Which router - and ISP - for wireless broadband?

  bart warstein 18:33 10 Jan 06

I want to shift from PAYG dial-up to wireless broadband (ie BB and home-network). I have 2 laptops, no desktop PC. Usage is mostly e-mails/surfing and modest downloads (but I'm wary of too restrictive a cap). There are no cable providers where I live. Is it better to go for a package deal (BB contract, modem/router supplied)? Or to buy wireless modem/router separately, then go looking for a 'good' ISP? Any views on the BT or Wanadoo "wireless" deals - latter gets some bad forum feedback? Or if I go the separates route, which wireless/modem routers are reliable, good value and user-friendly to set up (Netgear, Belkin, Linksys, BT Voyager?), and which ISPs should I look at?

  ade.h 20:44 10 Jan 06

Based on my own comparatively modest experience of modem/routers, and what a lot of forumites say, I cannot heap enough praise on Belkin.

So incredibly easy to set up, a super strong signal (through solid walls!), takes up little desk space.

And the freephone customer service has an enviable reputation. Not to mention the warranty.


Broadband suppliers? There are a lot of good ones; some people love BT or Tiscali, while others go through hell with those two. Most people dislike AO Hell and it is fussy with modems. I would always, always stick with the smaller companies and avoid contracts. Month-by-month means that you can walk away if you get major problems or someone else offers you a better deal. And the quality and availability of telephone support is crucial.
Me? I'm with F2S and have been for 14 happy months. Never failed to connect.

  ade.h 20:48 10 Jan 06

Oh, and to answer your middle question; go with a wires-only deal and choose your own router. You can get what YOU want then.

CAPS: I have a 10GB cap and I never use more than 4 or 5GB despite being a fairly heavy user. But that's another reason to avoid a contract isn't it? If the cap becomes to restrictive, choose another deal or another supplier.

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