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In over fifteen years of networking experience, Pronto Networks / Greenlink Wireless are the worst ISP I have ever used. That includes AOL. In fact, it include AOL on a 14k baud modem (which is very, very, very slow).

AOL's slowness was just a sign of the times. In my experience, Pronto and Greenlink have brought that slowness into the year 2011, and combined it with unbelievable unreliability.

Years ago, clicking a link in AOL would result in the page loading sooner or later: it was slow, but reliable. Pronto and Greenlink aren't like that. Sometimes the page will load fine, and in fact sometimes they'll work OK for minutes or even hours. But, then they'll just completely fail for no known reason at all. Other times, they'll kind of work. Then, you'll try to send an email and you'll see a spinning cursor for a long time and then "Problem loading page". Oops, there goes your email.

For another example, sometimes Youtube videos will load OK. Other times, the video will partially load and then Pronto/Greenlink will just completely fail. In order to get the Youtube video to load all the way, you'll have to refresh the page. And, you might have to do that over and over again until the magical moment when Pronto/Greenlink work long enough for the whole video to load.

There are tests below from speedtest.net that only partially show just how bad Pronto Networks and Greenlink Wireless are. Sometimes speedtest.net wouldn't load at all. Yes, my experience with Pronto and Greenlink is that bad.

1387384197

1387582052

1387659364

1387838662

1388564785

1389125104

1389699422

1389708272





PREVIOUS VERSION

For over a year, I've been using the wireless provided by Pronto Networks at a location in Southern California. It worked OK for the first several months, but it's degraded over the past two months to where it's nearly unusable a good part of the time (especially in the evenings). There are three basic problems:

1. Very low speed. Even when the signal strength is shown as "Very Good" or even "Excellent", the transmission speed might be as low as 1Mbps. For the first several months it was usually around 54Mpbs, occasionally dipping a little below that. Now, it's usually around 11Mpbs if I'm lucky. Low speed like that makes things like watching Youtube videos almost impossible. And, with some things - like filling out online forms - you might end up submitting the same information twice when the page times out. Don't get me wrong: it's not like this all the time, but you never know when it's going to go bad. And, it might go bad just at the moment you need to send an email.

2. Unreliablity. The connection will frequently fail. If all you're doing is browing the web that's not that big of a deal. But, if you're using something like a VPN the connection failing all the time might require you to keep connecting. Believe me: continually having to connect to a VPN is not a good thing.

3. Pronto Networks' support has been of little help. They've continually refused to deal with the issue, only blaming a large number of users. Whose fault is that, mine? If this is indeed a question of being over subscribed, who took all those subscriptions? If that's the case, they shouldn't have sold more subscriptions than they had capacity for. If, instead, this is a case of a small number of people "blowing out" their connection, is that my fault? If that's the case, why can't they limit the bandwidth of those small number of people so they don't affect others?

If you're considering using Pronto Networks - based on my experience with them - I suggest you look elsewhere.

(And, in case there's another ProntoNetworks, this review concerns the one based in Pleasanton, CA)

UPDATED ON April 23, 2011: Evan Platt from Pronto makes various excuses below, which are what Pronto or their WISP seem to specialize in. It's always one thing or another, meanwhile the system continues to be very unreliable.

For instance, here's a ping request to Yahoo. It takes around 80 to 100ms to ping Yahoo.com from a web hosting company (i.e., not Pronto). The speeds I'm getting average five times that, with one ping taking a whole second:

Pinging yahoo.com [67.195.160.76] with 32 bytes of data: Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=268ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=553ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=216ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=539ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=321ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=243ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=606ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=642ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=615ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=258ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=429ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=760ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=636ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=313ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=771ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=678ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=411ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=763ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=593ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=390ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=368ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=910ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=1045ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=411ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=427ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=644ms TTL=47
Request timed out.
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=453ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=294ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=377ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=545ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=616ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=787ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=598ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=359ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=551ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=571ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=382ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=579ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=602ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=545ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=945ms TTL=47
Reply from 67.195.160.76: bytes=32 time=318ms TTL=47 Ping statistics for 67.195.160.76:
Packets: Sent = 43, Received = 42, Lost = 1 (2% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 216ms, Maximum = 1045ms, Average = 531ms







Dear Sir / Ma'am:

Thank you for your input and letting us know of your experience. Let me
first clarify: Pronto Networks provides a hardware and Managed Service
Solution for WISP's (Wireless ISP's). This means we sell the hardware
that is installed at the location, and maintain the webserver (offsite,
at a central location in our Data Center) that's used for authentication
and registration. The WISP is responsible for purchase, maintenance and
installation of this equipment, as well as any access points installed
at the location. The WISP is also responsible for purchase and
maintenance of the internet connection (as well as obviously determining
what speed internet connection is used in addition to, if need be,
increasing the speed of this internet connection).

Let me address your comments:

"Signal Speed" is the speed of data transfer occuring between your
computer and the Wireless Access Point (which is then generally
connected via a ethernet / wired connection to the Internet. While your
signal speed to the Access Point may show 54 mbps or even 11 mbps,
chances are the location (which you haven't mentioned, so I can't
determine) may only have a 5 mbps or 10 mbps internet connection for the
entire location - which is fairly common. And, on top of that, the WISP
can, and often does, configure a per user maximum connection speed to
limit the bandwidth any one user can have at one time. While a
connection speed of 1 mbps may seem slow (especially if you just had a
54 mbps connection the other day), you never had a 54 mbps connection to
the Internet, just to the local Access Point. 1 mbps should be
sufficient for Youtube videos, however it's possible your speed, either
to the access point or bandwidth available to the internet is actually
less.

Our end user support acts as troubleshooting and diagnosis for the WISP
to attempt to troubleshoot whether the issue is with the local equipment
(access points) or with a slow internet connection, or another user (or
users) saturating the network. We can only however pass this information
on to the WISP to have them correct or repair it, we're unfortunately
don't have the capability to make changes beyond a certain point.

If you'd like to e-mail me with a number I can call you at and a good
time to reach you, I can call you and see what further troubleshooting I
can do, and pass this on directly to the WISP to hopefully let them know
where the problem resides, or also in advance of the call, let me know
what this location is so I can perhaps see if there's an obvious issue
prior to speaking with you.

Thank you.
216.200.134.187 23:54, March 31, 2010 (UTC)
Evan Platt
Pronto Networks

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