FasterMac.net Dial-Up worth it? If not, what else is there for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Jovian9, May 18, 2004.

  1. Jovian9 macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #1
    Recently I moved out of the city and into the hills of central Indiana. It is beautiful here but I cannot get cable (cable internet connection which I've had for almost 3 years) or DSL (although they told me I could and I signed up for their phone service and DSL service...only to get a call 9 days later to say they couldn't provide the DSL....but of course could provide me the phone line and all of the charges for hooking it up). Also, I cannot get satellite internet because DirecWay (sp?) and StarBand are just too expensive ($99/month to rent-to-own equipment and have service or $69/month + $599 to buy the equipment).

    I found a Mac-only service that provides higher-speed dial-up for OSX 10.2.8 or later. LINK:
    http://www.fastermac.net/index.cfm

    Has anyone tried this service? If so......opinions/experiences? Does anyone recommend any other faster-than-dial-up services for the Mac (running Panther)?

    I know someone who uses NetZero HighSpeed and you can definitely tell a difference in speed compared to standard dial-up. And I do understand how it works and that you cannot download faster than normal dial-up:(....but it's really my only other option.

    Any help/ideas would be appreciated by my wife and myself. Thanks!
     
  2. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #2
    What about this ISP?
    LINK:

    http://access.aplus.net/isdn.html

    I'm trying to figure out the differences b/t this and the one posted above (FasterMac.net)......can anyone help me out on this?.....especially with regards to speed. Thanks again!
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #3
    The people at fastermac.net are really great and do their best to be helpful. There are not a lot of them, due to the price, but they're good technically. The service itself works well, but you don't get configuration software, as you do with large services.

    Since they gone to unlimited hours, it's comparable to other ISPs.
     
  4. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #4
    Thanks for the info 'bousozoku'! Do you notice a big speed difference compared to dial-up? How would you say it compares with DSL or Cable?
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    I would say that you should learn to be patient. :D

    I've been on dialup since 300 bps modems, so I don't find 56Kbps to be so bad but if you've never dealt with it, you're in for a bad experience. I have DSL at home now but my parents share my dialup account--they wouldn't pay for a dialup account directly so they use this one.

    I can tell you that I avoided many things--multimedia in particular. Those Mac OS X updates take a very long time and you might keep them going overnight or find friends who will put them on CD-ROM for you.
     
  6. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #6
    Thanks again. I think I'll try the FasterMac.net service unless I find something else b/t now and tomorrow when I have the chance to sign up.
     
  7. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #7
    First off let me say that that is bulls***, and that I'd be FUMING if they told me I could get DSL, charged me a bunch of fees, and then told me "oops, sorry, no can do." I hope you at least call and attempt to recoup some of your money after they gave you incorrect information!

    But anyway, Dial-Up isn't as bad as the Cable and DSL advertisements would have you believe. If you do a lot of downloading files, then Dial-Up isn't the greatest, but for normal use (i.e. Macrumors :), and generally just surfing the web), Dial-Up does just fine.

    One suggestion though, especially after what the phone company did to you: If you sign up for Dial-Up, keep an eye on what speeds you're connecting at. When they say "56k," they mean "theoretically you could connect as high as 56k," but most of the time you won't. However, make sure you're at least connecting at speeds near the high 40kbps's. If not, call them up and complain. Many times low connection speeds can be blamed on noisy phone lines, and if it's wiring outside of your house, it's their job to fix it (and on their dime, NOT yours).

    Lastly, I would recommend Earthlink. They were always a good provider with good customer service, lots of access numbers, and I always seemed to get a pretty good connection when dialing into them. I just checked their site and they're having a special where it's about $10/month for the first six months, then it goes up to the normal rate of $21.95/month. AND they're very Mac friendly. I'm really not sure how those companies like NetZero work and how they can claim to be faster than other Dial-Ups. It was my understanding that these things are regulated by the FCC, and that 56k was as fast as you could go over a standard Dial-Up connection. I always figured that NetZero was just using false-advertising, and that Dial-Up is Dial-Up no matter how you slice it. Am I wrong?

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Home of Al-Qaida
    #8
    If you've been on Cable for 3 years, you don't wanna on 56k, seriously. I have 1.5MB DSL and free 56k school acct. at home. I use the latter to get pass some sites that blocks my IP. Anyway, 56k is a torture compared to even 1.5MB DSL, so I can't imagine how much suffering you'll face if you move down from even faster cable to 56k. Say good bye to porn.
     
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #9
    I'm not sure how Earthlink does in Indiana, but I left Earthlink to go to fastermac.net because I was tired of paying more for bad service. In the Orlando area, there were plenty of disconnections, and authentication errors appeared consistently around every 3 months.

    Earthlink does offer a cheaper service, PeoplePC, which I believe is like NetZero and Juno which use a special application to allow you to use the internet. When I was canceling my Earthlink service, they told me about PeoplePC but it still cost more than fastermac.net.
     
  10. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #10
    I will definitely be calling them (SBC is my phone company who promised this) to discuss this....just haven't had a free moment yet with all of the moving my wife and I have been doing.

    I do agree that 56k is not that bad.....but coming from cable speeds for years it just seems pretty bad(especially when I downloaded the GarageBand update the other day.....that would have taken 10 seconds on my cable connection and it took ?hours? on the dial-up connection).

    It looks like Earthlink(customer support wise) or FasterMac.net(price wise) are my best options. Thanks for your help!
     
  11. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #11
    I just signed up for FasterMac.net. So far so good.....seems faster than dial-up. I'll post my opinions of the service/speed after I've had a few days of using it. Thanks for all your help!
     
  12. Rogan Schlassa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Location:
    Memphis Tennessee
    #12
    I feel your pain but lucky for me they just put in dsl after 4 years of living here... if nothing else get isdn
     
  13. Jovian9 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2003
    Location:
    Planet Zebes
    #13
    I've been using FasterMac.net now for 4 or 5 days and here are the results:
    (for anyone who cares and has to use dial-up)

    Positives:
    -a lot faster than dial-up
    I was averaging around 40k with my wifes university dial-up service, now I'm getting b/t 80k and 150k speeds consistently with FasterMac.net
    -easy to sign up for and set up on your Mac
    -cheap: $7.50 1st month and $12.99 after that
    -5 email accounts including webmail and spam controls and 10 Megs of web space
    -Once sites are cached in your browser they load faster
    -Speed is adjustable by changing how high/low of image quality you want

    Negatives:
    -requires that you run a seperate program(MegaSPEED Accelerator) to access the faster speeds
    -once you have loaded a page and have seen the images in a low quality(if you have them set to be low d/t you wanting faster page loads).....you cannot change the quality and load the page again to see the images at normal/full quality......unless you empty the cache on your browser.....which then resets all of the pages you have accessed before causing them to slow down the next time they are visited
    -Downloads are still at 56k speed


    All in all this service is good. Loading pages is now bearable (considering I just came from a cable modem connection) and is a lot faster than a normal 56k connection. I would definitely recommend this to anyone using a Mac that has to use dial-up service.

    Thanks for everyones help!
     
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #14
    Sort of; as Jovian9 mentioned in his review of FasterMac (which I was looking at to replace my parents' overpriced and underperforming Earthlink service), you do actually get better speeds than with normal dialup, there are just some tricks to make it happen.

    The main thing those services do (Sprintlink tested something like this WAY back before cable became prevalent) is recompress images on the fly as you browse; their server loads the image (quickly, of course), recompresses it (loosing a lot of quality, but reducing the size), then feeds it to you through your 56k dialup connection. The end result is something of a degraded experience, but it does go significantly faster than regular dialup and keeps the pages useable.

    It's also possible these services do some on-the-fly compression beyond what's already built into the modem and web protocols, but I'm not sure about that.

    Bottom line: browsing is a couple of times faster than regular 56k, but there's no more actual data going through the phone line.
     

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