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AOL Broadband review

From £10.20 per month

Manufacturer: AOL

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

A stalwart of dialup and home-broadband access, AOL is now owned in the UK by The Carphone Warehouse. It’s sold in £10- and £15-per-month subscriptions, and sometimes bundled with landline telephone calls.

A stalwart of dialup and home-broadband access, AOL is now owned in the UK by The Carphone Warehouse. It’s sold in £10- and £15-per-month subscriptions, and sometimes bundled with landline telephone calls.

Almost exclusively used by Windows users, AOL is popular for blogging, instant messaging, making Skype phone calls and listening to internet radio, with online shopping and social networking the two biggest uses.

See also: What's the best UK broadband ISP? PC Advisor's 2011 Broadband Survey report

BBC iPlayer can be a problem on AOL, but it still polls highly among users.

The 5 to 8Mbps service gets a poor report for its connection speeds, however, which presumably accounts for its lowly 78 percent satisfaction score. Another worry was that while most users stated they enjoyed unlimited downloads, we had widespread reports of unreliable connections and random disconnections, and a lack of help from customer service. It’s a sorry tale we hoped would no longer tarnish the broadband market. Connection reliability came in at just 67 percent – a very poor show.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

AOL Broadband Expert Verdict »

AOL account, landline phone connection
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

Given that both AOL and the other ISP that got a less-than-glowing report, Tiscali, both come under the TalkTalk/Carphone Warehouse umbrella, we're hopeful someone at head office will take a long look at these results and conclude that there's more important things than getting teenagers to prance about with sparklers in the name of marketing and entertainment. And we don't mean an 'X Factor'-style makeover.

  • Virgin Media review

    Virgin Media

    Reflecting its role as the biggest UK broadband ISP, Virgin Media turned out to be used by more survey respondents than any other. Originally a cable-broadband company, Virgin Media has expanded its territory over the past five years by offering ADSL connections in areas where cable isn’t available.

  • Sky Broadband review

    Sky Broadband

    Particularly popular with PCs users but less commonly chosen by Mac fans, Sky Broadband accounted for a 10th of the customer base in our survey. Social-media mavens and online shoppers, Sky Broadband customers had less reason to log on to BBC iPlayer than others, since most people combine a satellite TV subscription with broadband and phone services.

  • O2 Broadband review

    O2 Broadband

    With a healthy slice of the smartphone market, thanks to the success of the Apple iPhone, O2 is in a great position to offer cut-price broadband deals for customers on its phone tariffs. And it pulls it off, winning our 2011 ISP Awards Best Buy tag.

  • Plusnet review


    With 15 percent of customers who answered our survey using Plusnet, we were able to find out quite a lot about this good-value ISP. A broadband-only provider with no add-on services to push, Plusnet focuses on raw connection speed, and this enables it to win our 2011 Recommended ISP award.

  • Tiscali

    Tiscali has been under the umbrella of TalkTalk for three years and no longer accepts new customers. However, lots of users remain customers of the service, which still carries its original name.

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