internet access

Review of St. Louis Area ISPs - Charter, AT&T, Clear

In my most recent article (over in the Articles section), I review the three main St. Louis Metro-area Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Charter Communications (Cable), AT&T (DSL), and Clear (Wireless).

St. Louis Area Internet Provider Review: Charter Cable, AT&T DSL, Clear 4G Wireless

Basically, by the end of the article, I'm still undecided as to which one is the best for me - for both price/performance ratio and reliability.

They're all not so hot in both regards, but I'm cheering for Clear—if they can get more cell towers up and running, I think they'll be a great contender!

Review: St. Louis area Internet providers (Charter Cable, AT&T DSL, Clear Wireless)

Charter, AT&T and Clear - Logos

For the past eight years, I've been bouncing back and forth from one ISP to another, trying to find one that actually feels worth the load of money I pay for it.

I've used a variety of services from both of the main St. Louis area providers (AT&T and Charter Communications), and am testing Clear wireless (a new game in town, but one that's been around in Chicago and other larger cities for a year or more). I've paid anywhere from $15/month to $90/month (for Internet service alone—I've never participated in the 'Charter Bundle,' 'Uverse' or any voice/data/video bundles).

I'm going to go through the reasons why I've tried all the different services, and what I've liked—and hated—about each. As a prelude, I am still not pleased with the performance I've received from any of the providers (at least, not for what I'm paying/have paid!).

AT&T 'High Speed' DSL

I've tried AT&T's DSL service in three different parts of St. Louis: North county, the Central West End, and Shrewsbury. In all three areas, I've encountered the same problem—an unreliable connection.

I've been through many support calls, and in all cases, when a technician is sent out, he says the line signal is perfect. Go figure. I've used a few different modems, some rather expensive, and they've all exhibited these problems.

How to Get Free or Cheaper WiFi Access at AT&T and Boingo Hotspots

WiFi LogoI was recently in Chicago, lamenting the fact that, to use the Boingo WiFi at the airport for a mere half hour, I'd need to pay $6.95; rather than pay this outrageous amount (since I already have an iPhone with Internet access, and the WiFi would be a convenience, I looked to Google for some help.

It is well documented that you can simply change your browser's "User-Agent" to use the 'Mobile Safari - iPhone' profile, and trick certain hotspot locations into giving you free access (this will work for any AT&T Wireless location, such as Starbucks, as long as you also have a valid iPhone number).

Get Cheaper Access on Boingo

To get an almost half-off discount on Boingo WiFi hotspots, you simply need to do three things:

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