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Standard User chris52
(regular) Sat 03-Apr-21 11:35:56
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Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


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We have alternated Plusnet & BT since we got fibre. Both have given us good service except when they dislodged/broke a cable in the green street box. It took them a week to get a service engineer out to reconnect it. My contract with Plusnet is about to end. I use the supplied modem/router which does not impress me much and which, I understand, can only be used with BT owned providers. I find changing suppliers of electricity, internet etc a real pain.

We use the internet for browsing, catch up Tv etc but no gaming and find our 36Mb plan adequate. We tried 72Mb and it didn't make any obvious difference.

We have Anytime calls as we do not use mobiles - yes there really are some of us left!

I live in an area that does not have FTTP nor any possibility of getting it anytime soon. We do not have any cable service.

The exchange is obviously fibre enabled and has Sky and TalkTalk (CPW) LLU's.

I have looked at remaining with BT, Plusnet, EE and they all have a clause about price rises being 3.9% + CPI which means 4.75%+. This would happen twice in the 18 month contract (June 2021 and March 2022).

Allowing for the price increases due on the BT owned services the likes of Zen and Pulse8 look much more reasonable than they did and I am attracted to the fixed price Zen commitment. I have read good reports about both of them. I am basically neutral on the call costs between Zen & Pulse8.

The questions:

1. Zen or Pulse8?

2. Are there any other providers that I should consider?

3. Is the FRITZ!Box 7530 a good idea? I note that it does not have wireless ax which my new laptop does have.

4. If I go with Pulse8 please suggest a good solid simple modem router that isn't any more expensive than it need to be ?

5. Do any of the suggested providers make changing provider at a future date more complicated?
Standard User Grimers
(newbie) Sat 03-Apr-21 19:54:16
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
Providers that use Openreach's infrastructure typically give the same speed (there are some exceptions, as some providers use different DLM profiles/backhauls but generally the speed is similar between providers). The main two things that differentiate providers are price and the quality of their customer service.

To try and answer your questions...

1) I haven't used Zen or Pulse8, but I haven't heard bad things about them.

2) I'm with BT, their customer service isn't always great, but they have provided us a fast and stable service on FTTC/VDSL (obviously this is down to the line quality/interference not the ISP). They aren't cheap, but they do offer some good TV packages.

3) I have heard that FRITZ!Box's are good, but I haven't used one myself.

4) Try the router they supply, then see if you require anything better.

5) I shouldn't think so.

Edited by Grimers (Sat 03-Apr-21 19:55:45)

Standard User chris52
(regular) Sun 04-Apr-21 09:42:04
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: Grimers] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the reply.

The reason for the router question is that Pulse8, as far as I know, don't supply any electronics.


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Standard User Grimers
(learned) Sun 04-Apr-21 10:05:58
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
The Billion range is pretty good, do you know what cabinet type you are connected to?
Standard User steve195527
(member) Sun 04-Apr-21 10:09:40
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: Grimers] [link to this post]
 
I have used various ISPs that are on the BT network and found the best by far to be idnet,I know that on the same network most ISPs should provide the same speed in theory but moving from plusnet to idnet proved to me that isn't the case,there are factors other than which networks the service uses:- throughput and connection speed aren't the same and some providers traffic shape(they tend to deny this!)at busy times
Standard User chris52
(regular) Sun 04-Apr-21 10:55:00
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: Grimers] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Grimers:
The Billion range is pretty good, do you know what cabinet type you are connected to?


It is a Huwai of some sort.
Standard User tboorman
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 04-Apr-21 11:23:06
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: steve195527] [link to this post]
 
Plusnet admits that they traffic shape, but I know that Zen does not. I am not sure whether Pulse8 do or not.
Standard User Grimers
(learned) Sun 04-Apr-21 11:25:38
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
Ok, then go for a CPE (router) with a Broadcom chipset in it and you should be good to go! smile
Standard User JHo1
(member) Sun 04-Apr-21 16:53:04
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
I've been with Zen for years and have always been very happy with them. As for the Fritzbox, I wouldn't worry about the lack of ax. It might connect your laptop to the router faster than ac (if you're close enough, no walls between and so forth) but then you're out to the internet at 30 odd Mbps so that dash to/from the router is all a bit wasted. Unless you're connecting to some other local device on a home network the extra speed won't be of any use to you.

John
Standard User Malwaremike
(experienced) Sun 04-Apr-21 18:41:05
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
Hi Chris -- we're in a similar situation only we're probably older! We don't game or do much streaming so PN's 36MB package, anytime calls, do all we need with total reliability though PN's accounting system remains a nightmare. If you do move you can be sure of plenty of aggro.

Anything outside your master socket is the responsibility of Openreach supposedly now independent of BT. So cable faults will still torture you whatever your ISP.

Costs: I've had a look around and PN is still great value despite the oncoming increases. I would research costings very carefully before I moved if I were you.

As to router, we have no interest or inclination towards tech or fancy features, agree the PN Hub One is far from great but scores of PN users have bought a second-hand HH6 for around £15, used the excellent setup guide on the PN community forum and are enjoying very good results. Good luck whatever you choose.
Standard User nettech
(learned) Mon 05-Apr-21 10:59:13
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
1. I've been with Zen since October and they've handled all my enquiries (via email) and my current order very well thus far. No experience with Pulse8 I found it difficult to find the info I wanted on their website so gave up.

2. I was with IDNet for two years. Very solid but expensive. Monthly contracts on FTTC. It was great being able to email tech support and get a reply within 30 mins although I sometimes felt they weren't going the extra mile. Definitely get the impression that their main focus is on business clients. I would also consider Sky as I had no issues when I was with them.

3. I am using the Zen-supplied FRITZ!Box 7530 and it's the best router I've ever used, in that it's the most reliable and connects at the fastest speed. The wifi also has the strongest reach (I have done away with any extenders/repeaters). But if you're a tech head that likes to tinkle it's not for you. The other poster is correct in that you will always be limited by your broadband speed so unless you are steaming movies from a NAS etc. or regularly moving very large files then might not need ax. IMO the whole chipset to chipset thing is these days a myth - I had a Billion 8800NL R2 (Broadcom connecting to Huawei DSLAM) which only connected at 20mbps. The Fritz!Box (Intel/Lantiq) connects at 39mbps. I think it's more that certain routers are better matched to certain lines.

5. Very unlikely, I'm afraid if you have any issues leaving a provider it's likely to be PN, sorry.

Cheers
Steve
argonet (dialup) -> BT Openworld -> Pipex -> freedom2surf -> ADSL24 -> O2 -> Sky -> Plusnet -> IDNet -> Zen
Standard User professor973
(knowledge is power) Mon 05-Apr-21 11:01:03
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: chris52] [link to this post]
 
Pulse8 can supply a router and Adam & Sam offer superb customer service and very low call costs, but if your exchange is unbundled they will switch your line away from BTW over to TTB. I never found that a problem apart from BT pretending they could not identify the line if you were searching for a better deal and the cost of getting the line back to a BT line again. As for Zen, I can vouch for their superb service, low latency along the Fritzibox not missing a beat. I still look around at other providers but can find nothing to tempt me away from Zen so far, especially having suffered most providers in the past. Good luck with whatever you choose, but you seem to have researched and narrowed things down to good providers with a sensible price.

Standard User chris52
(regular) Mon 05-Apr-21 13:50:56
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: professor973] [link to this post]
 
Thank you for all the replies.

I am going with Zen. I like the included VDSL modem router and the price, including the call package, is not excessive when you factor in the price rises coming to the larger providers.
Standard User Grimers
(learned) Mon 05-Apr-21 16:20:26
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Re: Ready to leaves Plusnet Fibre for ............?


[re: nettech] [link to this post]
 
That's because the R2 has a terrible BDCM chipset, and doesn't really work on some VDSL lines.
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