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Standard User bcma
(newbie) Thu 18-Aug-11 16:12:45
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Moving from O2


[link to this post]
 
Hi, I've been doing a lot of looking around these forums but this is my first posting so I hope I can get some help. I will be leaving O2 after the end of the month (when my contract runs out). I am on their Access package and I recently had an email from them saying I had exceeded their monthly allowance of 40GB (apparently I had used 57 GB in the month) and that if it happened again they would withdraw the service. So I have been looking at the available options where I could pay for about 50Gb per month and then any extra if I need to. I don't do any gaming, but I'm doing a photography course at the moment and do up/down load lots of high resolution images, my daughter spends a lot of time on BBC iplayer, the rest of the time is spent mainly browsing and email.

I'm looking to move both broadband and line rental and calls at the same time from O2. (Simply because it seems easier).

From looking around there seem to be two main options, either at the cheaper end of the market is Plusnet Extra which with line rental and anytime calls allows 60Gb of usage for about £28 per month. Alternatively a similar package from Zen would give 50Gb and cost around £42 per month. My question is, am I likely to see a significantly better service in terms of speed etc. from Zen for the higher monthly fee that I am paying?

My exchange EAWYM is supposedly being upgraded to ADSL2 by end of October (but a few weeks ago it was showing end of August, then got moved to end of September, now October) so I'm not holding out too much hope there!

Should it be of any help the BT Speedtest today gave the following result
Download speed achieved during the test was - 1768 Kbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 400-2000 Kbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8128 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 2000 Kbps


Finally both the Zen and Plusnet websites say I should be able to get up to 8Mb line speed, but at the moment with O2 I only get 2Mb. How realistic are these estimates?

Many thanks for your help in making up my mind - will I see a big difference between these two providers?
Standard User dspillett
(committed) Thu 18-Aug-11 18:52:40
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: bcma] [link to this post]
 
With Zen you will see a lot less by way of traffic shaping and other throttling than you will with PlusNet.

I've never used them myself so can't comment much further, but I know people who do use both and I get the impression Zen is noticeably more reliable. The people I know who are on PlusNet are not unhappy though, so they can't be particularly unreliable (just Zen might be a little better).

You don't have the option of Be, which would otherwise have been what I'd suggest you look at.

A&A might be an option if you use very little downstream bandwidth during weekdays between 0900 and 1800, though they don't do a phone calls package so you'd need to pay line rental and calls to BT or similar. Their cheapest arrangement on 20CN is £19.40 which would get 1Gb peak and 50Gb off (or 0.5G peak, 75Gb off and so on - you can spread it how you need to). That plus a line and calls from BT would be something like £35 so you could buy more bandwidth with the £7 difference between them and Zen. When you get access to 21CN in October, the amount of bandwidth you get for the same price will double if you switch (2G peak / 100G off-peak for £19.40). See http://aaisp.net.uk/broadband-prices.html for a little calculator and full price list. Uploading is not metered at any time so the bandwidth quota you pay for is only affected by downstream traffic, there is a spot in the night that is far cheaper (useful if you can schedule big transfers to happen while you sleep), and you can carry a month's under use over to next month (or if you go over one month you can take the extra off next month instead of paying more). And completely unshapped or otherwise messed with, they don't even use the IWF blacklist. Slightly more complex to price up then other ISPs offerings, but flexible and (unless you need a lot of transfer M-F/0900-1800) good value IMO.

I use A&A and I've been pretty impressed so far. They are very techie friendly (native IPv6 available if you want it, multiple IPv4 addresses with full RDNS delegation, lots of stats on the control panel interface, ...) which matters to me, though from your post I guess that isn't something you care about. Their support was good at the start of my FTTC account, when I had some odd line trouble.

Long story short, I'd probably suggest:
1. PlusNet if cheap is particularly important
2. Zen or A&A for something a bit more reliable (though PN is probably reliable enough) and unshapped
3. Zen if the connection might be used much during the traditional working day, A&A otherwise

--------------------------------------------------------
Current ISP: Andrews & Arnold (AAISP, aa.net.uk) via FTTC at ~36Mbit down & ~10Mbit up, joined July 2011.
Previous setup: Be Pro with UploadPlus (ADSL2+, AnnexM), 12ish Mbit down, 1.6 up, happy customer for ~2.5 years.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Thu 18-Aug-11 19:07:16
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: bcma] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by bcma:
Your DSL Connection Rate :8128 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 2000 Kbps
You are getting a connection speed of 8 Meg from O2 Access now. You will not get any faster from any non-LLU ISP, which is everyone except TT.

When, and if, your exchange is 21CN'ed you might get faster from BT or Orange's White Label WBC service.

However, altho' your connection speed is 8 Meg, you have an IP Profile of only 2 Meg. That could suggest that you have a wiring/noise problem, which you will take to any new ISP.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 17 Meg Untweaked 19 Meg Tweaked WBC

Edited by XRaySpeX (Thu 18-Aug-11 19:09:49)


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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 18-Aug-11 19:13:23
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: bcma] [link to this post]
 
I think you have it right by thinking about Plusnet. Bear in mind it is a monthly contract. I believe even if you take the annual contract you can get out of it by paying the deferred setup charge. Check with them about that.

You may not have noticed that there is an overnight unlimited download period.

As for your BT speed test, that looks highly suspicious! Has it always given similar actual speeds, and in particular has the IP Profile always been 2000kps?

If so that is "stuck" and needs fixing. You should have an IP Pofile of 7150kps and be getting over 6Mps at good times. Not that there are many "good times" on O2 Access by all reports frown.

If you usually have a higher IP Profile then it looks as though you have some sort of instability. maybe a one-of, but possibly recurrent.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - IDNet Home Starter Fibre. Live BQM.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 18-Aug-11 19:17:03
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
O2 Access is still heavily over-subscribed, with traffic management and throttling, as well as the usage cap the OP has been caught by. Almost any ISP is likely to be better, once the IP Profile point we both spotted is sorted.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - IDNet Home Starter Fibre. Live BQM.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Thu 18-Aug-11 19:26:18
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Yes, I was fully aware of the awfulness of O2 Access, but thought we should concentrate on the cause of OP's current extremely low throughput, rather than looking at other ISPs and usage limits, as it's not going to go away by itself.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 17 Meg Untweaked 19 Meg Tweaked WBC
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 18-Aug-11 19:55:29
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
I think his speed question was secondary, though on second reading it looks as though the 2000kbps profile has always been there frown. His main problem is this:-
I recently had an email from them saying I had exceeded their monthly allowance of 40GB (apparently I had used 57 GB in the month) and that if it happened again they would withdraw the service. So I have been looking at the available options where I could pay for about 50Gb per month and then any extra if I need to.


My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - IDNet Home Starter Fibre. Live BQM.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
Standard User bcma
(newbie) Thu 18-Aug-11 21:23:22
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

I had considered AAisp, but as quite a bit of the downloading is during the daytime that ruled them out.

Certainly when I first went with O2 Access I was getting higher speeds - perhaps the fact that I hadn't taken too much notice of the loss of speed is showing that this is a lesser consideration than I had first thought! I hadn't done a speedtest for some time so it was a bit of a surprise that I was getting just 2Mb.

Yes the main consideration for moving from o2 is that they have the 40Gb limit, no possibility of a higher level or purchasing extra Gb, just 'don't exceed it or we'll terminate the service'.

In looking round the various sites I did read somewhere on the Zen site that you shouldn't switch your router off as a matter of course. I have been in the habit of switching it off at night as it does get very hot (the O2 supplied Thomson 585 - which is also , I think, what Plusnet supply and Zen sell). Could this have anything to do with the slow speeds or should I look elsewhere?
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 18-Aug-11 22:29:24
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: bcma] [link to this post]
 
No, it is perfectly OK to turn the router off at night. What is not OK is to turn it on an off freqently, like several times an hour.

You have three issues.

The most important it seems to you is the 40GB. Answer - try Plusnet.

Second, that 2000kbps profile implies a problem. Of what kind we cannot be sure as you don't know when it happened, but it should not last for more than five days. In fact not more than two days in all probability.

So if it is the same after 5 days we can be fairly sure it needs ISP intervention to release it. See this page. If it clears by itself then fine, you just had a one-off bad event - we hope!

Getting O2 support to understand what to do may be difficult frown. You need the IP Profile reset, not the SNR(M).

Third, you have low speed. That IP Profile puts a 2Mbps cap on the line, as explained on the linked page. But O2 Access is one of the worst for providing low throughput even if the IP Profile is sorted.

For the last two issues, as the first, I recommend Plusnet - not my favourite ISP but definitely the right choice for you at the moment, as a balance between an ISP that knows what they are doing and cost for the allowance you need. I would say of the large non-LLU ISPs on these forums they are fourth in quality but lowest in price.The top three being AAISP, IDNet and Zen. The worst are O2 Access and Sky Connect.

IDNet and Zen would probably be the easiest to explain an IP Profile problem to, but if you raise it in the Plusnet forum here the reps that turn up would understand and sort it within a day.

So to repeat, for your type of usage Plusnet should be fine. The other three probably slightly better but not worth the price difference in your case. For other people that could very well not be so.

Edit - another baddy is Virgin Media ADSL. Second edit - typo.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - IDNet Home Starter Fibre. Live BQM.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.

Edited by RobertoS (Thu 18-Aug-11 23:06:05)

Standard User bcma
(newbie) Thu 18-Aug-11 22:59:12
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Re: Moving from O2


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the response. I was coming round to the view that Plusnet was probably going to be the right move for me.

I will see how the speed goes over the next few days. Hopefully it will sort itself out - if not it will be a good early test of the new ISP!

Thanks a lot.
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