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Standard User jchamier
(knowledge is power) Fri 11-May-12 20:43:01
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The big ISP decision !


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Hi all,

Since its now more likely the missing FTTC cab could be installed and active by the end of June, I'm trying to select an ISP. I've spent most of the last 8 years on unlimited ISPs and before that limits didn't really exist.

As BE aren't offering Fibre this year, I've whittled my choices down to a short list of 3. My usage is somewhere between 80 GB and 100 GB a month, so unfortunately that rules out Adsl24 and IDnet purely on price.

I've been reading in the various forums and see that both BTretail (Infinity) and PlusNet forums have people talking about congestion type effects. A friend of mine in the west country has just had PlusNet 80/20 installed, and he only gets about 1.5mbps on the tbb speedtester for example. Other speedtesters show a lot less. Latency is all over the place.

I'm not a gamer, but I use voip and other similar applications, and so consistency of latency is desirable. I don't use P2P. I therefore have ruled out Virgin Media, having used their service at a friends across town. smile

I'd appreciate any comments and any ideas I might have missed - but as I see it the choices are:

1) PlusNet Extra Fibre Broadband - approx £22/month - 18m contract.
- Upsides = Static IP option - Can use any PPPoE compatible ethernet router
- Downsides = Uses WBC - no 80/20 offering yet, and trial apparently full - 18 month contract

2) BT Infinity 2 - approx £26/month - 18m contract
- Upsides = 80/20 is available - Can use any PPPoE compatible ethernet router - mostly unlimited with P2P throttle
- Downsides = Uses WBC - 18month contract - speed issues for many users during April / May - dynamic IP only

3) Sky FTTC 80/20 - apparently £30/m - 12m contract
- Upsides = truly unlimited - not using WBC - only 12m contract
- Downsides = some speed issues (?) - forced to use Sky router (MER auth, not PPPoE) and no static IP option

As you can see the one I'd like to go for is PlusNet, for the static IP, and flexible router, but the lack of an 80/20 product, and the poor TBB and other speedtest results that a friend of mine gets is worrying me. Is there a congestion issue in the PN network or in WBC ? Similar "congestion" style issues showing up on BT Infinity customers on the new 80/20 product.

I really want to use a prosumer router (Draytek 2820 or similar, with VPN server features) which almost rules out Sky due to their stupid MER modified DHCP authentication protocol. (There is a Billion router that looked promising but has no VPN server support).

Appreciate other people's thoughts?

James - be* pro - 16.8 or 17.2mbps BQM
No FTTC cabinet yet (originally Mar 2011) THFB PCP 5 - hope for 21st May to 1 June !
Standard User R0NSKI
(member) Fri 11-May-12 21:01:25
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
I've been with Plus Net since 2003, generally it's been a very good ride, had a couple of problems lately, but they've all been resolved.

I'm still on ADSL 2+ and have just done a TBB speedtest, and got this at peak time on a Friday night, so I think something may be amiss with your friends result.

My Broadband Speed Test

As for their product range, there is usually a product refresh in April, however the general consensus is that this will happen at the end of May, one of my gripes was that there was no 40/10 product, however I'm pretty confident this will be available in the product refresh.

One advantage of PN is the free use between 12 midnight and 8am, I often make use of this for big downloads, and also backing up my server to the cloud.

Can't say I have any speed related issues, so perfectly happy with that. I will be staying with PN when our FTTC goes live, hopefully also June smile

I think by the time you can order fibre, Plus Net would have launched their 80/20 product.

There's also a Pro addon, for £5 a month which is supposed to improve some things http://www.plus.net/addons/pro/ (I have no idea how much difference it makes)

Hope that helps

Standard User Kr1s69
(knowledge is power) Fri 11-May-12 21:38:56
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
What speed do you currently have via ADSL?

Plus.net's offering has various limits and so many services won't run at anywhere near 40Mbit. The things that do run at line speed are the things that don't really need it - browsing and email.

Sky's router isn't bad but doesn't seem to offer the advanced features you need. Could you set them up so your router handles everything including DHCP and the sky router isn't used other than for authentication? obviously this isn't ideal having 3 devices.

BT seem to be a good option, effectively unlimited since you aren't interested in P2P.

http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/do...

Kris

Sky Broadband Unlimited
Ashington (Northumberland) Exchange
Fibre due June 2012!


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Standard User jchamier
(knowledge is power) Fri 11-May-12 21:56:19
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: Kr1s69] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Kr1s69:
What speed do you currently have via ADSL?


14megabit/sec pretty much constant for 4 years. As I'm in the south east (20miles from LHR) I've not suffered the major problems others have reported on the BE (and O2) network.

Plus.net's offering has various limits and so many services won't run at anywhere near 40Mbit. The things that do run at line speed are the things that don't really need it - browsing and email.


Ahh - good point, something that could really annoy me.

Sky's router isn't bad but doesn't seem to offer the advanced features you need. Could you set them up so your router handles everything including DHCP and the sky router isn't used other than for authentication? obviously this isn't ideal having 3 devices.

BT seem to be a good option, effectively unlimited since you aren't interested in P2P.


Yes, I'm coming to the conclusion Infinity might be the sensible option that answers 90% of the requirements.

Thanks.

James - be* pro - 16.8 or 17.2mbps BQM
No FTTC cabinet yet (originally Mar 2011) THFB PCP 5 - hope for 21st May to 1 June !
Standard User jchamier
(knowledge is power) Fri 11-May-12 21:56:35
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
Thanks smile

James - be* pro - 16.8 or 17.2mbps BQM
No FTTC cabinet yet (originally Mar 2011) THFB PCP 5 - hope for 21st May to 1 June !
Standard User Kr1s69
(knowledge is power) Fri 11-May-12 22:11:37
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Looking at the table in my earlier post 14Mbit is faster than most of the limits on plus.net so strongly advise against that package. I think they do offer a faster service if you pay £5 more but this would make it more expensive than BT.

If you do switch to BT, checkout some of the comparison sites such as topcashback.co.uk. You might get a few quid for switching to them. At the minute it looks like its only £20 but it was £50 last time I checked.

Kris

Sky Broadband Unlimited
Ashington (Northumberland) Exchange
Fibre due June 2012!
Standard User ukhardy07
(experienced) Fri 11-May-12 22:12:25
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Skys great for me

I have the £20 40mbps product with 2 mbps upload.

Pings are sometimes as low as 2ms.

Here's a typical speedtest [IMG]http://www.speedtest.net/result/1945696072.png[/IMG]

The router sky provide is great IMO. Better coverage than 5 previous routers, including the DG834N. Uptime over 1000 hours with no crashes.

Between plusnet and BT - it's a must for BT.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Fri 11-May-12 22:13:40)

Standard User R0NSKI
(member) Fri 11-May-12 22:31:16
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
You can find out more about PN traffic shaping at the following two links

http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/do...
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/tr...

PS. I'm on the Plus Net Extra package, and it is a little worrying to see that the Plusnet Extra Fibre could be potentiality slower than what I'm currently on, if I'm reading it correctly. But then again I don't think I've ever suffered the limits the chart infers.

One other benefit of PN is you get monthly cash back for all active referrals, so you could actually end up being paid for having broadband with them, if you refer enough people. http://portal.plus.net/support/tools/referrals/refer...

Edited by R0NSKI (Fri 11-May-12 22:32:26)

Standard User LeJimster
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 11-May-12 23:08:45
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
If I was in your position I'd be leaning towards Sky, even though its a bit more pricey.

Fortunately I've got Digital Region ISP's to choose from. I'm just waiting for some small changes to be made and I'll probably be off to Origin Broadband.

________________________
Connected with O2 Broadband Standard 8.6Mb/1.2Mb
Standard User Dilbert
(regular) Sat 12-May-12 06:39:02
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Re: The big ISP decision !


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Can't fault BT infinity option 2.

Been on it since the start of February and before that I was with Aquiss for a year on their FTTC product and prior to that ADSL also with Aquiss.

Was paying a premium for Aquiss and apart from their excellent customer service I am afraid it wasn't really worth it. Their network was a lot more susceptible to slow downs at peak times than BT;s has been. Some of the speeds during peak hours on Aquiss were very very slow (like sub 1Mb) whereas on BT the slowest I have noticed since being on the 80/20 product is about 30Mb download speed.

Cant really fault their hardware either, I was on a Cisco E3000 with Aquiss but decided to give the HH3 a try when I swapped to BT and I have been very impressed with it.

Only downside with BT is no static IP.

Just checked my router, its fair to say my connection gets well used smile

Connection time: 23 days, 11:43:10
Data transmitted/received (GB): 58.521 / 498.769

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