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Waka

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OK all you computer whizz kids please help with the following:

At the moment I am using dial-up from my home computer and with listening to a lot of guys at work am thinking of going broadband.

My present set-up is through an internet provider that I pay the princely sum of 150GBP per year, on top of this I pay for the calls to the provider. I have been in contact with them and they are unable to supply broadband to my area.

Friends at work have suggested going through AOL where I would pay a monthly fee for the service but no phone calls.

I know there are a lot of broadband providers out there including BT, which ones do you recommend.

All help will be greatfully received.
 
A

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I used NTl in old house and paid for TV, phone rental and broadband (512KBS) atabout £45 per month. I had to wait for an engineer ot come round and install it (badly).

now on BT with 2MBS and paying £24 a month for the broadband but I get loads of webspace to post my own website on and 10 email addresses. All of the pictures I have posted on the forum are linked to this BT webspace which makes it very easy for me.

BT have been fantastic, their support line was answered quickly when I initially contacted them to enquire about broadband (NTL had 3/4 hour wait 'on hold'), the kit was posted out when they said it would be. It was very easy to install (no engineer had to call round) and I have never had any issues at all.

Highly recommend BT but would not recommend NTL
 

beech1948

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Waka,

I have used BT for broadband ever since the service first came out. I now use a 2mbs line as a business user.....the contention is lower.....and tech support is free anfd fantastic. Cost is £29.99 p/m.

You can get this cheaper.

I would advise you to go straight to BT. Do not go to AOL..ugly site with loads of technical restictions. Try to find one of the web comparison sites which provide ba detailed analysis of broadband suppliers.

My choice of BT has been perfect...even the upgrade to 2mbs took only 3.5 minutes.

Alan
 

Gill

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I'm on AOL broadband and tied in until June. After that, I'll be looking for another ISP. AOL provides unlimited internet access but it takes over your computer - there are far better services around, although practically all of my geeky friends have advised me to avoid BT and Tiscali. They seem to like Pipex.

Gill
 

DaveL

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I am with BT, not had any major problems. The biggest disruption was the council digging up the wire when they renewed the pavement outside our house. :(

If you want to look up lots of different ISPs with more info than you can shake a stick at go here. :)
 

RogerS

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Waka

No-one has asked the obvious question...namely can you get broadband on your exchange? If you go to http://www.bt.com/broadband/bb_info.jsp and enter your phone number then you should know. If the answer is No then let me know as there is another website that I can dig out that tells you the expected date for enabling.

I do NOT like BT..I (and this view is shared by many others on the various fora) find BT support very iffy at the best of times. Interminable holds etc and often they get swamped. The performance has gradually got worse and worse.

I use Zen and MetroNet...both very good..I can recommend them both.

I agree with the others...avoid AOL like the plague.
 

amilford

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Had no experience of BT for broadband but opposite experience to Tony with NTL.
When we moved into NTL area 5 years ago we had two phone lines from them and dialup internet was free (0800 number!). Then when they introduced broadband we went with that. Installation was fine - engineer who came put extra long cable on NTL side of modem as at time the front room was half demolished with extension being added, so longer cable was so we could put it where we wanted. (In the end it went under the floor below an access hatch in the oak floor we put down).
Had no real problems since. Recently did upgrade to 3MB (from 1.5) which costs nothing extra and took only time it took to click on the website and a few seconds while modem then reconnected. We get the occasional outage but not too much - and I use it all day everyday for work. (and then my son takes over in the evening!)
Agree wholeheatedly with Gill - avoid AOL like plague!

Hope you realise that with broadband you really should also have some sort of firewall? If not you are open to attack. Zonealarm is reportedly good and there is a free version. But perhaps you already know all about that?
 

RogerS

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Good point, Amilford.

Waka..also I recommend you adopt the layered security approach and get the option for a router (Zen will provde you with one with all the information needed to set it up...very much point and click...if not , many of us can help you.) Advantage of a router (among many others) is that it effectively 'hides' your computer from the internet.

Also thoroughly recommend Zone Alarm.

Roger
 

wizer

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I can highly reccomend Nildram, Zen and EFH

EFH Broadband is only 9.99 a month and is a good basic package.

In My Experience I'd suggest you stay away from BT, AOL, Tiscalli, Tesco, etc, etc

NTL is a good solution if you want a package including Phone, TV and Internet.
 

beech1948

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Just to reiterate that the top players have been there for years.

Ignore AOL, Tesco etc.

The top list is probably:-

Pipex, Demon ( THUS now I recall) and BT. ALL of the rest have some problems...broadband speed or poor service or confusion marketing or etc` etc.

I do not agree with those who slag BT off. My Business 500, now Business 2000 has been totally reliable, easy to use, fast and simple to install.

BT tech assistance has been pretty damn good. And I work in IT for a living so know what a pile of rubbish most support services are.

The retail part of the BT broadband may well be different. The business bit is I think from BT Wholesale and they operate almost like a separate company within BT..own call centre, broadband tech support etc etc.

NTL are interesting. Customer service is completely absent. Tech service a bit patchy, delivery of service is patchy. people tend to either get a "good" install which lasts for years or complete S**t. Doesn't seem much middle ground. NTL are great with complaints...you can get them to refund or provide free service for many months by complaining loudly.
 

OLD

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There are deals on broadband according to the amount you down load i am with plusnet £14.99/ month for 1 gig running at 1 meg (20 times faster than dial up ) each extra gig is £1. have a look here.http://www.plus.net/index.html
 

Waka

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All

Thanks for all the useful information, I wasn't aware there were so many providers.

Roger":30ddzns9 said:
No-one has asked the obvious question...namely can you get broadband on your exchange?
Roger I checked the exchange and it is geared to give up to 2mbps

I have browsed the sites that you al mentioned and am still no closer to deciding, they all seem to offer a comparable service, although I do like the metronet and the Zen because they offer e-mail services as standards.

Another question spring to mind, what do you all think of the best speed to go for?

In the meantime Iwill keep browing.

Once again thanks for the responses.
 

gav

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Hi,

Have had broadband from the early days and until recently I was with Zen. But they aren't the cheapest.

A number of friends have moved over the last few months to e7even and I have done the same a few weeks ago.

1Meg service 10 pounds a month plus 50 connection fee, unlimited downloads, email addreses, webspace etc. You do have to pay a year in advance. Seems a good price to me and so far we've all found it reliable.

As regards what speed to get I think this very much depends on what you do. I've not noticed a huge differnece in performance between 512k and 1meg.

Gav
 

Chris Knight

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Waka,
After checking you can actually get broadband, check with the review sites like http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/

There are others...

Like so many things of this sort you will get lots of conflicting advice but one piece I will give is DON'T TOUCH AOL WITH A 110 FOOT BARGEPOLE!!!!!

IS THAT CLEAR????????

As Gill says, they take over your computer and so badly you practically need to buy a new one to get rid of them.
 

Charley

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We're with AOL, mum likes it and as mum and dad pay the bill I can't complain.

As a company AOL are awful and as Gill mentions their software takes over your computer. However I can't fault the connection or the speed. I don't actually have the AOL software on on my computers thanks to the LAN.

If I could choose which provider to go with, pipex would be top of the list...
 

wizer

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if youyr currently on broadband, its unlikely youy will ever use up even the minimum limit imposed by an isp. I am, however, against capping broadband.
 

DaveL

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If you are not a heavy user then having a cap can improve your speed of access, let me try to explain.
I have a 512k BT ADSL link, thats the maximin speed that the download should run at, but the contention ratio for BT home users is 50:1, that means in simple terms BT have a 512k pipe out of the exchange for very 50 users connected to it. All 50 of these users are trying to grab a share of the same bandwidth, now most of the time I do not use 512k and BT are relying on that , for all 50 users to get some of the bandwidth. Now if 3 or 4 of these users start downloading very large files all of the time, they grab most of the bandwidth, everyone else gets a much slower service. If there is a cap these high usage users hit the cap and their links are throttled, allowing the rest of the users a better service.

The contention ratio is better on BT business accounts (20:1), but you pay more for them.

Its not quit as simple as putting bigger pipes in, there is always a limit on the bandwidth at some point in the system, every time one bottle neck is upgraded to carry more traffic, another shows up or just like on the M25 more traffic turns up.
 

llangatwgnedd

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its unlikely youy will ever use up even the minimum limit imposed by an isp
Two weeks into my upgraded cable bb I exceded my cap and the sods or isp spanked my bottom and put me to stand in the corner for 24hrs on 56k :cry:


Or 8) for public school pupils
 

RogerS

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Waka

BT Business ...yes, OK but BT retail sucks. This really highlights the main factor IMHO...there is no such thing as a free lunch..you get what you pay for. The lower cost deals have to cut corners somewhere...IMHO..it's better to pay a little extra and go for someone like Zen BUT at the lower 1MBps rate...that will be more than enough speed for you I reckon..

DaveL is spot on. Caps are A GOOD THING and stop the greedy lot from messing up internet access for the majority. If you're not going to host your own website or play games over the internet or copy illegal downloads from peer-to-peer sites such as a bootleg copy of the latest Starwars movie then even 512kb will be good for you.

Roger
 

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