24 hour internet(97 Posts)
Anyone out there on BT Openworld or something similar?
Have just given up work and DH is disparing of the monthly internet phone bill, so am thinking of switching to one of these 24 hour access jobbies.
My ISP is currently Freeserve so if anyone is on Freeserve Anytime, some comments from the consumer point of view would be great.
Anybody who is using any other package, I would love your comments too so that I can make an informed decision.
We've recently moved to an ADSL connection and it's great. So fast - great for surfing and no (phone-bill) guilt about the length of time I'm online. However there's always hundreds of other things I could/should be doing - such as cleaning, washing, tidying - you get my drift
We have Telewest Broadband cable connection. It's pretty fast and fairly reliable (only had a breakdown in the service twice in 6 months). It costs £33 for internet alone, or if you add the phone package (24/7 free local calls) it goes down to £25 per month plus £25 for the phone. Just depends if its available in your area I suppose. If you don't have Telewest, I think the NTL deal is similar.
We got BT Broadband three weeks ago and it is brilliant, we are running four computers (wireless) online at the same time all for £29.99 a month, it's great as we can all surf at the same time, especially for the children doing homework, no more arguments about so and so hogging the internet! We don't leave it on 24/7, we do turn it off at night, but it is on from7.00am till about 11.00pm!
I use Freeserve Anytime and its great. I have a dedicated internet/fax line and so it works out at roughly £67 a quarter including BT line rental. I have never had any problems connecting.
Can I just ask about broadband? Isn't it tied to your house ie, you would have to have a 'box' (don't know the correct terminology here) installed in a new home should you move?
The negatives I have heard about broadband are that you are far more susceptible to hacking and viruses since you are permanently online. But I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise.
I have unlimited use with aol which is fine, for £16 per month.
We have ntl broadband (128KBPS) for £15 a month (on top of telephone/tv charges). You get free rental of a cable modem and no further charges. Good speeds for surfing/downloading and we've had no problems so far. There is an initial installation fee of £25 or £50 depending on current offers etc. This covers running an additional cable and new socket which is dedicated to the cable modem. Best of all, you're not using your phone line. There are faster modems at higher prices but 128 is fast enough for our purposes. I agree with Java about it being too easy to spend time on the net when you should be doing other things though.
Tinker, with ntl you might have to pay another installation fee if the house you were moving to didn't already have it fitted. BTW your computer doesn't need a modem if you go with cable because they supply an external box which plugs into the power and the special cable socket.
This is great as I've just cancelled my direct debit with Supanet. It can sometimes take up to half an hour to connect and is £15/month. When I complained they suggested I paid more money to get a supposedly superior service, the cheek of it! I too want an anytime thing with low phone bills so I might try ntl. Also interested to know if broadband is worth it and how expensive it is.
I've got ntlworld which costs £10/month. You get unlimited time online (no extra phone charges). Though they do make you re-sign on every 2 hours (not a big deal). The downside is that you have to have a ntl phone line and it ties up your line. Also, if anything goes wrong (like your phone line going down) their customer service is c**p. I'm on mac and it works fine.
It really depends on how much time you intend to spend online and what you are planning on doing when on. I've only got a 28.8 modem, but it's fast enough for me as I really only do mumsnet and email. There are a few websites worth checking ou that do reviews of all the uk online providers. I can't remember their names, but i found them by doing a search for uk providers....
We had Aol anytime until BT broadband (see below) BT just send you an Alcatel modem that you plug into your phone line and computer, they also send you the microfilters to use if you want to keep a fax and phone on the same line. There is no additional wiring, they just switch you on at the exchange on a predetermined date.
DH has just had a mailing from AOL and they are going to offer broadband, we would have stayed with that, but it's too late and we're stuck with BT for a year now. No problems at all though. If you're worried about hacking etc, make sure you have a good firewall etc.
Alibubbles - am I right in thinking you can surf the net and still receive calls on the same line at the same time?
I'm a bit thick here, please bear with me. To have broadband, is it necessary to have cable already (I don't)?
Thanks for all your replies.
I am currently in the process of changing career, hence the use of the internet for research, etc, so I plan on using it during the day mainly.
The amount that I pay each month through BT calls would be greatly reduced by paying just a monthly charge.
What is not made claer by the providers though, is whether there are extra charges, ie 15.99 per month and then 5.99 with BT etc, etc.
We had cable where we used to live and the Internet calls were so much cheaper at anytime of day. Unfortunately, no cable where we are at the mo, otherwise we would have taken it up like a shot.
We have Virgin's 24/7 package it is £13.99 a month, no special phone line etc required. They have just recently reduced it from £15.00 we have had no problems with it so far.
No, Tinker you're not being thick, it gets a bit bewildering sometimes.
You don't have to have cable to have broadband, it's just that you hear more about it from cable operators. If you are lucky enough to live in an area which is covered by BT Openworld (grr, I'm not !) you could have broadband access without cable like Alibubbles. But, it depends on how much use you make of the internet whether it's worth it. For instance a family who all want access at the same time would benefit, or if you're doing things with lots of graphics files or on-line games you would too, otherwise you might be better off with a standard service.
We have a 24/7 service from Demon for which we pay £20 to them and £20 for our BT Anytime provision. It includes line rental and all call charges (we have a separate phone line for it) and usually are able to maintain a 45K connection continually. This is quite pricey I know, but we have unusual requirements from our ISP.
We're with Bt OPenworld and it costs £15.99 per month and is good, quick easy connection.
I think to have a cable modem with your cable phone/tv operator you will need to subscribe to their phone service at least but this can have advantages anyway (my 2nd phone line only costs £6 a month and I get the basic tv package free with the line rental for the main line). My service costs £21 a month for 2 phone lines and basic tv package plus £15 a month for the broadband service and cable modem (doesn't need a phone line). The only additional costs are actual telephone calls.
I have heard a lot about different broadband suppliers recently but didn't take it all in because it suits us to have ntl for the whole lot. I think it is called ADSL and there are a number of operators who provide it (dial pipex is one, as well as BT). They are all trying to chase prices down so it might be worth doing a bit of research. The ntl web site is at www.askntl.co.uk they also tell you on the site if your postcode is in an area which they cover. Yes, their customer services is useless but then so is BT's.
We couldn't have telewest or NTL (cable) as we live on a country lane and it is not economically viable for the companies in question to install the cabling as the take up would not justify the installation cost, our only alternative was, Pipex, Bt or Demon, Demon would have been the best because they support Apple mac, but BT were doing a special offer, 'free installation', not that there is anything to do, it's called plug and go as you do it all yourself, it all comes in a box and is dead simple!
My husband uses it for business, I use it all the time (mumsnet addict) and the kids use it for homework. As I said before, we are all on line together, which we couldn't do with AOL. only one person could be signed on at a time.
Willow2, yes, you can take call and faxes on the same line, the more microfilters you have the more phones etc you can have on the one socket.(BT supply 2)
We are in a Telewest area and have broadband as dp needs it for work. For an inital connection fee of £50 - though there often seem to be offers at a reduced price - and £25 a month we have permanent access to the internet which is fantastically fast and doesn't tie up your phone line. That fee includes all internet charges. Not for everyone, but if you use the internet all the time as we do, it's great.
DH's summary/opinion of what's around (as we've just changed ours to ADSL) depending what's available:
- Cable Modems offer the fastest service for web browsing (but not for streaming downloads) even on the slowest nominal speeds. Probably also
the cheapest even it you don't already have cable TV. [The faster service comes from the fact the base transfer runs at 25Mb/s, your service
is limited to 250kb/s(or whatever) by rate limiting data transfers. When web browsing, the data transfer happens so quick that the rate limiter doesn't have time to kick in, so you get your page at 25Mb/s. Obviously if you are doing continuous download, then the rate limiter does have time to work.]
- ADSL is available to around 60% of people. ADSL is *not* just available through BTOpenworld. Lots of suppliers. Pipex always seem to get good recommendations(!), and are cheaper than most (inc BT) - I'm pretty sure they are still doing their free installation offer . Shame you didn't ask a week earlier as they were doing a 'swap your modem for a frog' ("frog" is the ADSL equivalent of a modem!) offer - see http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/25275.html We pay £19/month+vat=£22.32/month.
- Dial-up. Someone quoted £67/qtr for 24/7 access. ADSL is same price, so why would you use dial-up if you can get ADSL?
- ISDN/Home highway. Not worth it in my opinion: although the line rate is better than you get on a 56kmodem, this is all lost when you take into account the lack of compression.
Also relating to someone's comment on self-installation: ADSL installation involves addtional hardware at the exchange, and that's what the (normal) installation charge covers - not the bits at your house!
PamT, or anyone else with ntl cable modem, please help! I got the modem 3 weeks ago, and have still not managed to install the thing & make it work yet (I did go on holiday for one of those weeks, though). After 2 hours (at 1p a minute, I hasten to add) on the phone to the (v helpful) technical line, I was advised that as my Windows 98 (first edition) has been on my PC without being reinstalled for 4 years, I needed to format my hard disk <gulp> and reinstall Windows. This I did with the help (another 2 hours on the phone) of my brother. And guess what? It still didn't work. My brother then advised me that I should go to the Windows website and download the appropriate patches. So, I reinstalled my modem, reconnected to Freeserve, reinstalled my printer, scanner etc... and went online. I downloaded all the updates I could see. And it *still* doesn't work. I'm now waiting til Sunday to call the helpline again (cheapest rate - which makes a difference over 2 hours!). But does anyone have any ideas? My brother's suggested upgrading Windows to XP, dh has suggested giving up and going back to pen and paper!
I don't want all my hours of stress and trauma to go to waste, this thing WON'T beat me.
So please, someone, can you help?......
You shouldn't have to pay for the call to ntl until your modem is actually installed, I'm sure it is free whilst you are setting it up. I'll ask DH (my personal computer engineer) if he can suggest anything.
Just a thought, but some other ISP's alter the software of your computer to suit their needs and then it causes conflicts if you try to install another ISPs software (AOL is particularly bad if you are wanting to change to another ISP). You could try loading your computer without the Freeserve bit and then try putting the cable modem on. We use ntl for all our internet/email needs so we don't have any conflict problems. Next time you ring the tech line ask them if this is what is causing your problem.
Thanks for getting back to me, PamT. If only I could get as far as installing ntl's software! I was on to the tech people again (and yes, as far as I can see, they do charge for any help given), and I was advised that I should give up trying to install the modem with Windows 98, and upgrade to XP. Apparently, lots of people with 98 have had similar problems. The tech did suggest that as I have a brother who works in IT, then he "may have a copy of XP lying around somewhere that I could 'borrow'"! Unfortunately, he doesn't. So, I'm off to source the cheapest upgrade to XP. The tech did say that she was 99% sure this would solve the problems. I personally am nearing the end of my teather.
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