Choosing an internet provider

Discussion in 'Bloody Computers' started by dunkers, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. Moving to a new house soon and am considering which ISP to use for ADSL broadband. Currently BT looks like the best option, but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on this.

    What I'm looking for:
    - unlimited downloads
    - ADSL service on a BT line (so this rules out Tiscali etc, which require you to take up their phone service)
    - no bandwidth throttling when using things like Bittorrent. In fact I don't actually use Bittorrent much, but I object to the principle behind the throttling. So that rules Virgin Media out. (They drop you to 56k within 10 mins of torrenting, so I'm told.)

    I'm a bit concerned about BT's alleged use of Phorm (recording what sites you visit in order to target advertising) - again for the reason above, that it is snooping. However I don't know if they are still doing this/were ever doing this/are planning on doing it.

    So having ruled out the above, is BT broadband the only option left? Anyone any thoughts?
  2. I think you'll find that all ISPs have a "Fair Usage" policy, which is the get out clause for throttling you back if they consider you've downloaded too much, even though you may have signed for the unlimited tariff.

    I'm with BT, and it fair crawls in the afternoon when I'm trying to download a couple of films from Sky.
  3. We have moved to sky for that reason. BT were pants.
  4. You'd need to look at the policies but Demon get a good rep from some of the techie consultants that I contract. From a brief review of the website it appears they don't have a cap, although their fair use policy is clear about what they'll do if you exceed some fairly high caps.

    Personally I use Zen, but they no longer offer an unlimited domestic service, although their caps are quite high.

    Both of those are a bit more expensive in the market, but that reflects in the service quality, plus with Zen it's a monthly contract.

    Demon are owned by Thus and I've been hearing some mutterings in the industry that they might be vulnerable to a takeover bid if the market stagnation continues for any length of time, although I suspect that's more likely to be Cable & Wireless or Global Crossing, rather than Virgin.
  5. Cheers folks, Demon look quite convincing (50gb upper limit over 30 days) at £18 a month - will look into that.
  6. I used to be be with Demon a few years ago. They were excellent when they were independent, and then when they got taken over by a big utility company their customer service turned to poo. It's about 6 years since I left them so maybe they've got their act together since then, but they used to be dreadful.

    Don't touch BT with a bargepole. I've heard loads of bad things about them, and when I was a customer they threatened to sue me because I'd only paid my bills once and they seem to think they deserved to be paid twice. They really didn't.

    Zen are pretty good on customer service. They're not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for.
  7. I had problems when I moved with getting BT to release the broadband connection (I am with Tiscali because at the time their deal with added phone calls was very competittive). You need to get the previous occupant to get the MAC code hwen he terminates his service so you can take possesion of the broadband connection straight away..

    Also watch out for the local loop unbundling deals, if you take one of those you may find you cannot force the ISP to release the MAC code, of course that is why they all offer such good deals for that option.

    Let us know how you get on as I might be in the market for a change if there is a better deal.
  8. Have a look at bethere, they have been recommended to me on a few occasions, but I am currently locked into VM. As with everything, do your homework! Work out what you really need and what you are going to use it for.
  9. 02 like greased lightning none of that fair usage garbagge. :thumright:
  10. Don't get too caught up on speed. With ADSL it depends a lot on how far away you are from the exchange. Look at the whole package :)
  11. I use both BT (landline) and Vodaphone (when travelling). I opted for the monthly 3GB limit subscription for both as I rarely exceed 1GB a month between them both. (Actually I rarely exceed 0.5 GB :lol: ) When my contract with BT ends I might simply use Vodaphone instead as it's much cheaper at the moment - and I can access Rum Ration whilst on holiday! :razz: Sad, innit! :biggrin:
  12. I'm with o2 as well. No problems with download limits as yet. They either own or are owned by Be, and I get up to 7.7 Mbs download and 1 Mbs upload. All for the princely sum of £12.50 per month.
  13. Sky does me well for torrents, I dont do it much but do get some good speeds even on 3mb! Can get torrents going at around 800Kbps at times
  14. My company uses an outfit called Twang, their service is so good that a lot of us now use them for our home services, can't rate them highly enough.

  15. As above^^ Be have been the most consistent provider ive been with. Rarely any downtimes, my family tend to download in excess of 100gig per month with no visible throttles. Compared to other companies ive been with they can do no wrong in my opinion.
  16. I've decided to go with Be. They look almost too good to be true, but I've spoken to a couple of people who are with them who give them rave reviews.
    I discovered with a bit of research that my local telephone exchange is being upgraded to handle ADSL2+ services (LLU) in October, which means I should then be able to get their 24mb service. I live about 0.3 miles from the exchange too so hopefully that means I will get pretty close to 24meg.
    Until then I'll take their 8mb service - apparently you can upgrade, or downgrade packages whenever you like without charge.

    It's ideal - for £18 a month you get 24mb, unlimited downloads, free wireless router, no contention (!!), a static IP and no minimum contract!
    They support principles of net neutrality and are on record as being against EU proposals (subscribed to by BT, Virgin etc) to force ISPs to disclose records of their users' online activities.

    By "unlimited" downloads they really mean it. One person I spoke to downloaded about 1.5 TB in 6 months (averaging 250gb/month) and didn't get any hassle at all for that. So their "fair and acceptable use policy" is pretty lenient by the looks of things.

    Surely it can't get better than this :)
  17. I would give BE my vote, dont go virgin, used to work for them and they are SH!T so are bt , sky arn't so bad and niether are orange.

    In my experience virgin are top if you can get it in a cable area.
  18. I am currently stuck in contract with BT for about another 9 months, but I will NOT be renewing with them. Of late I have suffered extreme slow downs late afternoon and early evening. I have complained to them and it does sometimes improve slightly, but not enough for me, so BT will be getting the big heave ho.

    Will look into Be as that looks a very tempting and decent service and hopefully it will still be available come 9 months time.
  19. Unfortunately the availability date for Be keeps being pushed back where I am so instead I am now with Nildram.

    ... who are owned by Tiscali :(

    Still, the service is fine, 3 month contracts and 25gb limit (you can pay for more, something like 75p/gb).

    The first week is very shakey, lots of disconnects etc while they work out what your line can handle but since then it's been fine.
  20. well like I say I am on sky, never been disconnected and unlimited downloads... good speed as well, its 3MB but when you have sky + as well its a package, but serioulsy good if anybody else needs help on broadband then just go sky

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