Switching Broadband ISP

  Stuart Leyland 18:06 26 Sep 04

Hello everyone.

I am seriously considering moving to an unlimited broadband connection however after spending 60 minutes looking through a few websites and package deals, my head is well and truely scrambled! It may be easier if I put down my requirements first then ask questions later.

The service must:

1. Be unlimited.

2. Be under £25 per month including VAT for a 512K connection.

3. Provide a modem which is not USB.

I think that pretty much covers everything. Now for the questions:

1. I'm already with BT for Broadband (on their BT Broadband package - not BT Yahoo) and have been since November 2002. I assume that I can now cancel whenever I want as the 12 month contract is up. Naturally we'll have to pay for the current month.

2. If I buy a wireless hub (ie: one that doesn't have a broadband modem integrated, instead just a port where the broadband modem is plugged into), how many ports would I need on a broadband modem? I would assume just one, to connect to the hub. I know that wireless hubs can be bought for around £35 because I had one a few months back, til it died.

3. Am I likely to find an ISP that will provide a non USB modem? I thought that Pipex did but after looking on their site, it appears they only provide USB modems with their packages but you can buy non USB ones from them.

I have looked at Plus Net, Nildram and Pipex with none of them appearing to meet my requirements. Can anyone suggest an ISP that will meet the requirements? Answers to the above questions will also be very useful.

Kind regards

  johnnyrocker 18:23 26 Sep 04

most answers will be found if you click here and look at the isp comparitors


  Stuart Leyland 19:18 26 Sep 04

Hi johnnyrocker,

I knew I'd forgotten something! That's the website where I spent 30 minutes out of the 60 I was looking for.

It is the questions that I've put forth above which I'm having trouble finding the answers to. If they are answered, then I believe that my search will be much easier.

Thank you for your reply :-)

  Djohn 19:44 26 Sep 04

1) Most will provide a service that is unlimited.

2) That is a little more difficult, you will need to check pricing of each package.

3) Again you can provide your own modem/router but will have to pay for it.

4) Don't cancel but migrate to your new provider. If you cancel you will have to wait for disconnection then a new line check, order of service and activation of line again. All this may take anything from 2 to 3 weeks.

If you migrate you will be disconnected from your current provider, connected to the new one on the engineers same visit to the exchange and will be without your broadband for only 30 to 45 minutes.

Some providers are offering free migration at the moment saving you the activation fee of £50.00. Buying a modem/router is a one off cost that can be allowed for. Your main criteria is the monthly fee, it's there month after month. Look for a provider that does not tie you into a 12 month contract, several now offer no contract or a months notice to terminate.

If you can manage a slightly higher monthly fee of around the £28 to £29 mark it will open up your choice considerably.

My ISP offers all you require and quite a bit more but you do have to pay for the modem. plus £28.99 per month fee but no contract and one of the fastest and reliable providers that you can ask for.

The ADSL guide is a good place to look as johnnyrocker advises, just place a tick in any 6 boxes and click on compare to check out the difference. Quite a few will come within your requirements if you can manage to increase your monthly fee by a few pounds.

  Graham ® 19:53 26 Sep 04

Not absolutely sure on this, but I believe when migrating no exchange work is necessary, just software programming which is done remotely.

  Stuart Leyland 20:03 26 Sep 04


Very useful reply, thanks! The stumbling block appears to be the non USB modem. The reason I am looking for this is so that I don't have to shell out for one of them, as well as a new hub (being as mine has died). I realise I can buy a combined modem and hub but for a wireless one, that can soon get expensive. Just saves me having my computer on so that my sister can talk to her mates on MSN Messenger til all hours that God sends! Gets a bit warm in a 8ft x 8ft room!

I am a little suprised about the price issue. I thought that it was more difficult to find a 512K service under £25. Hmmm, I appear to have missed that out of my original post. If I can get a 1MB service for around £28 per month, I may be able to twist my Dad's arm a little because, up until a few weeks ago, we were paying just over that for BT's 512K service.

The migration issue was another I ought to have mentioned. Thanks for clearing that up for me as I was edging away from that, thinking that I would just keep my BT connection until the new one was activated.

Out of interest, could I ask what your ISP is and what sort of features do you get from them?

Kind regards

  PINKNOSE 20:25 26 Sep 04

You could migrate to Plus Net for free, then the monthly cost for 512k is £21.99 inc vat. Then once you have joined Plus Net you could upgrade to a 1meg connection for a one off payment of £14.99, then all you pay is £29.99 a month with no limit.

Hope this helps

  Djohn 20:39 26 Sep 04

I have no doubt your correct on that, the engineer's visit to the exchange was just my layman's understanding of how it was done.

Stuart, yes but I think other forum members may be a little weary of me naming them again as I do it so often. :o(

I'm with Zen. I'm a very fastidious person and like everything to work to perfection first time, if it doesn't then I will not rest until it is the way I want it.

My PC is set up so that it works as it should without any problems whatsoever, Its like the TV, I turn it on and it works. Zen is the same, I ordered from them and three days later I was on-line, I am able to have my own "Real" name for my e-mails and in the 9 or 10 months I have been with them I have not had one single spam or unwanted e-mail of any kind.

They provide a highly professional service that is beyond reproach, it's fast and reliable, not once have I had to contact them regarding a problem, It connects first time every time and never drops the connection even when on occasions it has been left open for 5 or 6 days at a time. Speed is excellent and never varies by more than 1 to 2 Kbs whatever the time of day or night, I cannot fault it in any way.

I know there are other ISP's that people will say exactly the same about but I can only comment on the one I use.

click here click here click here Will give you some idea of the company, there is much more to explore whithin the site.

  Graham ® 20:59 26 Sep 04

You've whetted my appetite for Zen! Should I change just for the sake of it? I assume I will lose my AOL email address?

  Djohn 21:21 26 Sep 04

Yes, unfortunately the email address will have to go. As you know, I was with AOL and very happy with the dial up service for almost three years.

Broadband was not a success with them though and I had several minor but niggling problems that made me look elsewhere. AOL were very good in releasing me from my contract 8 months early without penalty and I still have fond memories of using their service but Zen has exceeded my expectations.

It was in the consumerwatch forum that I first heard of them when several forum members had signed up and posted how pleased they were with Zen that convinced me. I'm sure that there must be users who have had a problem but I have yet to hear from one.

  Graham ® 22:08 26 Sep 04

Thanks, I will sleep on it.

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