Scared of broadband...

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by fannymites, May 29, 2005.

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  1. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    I'm looking for advice regarding broadband in the UK.
    I've been on dial-up for some time and about 6 months ago I decided to upgrade to broadband. I won't babble on with the full story but suffice to say the company (Wanadoo) cocked up time and time again and in the end I never got broadband.
    Now I'm ready to have another go but as well as my own experience, I'm hearing so many horror stories about different providers so could any UK readers suggest any good providers?
    I'm looking for at least 512 and as cheap as possible since I have a lot of other commitments at the moment.
    I've seen good deals from both AOL and Tiscali in particular but these are two of the providers I've heard bad things about.
    Since many problems can be caused by the user (something doesn't work right, they blame the provider and go and tell everyone else how crap the provider is), I thought I would ask here because there will be more computer experts.
    I'm slightly concerned by download limits. I don't play online games or use p2p
    but I do spend a fair amount of time on the net and download a lot of programs.
    I also dual boot with Debian Linux and do full upgrades every day or two (the main reason I want broadband) so I'm not sure exactly how much I would be using.
    Any suggestions or opinions on AOL or Tiscali in the UK? Thanks.
     
  2. SpikeyB

    SpikeyB Registered Member

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    I have been using broadband with Tiscali for about 12 months. I personally have no complaints at all.
     
  3. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    My Advice would be to avoid AOL like the plague!

    See This

    I am taking a Cisco hardware Repair couse and all the computer experts swear by a company called Pipex for supplying their broadband

    http://www.pipex.net/

    My Auntie Uses Bt/Yahoo and it seems very good but its capped at 20gig/month (Something unviable to me)
     
  4. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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  5. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    Well thanks for those responses, I've found all the links very useful and am pretty sure I will be a broadband user very shortly.
    I was quite suprised to see Tesco are now doing broadband and since I do all my shopping at tesco I'm seriously considering that option.
    One last thing, has anyone heard of any problems with broadband on Linux? Another thing I have heard about AOL is that it is very difficult to get up and running on Linux.
     
  6. liami

    liami Registered Member

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    I've used Tesco broadband for a while now, no caps and 576kbs connection.
    No problems apart from a weekend of downtime because of a BT telephone line problem in northern england.
    You around a constant 60Kbs download speed from most servers.
     
  7. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    Well it's almost certainly Tesco now, unless anyone has any comments on PlusNet.
    It claims 2MB (assuming my line is capable of that speed which Wanadoo said I was) for £14.99 a month.
    There doesn't appear to be any catches other than it gives priority to email and web browsing over downloading and p2p at busy times. I'm not sure exactly how much that would affect downloading speed though.
     
  8. NICK ADSL UK

    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

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    Hi fannymites :)
    My own personal recommendation is for zen in the UK and there home base at the adsl guide can be found here. They are more expensive than other's isp"s but i sincerely feel they are worth the extra for being a premium brand

    http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=zen
     
  9. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    I would suggest checking out the MoneySavingExpert Broadband. Who's Cheapest? article for an introduction to the issues and some recommendations. I would advise against Tiscali though since they are the most-complained about ISP so Adsl4less (uncapped 512K at £14.99) would seem the best choice for the moment (but read http://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/showthread.php?t=17384 first). However if your exchange is set up for Local Loop Unbundling (check this by entering your phone number at http://www.samknows.com/broadband/checker2.php ) then you can access UK Online which are offering an uncapped 512K service for just £9.99.

    I used to be with Pipex but they are overpriced in my view (£23.99/£19.99 per month for 1Mb/512Kb uncapped). I am currently with EFHBroadband which did have a special price of £11.74 for 512Kb uncapped but their price is now £15.99/month - not such a bargain anymore but still worth considering.

    AOL is not really a "standard" ISP - you have to use their software to access their network (you can minimise it and run other applications like browsers on top, but it still takes up resources) and it makes firewall configuration more complex (especially if using their TopSpeed application which can greatly increase your online visibility if not firewalled properly). It's likely only worthwhile if you really value the extra content they offer.

    Download limits can be an issue - since a 512Kb line means 60KB/second a 1GB download limit can be used up in just over 4-1/2 hours at full speed. Even if not filesharing, you may find plenty of downloads (program updates, software demos) that push your usage up. The difficulty is that broadband can really change your usage pattern so predicting where you'll be in 2 months, let alone 12, is hard. I'd suggest going for uncapped since the savings for accepting a limit seem so marginal now.

    As for PlusNet's Broadband Plus £14.99/month package - the "up to 2Mb" seems rather meaningless if lower traffic limits are going to be applied to non-email/web traffic (and this could include file transfers and web access via anonymising proxies). I'd check other forums carefully (like the ADSLGuide ISP Unhappiness Forum) before trying this.
     
  10. Cochise

    Cochise A missed friend

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    I've been with Tesco 3 years now, (Dialup and Broadband) not one problem...and they've just dropped their price from £19.97 to £17.97...Unlimited usage!!....all the other cheaper ISPs usually have some sort of ceiling.....I also think they will drop the price by another couple of quid again before long.....Oh! and you get points on your Monthly payments.. :D :D



    Cochise, :cool:
     
  11. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    Well I'm glad I posted here. This thread has been immensely useful to me.
    UK Online say I'm not in their area so I can't get the £9.99 package which is a shame.
    Tesco is still looking very appealing, the only bad things I've heard is about connection speed occasionaly slowing down but that has only happened with a few people.
    I'm still reading good things about PlusNet but the prioritizing still has me concerned, though it seems quite a few providers have what they call "Fair Usage" policies so I don't know.

    Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions.
     
  12. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I have been with PlusNet since November on 512. I am on a long line which was outside the previous limits. I pay £14.99/month for 1Gb connection. This suits my needs. If I go over the limit then it is an extra £1/Gb.

    Beware of going to cheap, such as V21. Read the forums if the ISP hosts one or look on ADSLguide for the individual forums.

    What PlusNet provide which many don't is good support. The mods monitor their own and other forums and jump in whenever their is a problem. They also work w/ends which many don't or charge premium call rates. Their ticket system works well and if it doesn't a quick note on the forum will have the mod jump in and sort it.

    Good luck with whatever you choose and I would recommend installing a router rather than a modem which many supply. They always seem to be the source of many problems - modems that is.
     
  13. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    I have been wondering what to do regarding router/modem, looking through some of the broadband forums it seems most people who have connection or speed problems are using routers.
     
  14. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    I have a Linksys I've been using for three plus years. No speed problems, but every once in awhile it decides it needs to be reset or you aren't going anywhere. :D
     
  15. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Don't you mean modems?

    I use a Netgear DG834 router. No problems to date. Simple to install since it does not have to have drivers installed.

    Whatever you choose make sure you do stealth check at GRC to check your vulnerabilities.
     
  16. iwod

    iwod Registered Member

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    I perviously uses Nildram. Although they were not the cheapest but they have the reputation of the best support ISP in adslguide forum. And because i have heard enough horror story about UK ISP. So i decided to use a better support ISP for a safeguide. In the end i think they are very good although i only contracted them no more than 5 times but they were always quick to repond my questions.

    For routing. The easiest way to go is to get a Wireless ADSL / Router. I recommand Netgear as they have a firewall built in and one of the few ADSL /Router combo. Beware that UK uses a PPPOA rather than the PPPOE as their general method of connection. While the world in general uses PPPOE. So you should get check to see if a Router support PPPOA. ( But if you brought it in UK Retail, the chances are they all work. My advice is only for if you buy router online )

    Again I recommand you check out Netgear.co.uk

    If you prefer a cheaper option, Get a ADSLModem from ADSLNation and connect the modem to a router if you have one avalible.
    ( I happen to have an old version of ADSLModem, the difference is only it is bigger. If you are interested than PM me. )
    Dont know if that is against Rules to say that :D
     
  17. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Well I've come across a site offering unlimited 512KB access for £10/month with the possibility of a free modem and speed upgrade: E7even.com. The downsides?
    • You have to pay in advance for 2 years for this service (£240);
    • Technical support phone-line is a premium rate (£1/minute!) number though email support is offered also - assuming you can get online.
    Paying monthly costs a good deal more (£28/month for 1MB compared to £18/month if paid a year in advance) so it may be worth investigating by those happy to pay a lump sum up front.

    Edit: This ISP has been running for a good few months so some idea of their reliability can be gained from the MoneySavingExpert E7even - very cheap unlimited broadband thread.
     
  18. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    Thanks for your continued interest but after much, much reading of forums I eventually settled on PlusNet and signed up with them a day or so ago.
    Just waiting for the line checks etc so I should hopefully be up to spped within a couple of weeks.
    PlusNet seems to have the most encouraging customer ratings and reviews of any isp I have found and the only major complaints I have found about them were regarding changes in their packages a while back which seems to be sorted out now.

    Thanks to all who helped.
     
  19. Cochise

    Cochise A missed friend

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    Just had a look at that 'Plusnet site.....they don't seem very keen on telling you exactly what you'll get for your money....no mention of Email addresses, no mention of Web-space etc.......

    Cochise, :cool:
     
  20. fannymites

    fannymites Registered Member

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    From the PlusNet website - http://www.plus.net/residential/broadband/broadband_home_features.shtml
    One thing I also took into account was the fact that I will be p[aying exactly the same amount as I am now for Wanadoo Dial-Up so if things don't turn oput brilliantly, at least I'm not really losing anything.
    Not really the way I should be looking at it but with the amount of broadband horror stories along with my previous bad experience of trying to get broadband in the past, I'm just slightly synical.
     
  21. iwod

    iwod Registered Member

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    That is very cheap!. And from plusnet. When they used to be quite expensive.
    As news on Bt wholesale they may upgrade their 2Mb customer to 8Mb later. So this sounds like a very good deal to me.
     
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