The internet provider you select for your home can be a contentious decision, with everyone keen to share their opinion with you. It is a recurring cost and used nearly every day rightly deserves close attention. Your premium choices in Vancouver are Telus, Shaw, and Novus. Each one has its positives and negatives which we will discuss in this guide, allowing you to make an informed decision.
MINIMUM DOWNLOAD SPEED
Telus has their low cost package that downloads at a turtle like 1.5 to 6 Mbps. Joining Shaw as an entry customer will see you download at a speed of 10 Mbps which is nearly twice as fast as Telus, but pales in comparison to Novus where you can get started at 25 Mbps.
WINNER: Novus, hands down.
Telus: 1.5 to 6 Mbps
Shaw: 10 Mbps
Novus: 25 Mbps
MINIMUM UPLOAD SPEED
As the minimum download speeds went, Novus cleans up the competition with those wanting an introduction to a home internet package getting speeds of 10 Mbps. Shaw is 20 times slower at 0.5 Mbps (512 Kbps) and Telus lagging at 1 Mbps.
WINNER: Novus, no contest.
Telus: 1 Mbps
Shaw: 0.5 Mbps
Novus: 10 Mbps
MAXIMUM DOWNLOAD SPEED
Telus offers download speeds from up to 50 Mbps for their high end package (at least it can match Novus’s starting package). Shaw and Novus offer speeds of 250 and 300 Mbps respectively with the difference only noticeable to a trained eye.
WINNER: Novus wins by a nose, with Shaw a commendable second.
Telus: 50 Mbps
Shaw: 250 Mbps
Novus: 300 Mbps
MAXIMUM UPLOAD SPEED
Telus clocks in at 10 Mbps which is somewhat competitive with Shaw and Novus who matched each other at 15 Mbps. This is still 50% faster than Telus.
WINNER: Shaw and Novus take it down.
Shaw: 15 Mbps
Novus: 15 Mbps
MINIMUM MONTHLY DATA TRANSFER
If you are lucky to receive the 6 Mps download speed for Telus and their entry level package, you will be downloading material for ~15 hours/month to make use of the 100GB you receive. Shaw will get you slightly more with 125GB meanwhile Novus is back to winning outright with 250 GB.
WINNER: Novus wins again.
Shaw: 125 GB
Novus: 250 GB
MAXIMUM MONTHLY DATA TRANSFER
Telus caused a media storm earlier this year when it reduced its cap from 500 GB to 400 GB with the reasoning ‘to better manage internet investment’. This is up for debate as it falls further behind the competition with Shaw and Novus both offering 1 TB (Shaw offers unlimited data transfer for an additional 80$).
WINNER: Shaw and Novus. 1 TB is more than enough for all but the most serious internet users.
Shaw: 1 TB (unlimited for extra $80)
Novus: 1 TB
Novus is significantly cheaper at $37.50, Shaw is on the high end at $50 with Telus wedged in the middle at $45.
WINNER: Novus chalks up another victory.
You can get additional services with all 3 companies. Telus offer discounts of $10 a month when bundling two services together and $15 for three services. Shaw offers discounts when you bundle TV, landline and internet together with savings variable (and complicated) with an additional reduced rate for the first three months. With Novus, you can package television services with your internet to save $5 to $10 a month with savings up to $13 available if you include a landline.
WINNER: Novus has only recently introduced their internet and TV package (no need for a landline) and the simple terms make it slightly better than Telus.
All three companies offer support via live chat, which is becoming more and more popular (although if it is internet related, this may not be viable). Email is available; this has traditionally been one to stay away from as back and forth communication can take days if not weeks.
The call centre for Telus is open 7:30am to 8pm during the week and 9am to 5pm during the week. Reasonably flexible given there is technical support available 24/7, a support forum and an active twitter account to boot.
Shaw has a 24/7 call centre, support forum and a responsive twitter account that you can tweet your issues at.
You can call the Novus call centre from 7am to 11pm during the week and 8am to 10pm on the weekend, which means those who work nine-to-five can still get in touch with them.
WINNER: Customer service is very subjective. Social media can influence us with people liking to let everyone know when they have horrible experiences but failing to let us know the great experiences. It is often just luck of the draw with no way to quantify.
Fixed contracts are slowly phasing their way out in most industries; however internet plans seem to be lagging behind. Shaw offers discounts based on a 24 month service agreement. Novus is up front, you can have the bundled or unbundled price with no fixed agreements required. Telus bundles their packages as their ‘featured three year term deal’ which is a long commitment but does include a free TV and PVR rentals. However three years is a long commitment with the industry rapidly changing each year.
WINNER: Novus provides the least commitment where you will not get hit by any nasty surprises should your circumstances change.
This is where Novus lets itself down, available in one building, but not the one next door. To see if it is available in your building they offer an interactive map for Vancouver and the surrounding Suburbs. Telus and Shaw are available in all of the Vancouver Metro area and most of BC.
WINNER: Shaw and Telus.
Novus destroyed the competition in the data comparison tests, along with being the lowest cost of entry for those looking to get internet in their home—you would be silly to look at the competition. If Novus is not available for you, however, Shaw would be your next best option with speeds and limits reasonable compared to Novus and significantly ahead of Telus, which should be a last resort as you do not get great value overall.
These plans are subject to change. Notice any inaccuracies? Let us know in the comments below.