Shopping for ISPs

Speakeasy had yet another service outage while I was in Boston a couple of weeks ago and a smaller one this past weekend. Both times the problem was completely on their end, and the first and more serious one they didn’t notice until I told them about it a few hours into the outage. Now that they’ve been acquired by BestBuy I expect service will only get worse, so I’m looking for alternatives.

The two major providers in my area are Cablevision and Verizon, and they’re both about as trustworthy as a Republican who promises to cut government spending. However, it occurs to me that maybe I can counterbalance them against each other. Is there any device/software which will enable me to bind two separate and independent Internet connections? I’d like my network to use both Cablevision and Verizon or Speakeasy at the same time. If one goes down, the other would shoulder the full load. Otherwise traffic should be split between the two so I get the most bandwidth and lowest latency possible.

To make matters still more complex I want at least some static IPs to run public servers like this one, and I want full control of my local network: no silly rules about what devices I can or cannot connect or whom I can talk to at what speeds.

Of course, I’m not wedded to Cablevision and Verizon. I’d really rather not consider them at all; but I do need to at least have an alternative to Speakeasy ready for the next time it goes down. However if there are other options in Brooklyn, I’d be happy to consider them. RCN does not service this area though; and given my apartment’s non-existent view of any sky, neither is satellite. Possibly other wireless providers might work, but I need heavy bandwidth for web servers and downloading Linux CDs and such, so download-capped plans aren’t very plausible. Any suggestions?

One Response to “Shopping for ISPs”

  1. Matthew Jones Says:

    Just of of curiosity couldn’t you get a Cisco router and have multiple ethernet ports on connecting to multiple ISPs and then have an Ethernet port connecting to your private network. It would seem that you could set up the routing and port forwarding to build yourself that kind of topology. You’d probably have to connect a computer up to each ISP directly to initially login but after that you should be set. Cisco has really good sales support so I’d suggest calling them up and seeing what they have. Of course this may cost several thousand, but even so maybe just talking to them would help.

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