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    • Graham1
    • By Graham1 22nd Mar 05, 9:25 AM
    • 443 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    Graham1
    • #2
    • 22nd Mar 05, 9:25 AM
    • #2
    • 22nd Mar 05, 9:25 AM
    For anybody planning on migrating soon and who is not a P2P user it might be worth waiting for PlusNet's 'Broadband Plus' package (available from April 04). No DL limits *, they just throttle the P2P ports so that the other traffic gets priority. It will be interesting to see how well this works in practice. 14.99pm for 512Kbps and 19.99pm for 1Mbps.

    * note: the exact quote is "No fair usage limits" and "Generous fair usage policy" so we will have to wait and see exactly what this means.
    Last edited by Graham1; 22-03-2005 at 3:44 PM.
    • Paul Varjak
    • By Paul Varjak 22nd Mar 05, 11:35 AM
    • 4,457 Posts
    • 2,964 Thanks
    Paul Varjak
    • #3
    • 22nd Mar 05, 11:35 AM
    • #3
    • 22nd Mar 05, 11:35 AM
    Bulldog have a special offer at the moment. 4MB unlimited broadband at 19.50p/month for 12 months with 1 connection fee. You have to supply own modem. The catch is it goes up to 29.50p/month after 12 months and you have to take up phone service with them at 10.50p/month (same price as BT Option 1).
    Any opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • nitejar
    • #4
    • 22nd Mar 05, 11:57 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Mar 05, 11:57 AM
    I agree with Graham1 that Plusnet is well worth looking at - based on its' current range as well as the awaited new packages.

    I'm with Force9, a plusnet brand and although it is a bit more expensive than the cheapest providers in the article, it incluses the extras such as anti-virus and spam filtering, unlimiited mail boxes, webspace etc that others charge for. The control panel has lots of features and they are currently offering free migration * As always conditions apply! You have to keep the same speed and contention otherwise 14.99.

    I pay 14.99 per month for 1Mb 1Gb. I think it is good value if you want the extras and compares well with the best buys.

    ***sorry, please keep any referral suggestions to the Referral Board, thank you, Board Guide***

    http://www.f9.net.uk/
    Last edited by edinburghlass; 22-03-2005 at 12:11 PM.
  • JetSam26
    • #5
    • 22nd Mar 05, 2:02 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Mar 05, 2:02 PM
    Tiscali is a great option for all you PC users, but they don't support Macs.
    I'm in an NTL area, and their deal at 17.99 works out best for me and my Mac.

    Any other Mac users out there with better options?
  • gabrielharrison
    • #6
    • 22nd Mar 05, 3:39 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Mar 05, 3:39 PM
    Unless their customer support has changed I recommend you avoid Tiscali. I was with them and had minor technical problems but had a nightmare trying to sort things out because their technical support was so busy and the staff frequently couldn't understand what I was saying.

    See www.adslguide.org.uk/isps/compare.asp

    I am now with Zen who are expensive but have their support in the UK and I even have a standard code phone number for them.

    Gabriel
  • margaret
    • #7
    • 22nd Mar 05, 4:25 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Mar 05, 4:25 PM
    JetSam---you're joking aren't you?i
    I was reading on the adsl site about a lady taking them to court. Others are following suit!
    They certainly are the very worst ISP imaginable!
  • crunchy_with_ketchup
    • #8
    • 22nd Mar 05, 4:45 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Mar 05, 4:45 PM
    It's important to note when comparing broadband deals that there are two types of connection.

    The most common type is IPstream, and users of an IPstream service can switch between providers (subject to any minimum contract length) at a low cost with no loss of service.

    Some providers (including Tiscali and Bulldog) install their own equipment in local exchanges, and you connect to this (service known as Datastream). If you have a Datastream product and want to change service providers, you have to cease your ADSL line and then get it reprovided, which normaly takes 7-10 days *and* you can't get the lower cost "migration" fee, you have to pay a new connection fee.

    Also Datastream services can have real capacity problems, as the ISPs often use low bandwidth lines from each exchange, so if there are a lot of users locally your speed can hit the floor.

    So, while Tiscali are undeniably cheap, switching away will be difficult, and you may encounter more problems with lack of speed.
    ..
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
  • stanmoresaver
    • #9
    • 22nd Mar 05, 4:46 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Mar 05, 4:46 PM
    I have just "upgraded" from dial-up to ADSL and chose Metronet- Martins article doesn't mention their PAYG1000- which I have just moved on to. It's a very fast service and unless you go mad downloading- at 1G usage it's 13.75p/m (only about 50p more a month at 1G usage p/m than their 512 package}

    Just as importantly- Customer service is excelent and when your internet is down that is what will matter!
    • fraser
    • By fraser 22nd Mar 05, 7:13 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    fraser
    it really is a poor article...

    broadband service is so much more than just the cost, the service and reliability of the provider is paramount.

    the compared providers *tiscali* and efh don't really have the best reputations around.

    whislt efh is new and super cheap they are selling below the cost they pay to bt for each line. is that sustainable ??? who knows... as for tiscali the pain to leave and take advantage of a competitive market in adsl is effectively removed with the datastream provisioning.

    tiscali also insist on a 12 month contract, the standard for many isps is a month so you can leave should things not turn out to be as good as you think it should

    for bb reading you must visit www.adslguide.org.uk it is the definitive site for adsl, with forums for each provider so *you* can see the in's and outs as well as the good and ugly sides to each isp
    Last edited by fraser; 22-03-2005 at 7:18 PM.
  • leki
    as gabrielharrison says avoid tiscali...they are one of the worst UK ISP's. choosing the cheapest ISP is not always the best idea as many block ports, have bandwidth limits, dont allow or limit peer2peer aplications etc etc.

    I recomend freedom2surf ( http://www.f2s.com ) as a fast reliable ISP that are also cheap and dont have limits or block anything. I have been with them for over 2 years now on the unlimited 512Kbs package and just recently moved to thier 2mbit with 50GB monthly limit which is only 24.99.

    They do 2mbit for as low as 14.99 (2 GB limit) if you are a light user with unlimited bandwidth between hours 1am to 6am on all thier connect packages.

    Before choosing an ISP make sure you read http://www.adslguide.org.uk and the forums for that ISP to make sure they are good.

    ***Please use the Referral Board for any referral suggestions, thank you Board Guide***

    cheers.
    Alexileki
    Last edited by edinburghlass; 22-03-2005 at 8:26 PM.
  • crunchy_with_ketchup
    Metronet capped service
    I have just "upgraded" from dial-up to ADSL and chose Metronet- Martins article doesn't mention their PAYG1000- which I have just moved on to. It's a very fast service and unless you go mad downloading- at 1G usage it's 13.75p/m (only about 50p more a month at 1G usage p/m than their 512 package}
    by stanmoresaver
    Also of note with Metronet is unlike other providers their service is capped, so you know the maximum you will pay out each month. Only the cost is capped, not the data transfer (in effect it is a pay as you use service to a point, then becomes an unlimited download service). Even at the price cap, the cost is competetive, so if you have irregular use patterns, or are not sure how much you will use, Metronet may be worth a look. I have just switched our small office to Metronet (from a dial up <yawn> connection). Can't yet comment on QOS.
    ..
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
    • FL
    • By FL 23rd Mar 05, 9:16 AM
    • 726 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    FL
    Confusion for new users
    I think that people who have been on Broadband a long time sometimes miss the point that it is very confusing for new users and can be expensive.

    All the companies that Martin suggest for existing users would leave new users clueless about all the extra costs when you first sign up such as modems and filters.

    For new users what about talk talk which is offering 1MB unlimited for 14.99 per month including the set up costs.
  • crunchy_with_ketchup
    I think that people who have been on Broadband a long time sometimes miss the point that it is very confusing for new users and can be expensive.
    by FL
    That's one of the reasons why I posted the information about Datastream and IPstream. When I was a new broadband user, I bought into a cheap package, which has now left me with a choice of stay put, or change to a provider that locks me into a contract or charges a setup fee.

    All the companies that Martin suggest for existing users would leave new users clueless about all the extra costs when you first sign up such as modems and filters.
    by FL
    Cerainly new users may benefit from a packaged solution, but as with any new purchase, it is worth trying to find out a bit about what you're buying, or trying to find a knowledgable friend (who doesn't only talk geek ;-) ) and make sure you know what the hidden costs, contract lock ins etc. are. Much like getting a credit card, you need to dig a little to find out if it really is a good deal, and do a little homework to find out what some of the terms mean (I for one don't speak finance, but I am not prepared to buy blind for want of a little investigative work).

    For new users what about talk talk which is offering 1MB unlimited for 14.99 per month including the set up costs.
    by FL
    I was looking at switching to this (before I discovered I would lose my line for 2 weeks becasue I am with Tiscali). I think you have to take out their phone package too (cashback from greasy palm available on this one) though of course you can still use Martin's fav. call18866.com I have heard generally favourable things about Talk Talk's service - check them out on one of the ADSL forums to get views from others.
    ..
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
    • niff_noff
    • By niff_noff 23rd Mar 05, 12:39 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    niff_noff
    Like leki, I am also with freedom 2 surf. They have been excellent from the word go.
    I did a lot of research using www.adslguide.org.uk , particularly the user ratings, price comparison and message boards (look at the ISP specific boards and also the ISP Unhappiness board to see who are the bad ones - Tiscali particularly).

    I signed up about a year ago to their 1M/1Gb capped service for 14.99pm (extra Gb can be bought @ 2.99). They also offered a 1M/5Gb cap for 19.99.
    Since then, they have upgraded the service to 2M/2GB cap for no extra charge and on the couple of occasions when i have very slightly exceeded my capped limit, they have not charged me for an extra Gb (I assume they would if this was a regular occurance).
    Couple this with unmetered usage between 1.00am and 6.00am (ideal for scheduled updates etc) and you have to my mind an excellent product from an excellent ISP - I certainly would not change
  • bombardier
    Tiscali is a great option for all you PC users, but they don't support Macs.
    I'm in an NTL area, and their deal at 17.99 works out best for me and my Mac.

    Any other Mac users out there with better options?
    by JetSam26
    You don't need a company to explicitly support Macs - any service will work with a Mac, the support issue only comes into it if you have specific Mac hardware or software problems (this is different to a problem with the connection and modem, right up to the physical connector). USB modems will be more troublesome than an ethernet connection, especially with Macs, so go for an ethernet connection if you get the choice. Obviously, if you do not have a NIC card already you'll have to buy one.

    I'm willing to oversee a Mac-specific technical area on these forums if there seems to be enough call for one.
  • bombardier
    It's also worth pointing out that this article assumes the use of an ADSL broadband connection, which is different to the cable broadband connections offered by NTL and blueyonder (Telewest).

    With the vast majority of the ADSL services you need to either have a BT phoneline already, have one installed (or reactivated) at the time of BB ordering, or take the suppliers' line option which is just a hijacked BT line anyway.

    Therefore, if you are with NTL or blueyonder already (and have your phoneline with them) and want to switch to one of the companies in the article you'll pretty much be starting from scratch. The same obviously applies to NTL / blueyonder customers who have the phoneline with them already but no BB.
  • alared
    I`m still on dial-up and not really in a hurry to go on BB.
    Having looked around various sites and listened to opinions I have come to the conclusion that for a first time BB provider it would be hard to beat AOL.
    It`s free modem,free connection,free helpline numbers and advice,512 Kbps connection(10 times faster), unlimited downloads and all for 17-99 a month,one year contract.
    Can`t see how it can be beaten for a first-timer.
  • infox
    I strongly agree with the suggestions to visit www.adslguide.org.uk first.

    Also remember that anecdotal evidence is not of much value. Some providers will have thousands of satisfied customers, some saying "my provider is excellent", but will have a higher percentage of problems than other providers. For example if you go with BT they appear to be more likely than others to foul up your order or account in some way; and once they fouled you up it can take a month of Sundays to sort it out. So, statistically, I'd say steer clear of BT. Equally, even good providers will have some upset ex-customers. Hence, look at the mass feedback on www.adslguide.org.uk.

    I know of many satisfied users of Eclipse's ADSL services, both business and residential.

    As for cable, I am extremely happy with Blueyonder; less so with ntl.

    Other suggestions: get your own domain name so your e-mail addresses are not linked to your connectivity provider, so you can jump ship more easily ()and get at your e-mail from work or on holiday); and get a modem/router with hardware firewall built in, regardless of what anyone says about XP SP2 and ZoneAlarm and other software firewalls; and get one or more anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and set them to run automatic scans daily (it's a war zone out there, it really is).
    • mike_paterson
    • By mike_paterson 23rd Mar 05, 5:56 PM
    • 1,378 Posts
    • 399 Thanks
    mike_paterson
    E7even beats most on price and quality
    I am suprised that e7even didn't get a mention as their uncapped 512kbps service currently works out cheaper than all but efh. Plus they include free .co.uk registration and hosting plus a static ip address. They also have very good support and if you wait they tend to have very good special offers regularly too !
    I have been a happy user for 7 months !
    Last edited by mike_paterson; 08-04-2005 at 8:46 AM.
    To infinity and beyond!
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