Which broadband provider should I go with?

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  • kinky_mong 26 Sep 2008 11:11:28 10,146 posts
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    I'm moving to a new place in a few weeks and want to sort the broadband out as soon as possible so I can get back on Xbox Live in time for the big releases. Which provider does everyone suggest as the most Xbox Live friendly?

    I was with Sky at my old place, and although for the most part I had few problems I was constantly reminded that "the NAT type of your router is moderate and you may experience problems with matchmaking". I also had sporadic problems where i couldn't initiate chat with one of my friends (his NAT type was closed) on some days but other times it was fine.

    I know there are ways to open a router's NAT type but not being the most technically savvy person I would rather not jump through loads of hoops and simply have a router with an open NAT out of the box.

    All the eurogamers who actually play with each other on xbl rather than just post pseudointellectual pc handwringing bollocks on the forums, love the shit out of biggy.

  • PearOfAnguish 26 Sep 2008 11:12:52 7,212 posts
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    Be*

    18 a month, up to 24Mbps, no restrictions, free wireless router. And I think there's an offer on Quidco where you get free connection.
  • Doomspoon 26 Sep 2008 11:49:26 2,464 posts
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    I'm on O2 which is in essence Be. I'm currently on the 8mb while I try it out and am really impressed with the results so far. Unlike poxy Pipex/Tiscali before, they aren't throttling the ports used by Messenger and Live too.

    So yes, go with Be.
  • kinky_mong 26 Sep 2008 12:56:38 10,146 posts
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    Thanks. I've was with Be before at another house and my only complaint with them was that it was difficult to cancel the service when I moved. Hopefully this won't be happening again so I'll definitely go with them and hope my new place already has a BT line installed.

    All the eurogamers who actually play with each other on xbl rather than just post pseudointellectual pc handwringing bollocks on the forums, love the shit out of biggy.

  • Gaol 26 Sep 2008 13:00:57 2,263 posts
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    I have Virgin 10mb and it's terrific. Runs at full pelt all the time, so long as you stay under the daily cap (think its about 2.4 gig up till 9pm then unlimited). You can go over cap but your speed goes to 2.5gig - it's pretty easy to manage, if you have a big download to get you just do it later.
  • coastal 26 Sep 2008 13:01:38 5,382 posts
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    Isn't it a rolling contract with Be? It may be 3 months which is a little long but i would have thought they would have made accomodation to that if you were moving.

    I find their service faultless. Speeds have been hampered a little due to them allow other ISP clients on their capacity but it's still damn good.

    bf3: sergeant_shaftoe

  • Load_2.0 26 Sep 2008 13:04:28 19,155 posts
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    02
  • TitanUK 26 Sep 2008 13:07:26 1 posts
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    I have been with UKOnline for 3 years now on their 8MB unlimited package, have had no problems with speed, connection or customer services when needed. I am using a Netgear routher.

    Check out http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/broadband-providers.html for more detail.
  • banjoted 26 Sep 2008 13:27:46 1,500 posts
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    You'll find advicates and critics for all ISPs, so it comes down to what's available in your area, and your distance from the exchange as this will affect your top speed.

    Generally, in my experience Be/O2 is spoken of highly. Virgin has its critics, but many (including myself) have had nothing but godd experience and rock solid speeds - just take note of Gaol's comments about daily capping. Has never been a rpoblem for me though. Tiscali, Pipex, Orange and to a lesser extent Sky seem to be the ones to avoid.
  • Doomspoon 26 Sep 2008 13:44:47 2,464 posts
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    banjoted wrote:
    Pipex... avoid.

    I set up with them quite a few years back when they were good. I've had a crap time of it with them since Tiscali took over. Am currently in the process of trying to get some money back from them with the help of the Office of Fair Trading.

    When they offered me an upgrade to my package from a 2mb package they mentioned download limits etc. I stressed in no uncertain terms that this package was primarily for me to use for P2P gaming via Xbox Live. Live was rough over Xmas so some of the problems are attributed to that but in the first half of the year I was getting dropped at weekends typically 5 times an hour. I contacted them to quote at what times I'd been disconnected and they stated I need new microfilters. there may have been some truth in this as things were slightly better but I was still getting disconnected frequently at weekends.

    Also while using MSN chunks of text would disappear but I'd not get the standard recipients didn't receive error messages so people thought I was just being ignorant. If I initiated any file transfers the recipient didn't even get the prompt to accept. I ensured both myself and the person I was talking to had the correct ports forwarded but the problem continued. I then read the Wikipedia article about Tiscali throttling said ports and all has become apparent.

    I'm currently trying to get logs of my phone complaints where they neglected to mention this was their policy.

    They also blatantly lied to me that if I opt out of my contract 30 days before the renewal date I won't be liable for a disconnection fee. This sounded iffy but I asked them to repeat it so hopefully when/if they do send me recordings of the conversations that will land them in more shit.

    Not that anyone in their right mind would consider Pipex with their prices but yes, avoid like the plague.
  • Doomspoon 26 Sep 2008 13:58:08 2,464 posts
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    grayson wrote:
    /facepalm

    This needs to be a sticky:

    broadband.performance.depends.on.your.area

    You'll find a billion other threads saying x provider is better over y provider, y provider is better over x provider.

    But having traffic restricted via certain ports by the provider, or them stopping you accessing game servers as per PS3 user's complaints about Tiscali isn't dependent on where you live now is it?
  • kestral 26 Sep 2008 14:01:38 70 posts
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    Titan ADSL is excellent, you can't get better customer service: I asked by email what was involved in changing from one tariff to another and 2 minutes later I got the reply that in two days the new tariff would commence.

    Try the same test with your provider, I know IdNet is just as good (from experience), but I would think for example Sky's customer service would take longer than that to send an acknowledgement mail.

    Try and make sure of the following though:
    Avoid yearly contract if possible, if service sucks or gets worse you're stuck with contract.
    Free migration to and from the service, some providers (used to?) charge for some of this, or for leaving.
    Port blocking, throttling, limiting - you don't want this if possible if you like to run your things / download.
    Direct support (Ideally direct to technicians / people who can help,not via customer services, and minimally UK based). Like i said, waiting for 3 days / calling for 1 hour to get your problem understood is a waste of effort.
  • thedaveeyres 26 Sep 2008 14:13:20 10,898 posts
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    Anyone know if it's standard procedure to have to wait 5 working days for your MAC code when you cancel?

    I get the feeling I'm being dicked about.

    D****** ******r

    XBLA: Hamster Trippin
    Steam: thedaveeyres
    PSN: HamsterTrippin

  • kinky_mong 28 Sep 2008 16:33:34 10,146 posts
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    I had a discussion with a friend yesterday and he claimed O2 broadband was excellent. Apparently they own Be broadband as well, but being a O2 customer I would get money off the cost. Just want to know if anyone has any experience of using Xbox Live on O2?

    All the eurogamers who actually play with each other on xbl rather than just post pseudointellectual pc handwringing bollocks on the forums, love the shit out of biggy.

  • convercide 28 Sep 2008 17:29:32 5,990 posts
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    The Virgin Media internet service I have has been mostly great. There have been a few hiccups here and there but it is consistent now and I haven't had an issue with them for ages. The only problem they have is their customer service, which is frankly atrocious. It usually takes 3 or more phone calls to get an issue resolved.

    If you can read this, you don't need glasses.

  • kleaneasy 28 Sep 2008 17:44:40 173 posts
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    kinky_mong wrote:
    I'm moving to a new place in a few weeks and want to sort the broadband out as soon as possible so I can get back on Xbox Live in time for the big releases. Which provider does everyone suggest as the most Xbox Live friendly?

    I was with Sky at my old place, and although for the most part I had few problems I was constantly reminded that "the NAT type of your router is moderate and you may experience problems with matchmaking". I also had sporadic problems where i couldn't initiate chat with one of my friends (his NAT type was closed) on some days but other times it was fine.

    I know there are ways to open a router's NAT type but not being the most technically savvy person I would rather not jump through loads of hoops and simply have a router with an open NAT out of the box.

    TBH the answer to this question also depends a lot on what area you live, whats available and how far you live from your local ADSL exchange etc.

    That said I've been with virgin previously telewest blueyonder for 5+ years and while we've had occasional problems down to hardware failure (which you would expect at some point in 5+ years service) they've mostly been really good at resolving problems, prices are good and the speeds offered consistant.
  • Deleted user 28 September 2008 18:17:13
    Another big up for Be from me.
  • cubbymoore 28 Sep 2008 18:19:52 36,488 posts
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    I want ISPs to say how much porn you can download with their packages, I've had enough of doing calculations.
  • Madder-Max 28 Sep 2008 18:43:02 11,641 posts
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    aol standard 2 meg jobby. good few miles from the exchange. had it for 2 years and never had a problem;although I cant host more than 8 players on tf2; which aint no ting really. No limits, capping, or any of that nonsense. 15 pcm flat rate.

    99 problems and being ginger is one

  • GrandpaUlrira 28 Sep 2008 18:46:56 3,753 posts
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    If you have them for your mobile phone, O2 are great and cheap.
  • dnbuk 28 Sep 2008 19:52:41 4,943 posts
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    I'm on Virgin 20mb and it's great, different areas don't get such great speeds though and customer service can be a tad shitty.
  • Futaba 28 Sep 2008 20:00:14 3,507 posts
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    Yeah, don't go with Tiscali :x

    As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a ninja.

  • Deleted user 28 September 2008 20:12:54
    cubbymoore wrote:
    I want ISPs to say how much porn you can download with their packages, I've had enough of doing calculations.
    If you're with Be, as much as you can wank over. Good ol' Cheggit...
  • peterfll 28 Sep 2008 21:03:53 488 posts
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    I had major problems with Be. They were so obviously throttling both LIVE and PSN. They switched it on earlier in the year, and so using these services went from a pleasure to being seriously painful. I switched to O2 eventually, and they've been great. Slightly cheaper than Be too. Shame, I was with Be three years+.

    Perhaps Be have stopped throttling now - so many posters paying compliments?
  • LawrenceArms 28 Sep 2008 21:09:39 1,475 posts
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    www.plus.net have been superb for me. I even got Assassin's Creed on 360 for free when I was connected up. :D
  • BadDevotions 29 Sep 2008 14:47:29 405 posts
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    not sure if you are still looking for BB, but i have just been through the same gubbins. I am moving this weekend and have just sorted mine.

    it all depends one what is in your area: check here: http://www.samknows.com/broadband/ and click on "Availability Checker". That'll give you a starting point. Then take a look at: http://dslzoneuk.net/ for reviews.

    if you can get O2 then i'd go for that. Especially being an O2 customer.
  • thedaveeyres 29 Sep 2008 14:51:46 10,898 posts
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    Do not under any circumstances go with Pipex. They were superb but since being bought out by Tiscali, they are now absolutely awful.

    D****** ******r

    XBLA: Hamster Trippin
    Steam: thedaveeyres
    PSN: HamsterTrippin

  • Doomspoon 29 Sep 2008 15:01:55 2,464 posts
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    kinky_mong wrote:
    I had a discussion with a friend yesterday and he claimed O2 broadband was excellent. Apparently they own Be broadband as well, but being a O2 customer I would get money off the cost. Just want to know if anyone has any experience of using Xbox Live on O2?

    As per my previous post I've not long moved over to O2 from Pipex/Tiscali and have had no problems so far. The modem/router already has settings geared for Xbox Live so manually configuring ports or a DMZ isn't an issue short of assigning the dropdown option to your 360's IP address.
  • theanorak 29 Sep 2008 19:07:58 43 posts
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    I'm happy with Plusnet. They're very upfront about limits etc. I'm on the "Pro" account which has a low download allowance but pretty much no throttling at any time. I get consistent 800Kb/sec speeds at all times.
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