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As I've had nothing but grief with my NTL broadband just lately, the time has come to change service providers. As all the alternatives seem to require a BT phone line, I've taken steps to get one re-connected... Yep, I'm going back.


While I don't want this topic to turn into "my broadband is better than your broadband" thing, if anyone has had any particularly harrowing experiences with the alternative providers, I'd be only too pleased to hear about them. It might just influence who eventually gets my hard earned dosh. Thanks.

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We've been with AOL since it started and have rarely experienced any problems. Our son, who requires a stable broadband connection as he works from home using and internet type system, is with BT broadband and he has had loads of trouble. They've disconnected him on several occasions for no reason and took the facility away for several days for "maintenance" withoiut warning him. (This is to do with the broadband system. Their BT phone worked OK throughout).


Lots of extremely anti-AOL people about, but we're happy. In July they upgrade us to 2mbs broadband at no extra cost..

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I was with AOL for a while, but have since switched to Wanadoo's 1Mbit service. While I had no specific grievances with AOL, I found the (considerable) extra cost was not justified, as I did not use any of their 'member' services, such as news and shopping etc, preferring to get my information from the general www.


If having this information all in one place appeals to you, then AOL is definitely a good option, but in my experience, I did not get any additional value for the extra money. Bear in mind that similar information services can be obtained free of charge from MSN etc.


Wanadoo have been excellent for me. Service has been completely fault free, and the few queries I have had (mainly hosting etc) have been answered quickly and efficiently.


Best of luck - It's a consumer's market out there, and there are some great deals to be had.



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We're with Plusnet - all you can eat for £21.99 / month and a static ip address.


No problems at all, which is surprising since we were outside the 6km limit and couldn't even apply for broadband until BT scrapped the limits following pressure from BB4MK last year.


As previously stated, they're soon offering increased speed, but we're just grateful for the 512K :)

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We are with Wanadoo too, 1Mbit for £17.99/mth. Haven't started paying for it yet as the first 2 mths were included in the package with the modemand filters from Curry's (should have been £35, but we only payed £17.99 - barcode error i expect). Excellent service, no problems as yet.

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Plusnet, unlimited, £21.99/month, currently 500Kb, but to due be upgraded to "as fast as your exchange will allow" for same price.

Like Baz, I am with PlusNet: I'm on a 2Mb line, with a 2Gb limit for £19.99/month (2Gb is way more than I need). The cost will shortly be reduced to £14.99/month with 1Gb per month download and as fast as your phone line can handle speed (potentially up to an 8Mb line!!!!). Extra GB's will be about £1.50 or £2 I think? You can have unlimited if you wish, but this will cost more.


I've been with them since 1998. Occasional probs, but gets very good reviews. They also do a "recommend your mates" option which would reduce someone elses subscription ;)

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Another PlusNet user here. Found their customer support very good when BT were taking their time getting my connection sorted. Lots of debate on the forums about the definition of unlimited at the moment and a fair usage policy which should be of benefit to all but the heaviest of users.



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Although we had long, long problems with BT re: getting our line broadband enabled in the first place, w have found BT Broadband to be hassle free. Althouh we are planning to change soon, for cost reasons. I think we're going with PlusNet but Adam's the technical consultant at chez minstrelcat, so I leave it all up to him!



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For what it's worth - you don't get much choice over cable providers - telewest blueyonder has been great.


Except the e-mail, which they seem to regard as a bonus extra if it working rather than a core product.


Going a bit off topic. I do real network - routers and switches stuff - and Blueyonder works along those lines i.e. I just use standard Ethernet and TCP/IP to a router that talks to a cable modem. All my networking knowledge works a treat.


Never seen ADSL before - but a friend has a problem with AOL/ADSL. It is a USB connected BT Voyager. Suddenly his PC refuses to talk to it. Laptop works fine so the modem is alive. Says that the driver needs to be installed, tell it where the driver is but isn't interested. Try to uninstall it and it says it is a vital component of the boot up and cannot be uninstalled.


I have no idea if this is AOL or ADSL causing the problem but whichever this appears to my mind to be a very 'non-standard' i.e. stupid, set up. 3 Hours on AOL helpline and they are no further forward.


I won't be hurrying to ADSL, and certainly not to AOL.

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From my experience in helping friends and family, unless you feel the need to go with a 'big name' provider, don't. It would be unfair to suggest that the likes of AOL and BT offer a poor service, the previous posts seem to back that up and people have had no problems with their service. But, in general, you can get a better and faster service by going with someone not so obvious. Take a look at the comparison charts here (I hope the link works).


You'll see that Plusnet, who have been mentioned previously, and Nildram (my ISP) rank higher in every category.


I have seen most problems with Tiscali (their rankings seem to portray that too).

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We are with AOL and although intially we had some problems setting it up - more my hubbies DIY skills ;) they were really helpful and sent out an engineer when we couldn't sort out problem ourselves and even managed a smile (although not with his eyes) when it became apparent that the fault was all ours (or Mr Roos to be precise!) Have a look at talktalk too as they have some very good deals now which also give you free phonecalls to some people - whoever some people may be ;)

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Pharisee, you have started something here.

Everyone has their good and bad about BB providers.

I had 12months of grief with Tiscali. what with their cockups I only paid for two months and got a free modem.

17 problem free months with Metronet @ £10 a month 512 Kbs with a limit of 200meg a month then 1/10th penny a meg.

I don't often do big downloads anymore and my biggest bill has been about £13.

Edited by McDehack
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As I've had nothing but grief with my NTL broadband just lately,.....

I had similar problems with them a few months back. They insisted everything was OK and it wasn't until I threatened to go to my MP and trading standards, that they miraculously found the problem.

Since then, to be fair, their service has been A1, but they are on their LAST chance...... ;)

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I have 1Meg BB with Tiscali......connected 24Hrs a day if required....absolutely reliable.....NO DOWNLOAD LIMIT....£24.99 month....   

Been with Tiscali Broadband for 4 years. Originally with Worldonline, but they somehow seem to have be absorbed into the Tiscali 'domain', together with quite a few other ISP's.

Whilst their 'online' service is reasonable, the 50:1 contention has become deteriorated - noticeably slower than 18 months ago.

Had nothing but bad news trying to call anyone at Tiscali. ;)

I am switching to Demon - that's when Tiscali release my line, 15 working days AFTER the 30 day notice period.

To summarize - reasonable value when all going well....


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There is more to selecting a Broadband provider than just looking at price and speed...some have hidden extras which only become apparent once you start to use them (such as download limits)...so tread careful ;)


Also, most Broadband users such as myself become kinda locked into their provider because of the inconvenience of changing all their email accounts...and I have literally dozens...the thought of having to go through them all and changing your email addresses (more especially if you have more than one like myself again) is enough to give you nightmares!!!

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Register your own domain name for a few pounds, and then route your email to whoever your ISP is this week.  Sorted

Excellent idea and what I have done for some years.

I have 5 email accounts that I redirect to my main email account.

Try http://www.virtualnames.co.uk/ :D

They can provide you with your own chosen domain name and email address for about £5 a year. With the webmail service provided you can access your email from any PC connected to the Internet.


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Also, most Broadband users such as myself become kinda locked into their provider because of the inconvenience of changing all their email accounts...

Register your own domain name for a few pounds, and then route your email to whoever your ISP is this week. :D Sorted! :D

Thanks milvus-milvus :lol:


Sometimes the simplest solution is the hardest to see :huh:

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Thanks for all the constructive comment and advice, guys.

In a final, desperate attempt to get mine sorted, last night I finally managed to get through to someone in their Technical Support call centre who actually seemed to know the difference between his a*se and his elbow. "Oohh, you've got a problem" he said after checking some kind of 'techie stuff'. "Your modem has been switched on and off a staggering 1183 times in the last 3 months. I'll book an engineer call out."

The upshot... an engineer is coming this afternoon to sort it out.... hopefully.


As Nediam said a few posts back.... they are on their last chance.


I'll close the thread, now and thanks again.

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