Instaconnect

InfoInfo
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Location
South Davis
Hours
Mon-Fri 10AM-7PM
Phone
(530)-759- 1570 (tech support)
Website
https://my.instaconnect.net

Instaconnect is a WiFi Internet service provided by Aria Communications.

Locations

Free access is available to the public at the following locations:

It is available free to the residents of the following apartment complexes:

It is offered for a monthly fee at the following complexes:

Service Plans

There are three service plans:
Basic: 1 user with 1 device
Pro: 2 users with 3 devices
Elite: 4 users with 6 devices

The prices for these very according to the length of commitment as follows:

Contract length Basic Pro Elite
Pre-pay 9-12 month contract $15 $20 $25
9-12 month contract $18 $24 $30
Month-to-Month (no contract) $21 $28 $35

Prices include all applicable taxes and regulatory fees **up to date as of 7/2011**

Billing

Users accounts are pro-rated so if you sign up for a paid account you will pay for the rest of the month starting from the day you activate your account.
Accounts are activated as soon as your computer is verified this takes up to 30 seconds. Problems may arise when you give your information to your apartment complex manager and they forget to enter it.

When you sign up for the service you will have the option of giving an end date for the service or letting it continue until you decide to stop it. If you do not enter an end date billing will continue UNTIL YOU TURN IT OFF or call customer service and ask them to turn it off. To turn off your account log into your account through the captive portal, explained below, and then go to Profile Maintenance and click the black box labeled "terminate service at the end of this month".

Speed

Speeds are up to 10 Mbps, but it varies depending on network load, the wireless adapter you're using, and the signal quality.
-In 6/2/09, one editor had not seen anything faster than 9900 kpbs in months and speeds of 2000 kbps or less were typical.
-Another editor reported: a typical experience is relatively fast speeds when a connection is maintained but frequent network outages and relatively unresponsive customer service.

There are some rumors that Instaconnect will be bringing Fiber Optic Internet to some of their locations late summer 2011...

Captive Portal and Security

Some Instaconnect hot spots are using so-called "[wikipedia]captive portals." This means that to access the Internet you need to first view a webpage and click a button that says "Continue" (There's no login for public access points). To access the captive portal simply go to any non secured (ie [WWW]http:// not https://) URL in your web browser.

Captive portals are in use at Instaconnect apartment complexes. Logins are required every two weeks, or when your computer is disconnected for more then a few minutes, whichever is later. (i.e. it isn't supposed to pop up on you while you're doing something else, but unfortunately this does sometimes happen). Online sign-up and account management is available through the portal. Also you cannot be portaled when you are trying to go to a secure site (anything that starts https instead of http) sometimes this will cause users to think that their internet is not working.

Captive portals are used to verify users so that their bandwidth is protected. Only someone with both a correct login and password and a MAC address that is associated with that login and password are allowed to use Instaconnect internet, making it more secure than Comcast and other Internet providers.

Concerns

The Instaconnect-offered WiFi is less expensive than purchasing your own Internet through one of the Internet providers out there. However, some of commentators on this page feel an other Internet provider is a more reliable option. They put the "Wireless" in Wireless Fidelity. Alas, they lack the "Fidelity" at times, with widespread complaints about connection issues. This is due to a number of factors: many use the Instaconnect access points, while only your apartment will use your dedicated internet; wireless (802.11) is not as dependable, signal-wise, as regular wired-Internet.

In the past Instaconnect has significantly more dissatisfied users than satisfied users assuming davisWiki commentators are a representative sample. The convenience of not setting up Internet and the low price Instaconnect plans may be worth it for some people, although the convenience is compromised by the fact that everything about Instaconnect, itself, is consistently inconsistent. Low signals along with frequent network congestion are two of the most cited recurring complaints. Also, customer service support is not available after normal business hours or on weekends. Furthermore, attaining quality customer service even during normal hours is a task in and of itself. Expect to have your call ignored or brushed off by the Aria communications staff who(with a few exceptions) can't/won't/don't want to do anything to help alleviate the problem. Overall, if convenience is your deciding factor, a large majority of editors of this page would recommend seriously evaluating these points of interest beforehand. Instaconnect has a poor track record of providing quality customer service and/or giving refunds when appropriate. Despite assurances by RyanCastellucci about pending improvements to the Instaconnect phone system and customer service department meaningful change has not been seen as evidenced by the large volume of recent complaints.

Recent comments about Instaconnect have gone from nearly 100% negative to about 90% negative and 10% positive. This effect may be due to the company's desire to fix some of the many concerns raised by Davis Wiki users, or it may be a statistical anomaly. Only time will tell.

Older Reviews

Comments:

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2010-02-23 20:41:31   If you would like to know what life is without internet sign up for instaconnect. Instaconnect challenges your patience on a daily basis, but hey it'll teach you what life is like without internet (No service during the day at sterling pointe APT) When it does work expect pages to load in eight seconds. —DripsJ


2010-05-04 16:36:52   As a favor to yourself please pay the extra 10-15 bucks a month for a reliable (non-Instaconnect) ISP. —davisGeek


2010-06-09 11:38:36   Just to add to the poor reviews of Instaconnect -I've been calling them more than once a day for the past two weeks to try to cancel my subscription. They never once picked up the phone or returned my messages. Yesterday I tried stopping by their office during their normal working hours and the door was locked and no one in. In the end I had to call my credit card company to dispute the charges and cancel my membership. —jdkurushima


2010-06-18 17:36:58   Does any one know how to connect their xbox 360 to a instaconnect network?


2010-09-01 18:34:42   I've never used the pay-for Instaconnect, but I am hugely appreciating the free hotspots downtown. I haven't done anything bandwidth-intensive but I like being able to quickly connect whenever I randomly need to. —RachelPeters


2010-09-09 14:03:56   Instaconnect is by far THE WORST ISP I have ever used. I had more reliable, faster internet, with much better customer service back in 2000! Ten years later, these guys are obviously still using older, outdated equipment that consistently fails to keep up with modern internet usage demands. It really is unnerving to think that they are actually charging real money for their substandard service.

Not only do I get kicked off of servers almost every 30 minutes (and it's not the servers...I asked my neighbors, and they experience the same problem with different servers), but Instaconnect's system resets itself almost daily, and logging back into their system can take at least 30 minutes before finally being recognized by the service (after numerous errors, the most common being that the system is "unable to add you to the authentication table"). Furthermore, their customer service is minimal, at best. Their hours seem to suggest that their customers won't be using the internet after 7:00PM on weekdays or at all on the weekends, which is probably when the internet is used THE MOST. Not only that, but their usual "resolution" to any problem is to have the apartment manager reset the router, which does nothing more than reposition the system for the same failures.

In short, if you have the option, DO NOT rely on Instaconnect for anything. It is simply one of the worst (if not THE worst) ISPs on the market. —eganio


2010-09-12 01:36:45   Remember when those AOL CD's came in the mail, and the user could basically get dial-up internet for free? Also, remember how frustrating those dark days were trying to USE the internet on dial-up? Well, Instaconnect is worse, yes believe it. The internet itself is slooow, it took me about 3 minutes to load this page, it constantly disconnects, and during peak hours it is totally unusable.Please avoid this company at all costs, it's a surprise they are still in business. I'm glad I had the sense to get the month-to-month service rather than the contract, we canceled the same day we ordered it, it was that bad. Plus they couldn't even help me out when I was trying to get online with my Playstation! Stick with Comcast or AT&T, they may cost a little more, but then you get what you pay for obviously. —jwieland1989


2010-10-04 14:03:56   Dial up in the late 1990s was better, often faster, and ALWAYS more reliable than this joke of a company. If you can afford it do not use this service. If you are in an apartment complex that provides instaconnect to its residents, I would argue inflicts instaconnect on its residents please write to your manager and tell them how useless this provider is maybe if the complexes that I suspect are keeping this crappy business afloat drop them they will go out of business like they should have years ago. There is absolutely nothing redeemable about aria communication internet service. Run from instaconnect like the plague if you want to actually access the internet. —Britva613


2010-10-25 13:49:34   instaconnect literally sucks! i mean they have pretty good customer service, but sorry that doesnt make up for the crappy internet. i keep getting disconnected and there are consistent wifi outage. i called several times and they do fix the outage after almost a day... and if anything, the crappy internet persists. i cant live with this kind of internet. —sashaw


2010-11-13 18:11:30   Our apartment complex provides Instaconnect but we got Comcast anyway. Since it IS free service, I didn't expect much from it. I thought it would be super slow (which it can be sometimes) and completely unreliable, but... despite it being slow every now and then it DOES load my pages and has never completely disconnected me. I was expecting it to be a back up that would hardly work when needed, but ironically I'm sitting here posting this because Comcast's dropped dead like it always does around this time of year and Netgear was being a bitch. Somehow the free internet turned out to be what's up and running. Comcast has failed a few times already so far into this school year and our router's been dropping us at whim ever since we moved in. Every time I switch to Instaconnect, my connectivity is a-ok. And judging from other comments, I must be real lucky right now because every page I've tried opening's opened within 5 seconds & Drake's mv is streaming off youtube perfectly. —YoMichelle


2011-01-17 01:25:47   I tried it in week forest. It is bad , slow and unreliable. we are negotiating with the manager to get a new service provider —Ahmadein


2011-09-16 23:20:45   New to Davis in 2010. Me and My girlfriend have been living in J street Apartments since August of 2010. We currently are having a nightmare getting our dsl service fixed by ATT- The deathstar company. And have considered instaconnect. Im not sure if its worth it, BUT I have a feeling that all of these bad reviews are from students who decide to use the free access at the apartments where it is free. I havent heard anything from people who are actually paying for it. I feel like those places where it is free- of course it will be slow, you have 30 other students hogging your access point downloading movies watching youtube, surfing all night. Its common sense. Now the complex we live in you have to pay to use it. I think thats the reason so many people use Att or some other service.

Now this very interesting thing just happened to me tonight. I tried just by chance to log onto the instaconnect access point here because I thought I would try to see the rates on the home page again. The interesting thing is that the router somehow is letting me access the full internet without inputting a password or username. This isnt usually allowed since the way it works is you need a password and user name and a credit card info to pre-pay for the month. I also tried to access theyre homepage and its down. So Im assuming that anyone reading this right now—-if you have access to an instaconnect router somewhere- paid or not— you can access the internet on it while theyre servers, or security is down. Im sure our complex management will restart the routers in the morning. But for now at least I can get some homework done!

Oh and as far as the speed is concerned, Att offers the 6mbps dsl for $20 and instaconnect offers it for $15 if you prepay. On this connection right now I am getting about 3mbps which is more than fast enough for most things. I think if your in an area where you have to pay for it, it may be less congested than a place where its free, and thus a little more worth it to at least try out. There will no doubt be less people using it. —VinceOrtiz


2011-10-03 09:54:39   Is this place still in business? None of their phone numbers work, and the 'contact us' form on their website throws a server error. —BrianHurley


2011-11-03 17:15:52   Instaconnect is great...except when you need to use it. And their tech support is only available mon-fri 9-5 because, you know, people don't use the internet other than those times. —MrPeppa


2012-03-02 12:01:51   Our experience with Instaconnect has been pretty poor. Between the hours of 7am-10am, 430pm-930pm there is basically no signal because of so many users logged on to the system. The rest of the time we get dropped every 5 or so minutes. Rob, who is the customer service guy, seems very nice but he doesn't seem to follow through with fixing things very well. We didn't have any internet for about 3 weeks and it took 5 phone calls to the company to get them to do something about it. We ended up canceling our account with instaconnect due to the shoddy service Instaconnect provides. In my opinion, I would suggest that you do not get into any kind of contract with this company especially if it entails you paying for the year upfront. —roryanderson


2012-03-21 19:33:28   I don't know about the paying option, but the free access is welcome. It works fine for me. I do some care giving for some one at central park a few days a week and I was very happy to find I could connect for free to keep busy checking emails and reading news. Mine works very well and I always get a good 4.3 Mbps. 30 hours free per month is plenty for me to read news ect. I'm paying comcast at home $65/month for a 6 Mbps connection, but I NEVER see more than 2 or 3, so I am being screwed by comcast big time, not instaconnect. I also noticed that I could only login using Internet Explorer, but if I disconnect and fire up Comodo Dragon (Chrome), it connects without any login but I'm not sure yet if it's logging my up time or not. If I need more than 30 hours, I simply use a different laptop and different mac address. People that are getting it free and no doubt hogging bandwidth should not complain like crying babies. —cjsg


2012-05-25 09:49:39   this is the worst wifi hotspost i hab ever seen! they dont give good service! i hab been membership with them recently and hating it so badly..i can't even load one page, it takes forever to load and at the end it says CAN NOT connect! Cant eve watch 2 min of youtube video! hab to wait like forever..pissed me of so much, raise ma pressure seeing this kinda stuff! paying 21 dollar per month is NOT so worthy for me! i hope they do better if they wanna do the bussiness.. —nepalikancha


2012-08-17 21:59:59   I've been paying for the pro pack ($28 for 3 devices) for a couple of weeks. It works about half of the time. So far has never worked on a Friday night. Cancelling at the end of the month. So not worth it


2013-05-21 22:39:30   Giving people ulcers on a regular basis. Constant disconnection. Unavailability of service for good chunks of the day. Couple of college kids are accepting
service calls during the week (nice kids, but company is inactive in it service). The slowest speeds I've
seen dialup. —dkfenton


2013-05-21 22:49:18   Just want to add that I'm paying for 6mb/s download speed. Only getting .15 mb/s. Crimony! —dkfenton


2013-06-27 10:54:24   Blows. Big time. Instaconnect is the cheap hooker of internet services. Connection speeds and reliability have gotten worse surprisingly.
Did not think it could. —dkfenton


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