FiOS Quantum Internet is FAST

By on May 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Through the years, I’ve had nothing but great service from Verizon FiOS, which is the exact opposite of my time spent with Comcast. I couldn’t wait to switch from Comcast when FiOS became available in my area over 5 years ago now. Recently, I decided to switch to the 75/75 FiOS Quantum internet plan. In no way was my internet slow before when I had the 50/50 tier, but now it’s surprisingly fast. With most companies, you are lucky to get the rated speeds you pay for. With FiOS, at least in my area, that is not the case at all. They state you get speeds “up to 75/75” but in reality, the speeds they give well surpass that. I have run various speed tests, as shown below, to give a general idea of the speed I get with my upgraded service: As you can see, I get above the rated speeds from servers in various locations. Once you start to have internet speeds in this range, it appears that the servers themselves are the limiting factor more so than the internet plan itself. FiOS Quantum internet goes all the way up to 500/500 plans, but for me that would be a huge waste. Don’t get me wrong, it would be amazing to have. For my use of the internet though, this 75/75 plan is great. Verizon also added a My Rewards+ Program. You get points for various things such as paperless billing, ordering movies and many other actions. After renewing my contract for another 2 years, I just recently got 2000 points. As you can see, the points add up  quickly. I have gotten over 6000 points since the reward program has started. The photo above shows the general value of the points along with some of the available options. As I said before, I’ve had nothing but great service from FiOS. I would never switch back to Comcast, even if there was a vast price difference. If you are interested in Verizon FiOS please consider joining with my referral link and sign up for the My Rewards+ program. It is a great service and well worth switching to FiOS if you haven’t...

iPhone 3GS vs BlackBerry Storm – Part 1

By on Mar 6, 2010 | 3 comments

I just recently changed jobs, and my new company has issued me an iPhone 3GS. So that being said, I thought a comparison between this device and my old BlackBerry Storm is in order. I’ve only had my iPhone for 5 days, so I will follow up this article in a week or so with part deux. Coverage: I have always had a Verizon cellphone (Smartphone or not) for years, so the thought of switching carriers did cause a bit of concern.  I heard multiple people say the AT&T coverage in my area (Pittsburgh) was not that great in comparison to Verizon’s.  Generally a few dropped calls would be  okay, and even understandable, however since this is primarily used for business I need to have a reliable network.  I don’t believe in the TV commercials for AT&T or Verizon, as they are playing the marketing game, and really only the individual using the phone can correctly assess the coverage.  As of now (5 days) using the phone, I have yet to see any situation that makes me believe Verizon is a better network. To test the AT&T commercial, I created a phone conference with two other phones.  Once  I had the phone conference going I began surfing the web and perhaps because of the network and the beauty of Apple everything just worked.  I could not make a phone call and browse the web on my BlackBerry.  I do not know how often I’d use this, but its fantastic knowing that I can. Email/Calendar/Contacts (Exchange): The first account I configured on this device was my Microsoft Exchange account from work.  Prior to the iPhone I was using multiple BlackBerry devices (VZW WE 8830, and the BlackBerry Storm), so I was used to getting my email very fast.  So far I have not noticed a delay in the delivery of my email.  Typically my phone has notified me of a new message either 1 – 2 seconds after my computer received the message, no major delays.  The calendar and contact synchronization has also been fast.  I have not seen a major delay yet in comparison to the BlackBerry platform. Email/Contacts/Calendar (MobileMe): I have now moved from using Gmail to MobileMe.  I have been using Gmail since the early days, when the initial invites had been in small numbers.  I knew what to expect from Gmail so once more, I was leery of the switch.  I tried using MobileMe a few months back on the 60-day trial, and noticed that the web interface was slow, and my contacts would randomly delete themselves, so I cancelled my trail.  My thought was even though the web interface was beautiful, I need reliability. Since getting the iPhone I figured, lets give it another chance to fully take advantage of the push technology.  I am not sure if Apple has changed their servers, or made an update but now my web interface is extremely fast.  Had the experience been this fast during my trial I probably would not have cancelled it.  The push for email is extremely fast, and I believe it works faster than my exchange account.  The updating of contacts and calendar is actually faster than Exchange.  I can move items in my web interface or on the phone, and almost in real time I see the update.  Exchange takes a little bit longer (10-20 seconds).   This is actually much faster than the BlackBerry platform again. I am actually loving the performance of MobileMe over Exchange and even the BlackBerry platform. Ease of Use: I have to admit using this phone is truly a dream.  Typing on the iPhone’s keyboard is a better experience than that of the Storm.  In a previous post, I mentioned how one had to touch, then physically click on the screen to input a character.  This is not the case with the iPhone. I am actually finding it faster to type email and SMS messages via the iPhone.  I have yet to try the landscape keyboard because I am so impressed with the portrait keyboard.  On the storm I was constantly producing spelling errors, due to the “SurePress” keyboard.  The phone would “think” I wanted to type one word when really I meant another.  This led to some embarrassing emails to executives as the overall grammar of the email made no sense. Battery: I’ve been charging my battery daily, but I believe the reason it is getting low is due to my constantly playing with the device.  Once the novelty slows down from having the iPhone I will be able to truly give both devices a fair comparison.  I do not want to give a opinion on the iPhone’s battery quite yet. Summary: I have been downloading applications like crazy this week, and the App Store has a far better selection than what I could find for my BlackBerry.  There are many applications I have found so far that will allow me to be more productive and aware of my servers at work while I am out of the office.  This is one of the reasons our company is actually removing all BlackBerries from our environment and moving to the iPhone.  I plan on following up to this post in a week or two once I have really tested the phone in more detail.  As I said both phones have been on the market for quite some...

FiOS 1.7.1 Update

By on Feb 19, 2010 | 2 comments

Luckily (or not) the Pittsburgh area was one of the first areas to receive the latest FiOS Firmware update of 1.7.1. After a few attempts over the last few days, the roll out here seems to be complete. The firmware was released, then rolled back, and now released again. If you recall, in a recent chat with Verizon Tech support, I was told that the issues with my HD boxes weren’t truely issues, but not to my preference. As we all know, that was completely untrue. And this firmware update proves it. The 7xxx series boxes now have the 4:3 guide once again. The current show information and the guide itself is no longer stretched. I wish there was a way to talk to “Anthony” again directly. I don’t appreciate being lied to by support staff. Maybe in the future, companies and employees will admit to doing something wrong. In the long run, it will hurt the company less. Customers are not stupid and I don’t appreciate my intelligence being questioned. If you take a look back at my prior blog post regarding the issues I faced, you will see why Verizon and their staff have lost some of my...

Verizon Tech Support (FW 1.7 related)

By on Jan 20, 2010 | 7 comments

Ah, another FiOS post here. Usually I am very happy with the service…today, not so much. I contacted support because the 1.7 firmware was finally rolled out to Pittsburgh. It is fairly common knowledge that the 1.7 firmware totally screws up the guide to a point that it is actually a pain to use. It looks horrendous and is not right at all on the 7xxx series boxes. But, it displays correctly on the older 6400 series ones. Here is my chat with tech support regarding the issues I have. He was by far one of the worst representatives I have come across while talking to Verizon support. Anthony(18:55:31): Thank you. One moment while I pull up your account. I am sorry for your problems, but I will help you. Please be patient. Anthony(18:55:51): Are you havign a HDMI issue since the 1.7 firmware update to the boxes? StevoFC(18:56:09): no I’m having guide issues on the 7100 series boxes StevoFC(18:56:14): it looks horrible Anthony(18:56:30): unrelated… StevoFC(18:56:36): no it’s not Anthony(18:56:41): you don’t like it StevoFC(18:56:53): it’s a proven fact that the guide is stretched only on the 7xxx series boxes StevoFC(18:57:09): it shows correctly on my older 6400 series dvr StevoFC(18:57:31): I am unhappy with the service since this update Anthony(18:57:36): I am sorrty Anthony(18:57:41): sorry Anthony(18:57:57): It can’t be changed but I have notated your tech support notes StevoFC(18:58:04): it can be changed Anthony(18:58:15): how? StevoFC(18:58:16): i would like my box replaced with a model that doesn’t have the problem Anthony(18:58:51): I can’t replace the boxes because you don’t like the way the guide is displayed Anthony(18:59:06): The 7000 boxes are HD StevoFC(18:59:13): so are the others Anthony(18:59:18): the 6416 is HD & standard StevoFC(18:59:31): i have the 6416 dvr Anthony(18:59:36): I see that StevoFC(18:59:46): and it displays correctly Anthony(18:59:56): the 7000 are correct also StevoFC(19:00:02): no it is not Anthony(19:00:22): all 3 display the same way correct? StevoFC(19:00:49): all 3 what? 7100? Anthony(19:00:55): yes StevoFC(19:01:16): yes, but they dont look like they used to, and they dont look like the 6400 does Anthony(19:01:41): I am sorry they don’t look the same Anthony(19:01:46): but they are correct StevoFC(19:01:50): can you roll my firmware back? Anthony(19:01:55): no StevoFC(19:02:17): how much is the verizon cancellation fee? Anthony(19:03:07): I am tech support Anthony(19:03:13): 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966), available Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Anthony(19:03:18): give them a call and they will work with you StevoFC(19:03:35): if you are unwilling to help I will most likely cancel my service StevoFC(19:03:46): because this update is not acceptable Anthony(19:03:57): I can’t roll your firmware back Anthony(19:04:03): I am sorry StevoFC(19:04:16): you would if the update didn’t install correctly on my end Anthony(19:04:41): it installed correctly StevoFC(19:04:58): so you are saying verizon purposely screwed up the guide? Anthony(19:05:08): no Anthony(19:05:23): Unfortunately you don’t like the way it loks Anthony(19:05:28): looks Anthony(19:05:28): I am sorry StevoFC(19:06:18): then like i said, I will have to call the number you gave me and possibly cancel my service Anthony(19:06:28): I am sorry to hear that. Anthony(19:06:39): Thanks for using Verizon Click to Chat. For more information visit http://help.verizon.net . You can also download the Verizon In Home Agent at http://verizon.com/inhomeagent to help with any future issues with your service. You may receive a survey regarding this chat. I hope you can rate us a 10 based on your experience with me today. Thank you for choosing Verizon. Your session is now closed. Thank you,have a nice day. Yes, I was rude…I normally try to be nice but the guy was treating me like an idiot. Sorry Anthony, but don’t assume people who contact you are dumb and maybe you would be treated nicer. To make things even better, They include an email link at the bottom of the chat when you are done so that you can email the log to your account. I click the link to email the transcript to myself and I got this… I started to laugh when this happened…Why, you ask? The FiOS email addresses are .net not .com, so I couldn’t even email the transcript to myself. Thanks Verizon, you seem to be getting better each...

DVR Replacement

By on Aug 7, 2009 | 3 comments

Well, most of you have probably read my post regarding the component cable problem that I thought I had with my multi room DVR from Verizon. It turns out that wasn’t the problem. It’s strange though, for about a week after I swapped cables I had no problems. After that, the same thing kept happening. I contacted support via chat and told them about the problem. They told me they could “initialize” my box because it was possible there was some sort of programming error after the last firmware update. I said no problem and they told me to contact them again if the problem persisted because a replacement DVR would need to be sent. That same evening I contacted them again and told them the problem was still there and without any problems I was told a new one would be sent via UPS. Since I contacted them on a Friday evening, the box wasn’t going to be delivered until Tuesday. I had no problem with that since the box worked for the most part. The signal was just lost occasionally. Tuesday came along and I got the box via UPS like they said. My original DVR was a 7216, and I was happy to see that the replacement they sent me was a 6416-2. Even though the 6416-2 is older than the 7216, it seems to have many less problems. First off, I can actually use the HDMI connection now with my Samsung LCD. It did not wok correctly with the original DVR. Secondly, it makes much less noise. I would think the newer one would have been quieter, but that’s not the case. I have not had a single problem at all with this replacement box. The entire experience is much better now. There were many more problems with my original box than I even thought. There was a lot more lag in menus and in general overall usage. I am quite happy of the replacement and support couldn’t have made it any easier. All I had to do was put the faulty DVR in the box the new one was shipped in and take two labels to the UPS store and drop it off. Self activation was very simple. The whole process didn’t even take me 30 minutes and I had the new DVR up and running with all of the guide data. They give you a code and you have the option of calling a telephone number or entering it online. I did it through the page online. It honestly couldn’t have been any simpler than it was. What I thought was the most impressive part of this whole situation was how willing the support staff was to believe that my problem was actually with the FiOS equipment. Not once did they ever try to blame it on my television. Back when I had Comcast, any time I had a problem the first thing they tried to do was blame the issue on something I owned. Verizon never once even questioned me. Once again, I am very happy with the service I am receiving from...

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