card/cable) the service was always prompt, and bang on. Due to the constant network issues though, I moved my box to Texas in late 2008 to a different provider, and I am much happier.

      Things may have changed there since I have used them, but I do not know. They were in the middle of additional network and bandwidth upgrades when I left. Perhaps it is better now, I really do not know. I have read that they currently do not have a SLA (Service Level Agreement). Granted, you are looking for a VPS rather than colocation, but I felt it best to give you my experience from when I was a customer, for the network & bandwidth availability are important no matter where you are. I also suggest reading all the different opinions folks will post here, then research the options you are interested in. WebHostingTalk [] is another useful tool for you in your research of a provider before making a final decision IMHO.

    • Would you mind to tell us, as a proof you aren't a spammer/advertizer, what is the domain name that you host with them?
    • by mrops ( 927562 )

      I have been using 19.99 plan for about 6 months, most recommended.

      1GB ram 100gb hd, and unmetered bandwidth.

      they also have a 9.99 plan which seems better than what FDC is offering.

    • FDC *sigh*
      One of the worst providers there is.

      They are cheap not by ingenuity but by being too frugal which causes issues, commodity hardware HAPHAZARDLY assembled.
      Granted performance is nice - when things work.

    • Re:FDC Servers (Score:4, Informative)

      by kyrio ( 1091003 ) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:57AM (#38479944) Homepage
      You should be ashamed of yourself for giving out bad advice.

      Do NOT use FDC Servers. They are horrible. They are totally incompetent when it comes to keeping your VPS running. Your node will always be down and they will NOT notify you. Their staff is full of imbeciles. You will have to wait hours, if not days, for your server to come back up. They will have network connectivity issues for weeks and will not inform anyone. I don't think they even have a service outage/info page because it would be full of new updates of outages every day.

      The below providers are blacklisted, especially since most of them are incompetent resellers of another provider and their billing software license is expired (either that or they are super extremely incompetent). You will not get a refund from these fools after you realize that you can't access your servers for no reason other than their links are broken because they are idiots. Of course, because their billing software is broken, or they are so totally useless as humans, if you pay with PayPal you will be able to put in a dispute and the idiots won't even reply. Probably because their mail servers are broken, or maybe they lost their passwords and are too stupid to figure out how to reset them.

      Profuse Solutions brands

      There are more that I went through, but I can't remember them all.
  • Linode (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:45PM (#38477916)

    Been very happy with Linode and PV-GRUB (PV-GRUB allows Xen guests to boot their own custom kernel)

    for 20$ per month
    RAM 512MB
    Storage 20GB
    Transfer 200GB

    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

      Yet another vote for Linode here. Especially when I need to spin up a server while I'm out for a weekend so I can VPN in and check E-mail because the remote hotel or whatnot has "free" Wi-Fi, but inserts ads, Phorm style into what one browses.

      • Unfortunately Linode bills for the whole month and refunds you the proration, so you're still stuck with that amount as credit. If you have a full-time VM running and spin one up for a little bit this is fine, but if I really need something short-term I just use EC2 due to hourly billing.

    • Re:Linode (Score:5, Informative)

      by smed ( 252644 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @10:46PM (#38478794)

      I too have been very happy with Linode.
      Currently I manage about a dozen Linodes for various clients and the performance and support have exceeded my expectations by a long-shot.
      On occasion when there was a minor problem, Linode support staff contacted me quickly with instructions and pointers to documentation for handling the issues.
      Performance is much better than what you might expect by using the memory/disk-space metrics for each server plan.
      Linode support is excellent. The Linode Library has the best documentation, they have how-to docs for most common projects and they are updated regularly and the commentary is also very helpful. And dont forget the forums - if you're having an issue or need to figure out how to do something - most likely someone has written about it in the forums. You can extract some very valuable information for troubleshooting and project planning in the forums.
      And last but not least - the IRC channel is staffed by Linode support personnel and lots of really helpful volunteers. The community is awesome and friendly and helpful to-boot.
      Linode's got my vote and my continued business.

    • Stop advertising Linode...
      I'm also a happy Linode customer... too many customers will split our bandwidth share!
  • linode (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:46PM (#38477930) Homepage

    linode is by far the best, it is not even close.

    They don't over-sell (far from it!), the service is great, uptime is nearly perfect, excellent tools like remote shell over https.

    • by Temkin ( 112574 )

      Another vote for Linode. I've been with them for years. Highly recommended.


      • by SIGBUS ( 8236 )

        I've been a happy customer since 2003 - Linode was literally a day old (at least for public availability) when I first got a VPS from them. Over the years, CPU, RAM, disk capacity, and data transfer have steadily increased, for no extra charge, and the service has been rock-solid.

    • by jmc ( 4639 )

      Another vote for Linode. I have a Linode 512 for my personal sites, and I run an 8GB for my employer. Both have been humming along without issue for close to a year now.

      I spent almost a week obsessively researching VPS providers before choosing Linode, and really nobody could come close to them in terms of price and positive word of mouth.

    • linode is by far the best, it is not even close.

      They don't over-sell (far from it!), the service is great, uptime is nearly perfect, excellent tools like remote shell over https.

      <AOL>Me too!</AOL>
      I've tried a variety of them, Linode is pretty much the one. They're not the cheapest, but the service works properly and reliably and there are actual staff providing support.

    • by Rennt ( 582550 )
      Yep. Tried a few "cheaper" options but had no end of problems before moving to Linode. Solid, professional outfit.
    • Re:linode (Score:5, Informative)

      by wik ( 10258 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:48PM (#38478436) Homepage Journal

      And yet another plug for Linode. I have been with them for over four years. Their infrastructure staff knows what they're doing (tech support has responded in 3 minutes on a Sunday night!) and they're hands-off with respect to how you want to run your box. Disk space is a little expensive, but it's not oversubscribed. Even the smallest accounts are well worth the money.

  • linode (Score:4, Informative)

    by Maglos ( 667167 ) <cb AT webcb DOT ca> on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:47PM (#38477938) Homepage
    I tried a cheap $5/month vps for a while, it was trouble. First they falsely claimed that I was maxing out my transfer limit and I switched to linode after a bunch of os files became corrupted. I haven't had an issue with linode and a few of my friends use them. Also 128mb a bit inconvenient for most things(watch out for orphaned ssh sessions chewing up ram at 5mb each).
  • For $59 a month I get Comcast's Business Class service (12 down/2up) along with 5 static IPs which I use to host things like mail off a personal server. I've been using their service for almost 3 years now without much issue (the support also is a lot better which is worth it in case you do run into any hiccups). I'm in the Twin Cities area and am pretty sure this service is available to much of the metro area so you may want to give them a call.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Try IntoVPS ( - it goes as cheap as 10$ / month for unmanaged VPS (yes, you have root access).

  • I've had a vm at Linode for several years now, and couldn't be happier.

    Full root access with oob-console access, choice of distros, and the ability to do anything legal that you want.


  • I personally prefer
    A) You get a FreeBSD VPS (jail'ed)
    B) Support the host that hosts PostgreSQL
    C) In addition you get access to a number of shared PostgreSQL versions and a number of MySQL's. So you don't spend your RAM or disk space on your DB. Quite convenient for smaller needs.
  • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:55PM (#38478008) Homepage

    Recently I discovered that a low cost (semi well known) Shared host I use actually stores passwords (ie login to portal, sql, etc) in a form which can be easily converted to clear text... hell, they even have multiple Show Password links and require you to share said password with them to receive tech support... so they can verify it against the clear text password they see.

    I've since been on the hunt for a new host... however have discovered that the treatment of passwords in this manor is not uncommon. Hell, last night I canceled a VPS account less than an hour after signing up as I discovered that not only does the admin exhibit editorial control over passwords (he changed my initial one), but that he too stores them in clear text.

    Granted... if you are smart you will use a different password per account/service... however when such a company treats accounts in such a way I can do nothing but run.

  • Have used them for a variety of shared and VPS deployments over the past decade. Reasonably priced, root shell access, responsive support. Only thing they don't offer is KVM, but they offer most of the standard distros in barebone images, which you can then customize as you wish. They've worked well for me.

  • They're inexpensive and I haven't had any downtime aside from scheduled maintenance. Plus, it's run by a group of Android developers (more commonly known as Team Douche, hence the name). []
  • Comment removed (Score:4, Informative)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @08:59PM (#38478054)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
    • I'm with ARP too. They're excellent. The offering is good and the service is great. I'm not changing any time soon as I've already tried Linode,VPSLink and a couple of others. A big reason for going with ARP is if you care about IPv6, good network ( peers [], and good APAC service). You have complete control over your OS as they run KVM virtualisation.

      The IRC channel is great too and you can chat with the guys who run the servers and some pretty knowledgeable customers. There's a few names in the IRC you may re

  • I'm in the Twin Cities too. Check out KickAss VPS. They're served out of the Verispace colo center in Edina. I pay $25/month for an Ubuntu server with root access. Never had any problems.
  • by Huogo ( 544272 ) <adam.thepeacock@net> on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:03PM (#38478096) Homepage
    I've been with ServerAxis since November 2006 and they have been rock solid. Currently, for my very small hosting needs, I'm paying $9/mo for 512 MB RAM and a 16 GB SSD HD with 500 GB/month bandwidth. Full root access is included, but you have to install the OS off of one of their base images, with the options being CentOS, Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu.
  • I'm not currently a customer, but I've watched them for a while (friends with one of their staff, full disclosure) and will be going to them when I need to move off my DSL.

    Not the cheapest but they do offer a discount for open source developers []

    I'm not even getting a discount to plug them ;)

  • by suso ( 153703 ) * on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:08PM (#38478140) Homepage Journal

    "good, inexpensive"

    Those are two parts of the triangle. If you also want it to have it fast, then you're simply being unreasonable. You're probably also one of the people complaining about GoDaddy supporting SOPA. Don't you see that these are all related? Find a hosting provider that knows what they are doing, reliable and pay a little more for it. Don't complain when your server costs more than your dinner.

  • Dreamhost (Score:4, Informative)

    by ender- ( 42944 ) <`doubletwist' `at' `'> on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:10PM (#38478156) Homepage Journal

    I haven't used their VPS but you can look into Dreamhost. I've been very happy with my shared web account.

    For what it's worth, I used to think I needed a VPS as well. Then I found myself with limited funds for awhile so I transferred my site to Dreamhost on their shared hosting plan. At the time they had a deal that it was around $48 to pre-pay for 2 years. It averages out to about $1.95/month. In addition to the unlimited domains/disk/bandwidth and mysql database, the account comes with 1 free domain registration, easy setup to have email hosted either through Dreamhost themselves or through Google Apps [which I do]. And it comes with a shell account, which is on the webserver itself running Debian. They have all kinds of one-click installs for various blogs and ecommerce options and whatnot.
    As for stuff like git, I'm not sure. I see that there are some git commands on the server, but I don't know if it's possible to run a git server.

    At first I thought I would hate it, and would be transferring back to a VPS/Dedicated server first chance I got. Well, it's been 2.5 years now and I have no desire to switch back. I haven't really missed having root access, and it's nice not to have to worry so much about managing everything. Admittedly, this is just personal sites of fairly low importance, but I've been happy with the setup so far. And they don't seem to mind me sitting on irssi on the shell account all day. The only thing it does is it will automatically kill any single process which has been running for a week.

    Anyway, it's worth a look and if you don't like it, I think they have a relatively painless process to transfer to a VPS.

    As an added bonus, they've been against SOPA since November, according to their official blog.

  • by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:11PM (#38478174) Homepage

    You should be asking on WHT [], which is the best-known forum for discussing web hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers.

    I would echo the linode suggestion, particularly if it's the first VPS you've ever used. However, they are not KVM. If you want KVM, try 6sync []. Another fine choice is BuyVM [], though you have to wait until they have stock, which is a minor media event.

    I would ignore the suggestions to look at lowendbox, unless you are willing to trade price for stability (which is not always a bad tradeoff, just be sure to do it consciously)

    • by mitgib ( 1156957 )

      I would ignore the suggestions to look at lowendbox, unless you are willing to trade price for stability (which is not always a bad tradeoff, just be sure to do it consciously)

      How can you say this and feature a LEB staple on the page in your sig?

      • by afabbro ( 33948 )

        I would ignore the suggestions to look at lowendbox, unless you are willing to trade price for stability (which is not always a bad tradeoff, just be sure to do it consciously)

        How can you say this and feature a LEB staple on the page in your sig?

        BuyVM is a budget provider, and are labeled so on my page in the Budget section. It's not that LEBs are bad, it's just that someone who's never used a VPS before could walk onto LEB/LET and pick a provider and many providers there are not good. If someone is going to use a LEB, they should go into it eyes open.

    • Linode uses Xen and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, what virtualization backend is in use is probably not of real concern to most people, and just as many prefer Xen as KVM (I think that Xen is arguably better for VPS-style hosting).

      • by Skapare ( 16644 )

        As long as there is a way to rebuild your image and start over yourself, it shouldn't matter. Separate OS and data/home images would be a plus. If you can do your VM from a shell account, it's a cinch.

  • The problem with all of these cheap VPS providers is that they almost all operate out of some of the worst data centers in the country. I don't mean to pick on linode in particular but last i checked their west coast facility was hurricane electric, fremont 2. That facility is single homed and known for being just about the cheapest colocation money can buy anywhere on the planet. If you're curious about some of the issues HE FM2 experiences take a look at this thread: []
    • by afabbro ( 33948 )

      I don't mean to pick on linode in particular but last i checked their west coast facility was hurricane electric, fremont 2.

      In their defense, they are in many datacenters []. Also, I wouldn't say Linode is a "cheap VPS provider" - they're one of the pricier ones, particularly if you look at the bandwidth.

  • Webkeepers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fnj ( 64210 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:19PM (#38478244)

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned []. You can get in for as little as $6.95 a month, and for $19.95 a month you get an unmatched 250GB of disk and 1GB of guaranteed RAM. They have been excellent for me.

  • 1. Continue to use DSL but get a new ISP. I was forced to use Frontier for the line but had Visi as my ISP and they allowed servers just fine--even reverse DNS.

    2. Move to business class cable service. I'm forced to use Charter (which has its share of problems) but most of the rest of the TC has Comcast (which apparently at Business Class isn't terrible). It's about $72/month for business class with one static IP. No reverse DNS on Charter but that's not much of an issue unless you still IRC. If you don't wa

  • I've been with maybe a half dozen hosts over the past decade or so, from the biggest in the world to one of the smallest. Not one of them managed to come anywhere close to Linode in terms of reliability and quality of service. Yes, they're a premium provider (not in the business of massive overselling to offer super low prices for super high amounts of bandwidth), but at $20 a month for their entry level offering, the barrier to entry is not high.

    They've got six datacenters spread out over the world (leased

  • You set up an account, then use their control panel to choose a base distribution and create VPS instances. You configure the machine and pay for only what you configure. You can create a machine, log in as root and manage it. If you try a machine and blow it away a few days later, you just pay for the days it was running.

    I've used them for several years and they are very reliable.
  • $9 pr month for a Micro server if you reserve it for 1 year.

    Micro Instance 613 MB of memory, up to 2 ECUs (for short periodic bursts), EBS storage only, 32-bit or 64-bit platform []

  • by cskrat ( 921721 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:39PM (#38478376)
    Amazon micro EC2 instances are reasonably priced and I use one for my personal sandbox and mail server. Average price is $14.60 /month ($0.02/h * 24h * 365d / 12) for a no commitment a la carte and drops to an average of $8.82/mo or $6.43/mo with 1 or 3 year reservations [] . They also have a free for the first year program at [] to get you started.

    You won't get KVM access for OS install but there are startup images for all the common free linux distros (Centos, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, etc.), Amazon Linux (a custom distro for EC2), and non-free OS's like RHEL and MS Windows (they cost more per hour). Every distro I've used on there gives you either direct root login or `sudo su -l` capability. You have full control over the incoming firewall rules so you can allow specific ports by IP or CIDR range without chewing up CPU or I/O in iptables. You can add additional storage on the fly (including via automated script within your VPS if you can program) and take live snapshots of running disks (including the OS disk) for backups.

    I use Amazon for my work systems and much prefer them to managing an on site rack or letting some other host charge us for the impediment to administration that is managed hosting.
    • by MattW ( 97290 )

      As soon as you actually USE the machine, though, bandwidth and IO charges will drive that up to $25+ quite easily, however. I sometimes experiment with Amazon boxes, but I just spin them up using a popular aws perl toolkit, use them, spin them down. It's really easy to create them and interact with them via script, but I wouldn't want to use them regularly.

      • by cskrat ( 921721 )
        I assumed that since he's moving from a 1.5Mbit residential connection and only mentioned running a personal website he's probably not pushing more than the 15GB free tier allowance per month.

        IO charges are tough to estimate but a micro running as a web/email server and not doing obscene amounts of disk thrashing should come in slightly cheaper than a typical gumball machine purchase per month. We have half a dozen internal services instances running databases, web servers, server monitoring and logging
  • Linode (Score:5, Informative)

    by DRichardHipp ( 995880 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @09:45PM (#38478416)
    I've been running [] on Linode since 2004. They've been great. Highly recommended.
  • I'm a fan of Virtacore. They're offering VMs on VMware vCloud Director, which means a full gui console, and pricing is basically cheap. (Cheaper than Amazon when you factor in even modest bandwidth and IO charges.)

  • I have had a VPS with eApps for a few years. I pay $11/mo. They are a legit hosting service with customer service and tech support by phone.

    I have 3 domains hosted and have had a few brief outages, but nothing major.

  • by Shads ( 4567 )

    Linode all the way, they're aren't kvm but you can run a custom kernel. Their control panel is absolutely top notch.

    I've had vps on linode, amazon, some openvz crap server, godaddy, rackspace, and slicehost. Linode is the one i would recommend.

  • Unfortunately, no other provider in the area (Twin Cities) offers static IPs and permission to run servers.

    I'm pretty sure Comcast serves the Twin Cities (at least some portions) and they offer static IPs and you can run servers. You need their business package [], a few bucks more perhaps. I use this (not in Minnesota), and find it very stable and consistent, and they never give me any crap about what ports I open.

  • by xombo ( 628858 )

    In the wake of SOPA et al, I recommend Sweden Dedicated [] .
    It's great because you can brag about the servers being in a Bond Villain style HQ. I've had great uptime and their administrators are competent enough to be helpful when necessary, but don't expect them to do a lot of hand-holding or CPANEL type nonsense.

  • View My Server ---> 2 gig of RAM bustable to 4 gig and 2 cores, 7.5 TB of traffic per month, 75 gig of disk space...for $25.00 per month. They are in Arizona. I have run into issues running Concrete5 on them, but it is a bare metal system, so it is really my problem, not theirs. Concrete5 requires some serious PHP tweaking and I haven't gotten there yet. Really fast support and nice bunch of guys!
  • I am also in the same area and Comcast Business Internet is a slam dunk if you can get it. The service reps and phone techs are completely different than the home/consumer experience. They have short hold times and the few times I have had outages or cable cuts (stupid building maintenance people!) I have actually been able to get same day on-site techs. They offer statics for a reasonable price and very good throughput. I have a couple different service tiers at different locations, with the highest bein

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