Broadband Internet & ISP Recommendations?

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  • I've been with a small indie called Skymarket for probably about 5 years, but their £22 service 8mb capped service (I think it's 2 or 4gb) now seems a bit steep compared to some of the deals I've read about. I'm tempted to change to save a couple of hundred quid a year, but know that the big name ones have shoddy customer service (I know first-hand that Tiscali are a massive heap of shit, for a start)- can you recommend a decent ISP that might know what Linux is when I call to speak to them?

  • zen was always very good but kinda expensive - customer service, speed, reliability all very good

    bethere beunlimted whatever its called is fine shit customer service tho but cheap and fast no questions etc.

    Always heard good things about nildram

  • I have just switched to O2. Hate them as a mobile supplier but they are excellent as a broadband supplier.... took 3 days from ordering online to being connected (including sending out router etc).

    I pay £15 per month and get anywhere between 16 and 22mbps... It is also not d/l capped.

  • BeUnlimited and O2 are one and the same- O2 bought them a little while ago.

    The tech behind the up to 24Megabit/Sec stuff was pretty cutting edge when they started it.
    I had a word with one of their tech's when I was investigating it and was put off when he said that their contention ratio was "open", i.e. they would stick as many people on one circuit as they wanted.
    This may have changed now.

    Personally for home broadband I'd recommend Zen- they know their stuff.
    Or if you are in their area and don't mind horrifying customer service the Virgin Media cable/Foptic DSL is good but expensive.

  • My PC isn't fast, as it is now about 4 years old, but I know that contention ratios can impact the speed of downloads, so I'll bear that in mind.

    There are so many ISP's, that checking or whatever is just confusing. Plus there's no company capable of ensuring all of its customers are happy, so you always hear horror stories about a firm.

    I'll check out o2 and Zen. Thanks!

  • don't support murdoch, don't go for the sky broadband package, he'll just end up taking the tour de france of the tele just like he has with track cycling soon we won't be able to watch any cycling on terestrial tv at all

  • Another recommendation for beunlimited here...have been using them over a year, very fast, won't mess with your 'downloads'. Touch wood...

  • i've had be for a couple of months now and i can't fault it.
    i was on virgin 20mbps previously and it was a lot slower and a lot less reliable. on be i get 1.5mb upload speeds too, compared to the measly 500k on virgin.
    and you get a static ip included, no ports blocked, and no bandwidth throttling, great for geeks!

  • I'm on O2 (8Meg unltd) and am very impressed with the customer service and speed of the line so far. They also told us that they'd know in a couple of weeks if they could upgrade us to the 20mb service, guessing they are keeping an eye on our line speed.

  • whether you can get the 24mb service depends on what kind of hardware is installed at your exchange.
    most companies use adsl1 which will only go up to 8mb, be/o2 use adsl2+ in quite a few areas as well which allows for 24mb speeds.
    so they're probably just waiting until the hardware on their end is upgraded nogood

  • I was with Be* for a while and they were great. I've since moved to O2 (who own Be). The only reaon I moved is that I've got an O2 mobile and you get a discount on your broadband if you also use an O2 phone. Move from Be to O2 was seamless, I get 24mb down, an IP address that's tied to my router's MAC (don't pay extra for a static IP - they'll tie your IP to your MAC anyway), they don't shape traffic (slow your speed down if you download things they don't like) and they're not one of the ISPs giving your contact details over to the BMI/Film equivalent.

    Aside from their occasionally dodgy routers I can't fault them.

  • Just waiting to get my MAC, and then I'm shifting over to Be. £8 a month till the end of the year! Even with the £24 cost of changing to Be I should save a few quid, even by the end of the year. This may go to replacing my back-up external hard drive that shit the bed the other week.

  • waiting to get your mac?

  • freeserve, i hear they are good.

  • On BE already, and it's all good so far. Their modem even works, which surprised me, due to the whole Linux thing. It's fast, too! Thanks!

  • MAC Is abbreviation for Migration Access Code and is 17-18 digit alphanumeric code

    Mac is one of these

  • freeserve, i hear they are good.

    You are joking innit?

    This is quite handy­e.html

  • whether you can get the 24mb service depends on what kind of hardware is installed at your exchange

    And also the distance you are from the exchange and your internal telephone wiring.
    Also it helps if the wind is blowing in the right direction...

  • Since I've been lead to believe that broadband is a fairly simple thing, hopefully I won't have to talk to BE's people very often. I've chatted with them a few times, though, and it's unusual in that the people on the other end sound like they're from Poland, and that usually I speak to women.

  • They're in Bulgaria (randomly). If you want decent assistance maximising your connection speed then this site is great -

  • I've just moved into a newly renovated flat and Tiscali want to charge me £90 to send a BT engineer over to activate the line. All the sockets look new so I'm not sure what the problem is. Can't they activate that shit remotely? Is there any way around this? I'd be a new customer so you'd think that sort of stuff is free. Anyway, if anyone's got any suggestions or recommendations for other providers that would be a massive help.

    As always, thank you LFGSS!

  • The activation is not on your site - it's the activation at the Exchange, It takes 5 minutes to do the patching work but they charge you the full hour. It's standard if the line has been disconnected at some point - probably for your renovation.

    As the first tenant in after the renovation you have drawn the shortest straw. It won't matter who else you choose - it's a BT charge and you can't get around it.

  • Cheers for the response Aroogah. Looks like I is well and truly shafted then. I'm pretty sure that I got activation done for free in a newly renovated flat before though...

  • That's possible but there are so many variations and rule changes that have taken place to help smooth out the competition in the market and it depends on what specials BT are running around free installs and if Tiscali are getting a good deal that week.

    I can go an hassle my network guys again if you want more info but it won't save you the £90. :)

  • Could be wrong, but BE may handle their own exchange system ('cause it's their own 24meg system)?

    (Although reading the FAQ, it doesn't sound like it)

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Broadband Internet & ISP Recommendations?

Posted by Avatar for guy_ho @guy_ho