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Broadband decisions - suggestions/recommendations

Discussion in 'Internet, Connectivity and Communications' started by UKDarkstar, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Ok guys 'n' gals, time to pick your brains for some advice.

    My business used to resell broadband from Enta and so, naturally, I had my own and my parents adsl service with them. It wasn't the cheapest but has been generally reliable and customer service good.

    Since the demise of my business and with having to change the direct debit over to my personal account I have been mucked about a bit with dates when the dd has come out and have incurred bank charges. As you know, currently unemployed, so this has caused some probs to say the least.

    Note - please no comments about rights etc under DD sceme and claiming back charges - it's a complicated situation and I'd rather just switch provider.

    So, in the market for a new ISP.

    I have currently a business connection so 20:1 contention not 50:1. I have no interest whatsoever in email accounts, AV etc etc. I run my domains via my own VPS and just don't need all the rubbish that normally comes with an adsl service. Plain and simple, and fast will suit me fine.

    Here's my useage over the last few months :

    adsl use1.jpg

    Phone line is with BT but not really used for calls as I make use of Skype and pay £20 a year for unlimited calls to 01 or 02 numbers at any time. Don't need/want TV services at the present.

    Line has been a bit problematic even though I'm only a couple of miles away from the exchange. Speed tests over last 3 years :

    adsl speed1.jpg

    Have been having a look at Virgin (as I would be able to get the 50 Mb service even tho' perhaps not affordable at the moment) but I guess I'm looking for any suggestions/recommendations from you lot. Done the service checks etc on thinkbroadband and other sites and they're not really that helpful. I need actual end customer recommendations !

    Thoughts ?

    Cheers

    Kev

    PS - currently paying £22.25 + vat pm with a 45Gb peak cap
     
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  2. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    50Mb Virgin IMO is fantastic mate, had it for a while now. If anything its OTT for most people but if you want speed, and can live with the cost, it can't be beaten.

    **Edit: Another plus for virgin is the free upgrades. When you have any of their broadband packages, from time to time you get a speed upgrade for free. I also hear they plan to roll out 200Mb/s at some stage!
     
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  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Yeh, was with Nynex in the early days as got fibred early on. Only had phone (no broadband in those days :p ) but it was very good. Wouldn't be able to afford the 50 Mb now (have to wait until back into work) but have been a bit concerned about their "throttling" as I've hit almost 15Gb at peak one month and they say if you go over the thresh-hold you get throttled down to a 2.5Mb service :(
     
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  4. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    I will Third virgins cable service. Very good, reliable and I mostly get the speed I pay for (last speed test was 19.8 mb when paying for 20), amusingly this started out as a 2mb line 4 years ago....
     
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  5. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    A good point mate but in my own experience, my Linux distros normally finished well before that limit kicks in. I don't think the limit stays for more than a few hours then it goes back up to full speed.

    **Edit: Just seen you are capped at 45GB. Virgin is unlimited not that I could use that but you never know.
     
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  6. Gingerdave

    Gingerdave Megabyte Poster

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    And the Throttling lasts 4 hours I think so you can always crank it up again afterwards.
     
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  7. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    I would highly recommend Plusnet for ADSL. Their service is very transparent and there are various packages available which are targetted at different types of users. They do traffic shape heavily, but as mentioned this is totally transparant (unlike many others) which is why it's important to pick the package for your needs.

    Zen are also very good and have a good reputation, but have always been on the pricey side.

    Virgin are great - until something goes wrong, then they can be a f****n nighmare. Even so I'd have them if I could, but the cable doesn't reach down the little side close I live in, grrr.
     
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  8. Meshan

    Meshan Bit Poster

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    My two bobs worth

    Talk Talk are rubbish. Speed is poor, the system goes down too often and they cut me off at 45Gb every month

    But, they are cheep and the free calls abroad are a great help.
     
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  9. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    Be Broadband are fantastic, and their support is superb. They actively encourage tweaking SNR and Attenuation to get the very best out of your line. Speeds are excellent and there's no throttling.

    Alternatively, if you have an O2 mobile, O2 Broadband is identical (same company, same hardware) but significantly cheaper.

    *if you do want to go for Be, let me know and I'll refer you :biggrin
     
  10. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    I second that. I have been using them for about a year now. 24Mb ADSL syncing at 21Mb usually (2Mb upload) for £21.50/month. Support is great. Speed is awesome. Price is right. Had few shortages but never wasn't back online in longer than 15 minutes.

    No. While O2 owns Be, and I would assume they're using same hardware, the service is awful, prices are higher and speeds are slower.

    www.bethere.co.uk all the way for me (been with virgin before but never looked back)
     
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  11. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks folks

    Def not looking at the likes of Talk Talk and, ideally, don't want to be unbundled. If I can find a good cheap service with business contention that would be great (foudn it has made a masive difference with online gaming).

    Before retailing Enta's adsl we used to recommend Force9 (part of PlusNet) so may give them a look again and have also been looking at O2 (tho' I don't think I'd be able to get any of their superfast services). Virgin is still a possibility tho' having read their credit checking stuff I may struggle a bit with them at the moment until I'm back in work and financially sound again.

    Cheers all for your input :thumbleft
     
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  12. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I've been using Virgin (before that NTL) and like them, they aren't the cheapest people on the block and my speeds are practically always the stated speed (I'm on the 10mb line).

    -ken
     
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  13. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    For gaming, Be allow you to enable 'Gaming Mode' which removes some error correction and dramatically reducing your latency. :biggrin

    Also, I don't know whether you've been with an ADSL2+ provider before, but as a rule of thumb you can get double the speeds on ADSL2 as you can on ADSL1.

    Their customer services may be different, but they now use the same hardware in the exchanges, and the same network etc so something must be drastically wrong for O2 to be slower.
     
  14. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    They are all plop!

    Seriously, great when working, but when something goes wrong, they all turn into plop.
     
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  15. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    AAISP are another excellent ISP. Their prices are high but the high level of support, and the immense technical knowledge of their staff is worth it.

    http://www.aaisp.net.uk/

    They're also the first company to be running FTTC, I think.
     
  16. j1mgg

    j1mgg Kilobyte Poster

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    I would also have to say Be broadband is well worth it and they bendover backwards to let you change and test different things so you get the fastest speed at a stable connection.

    I noticed you pay bt for your line and are talking about getting 50mb connection, i take it you have a cable connection aswell as not many people have both.
     
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  17. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Yes, I have a colleague who deals with them. According to their line check my exchange gets ADSL2 in October. Cheers for that
     
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  18. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Yeh, if you read one of my later posts you'll see I used to be a cable customer with Nynex (pre broadband days).

    I think I'm going to holf off on Virgin until I'm back in work.

    Zen have answered some tech q's already but their basic business service still has 50:1 contention not 20:1 but they do a 1 month rolling contract which is good.

    Be looks ok too.

    Will have to do some thinking over the weekend :biggrin
     
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  19. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks folks. Have opted for Zen for the time being.

    Keeping my costs about the same I've had to go for the 50:1 contention but can always u/g later.

    I know my exchnage is due for an ADSL2 u/g in October and if I'm back in work by then I can look at upgrading my account or going for the Virgin 50Mb service.

    I like the 1 month rolling contract option with Zen as it keeps things flexible.

    Thnaks for all the help ! :biggrin
     
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  20. UKDarkstar
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    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Getting excited ! :biggrin

    Waiting for my switchover to Zen today.

    Interestingly, managed to pull off a copy of my ADSL MAX report from Enta which shows really varying line speeds getting changed automatically every few days. From what I can make out from the report this change is prompted by line noise so have sent this off to Zen too in the hope they can get something done about it. I would post it here but the data goes back to 2006 and the screen grab I did is 2mb !

    If anyone's interested I suppose I could just grab a portion of it and post it.
     
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