For a long time, it seemed like it was a decades-long Christmas of lower prices with better services, well no more. So now is the time to be a little more careful with what you are doing. The good or bad news is they are going to discover how price-elastic people are. There are definitely things that you can do to lower your bill without lowering your service.
They just raised their prices significantly and are charging an extra $30/month for unlimited uploads. Plus, with the 5Mbps cap in Seattle, they look very slow compared to a cellular carrier. The prices are going up about 4% but I see a bigger rise in their Internet pricing. And don't get me started on their cable TV. As an example, their current sweet spot is the Gigabit plan which is going up $103 from $100. So it's time to look again for what you need. The biggest reason I need more than 1.2TB a month was to do cloud backup, but it looks like that bonanza is ending too. The alternatives are to look at fewer data plans or to see if you can use T-mobile or some other cellular carrier particularly if your needs are lower. The continuing rise of the low-end plans is really pretty terrible, hard to believe a 50Mbps plan really costs $60 when a 1.2Gbps plan costs $100. The upload rates are just terrible. If you can get to a fiber symmetric plan that's the way, but they are not available where we live 🙁
By the way, the first thing to do is to buy your own modem, their rental prices are killer high. As an example, the service plan is $113 with a $13 term discount and $10 for Autopay. As an aside, the site is just horrible, if you are current plan, there is no way to downgrade your plan, looks like you have to call them. Argh! But at least they are required to have a rate card in Seattle. Their names are opaque, but
|Plan||Speed (Up/down Mbps)||List Price||Discounted|
What you can see right away is that the sweet spot is in the 1000Gbps and 15Mbps up for most people. If you doing lots of uploads then the Gigabit Extra could be good (this is what I use). The other key decision is whether you are going to use more than 1.2TBps.
One interesting thing is that if you buy their Wifi Equipment, then you get unlimited data, so right now it makes sense to buy the WiFi equipment and throw it into a closet basically you get their xFi Gateway and save $10/month with your own, but you have to pay $30/month for unlimited data. Net, net, I was paying $133/month and this dropped it to $100/month by dropping to 800Mbps and using their $25 XFi Complete. These are year long plans, so make sure that you set a calendar to change it each year.
Also, in order to get 5x credits, you have to prepay every month or so with an Ink credit card, so that's a bit of a pain because they only give you the discount if you are using a bank card.
T-Mobile now you need to prepay each month
T-mobile. They have eliminated Autopay with credit cards, so you need to switch to a checking account, it does look like if you use your American Express Platinum card mid-cycle, you still get the very valuable theft and damage protection. The trick is that you attach your bank card to get the autopay discount, but you can prepay with your American Express or other credit card.
Google Workspace: From $6 to BackBlaze plus DAS
They just killed unlimited storage and have essentially doubled the price of all their Workspace plans. I have about 47TB (?!!) on Google Workspace for my NAS backups, so it means I'm going to move off their Enterprise plan and just go with their lowest plan. The only reason I need this is for vanity domains. The other option is to move the small accounts to Apple because they support up to five addresses per iCloud account, this can work really well for the small business use case. I'm going to do this for my small systems. Effectively, they are charging $18 for 5TB, so my 47TB would cost me $846/month!
The solution is to move to Backblaze and use a Direct Attached Storage system since that is $130/2 years and the storage is unlimited so its a bit of pain, but I replicate my data from my NAS to a DAS system anyway now, so that is not a big deal.
They just moved to a single IP address only for access, so basically sharing has been crippled. This means that you have a few options, the first is to use something like Tailscale so that when you are away from home, you can VPN into your home and then use it as an exit node. This means that you have to have some sort of machine in your home network to route this I've not yet gotten this to work but is apparently allows a dedicated egress point which you can set as a machine in your home network.
The other option is if you have UniFi is to use their new Wireguard VPN to do the same thing. This can also be done with NordVPN, but I need to study that called Meshnet which does the same thing.
But in the long term, it is just complicated to do all this, so I think we will just settle on using Netflix at home and contemplate cutting the cord at some point.