View Full Version : Internet Service Providers

01-Nov-01, 12:03
I have been looking into changing my ISP and would like to hear your recommendations and about your experiences.

The service of my current ISP is excellent, it is speedy, in the 2-3 years that I have been using it, it has only twice been down, and it is free, apart from the cost of the local phone call. And that is the reason that I am looking for another ISP; my phonebill has become such that paying around £14 per month for unlimited connection time would be less than paying for the phonecalls to my ISP now.

So, who do you recommend? What are your experiences? I have looked into several and noticed that when you read the small print there are all sorts of catches: one will break your connection after 60 minutes on-line another will let you connect for only 3 hrs per day etc. although they all advertise free phonecalls and unlimited connection time for a monthly charge.

- Elena

Colin Manson
01-Nov-01, 14:19
Well I use BT Anytime; the service was great until a few weeks ago. The problem was mentioned on watchdog, they changed the phone number and the service went downhill.

It does take some time to get connected but it isn't that bad. The limits - 2 hour connection limit, then you have to reconnect. There is also a 16 hours per day abuse limit, strange, it's anytime as long as you don't use it for more than 16 hours in 24.

What I'm I supposed to do for the other 8 hours? I suppose they think I've got time to sleep or something :grin:

Well I think that some of the other "Anytime" ISP's might be better than BT but I haven't tried them yet. I would avoid Freeserve because they cache everything and it's a bit of a pain sometimes. [smirk]



01-Nov-01, 19:33
I use btconnectlite anytime. Absolutely no problems, its also unmetered, costs £15 a month. Go for it.

01-Nov-01, 20:16
I have been using AOL unlimited for a year now and have had no problems whatsoever, they also have a freephone number if you have any problems and I find that getting connected is fast and hassle free. As far as I know there is no limit to how long you can spend on-line.

Good luck with your choice

19-Nov-01, 21:56
I've had a bit of experience with quite a few ISP's over the years so here goes!

BT - would avoid using them. The speed of their service is not too bad, but they do go through some very bad periods where it's difficult to get connected, speeds are slow etc. etc. They do eventually sort it out but it does take weeks/months before they do so. Customer Service isn't too bad, but as Colin mentioned about the phone number they really couldn't care less about their customers.

Freeserve - avoid them like the plague. Customer Service is abismal. Speed was okay at off-peak times, pretty bad otherwise. Like Colin mentioned with BT, Freeserve have a limit on the number of hours you can stay online in any one day. A few months after the launch of their service they removed several users who exceeded this limit and promprty changed their Terms & Conditions. Similar attitude to BT towards customers - couldn't care less.

AOL: Haven't had any personal experience of this ISP but in my career I've had to fix more than a few PC's of people who had. AOL's software leaves a lot to be desired. Those who use and like it swear by it, those who've tried it and don't like it swear at it when they try to remove the software. It's your choice with this one.

ntl: I use NTL's Broadband connection here in Glasgow for my business and the service is very reliable. They did have a modem connection (as I used it when I was in Wick) but when I recently tried to join up again I couldn't find it on the site. They will still do it though. Uptime was very good (never got an engaged tone in about 6 months of use) and speed was also very good. I would recommend them if you can put up with the VERY long waits on their Customer Service Number.

Free24-7: Just signed up with them for my link in WIck (as I said couldn't find ntl's offering on their web site). £7.99 a month for unlimited calls seems too good to be true, but so far reports from home suggest everything is fine with it. I do anticipate that service will slow down the more subscribers they get as they can't possibly keep up with the big boys and make money at this price.

Demon: Excellent service. They are the most expensive of the bunch, but the connection is fast, reliable and generally problem free. Can't recommend them highly enough - price does let them down though.

I have been with others but can't think of them off the top of my head at the moment. I hope that helps a little in your quest!

24-Nov-01, 19:28
There is one that no one's mentioned. Alpha Telecom. They to £9.99 unlimited internet access. It costs £9.99 per month duh. And I do not think that AOL is a good internet provider, it often disconnects me from the thing, and it's more expensive than others. We tried to unsubscribe, but whenever we call up and press the 'unsubscribe' number we just get cut off.





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ©Amethyst on 24-Nov-2001 6:30pm ]</font>

29-Jan-02, 11:36
As I posted the original question I'll now reply with my conclusion:

OneTel is mu choise and I recommend it to everybody. They cost 12.99 per month for unlimited internet access, no limit on how long you may be connected in every 24 hrs, they cut you off after 4hrs of continueous connection time but you can log back on immediately. I have used them for a month now and only once did I have to use my old ISP because OneTel was not responding. They also do a 1p /minute service if you think 12.99 is too much.

I would highly recommend OneTel for their telephone service as well. I have used OneTel for all my international telephone calls for a couple of years already, they have excellent rates compared to BT, and after a few little hicups in the very beginning there has never been any problems, their billing is very straightforward too, same price regardless of the time of day you make your call, great when you are making calls over different time zones.

- Elena

29-Jan-02, 13:03
Interesting comment's on some of the suppliers!

We've just changed back to Demon, because Ive used them in the past and had NO problems with them!! Ive tried some of the others, but what use paying for "unlimited " time when you get kicked off!?!?!?!

:confused I don't, I know that!! :) And what happens when they get busy? Will you be able to log back on?? Coming from the IOW as we have, I just wish BT would update the exchange, so we could at least speed up the connections!!!

01-Feb-02, 22:15
Was with aol but when the computer broke down end of last year, ended that subscription. It took 3 or 4 'phone calls to get them to stop taking their monthly fee from our account. Easy to uninstall, though.

Now with telco4u.net Like onetel, they are a cheap 'phone call company too.

At the moment, we are using the Internet less so don't have a monthly subscription.

We can also use onetel as we have both companies for 'phone calls....onetel is cheaper Mon-Fri (3p per min to ring America), telco the rest of the time.

Pay as you go with telco4u is 1.5p in the daytime, 1p in the evening and .75p on Sat and Sun. Their monthly fee is £12.99.

We really like telco for the Internet and would recommend it....always a fast connection too.

Hope you find one you like....the choice can be bewildering!

:o) Margaret

08-Feb-02, 23:25
We use AOL. Their service has been very good. Very few dropped lines. No cut off's after a certain time period. Freefone access. If you have a problem they offer a freefone number.

A very, major plus is they have an affinity card with MBNA. When you join you claim a free month' connection and thereafter you claim a free month after you acrue 2500 points. (This isn't hard with the price of fuel in Caithness.) MBNA have a freefone number in case of problems and also offer a low rate balance transfer for 6 months - they even give points on the balance transfer!

In less than a year we have had the first month free using AOL trial, followed by a free month after opening the card, a free month claiming points and another free month when opening a second card. 4 free months is pretty good going.

A very nice combined package to be considered.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: pawsforthought on 8-Feb-2002 10:31pm ]</font>

09-Feb-02, 18:36
Ho, ho, ho, Paws. Just wait till ye try til get rid o' yon MBNA credit caird. Ah had 'til move hoosee til get rid o' e' beggan' letters fae yon cowbuyees!

An' they still sometimes send me more than one offer of a new card a DAY! That's despite the fact that they hivna cottoned on til e' fact that this DrS is the same DrS 'at used til have their wee cardee.

Guid luck, ye'll need it! I wouldna sign up for a card fae MBNA fur EVER 'n day. I didna even sign up fur the one I had -- but those (unprintable)s Robert Fleming sold their business til MBNA, and that wis me gripped tight in their hairy oxters...

Le Szin Docteur

09-Feb-02, 18:38
Whoops, forgot to say: gettan' rid o' AOL is much the same story. Turds o' a feather stick together, an' a' that...

09-Feb-02, 18:52
It took us three 'phone calls to stop AOL taking money from our account after we cancelled! And that is better than what some folks have experienced! Getting all trace of AOL off the computer was MUCH easier - our hard disk was wiped clean (not by AOL). :lol:

05-Mar-02, 15:11
Alpha Prepaid one has been abysmal so far for me. I have never had a problem connecting to a dialup service but with this one I'm taking 10 or 15 attempts to get through which is not funny when its coupled with getting disconnected at less than five minute intervals.

As I say I have never had problems with any dialup and still dont with my other (pay-as-you-go type) ISPs. Hence am I to presume they are deliberately cutting people off once they have registered ?

So far the one hour cutoff point has not been a problem as it has only once lasted more than 10 minutes.

Mr P Cannop
05-Mar-02, 15:15
I have been with Bt openworld since May Last Year some days there are drop outs and other days it is fine. I think Bt Openworld is OK

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mr P Cannop on 5-Mar-2002 11:32pm ]</font>

05-Mar-02, 15:31
im with yahoo, all it does is charge u like a normail local call, pretty cool

06-Mar-02, 00:24

06-Mar-02, 12:26
Thought i'd add my thoughts on this issue as i've experimented with many ISP's.

AOL are by far and away the best around despite what others here are saying. I started with AOL a couple of years back but as i thought they were too slow (they weren`t it was just me expecting miracles) i began trying various others. Tried numerous free ISP`s where only paid for calls but phonebills were crazy (£300 a quarter) and the service with ALL of them was very poor, especially the likes of LineOne who were the pits and constantly had problems. Freeserve and BT are to be avoided at all costs, not only are they slow and riddled with problems but you have to rely on using the horrific Internet Explorer browser.

AOL stand out as they are cheap at £14.99 a month (first month comes free and you get £30 from them for every friend you introduce), they have their own software and browser which is sound, they give 7 email names, free web page if desired and both online and freephone telephone help (although like EVERY ISP the staff are the usual minimum wage saddos who rely on looking up help for your problems rather than being knowledable). As for what others above have said about the software, it is simple to uninstall and does NOT cause ANY problems to your PC.

With AOL another top feature is being able to send Instant messages and search people profiles and believe it or not it is the most popular ISP not just countrywide but amongst the folks of Caithness too.

06-Mar-02, 13:31
have u tried yahoo???

12-Apr-02, 17:07
:cool: Or there is firenet who do anytime for 11.49 a month i've only just joined with them but they seem to be o'k and reasonably priced too!!and My brother use to use clara.net who were always reliable but don't know the prices,you will have to check them yourself if you haven't already subscribed to your new choice in isp.

15-Apr-02, 16:38
Do not use AOL speaking as omone who has worked on isp related helpdesks, for the sake of all helpdesk advisers DO NOT USE AOL.

16-Apr-02, 18:55
AOL is, apparently, easy for 'script kiddies' to hack.

So I'm wary of it...

I'm thinking of changing to Freeserve. For a start... the security's GOTTA be better than AOL's security...

We were hacked a short time ago... was having mega Caithness.org withdrawl symptoms (not) ;)

Anyway... anyone got any opinion on the change? I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say.

11-Jan-03, 15:15
Try www.plus.net

they are definalty the best ISP I have been with, with good connection speeds, very reliable and exelent customer support. you also get a free .co.uk domain with thier £15 per month package , plus 250 mb of space with CGI-BIN PHP4 and My SQL database

Hey, I'd make a good sales man eh!!!

24-Apr-03, 20:43
Do not use AOL speaking as omone who has worked on isp related helpdesks, for the sake of all helpdesk advisers DO NOT USE AOL.

As another helpdesk adviser, I would agree with this! I would not recommend AOL!

I actually use Freeserve Anytime - and although I know a lot of people would disagree, I think it's great! I have never had any probs with freeserve and have been with them for about a year. My computer is connected for at least 6 hours a day, and longer on my days off. Never had a prob.

(I must be one of the lucky ones!!)

26-Apr-03, 23:16
I have tried AOL and BT Openworld but now i'm with freeserve anytime and i think it is the best, i've never had any problems whats so ever and just now on the tv is an offer of the 1st 3mths for £6.99 so thats pretty good

My friend uses GIO i think it is and thats only £7.99 a mth anytime thats sounds even better but i've never heard of it myself!!

01-May-03, 18:57
I recently changed ISP to get free online time and am very happy with Giointernet. The option I chose is £7.99 per month for a max. of 80 hours, which is fine for me. So far no problems connecting and their helpdesk is excellent. It costs but they answer quickly and correctly. Also it doesn't take over your PC, in fact I'm only aware of the change through my longer address and I rarely go to their website. Definitely recommended.

30-Jun-03, 21:12
I used to be with Tiscali until they implemented a limit for their users. Now I'm with Activeware, good service, good speed, friendly people, highly recommended.


31-Oct-04, 01:08
i use Tiscalli, they are only £4.50 for 5 days a week 8am to 6pm, or £7.99 to include weekends for the same times. anytime is £14 a month. i have been with them for a year and had no problems at all :lol:

31-Oct-04, 10:21
since i made my post on here i have changed to Tiscali well its been about a year now, i did have anytime at £14 but now i have broadband which is only £17.99 a month, i think its pretty good for just £3 or £4 more than your normal dial up, and it is quick, i am really happy i changed now, i wasn't sure about broadband at first, but it is great!!

04-Nov-04, 15:17
AOL, definitely!! Some people comlplain about the Software (which is a bit of a pain on dial up), but if you have AOL broadband (unlimited, high speed, always on) then it is very easy to set up a connection without using their software. You can then get your email through outlook if you want. I use my own WAN miniport instead of the software, and it appears faster. they are also cheap for what you are getting.

As for security, that is not the job of your ISP, that is your responsibility. Anyone could hack yahoo, hotmail etc email with a bit of patience. I run Norton firewall and antivirus, and since using broadband have never been hacked or got a virus. As long as you are prepard to spend a bit of time and money, then your PC can be quite safe. I wish I could say the same about the college PCs!!!!!

:D :D :D


06-Nov-04, 20:43
Help - just seen my old post recommending giointernet. Don't touch them. They were fine for about six months but for the past year they have just been abysmal. Their systems seem to be down more than they're up and if I hadn't had a second ISP with pay-as-you-go I would have been in real trouble. They call themselves the UK's leading service provider but I've no idea what that's based on as I don't know anyone else who's even heard of them.
I've just taken out an anytime contract with my second ISP - fish - and am trying to change to just paying for online time with giointernet but their sales dept. said their systems were down and would I call back in a week! I've heard they're difficult to get out of so am keeping fingers crossed. fish charge £14.99 per month for unlimited time, so far they have been very efficient plus nice and friendly, which you'd expect as they are a Christian site and profits go to Christian Aid. They give anti-virus protection.