Cheap broadband deals for January 2010

December 30, 2009

Business is brisk for UK broadband providers in January – it seems that most of us review our household bills this month. January offers a good time to switch broadband provider with a number offering special money off deals. As always check the small print but here are some of the best deals out there. Read on.

2 months free on O2 Broadband

O2 Standard Home Broadband offers award winning 8 Mbs broadband for £7.34 per month (excluding line rental) for existing O2 customers and £12.23 for new customers. The service comes with a free wireless router and free set up. Plus in January, O2 is offering 2 months free.

So if you’re looking for a good all round family broadband service with UK based free technical support – then O2 is a great choice. Visit the broadband section of the o2 website for more detailed information.

6 months free on Sky Broadband Unlimited

Sky is offering six months free on their top broadband package – Sky Broadband Unlimited. Any new or existing Sky digital TV customer who signs up before February 5th 2010 can get Sky Broadband Unlimited (if it is available at your post code) free for six months and it costs £10 per month thereafter.

This great broadband deal is however only available if you also take a Sky Talk home phone package. Sky Talk offers free evening and weekend calls at no extra cost. And Sky Broadband Unlimited offers super-fast broadband (up to 20 Mbps) with unlimited downloads. Check the Sky broadband website.

2 months free on Virgin Media fibre-optic broadband.

Virgin Media offers three fibre –optic broadband packages: Broadband Size L which provides up to 10 Mbs fibre-optic broadband for £12.50 per month; Broadband Size XL which offers up to 20 Mbs broadband for £20 per month; and Size XXL which offers the fastest broadband available in the UK at up to 50 Mbs with unlimited downloads for £28 per month.

The Broadband XXL package offers broadband speeds over twice as fast as anything available from the other top UK broadband providers.

For a limited period, Virgin Media is offering two months free across all three fibre-optic broadband packages.

See the Virgin Media website for further information.

Product information originally appeared on the PR inside website.

Using the new iphone as a modem

June 9, 2009

Thats right. You can use the latest version of the Apple iphone as a modem. This means you can now use the latest generation iphone for accessing the internet via a broadband connection.

In the UK, this will mean purchasing the new iphone (out in the middle of June 2009) will give you access via the O2 broadband and wifi networks.

This offers you a very real possibility of dropping your home broadband connection and even your mobile broadband dongle. This could be the perfect excuse for you to bring and iphone into your Apple collection or upgrade your existing iphone.

iphone as modem

As reported in the Times newspaper…

O2 has announced that it is to charge users of new Apple’s iPhone models announced yesterday at least £14.68 per month on top of the monthly subscription if they want to use it as a modem to connect their laptops to the internet, a process known as internet tethering. Using the internet from the iPhone itself, via both 3G and wi-fi, is included in the normal monthly subscription.

Tethering is one of the key features that has been missing from the iPhone until now. However, the new iPhone 3G S models announced at yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose and which will be available in the UK through Apple’s exclusive network partner O2 from June 19, will allow tethering. Users of existing 3G iPhones will also be to download an upgrade to their operating system software from the same date, giving them access to that feature as well as other new ones such as cut and paste and picture messaging.

However, O2 has revealed that using tethering will not be included in the normal unlimited data that comes with standard pay monthly packages. Instead, you will have to buy a bolt-on monthly package costing £14.68 per month for 3 gigabytes of data and £29.36 per month for 10 gigabytes. Additional data used through tethering will cost 19.6p per megabyte. If you want to use internet tethering overseas, you will have to pay £2.94 per megabyte in the EU and £6 per megabyte everywhere else.

Visit the O2 online store for more information

Pay as you go broadband

April 27, 2009

PAYG or pay as you go broadband seems to be gaining in popularity. I can place whether it is the credit crunch or just broadband companies telling me that I can get cheap broadband, discounted broadband of free laptops if I sign up for 24 months – but – somewhere deep in my psyche I have noticed more of a pull towards payg broadband.

I was interested to find out whether it was only me that had been effected by the latest TV/marketing spin, so I ran some research on Google. I put the following queries into Google trends to give me a benchmark: broadband router and mac broadband. I then added in payg broadband and pay as you go broadband to see how they are fairing. You can see the result for yourself by looking at following the link to the? Google trend query.

Pay as you go broadband

See – I am not going mad. Pay as you go broadband is on the increase! And amazingly, so is the search phrase “pay as you go mobile broadband”. This surprises me, because that is quite a mouthful to type into Google when searching for something, but, definitely something people are looking for. My guess would be that it is students that use the payg broadband services the most but drop me a comment below if you use payg broadband and/or have switched to it recently. I’d be fascinated to know if you are switching to pay as you go broadband as a way of avoiding costly broadband contracts.

Please see my mobile broadband for mac page to find some good mobile broadband feedback from the Apple mac community (seems most of you have had bad experiences to date). There are links to all the major UK mobile broadband companies.

Check out these sites too: Pay as you go broadband (informational blog about pay as you go broadband, pay as youg go mobile broadband and pay as you go broadband dongles), VNU (press release from O2 about their new pay as you go mobile broadband offer) & GSM (the global governing body for Mobile phone operators, including mobile broadband operators in the UK).

Norton antivirus for mac

April 27, 2009

I have recently been sent a copy of the Norton anti-virus for the Mac computer. The software is available for both Apple Macs and PCs. It is 2009 edition.

I installed the software on my desktop PC, my notebook and my Apple mac laptop. The installation went smoothly on all three computers – although the netbook is always a pain when it has no CD-drive to install software through.

The software is very easy to use and is running background on each of my computer systems. Occasionally it has warned me of potential issues but these have turned out to simply be tracking cookies and a low level threat.

The anti-virus software and an initial scan of each computer system and found that all were okay – in other words, my ATG free edition had and a good job of keeping my computers protected.

What I do like about the Norton anti-virus, is that it can record your pass words within one function. Your credit card numbers, and passwords are stored within one password protected folder – each time you visit a website that Norton anti-virus recognises if offers to populate the username and password for you.

Another good feature is in the Web browser; it identifies itself when you conduct a search using a search engine – each web site listed in the search results, has an indicator next to it; a green tick for safe sites that have been scanned, a grey question mark for sites that are yet to be reviewed and, red crosses for websites that are riddled with dodgy software and viruses.

Norton also have a community in which you can take part – when you visit a website you can also add a mini review to the Norton system. Others can see your review so, you can others by telling them about a website’s content and whether it is safe to visits. I guess all this data goes into a big database that protects users in the future.

I have enjoyed using Norton antivirus 2009, and I will continue to until another product comes along. I am happy to use the product for the foreseeable future so you can take that as an endorsement. I plan to use the product until the next release. I will add updates to this anti-virus review when anything exciting happens!

A number of high street retailers will sell you a copy of the product including PC World – visit PC World.

24 mb broadband with MacAce

April 18, 2009

It is no secret dedicated Apple lovers will go out of their way to pledge allegiance to the Apple mac brand, so it should come as no surprise users of the Mac operating system have their own dedicated internet service with MacAce. (view the MacAce product information)

MacAce is one the latest broadband operators in the UK to launch a new range of up to 24Mb ADSL2+ broadband services over BT’s 21CN network  a broadband package that is also capable of 1Mb upload speeds.

The 24Mb ‘AlwaysOn’ home packages start with the cheapest AlwaysOn Lite deal. Priced at £16.49 on a rolling one month contract it includes a 10Gb peak download limit (unlimited off-peak), five email accounts and 1Gb of ‘MacMate’ web space. It is also possible to increase the peak usage quota to 30Gb (AlwaysOn Pro £24.39 per month) and 60Gb (AlwaysOn Elite at £29.29 per month) but all 24Mb packages are subject to a £46 connection charge.

There should hopefully be no problems with bandwidth-throttling for the AlwaysOn home packages, as MacAce.net makes a promise its services aren’t affected by traffic shaping or restrictions.

If you like the idea of really fast broadband and live in an urban or cables area then take a look at the broadband products offerings from Be broadband and VirginMedia

I found this article published on the Broadband Genie website. I’ve changed it slightly.

Free broadband from BT broadband

April 15, 2009

Press release from the team at BT broadband:

3 months FREE BT broadband

BT beats the economic cold front with 3 months Free Broadband! – sign up today

It’s April so time to shower BT customers with offers to wet their appetites with these online exclusive offers!

From the 15th April BT broadband will be offering 3 months free broadband on packages where customers bring their calls back to BT.

That means that anyone ordering either BT’s ‘broadband and call package’ or BT’s ‘triple play package’ (Broadband, calls and BT Vision) will get three months of BT Broadband absolutely Free.

The up to – £30 off – promotion will still run on BT broadband Option 1 and BT broadband Option 3 only (not BT broadband Option 2).

Visit the BT Broadband website for further information on this offer

Terms:

Offers cannot be combined.

These offers are online exclusive.

Offer ends on the 28th April 2009.

Broadband is not all about the provider

March 15, 2009

Most people that are in the process of a search for a new broadband provider, connection or package often think: The broadband provides the service and the end user can customize the package from the provider to cater to their preferences. Well there is actually a little more involved that is important to note.

Broadband speed and quality often times depends largely on the type and quality of the PC that you will be using the connection on. Sometimes the age of a computer could have a very strong effect on the signal that the broadband company is able to transmit and often times a very old computer can immensely slow down a very fast connection.

Most computers these days are equipped with  built in processors that can transmit a proper signal but if your computer is from years prior to the most recent connection type than you may have a problem with the connection that has absolutely nothing to do with your provider.

Remember that buying a PC has now become something that will have to be updated on a somewhat regular bi-yearly basis. As things change and technology changes things are likely to get faster, smaller, greener and better so buying a laptop or desktop and counting on keeping it for decades is most likely a thing of the past.

But with computers getting more affordable and broadband deals following suit in that regard it should be no problem to be able to make an upgrade every now and again in the future years to come.

City versus rural broadband and Ofcom's market 1, 2, 3

March 1, 2009

I have been contacted by Plusnet recently. Plusnet have released two new broadband products – Plusnet value and Plusnet unlimited. Plusnet have encouraged me to update the pricing information on their products (I still need to do this – but am writing this post as I learn what the pricing refers to …. BT’s broadband Market 3 etc. ???).

With Plusnet’s new pricing came references to.

“the cheapest market 3 broadband in the UK”

At this point I am not sure what market 3 means. Read on if you want to follow me on my journey of finding out. Jump to the bottom of the post if you prefer un-pretty pictures.

From what initially sounds like (from Plusnet) two simple broadband products, there is in-fact some confusing pricing that goes hand in hand. It appears that the price you pay for your broadband is dependent on the level of competition in your local area. (I know I am writing a broadband website here but this is relatively new news to me).

It appears that where your local BT exchange houses equipment from other broadband providers, the price you pay for your broadband is lower….. this confuses me and I am sure it will confuse others.

Live in a city – get cheap broadband

Now I may be reading too little into this, but it seems that the only customers that benefit from cheap broadband are going to be customers where companies such as Sky, o2 and Orange are prepared to put in their own equipment to a BT exchange. Now broadband companies are only going to do this in areas where there are large number of potential customers… yes, you guessed it….

“people living in cities still pay considerable less for their broadband than those of us that live out in the country.”

So if you live in a city (or other areas with broadband providers competing for your custom) – good for you – you live in a Market 3 area and can get nice cheap broadband. And, at £5.99 per month, Plusnet Value now provides the cheapest broadband in these competitive areas.

For the rest of us. Expect to continue to pay high prices for you broadband connections. The same Plusnet value product in a ‘normal’ area is £11.99 per month. Not so great.

In case you are interested to know more about the digital divide in the UK. Skim the notes below. If you live in an area highlighted in red, you can get cheap broadband. If you don’t, you’re stuck with slow broadband speeds and high prices. Doesn’t quite ad up does it?

Ofcom descriptions for broadband markets

Under Ofcom regulations introduced in May 2008, telephone exchanges are graded in one of four categories.

  1. Market 1BT Wholesale are the only broadband provider
  2. Market 2Broadband is available from 2 or 3 providers (including BT)
  3. Market 3Broadband is available from 4 or more providers (including BT)
  4. Hull area – broadband provided by Kingston communications

If an exchange is scheduled to offer broadband from 4 or more providers in the future then it’ll be Market 2 if it serves less than 10,000 lines and Market 3 if it serves more than 10,000.

Ofcom broadband map - market 1, 2 and 3 - 2008

Ofcom broadband map - market 1, 2 and 3 - 2008

Plusnet value

February 17, 2009

Plusnet have just launched the cheapest broadband product in the UK – Plusnet Value. Priced at only £5.99 per month, Plusnet Value customers receive up to 8MB broadband download speeds, a free wireless router, and up to 10GB of monthly broadband downloads.

Switching your broadband to Plusnet is both free and easy; their broadband support team and really helpful & available 24hours a day, 7 days per week. Plusnet also came top in nine out of eleven categories in the uSwitch broadband customer satisfaction survey, including Best Overall Customer Satisfaction and Best Technical support.

Summary of Plusnet Value

  • £5.99 a month to 80% of the UK broadband market*
  • Wireless router included
  • Free set-up
  • Up to 8Mb speeds
  • 10Gb usage allowance
  • 18 month contract applies

Notes: *Plusnet cover 80% of the UK broadband market – for customers not in these geographic areas the Plusnet Value will be £5.99 a month for 3 months and then £11.99

Plusnet Unlimited

February 17, 2009

BT-owned Plusnet have just launched a new range of broadband products. Plusnet unlimited – for £11.99 per month – gives you broadband speeds of upto 8MB, unlimited! monthly downloads, a free wireless router. Plusnet is also free to join and set-up.

Plusnet’s new broadband deals are bound to make the company appear higher in our Top 10 broadband league tables.

Notes: £11.99 offer is for the first 3-months. The monthly broadband cost then increases to £15.99. 18-month contract applies.

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