Thursday, September 18, 2014Clear 12°C
Tech

Internet providers in Toronto beyond Rogers and Bell

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / July 9, 2014

internet torontoInternet providers in Toronto go beyond Rogers and Bell. As it turns out, there's a wealth of smaller options: A quick search on Canadian ISP reveals that there are no less than 119 internet service providers serving the Toronto area. To get your search off to a good start, I've rounded up some of the most-recommended internet service providers currently providing Toronto with a steady stream of cat videos.

Here are my picks for the top alternative internet service providers in Toronto.

Teksavvy
A favourite of nerds across Ontario, Teksavvy offers a healthy mix of over a dozen cable and DSL plans, backed up by pleasant customer service; you're likely to find a package that fits your usage needs and budget. Heavy users can avail themselves of unlimited 50Mbps (megabits per second) DSL for $84.99 a month. (In case you're nostalgic for those weird boing-ing noises coming out of your modem, they also offer dial-up for $7.99 a month. ...Really.)

Primus
The largest alternative telecom in Canada, Primus offers a variety of wireless services (including phone and VoIP) in addition to a handful of DSL packages. Shoppers beware: available speeds rely heavily on the neighbourhood. For example, while some areas can get up to 50Mbps plans, my Danforth neighbourhood is locked into 7Mbps at $42.95 a month, which doesn't impress terribly.

Contact
Contact is clearly trying to court a young, budget-conscious demo - their website looks like it should be for some kind of women-oriented gym. They promise "the best bang for your buck," with a variety of DSL plans at 6Mbps, 15Mbps and 25Mbps speeds - their biggest plan offers 500GB of bandwidth at 25Mbps for a frankly insane $34.95 a month. The secret to their pricing: They ask folks to pay extra for their ContactCare tech support.

Start
Start offers cable, lower-speed DSL, and higher-speed FTTN connections. (For the uninitiated, FTTN is a DSL connection that offers a shorter connection between your home and the fibre network, in an effort to offer a more reliable signal.) Add $15 a month to cable plans or $10 a month for DSL plans to get unlimited data. (Except for the 150Mbps cable plan, which already gives you 400GB of bandwidth. You can just suck that one up.)

Electronic Box
This Quebecois company just set up shop in Ontario (as evidenced by the site's somewhat-rickety translation). But for some, their services just might be parfait. Their biggest cable plan is a whopping 1,000GB of bandwidth at 30Mbps at a dirt-cheap $29.95 (for the first six months ... after that, it nearly doubles). While their DSL plans tap out at 250GB of monthly bandwidth, they all come with unlimited downloads from 2am to 2pm regardless of tier, meaning you can still binge-download on a budget.

VMedia
This Toronto-based media company makes Android-based TV its bread and butter, offering set-top video boxes that mix TV channels with access to extra Internet-delivered content. They're also an ISP, offering two unlimited cable plans at 30Mbps ($49.95) and 60Mbps ($64.95) download speeds.

Distributel
Operating in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C., this telecom (which owns several smaller offshoots, including Acanac) lets you take your pick of cable, DSL, and FTTN connections. A selling point: All of their packages - from an entry-level 6Mbps DSL package ($36.95) to 60Mbps cable - offer unlimited downloads.

Did I miss any? Leave your ISP recommendations in the comments.

Note: since Rogers and Bell own the telecommunications infrastructure, the above companies are all third-party carriers, re-selling Internet services they purchase at a wholesale rate; basically, the big guys are going to get your money one way or another.

Photo by lickmylenscap in the blogTO Flickr pool

Discussion

41 Comments

jlee / July 9, 2014 at 03:57 pm
user-pic
In some newer condos, especially in Liberty village, Beanfield fibre is a good alternative.
CutTheCord / July 9, 2014 at 04:24 pm
user-pic
If you want to ditch your cable for good and like the idea of paying only $30 a month for the same content you get with cable check out www.kutko.ca

They did a great job helping me and I won't be going back to cable with Bell or Rogers ever again.
W. K. Lis / July 9, 2014 at 04:38 pm
user-pic
There's UNISERVE (http://www.uniserve.com/) or inter.net Canada (http://ca.inter.net/).
Deric / July 9, 2014 at 04:43 pm
user-pic
We live in a new condo off the Danforth and Bell and Rogers have essentialy cut all of the above third party ISP's out, by installing only fibre-optic - which the rest do not have the ability to support yet. So - we are stuck paying high prices for internet AND cable.

Any suggestions from people in the same boat?
blue replying to a comment from Deric / July 9, 2014 at 05:03 pm
user-pic
you live in a condo...you poor fools.
Deric replying to a comment from blue / July 9, 2014 at 05:09 pm
user-pic
Thanks for the kind words.

While I certainly will live in a house in the next few years - we don't shovel our driveway, clean our windows, worry about our roof, or have to put on a jacket to take out our trash.

While I don't expect everyone to love them - condos are the ultimate convenience.
David / July 9, 2014 at 05:11 pm
user-pic
I've been with Inter.Net since it was interlog.com and offered only dial-up. Excellent service and only $33.84 per month.
grey / July 9, 2014 at 05:13 pm
user-pic
It's not all bad. My condo has Coextro: http://www.coextro.com

It's first-world internet, like Beanfield. I believe Coextro and Beanfield have deals with each other to share and extend fibre networks.

I don't know about Beanfield, but Coextro will work with condo/apartment management to get non-Bell/Rogers fibre in, break deals, and provide incentives to make it worthwhile for the building. A big one is that whichever tenant helps broker it gets free top-tier internet for as long as they live at that address.

The building gets extra video cameras, commissions on sign-ups, free wifi for lobbies and gyms, etc.

I'm not associated with them, but I am just so ecstatic to have them as an option.
Kerrye Gordon / July 9, 2014 at 06:04 pm
user-pic
Accelerated Connections. We are the best kept secret for businesses across Canada. Specializing in retail and distributed enterprise organizations
Todd / July 9, 2014 at 06:45 pm
user-pic
Would be interesting to know which of these providers are piggy backing and reselling Bell and Rogers services as their own.
Cheapo Thecheapest / July 9, 2014 at 07:05 pm
user-pic
g3Telecom has unlimited service and it is tremendously cheaper than Bell. Their tech support is generally pretty good.
Bo / July 9, 2014 at 07:09 pm
user-pic
Mustang Internet is here too! they have been around for 20 years and offer internet and TV... just signed up
Insomnia Restaurant / July 9, 2014 at 07:18 pm
user-pic
We put up that sign 18 years ago as one of the first Internet cafes in Toronto. I changed it about 5 years ago. Thanks for the memories.
Simon Tonekham / July 9, 2014 at 07:23 pm
user-pic
Youmano is also another alternative. So does Brama Telecom. Also, stay away from Comwave! Even though that they have unlimited internet and cheap-rate phone service - their customer service is very bad. Not to mention, they tend to charge more for cancellation fees, etc...
Joe replying to a comment from Deric / July 9, 2014 at 07:57 pm
user-pic
Long post coming ahead. Not sure about Bell but this is for Rogers.
Complain Complain Complain. Not necessarily complain, but call them to cancel and straight up say that they are too expensive and your going to a cheaper provider. Rogers will bring you to their retentions representatives and they will dish out offers to get you to stay ie 20% off wave digital box or modem etc. If you want an even better deal, but kind of risky because they might not call back is to refuse the offers at retention and just cancel. You will have a 30 day cancellation date and they will call you a couple of minutes or a week or 2 after you called to cancel to offer a deal to get you to stay.

I did that in February and now I'm paying $135 for Digital Plus and Hybrid Fibre 60 combined with an HDPVR, HDTerminal and Modem waved off with a multicultural channel. That $140 is for 2 years and when that 2 years ends will call again and do the same thing. We do once every few years when our price discount is about to end.

Here's a link where people are getting these deals and the number to call after retentions is at the top.
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/rogers-cable-retentions-new-customers-deal-thread-updated-785331/

Seeing as how you're in a new condo i'm not sure if you're a new customer or an older one that moved their services. But if your a new one still check the link the first page has new customer deals as well.
Happy Savings.
Aila / July 9, 2014 at 08:03 pm
user-pic
Please give: http://telnetcommunications.com/ a try.
They are great!
Spike / July 9, 2014 at 08:25 pm
user-pic
Speaking of the Internet, Salon has written a screed against Amazon and Google, arguing that both be nationalized, and also has suggested that the Internet be made a public utility:

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/08/lets_nationalize_amazon_and_google_publicly_funded_technology_built_big_tech/
COMWAVESUCKS / July 9, 2014 at 08:33 pm
user-pic
I'm glad Comwave didn't make the list, and I cringe every time I see that Tie Dummy commercial.

NEVER choose Comwave!

1. They will charge your credit card in advance
2. They install a junky modem, don't test it, and stops working immediately
3. They come back to fix the problem but fix nothing
4. By this point they've already charged you for 2 months service
5. They want you to return the modem on your own dime
6. I had to cancel my credit card to stop the bleeding, bank could do nothing (RIP TD bank)
Jay replying to a comment from grey / July 9, 2014 at 09:32 pm
user-pic
Coextro is just like the rest on this list. They do not own and operate their own network and purchase connectivity from Rogers and Bell.

Unlike every other provider listed in this article beanfield owns and operates it's entire fibre network in Toronto. We don't resell other people services and we have no legacy infrastructure or equipment in our network. Our residential service it true Fibre to the Home (FTTH). We pull a fibre optic cable directly to each and every one of our customers.

http://beanfield.com/high-speed-internet.html

50Mbps upload and download with no data caps - $45
100Mbps upload and download with no data caps - $75
250Mbps upload and download with no data caps - $150
500Mbps upload and download with no data caps - $250

We're available in select condos downtown and are brining new condos On-Net every month. We currently have over a dozen condos in the queue so ask your condo board or Property Manager about bringing beanfield in as a true alternative.
Chris / July 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm
user-pic
Rogers and Bell are the worst internet companies of all time. Don't support these overcharging greedy companies.
Lalit / July 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm
user-pic
Been using start.ca for over 2 years now and couldn't be happier.
Friar Canuck replying to a comment from Deric / July 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm
user-pic
You have fibre in your building and you want something else? This isn't a knock about you being in a condo, but us in old buildings would CRAVE to have fibre.

Talk you a techy friend. Unless you're being changed an incredible amount VS cable/DSL, you probably have the fastest internet available.
lister / July 10, 2014 at 08:08 am
user-pic
We've had Beanfield for some time. I date back to 1200 baud modems and was first on board with 1Mb DSL. I read with envy oh so many years ago when places like South Korea and Japan had cheap 100Mb fibre. Last year I finally joined that club. It's been always fast and great service. So much better than Bell and Rogers.

Two nitpicks that need to be worked on:

1) pay monthly bills via credit card (preferably auto-paying)
2) hire me! :-) I'd love to work for Beanfield in IT.
mngl replying to a comment from Chris / July 10, 2014 at 08:13 am
user-pic
Um Chris, have you compared the prices between rogers and teksavvy? the hybrid fiber 60 and cable 60 packs are almost identical. the rogers price includes the $12 modem rental so it looks more expensive. buy the modem instead and it works out cheaper. teksavvy gives a bit more bandwidth though so they still win, but not by much.
Jay replying to a comment from lister / July 10, 2014 at 09:51 am
user-pic
Thanks for the kind words.

We have just started to accept credit cards for payments. Contact billing@beanfield.com and they will get you set up.

We're always looking for good people to join our team.
Send us your resume hr@beanfield.com.
Steven / July 10, 2014 at 10:07 am
user-pic
Where's Yak? Surprised they're not listed here.

You can't go wrong with home phone starting from $4.95, or bundling with their internet service for $36.95. And, best of all, NO contracts!
Aaron / July 10, 2014 at 03:26 pm
user-pic
Thank you for the nice words! Mustang has been offering High Speed for 20 years! www.mustangnet.ca - We have a huge marketing campaign in the GTA right now... Offering high Speed starting at 29.99 per month with no contracts...

As well we offer TV service!
Don't be shy... www.mustangnet.ca
Niklas / July 10, 2014 at 06:11 pm
user-pic
Beanfield is supposedly putting fiber in my building right now.. can't wait to leave Rogers
Kévin / July 10, 2014 at 08:24 pm
user-pic
The Toronto Free-Net (torfree.net) offers DSL and Dial-Up as well.
Erica / July 11, 2014 at 09:34 am
user-pic
I agree with Steven above - Yak should definitely be on this list. I was previously with Rogers, and then TekSavvy, but the speed, service, and reliability was not as great as it is with Yak at the moment.

I use them for my high speed Internet and my long distance calling. I'm paying $64.95/month for UNLIMITED high speed Internet. It's amazing - I don't even need a TV anymore. I watch all my shows online so no more cable plan!

Their long distance is just as cheap with some of the lowest rates I've used to Europe. I also saw on their brand new website that they're modelling a mobile app which allows you to use their long distance rates with any mobile carrier.

The best services should be highlighted in the article, not in the comments!
Colin / July 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm
user-pic
Coextro is an independent provider, NOT a reseller of Rogers or Bell services like the companies in this article.

We operate our own infrastructure, and currently offer services in several condo/apartment buildings and hotels throughout the GTA, both in and outside of Toronto.

All of our plans offer symmetrical upload and download speeds and unlimited usage.

Here are a few of our advantages over the companies listed in the article and in the comments....

- No install fees/activation fees/change fees etc...
- First month of service is free
- No modem needed.. we just give you an ethernet port
- No contract.. the price you see is the month to month price
- Unlimited usage... no caps
- Plans starting at $29.99.. for 15Mbps symmetrical

We have 4 plans... all symmetrical with no caps!

http://www.coextro.com/internet

$29.99 - 15Mbps
$42.99 - 30Mbps
$49.99 - 55Mbps
$79.99 - 80Mbps

And that is the whole price.. no modem fee, no install fee.

We install fibre right up to your floor, from there it is just straight ethernet to your unit. This way you don't need any equipment from us in your unit, you get to pick the router you want to use, or don't need wifi, just plug your computer directly into the jack!

http://www.coextro.com/network

There is no advantage to having a fibre installed directly into your unit, our ethernet link into your unit is a 1Gbps capable connection.

And for billing/payment.. we accept all the options.. credit card(visa/mc/amex), interac online, paypal, direct debit, cheque.

http://www.coextro.com/billing

We also offer awesome tv packages starting at $24.99...

http://www.coextro.com/tv

And home phone packages...

http://www.coextro.com/telephone


And yes, it is true, help us get in your building and you get free internet for life from us... well for as long as you live in a building we service!

And we certainly do provide lots of goodies to the building and the residents for the opportunity to offer our services... wifi in common areas being just one of them!

Check us out... http://www.coextro.com ... we're expanding all the time and may be in your building soon!



Jack replying to a comment from Bo / July 15, 2014 at 06:40 pm
user-pic
Hi. Can You tell me if mustang is good quality or not. Do U have also TV ?
wendy replying to a comment from Cheapo Thecheapest / July 16, 2014 at 07:36 pm
user-pic
g3telecom internet is not available in Ontario.
aemi / July 20, 2014 at 09:04 am
user-pic
I'm pretty happy with Start.ca . I've been with them for 3+ years and 4 of my friends have joined them too after my recommendations.

I am on the old packages, I've noticed they have increased the prices a bit.
Aaron replying to a comment from Jack / July 22, 2014 at 04:26 pm
user-pic
Mustang is amazing!
Richard Gonzalez / August 4, 2014 at 06:21 am
user-pic
I have been using high speed internet connection from terago networks, Toronto, http://www.terago.ca/ for past three years. They provide stable connection. I use internet mostly for video streaming, video conference and play online games like mass effect 3 and crysis 3. So far no big issues have occurred. They have some affordable plans and quality of service is very good.
dian / August 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm
user-pic
terago is for businesses only.
Jason / August 19, 2014 at 02:08 pm
user-pic
Looks like you missed Yak (yak.ca). I haven't switch yet but it's one I'm looking at since I used them in the past. They have home phone and long distance too, which I don't currently need.
Tommy replying to a comment from COMWAVESUCKS / September 4, 2014 at 03:50 pm
user-pic
Glad to hear that. I was in the process of signing up with them today. But they were adamant about getting all my banking information up front. Warning bells went off and I told them I'd call them back. Now I'm looking at other providers and am happy to be doing so. Thanks for the heads up.
Ray / September 14, 2014 at 04:09 am
user-pic
I have started using YOLOnet. Best price in town I guess, paying $39.99 for unlimited 10mbps. Very good service.
Fahad / September 16, 2014 at 02:16 pm
user-pic
hi
i read all the comments and i dont want to say much but just visit www.gemstelecom.com once and i bet you wont have to search for any other internet, voip and iptv provider.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal