5 Best Toronto Internet Service Providers | Alternatives to Rogers and Bell in the GTA

We all know that making the right choice is not as easy as it sounds. This also applies when we talk about Internet and TV service providers. As there is a lot of competition around this domain, knowing what options to choose and what features are essential for us to can be confusing. So we decided to give you some help, and we picked five alternatives to Rogers and Bell in Toronto, Mississauga, and the GTA. Let’s see their names first: Transat Télécom, Distributel, Eastlink, Start.ca and Execulink. 

Now we can check them out and see the perfect one for you. It all depends on your needs, and if you give enough time to see all the details, it should get more comfortable for you to know who to go for. So let’s not waste any more time and start to check them out!

Transat Telecom, a Quebec telecommunications company offering residential and commercial packages in Quebec & Ontario, is another competitor of our guide to alternative Internet access providers. The company offers high-speed Internet and telephony services at competitive prices across Canada, and offers very attractive bundle promotions.

What services are offered by Transat Telecom?

Internet : Depending on your location, Transat Telecom offers 3 different DSL Internet packages, and approximately 8 Cable packages. Cable Internet offerings have a wider Internet speed variety, download speeds going from 10 Mpbs up to 940 Mpbs. With the DSL Internet packages, you can go with the 50 Mpbs one, which satisfies the needs of the average user.

Television : As for TV plans, Transat Telecom works with the company Shaw Direct, which offers really affordable deals. Through their services, they can provide a vast variety of TV channels, such as local channels, American stations like CBS and PBS, sports options and other specialized channels. Note that Shaw Direct uses satellite domes, but the installation is free of charge.

Home Phone : Transat Telecom has 3 different phone plans from which you can choose from; Premium, Elite or Best. You can decide based on whether you want unlimited calls in Quebec or Ontario, in all of Canada, or in all of Canada and the U.S.! All of these packages are affordable and come with a set of different features. The company also offers duo packages that combine Internet and phone services into one advantageous price.

Pros

  • Guaranteed for life
  • No need to check the amount on your bill or be afraid of surprises
  • Customer support by chat, phone or Facebook messages

Cons

  • Services are only available in Ontario and Quebec
  • Shaw Direct requires a satellite installation

It is possible to check the availability of the service directly on Transat Telecom website.

Distributel is a Canadian telecommunications company that has its headquarter in Toronto. It was launched back in 1988, and its first activity was Canadian long-distance phone services. Now it offers Internet together with VoIP across Canada and TV. Its founder Mel Cohen worked hard to make this company what it is today, and it set a necessary standard for the competitive telecommunications market.

What services are offered by Distributel?

Internet : choosing your internet plan should be determined by how do you plan to use it. If you need light browsing speed, then the starter plan should always be your choice. Distributel offers for that plan a 75 Mbps speed that is more than enough. However, if you need faster speed for uninterrupted streaming or multiple devices, their pro plan that has 250 Mbps speed is the one to go for.

Television : what is interesting about the TV plans from Distributel is that they offer a lot of variety and it depends on what you enjoy to watch. The installation is free, and the basic plans start from 25 + channels. You can also go for their Add Ons, depending on what you prefer. Add movie or sports themes to complete the ideal plan for yourself.

Home Phone : in regards to home phone, Distributel does a pretty good job as well. All plans include features like call display, voice mail, and call waiting. Their premium plan offers 1500 monthly minutes for Long Distance in Canada and the USA together with unlimited local calling. If you don’t plan to talk so much to the phone, go for the basic one, it has an unlimited local calling and high rates for Long Distance.

It is possible to check the availability of the service directly on Distributel’s website.

Eastlink is a Canadian telecommunications company that was founded in 1969 by the Bragg family. Since then, it has had a significant growth, and it consists of several companies. The first considerable acquisition that they did was Halifax Cablevision Ltd; it was the biggest Eastern Canada provider of telecommunication. In 2010 it was the largest privately-owned cable company in Canada.

What services are offered by Eastlink?

Internet : in terms of the Internet, they offer different cable plans that adapt to varying types of users. If you want to browse the Internet and don’t need a high speed, then their starter plan that has a speed of 100 Mbps is more than enough. The 940 Mbps download speed plan should be perfect for anybody that works with big data and needs to move fast over the Internet.

Television : their TV options are not bad at all, and you can choose the favorite channels that you want to have. You can build your package or go for their already made ones. The basic pack has around 20 channels, and, let’s call it premium, one has a neat feature called TV Channel Exchange. It enables you to exchange TV channels and keep just the ones you like.

Home Phone : we liked the fact that for their Home Phone plans, they offer a wide variety of plans. If you don’t plan on having many calls outside provinces, the basic one should be your choice. You can call anytime 24/7! However, if you do call to the US often, then their unlimited Canada & US plan should be considered. Features like voicemail can be added, but they cost extra.

You can check in which city Eastlink is available directly on their website

Start.ca seems to have a very friendly approach with its clients. It was founded in 1995 by two college friends that shared a similar idea. Peter and Darryl are their names, and today they have one of the biggest telecommunication companies in Canada. They believe in offering fast and friendly services, and they do have some competitive plans.

What services are offered by Start.ca?

Internet : the company offers four internet packages that you can choose from. The home cable options are different in terms of download and upload speed. If you don’t use a lot of your Internet home connection, then you can start with the light 30 Mbps plan. If you prefer a faster connection or you know you work from home often, the plans with 100 Mbps or 20 Mbps download speed should be your choice.

Television : if you like to watch your favorite shows on TV you will be happy to know that Start.ca has a few options that you can choose from. Their most popular option features 80+ popular channels and includes sports and movie themes. Their intro choice has 40 channels that include major networks and local news.

Home Phone : In terms of phone services, they offer a few options, and they focus on VoIP technology. What this means is that your internet connection is used to get digital phone service for a better price. You connect your phone into a voice adapter and the adapter to your router. Their premium one includes unlimited calls to 65 countries, but if you need local coverage go for the basic, it has unlimited calling within Canada.

It is possible to check the availability of the service directly on Start.ca .

Execulink was launched in 1904, and since then, it has become one of the leading telecommunication companies in Canada. It offers telecommunications services like data, Internet, television, and phone. The founder of it was Dr. Service, a medical practitioner, and his first line connected the office to a nearby store. It’s funny to think that this big organization started with just one phone line.

What services are offered by Execulink?

Internet : they have Cable and DSL available plans to choose from. Their lowest download speed is 6 Mbps, and fastest go to 250 Mbps. The starter plans are more ideal for moderate usage, especially for downloading movies or streaming movies. The more premium plans are excellent when downloading HD movies, playing online games, or have smart home devices.

Television : Execulink has some cool TV features and plans that you should be aware of. The starter pack has 25+ channels and can be the foundation of your TV service. They put a lot of focus on building your themes by offering you different options to go for. You can also get the already made theme packs. Choose from entertainment, culture, Hollywood, and so on.

Home Phone : they offer just one plan for the home phone, and it is based on a VoIP solution. What this means is that the Internet is being used as the medium to send and receive calls. We liked the fact that they have features like call display, call waiting, or automatic recall. For long-distance Execulink has some plans that you can add on top of the basic one.

Conclusion !

In conclusion choosing from the 5 alternatives to Rogers and Bell in Toronto, Mississauga, and the GTA is not so easy. We analyzed EBOX, Distributel, Eastlink, Star.ca and Execulink. Indeed they have some standard features, but overall they do present different offers, and it is in your interest to know all the details about them. So which one is it going to be, have you made up your mind?

Good to know

In Canada, the telecommunication industry has two types of provider. There are the direct suppliers, they are the owners of the lines. Among them, there are Rogers, Bell and Shaw, for instance. Then there are the resellers. They use direct provider lines to provide service to their customers. For the internet, the service you get between a direct and indirect provider is similar. That said, direct providers often offer more advanced technologies that mostly translates to speed or TV options. If you opt for a reseller, you will have the visit of an installer of an owner company to connect your service (Rogers, Bell or Shaw), to keep in mind!

It is important to note that although a business is available in a region, some addresses may not be covered unfortunately. Always check with an agent to confirm service availability.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Internet

Do all Internet service providers offer unlimited Internet?

Not all, but many Internet service providers in Canada offer unlimited Internet. With unlimited Internet, you can stream and download as much as you want. It also helps you stay up to date with all sorts of information and news. However, sometimes due to restricted tethering you cannot share your Internet connection with multiple devices (more than the allowed number).

In addition to that, the cost of unlimited Internet is typically extremely high. So, if you do not require an excessive amount of Internet, it is better that you go for something that is less costly and fulfills your Internet requirement.

Do I have a penalty if I cancel my Internet contract?

If you are still in contract with your current Internet Service Provider, cancelling your contract early may result in heavy penalties. They might ask you to pay for the remaining months of the contract or there might be an equipment fee, a cancellation fee also known as contract termination fee, involved.

So, if there are only a few months left in your contract, you can stick to it and simply move your contract to a new address for the time being. Or you can pay Early Termination Fee to cancel your Internet contract and change to one that you prefer.

How do I cancel my Internet service provider?

To cancel your Internet Service Provider, the first thing that you need to do is understand the cancellation process by going through their website or by using a help-line number. There are some Internet Service Providers that offer services on non-contractual basis, but if you are in a contract, you will need to know the accurate costs of cancelling your Internet service provider i.e. Early Termination Fee.

Other options are to take help from those Internet service providers that offer ”buyout” from your current contract or you can use a cancellation service that assists in negotiating lower bills and at times cancel the Internet service on your behalf.

Do alternative Internet service providers offer good Internet speed?

First, you will need to identify potential alternative Internet service providers in your area because considering the best Internet Service Provider that does not offer service in your area is pointless. Next, you are going to assess the available alternatives based on speed and monthly costs. Many alternative Internet service providers can offer good Internet speeds. Internet that utilizes fiber-optic technology offers unmatchable speed and prevents the signal strength from degrading over the distance. The added benefit of fibre Internet is symmetric speed i.e. equal upload and download times on the Internet connection.

How much should I pay for Internet per month?

Average price for Internet usage per month in Canada is $53 and an average household spends about approximately $203 per month on Internet. The average bundle offer for Internet service is mostly placed at $50 per month.

To reach to your budget level, you can choose to negotiate your monthly Internet bill, opt to reduce your Internet speed, explore other options and compare services and prices, consider going for TV bundle offers, or buy your own equipment e.g. modem, router, etc.

You can also check EBOX, Distributel, B2B2C, Transat Telecom, Teksavvy, VMedia and Bravo Telecom for budget-friendly Internet services.

What Internet speed do I need for:

  • Work an office job: 2.0 Mbps will be enough if you only use email, video conferencing tools and social media on only ONE device.
  • Netflix at night: At least 1.5 Mbps and for HD quality, 5.0 Mbps will be required.
  • Internet browsing and social media: 5.0 Mbps for Internet browsing and 10.0 Mbps for social media.
  • Online gaming: Minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps and download speed of 3 Mbps for online gaming.
  • A student apartment: 6.0 Mbps or higher
  • A family: 12-25 Mbps depending on the family size.

Will someone need to come to my house if I switch Internet service providers?

After you have ordered your new Internet Service Provider , it is up to you whether you want to schedule an installation date to have a professional come to your house and set up the Internet system for you or you can choose to install it yourself by ordering self-install kits.

A self-install kit would include a modem, a router, coaxial cables, ethernet cables along with an installation manual. After you have successfully installed the system yourself, you will need to call and ask your Internet service provider to turn on the service.

Why do people buy their own modem?

Some people may choose to buy their own modem or router based on different purposes and preferences. The most common reason for buying one’s own modem is if they plan on using their Internet service for a long period. In this case, renting a modem will be costlier. Moreover, buying your own modem gives you an advantage of customization options in the future. This serves as a potential reason for people to purchase their own router. Many individuals prefer buying their own modem to have full control over the network and to avoid throttling of the connection speed by Internet Service Providers.

Why moving is a good time to switch Internet Service Provider?

Whether you are moving out of your Internet service provider’s network or not, moving to a new place is indeed a good opportunity for you to explore new options. It is always worth checking other Internet Service Providers at your new address. They might offer a higher quality Internet connection at much better prices. But it is essential that you first understand your Internet needs and then make the right decision.

When choosing an Internet Service Provider, you should take into consideration:

  • The speed
  • Availability
  • Upfront and monthly costs
  • Bundle offers
  • Reliability of your new Internet Service Provider

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