Finding and choosing an ISP for Mac users

August 7, 2007

What a nightmare? At first glance it seems that none of the Internet Service Providers (I.S.P.s) in the UK cater for owners and users of Apple mac computers. I guess that because Mac users are relatively small in numbers – when compared to PC users – that the bigger broadband providers have forgoten about them; Mac users have quite different service and support needs to the PC community.

Almost all ISPs provide Mac compatible broadband but not all are Mac friendly. You can use any ISP’s broadband on an Apple mac computer or laptop but, not all ISPs will provide you with guidance on how to run the modem or router installation nor offer you helpful mac support. Result – As a Mac user you are pretty much left to your own devices; sorry mac owners, when it comes to setting up and using your broadband connection the big broadband providers are generally found wanting.

However there is hope! The following broadband providers are making efforts to support Mac users and make their broadband – mac compatible :

ISP for mac computers

  • BT broadband – they are a big player that appeals to the family-PC market but they are now making efforts to provide mac compatible broadband and support.
  • Madasafish broadband – Madasafish have been mac friendly for a while now. They not only offer great service and support, but also are set-up to provide high bandwidth connections to power users. When Madasafish say ‘unlimited’ downloads they mean just that… e.g. no ‘download limits are subject to our fair usage policy.’
    Update: As of August 2007, Madasafish broadband are now owned by BT broadband. Service levels should remain high but watch this post & website for updates.
  • AOL broadband- Another major broadband player, now owned and operated by the Carphone Warehouse. AOLs broadband service has suffered over the years but they are a good safe bet if you want the re-assurance of a big broadband ISP but don’t want to use BT broadband.
  • Pipex broadband – This broadband ISP has recently been taken over by Tiscali broadband (yet another big ISP but this time, German owned). With David Hassolhoff featured on their advertising, they must be onto a winner.
  • TalkTalk broadband -Another broadband ISP on the Carphone Warehouse roster. TalkTalk have been in trouble for their ‘free broadband for life’ advertising; it almost caused their internal system and customer services to fall-over, when they received an unprecedented response to their FREE broadband offer. However, TalkTalk are recovering from their initial over-enthusiasm to gain new customers and, their service levels are returning.

Are we missing a mac compatible ISP?

If you think we are missing a Mac compatible ISP or there is one you use that you think is simply GREAT then – Please fill-out the comments form below with who you would recommend we review on this website and we will get on the case.

Moreover, if you have any particularly strong feelings about the broadband ISPs featured above (good or bad experiences) then drop us a message in the comments section and we’ll post them up for all to see (no swearing though :-) ).

Comments

Reader's Comments

So far we have 6 comments about the product “Finding and choosing an ISP for Mac users”

  1. Richard on August 13th, 2007 4:54 pm

    I’ve been a pc user for some years – reluctantly – and recently came close to purchasing one of the new IMacs. However, I’ve had to decide against it, because my ISP provider – TalkTalk – told me that although it is possible to connect to their service using Mac, they have encountered ‘endless problems’ and ‘a number of difficulties’, so cannot guarantee it will work. So I guess I have no option but to stick with my PC; I don’t want to take that risk.

  2. john edginton on December 30th, 2007 12:29 pm

    I recently switched to Talktalk because of its free broadband deal.
    Unfortunately I have discovered that the wireless router they
    have sold me – the Echolife HG520s – seems to have major
    incompatibilty problems with certain websites such as the hotmail
    site. It just will not open them at all! I’m using Firefox, but
    I’ve also tried Safari and Internet Explorer – all no use either
    in getting onto hotmail.
    The frustrating thing is that other sites such as the BBC’s work
    really fast..
    Has anyone else reported these problems and do you have any suggestions
    to cure them?
    cheers
    John

  3. Robin (Mac Broadband) on January 3rd, 2008 10:00 pm

    Hi john, Thank you for getting in touch. I am sorry to hear about your problems with TalkTalk. We have not come across issues with TalkTalk’s routers. Perhaps you could try posting a query on http://www.thinkbroadband.co.uk or you might find some helpful advice on http://www.talktalkproblems.co.uk.

    I hope you resolve your wireless router issue.

  4. nicky on January 31st, 2008 9:41 pm

    I’m about to move to a shared house that has, apparently, AOL-provided broadband via wifi, all current users being PC owners. I currently operate an Apple Mac G4 via dail-up BT Anytime, which was pretty much all that was available to me when I was looking for an ISP 8 years ago (i.e. I’ve never upgraded to broadband – and sorry, I do realise this is a broadband site!).

    Does anyone know whether I will be able to access the web via this fabulous wifi set-up, or do I need to transfer my BT ISP status to my new address via the BT landline there which is the platform for the AOL wifi?

    Any info/help/advice very gratefully received!

  5. Robin (Mac Broadband) on February 1st, 2008 1:35 pm

    Hi Nicky,

    If you ‘already have’ a wireless netowrk card attached to your Apple G4 you should be able to simply move into your new house and everything work smoothly.

    You’ll just need to ask your house mates (especially the one that controls the AOL wifi configuration) to add your computer to the exsiting network in the wi-fi controller’s settings.

    Your housemates may need to add your Apple’s ‘mac address’ to their set-up (tip: a mac code is the number of the wireless device on your G4 not the serial number of your mac. It will be labelled “Wireless ID:00 12 A1 B2 C3 D4 99″ or similar. You need to tell this number to your housemate so they can configure the wireless router)

    If the network is secure – then you will need to search for a new wireless network on your mac, find the name of your local house-hold network, click to connect and enter a password when prompted. Again – with the password – your house mates should be able to help.

    Once you’ve entered a password, you should be connected.

    If you need detailled help try visiting the following forums and asking:

    http://discussions.apple.com/index.jspa
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/

    Alternatively, there is an article I just found on Amazon which should help you:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/38LWSM3P8GROR

    If you do not have a wireless card attached to your G4, You may need to run a wire from your Apple to the AOL wireless router. Your just need to buy an ethernet cable long enough to reach fronm your bedroom to the router! They’re not too expensive.

    Hope you manage to connect.

    Robin

  6. Andrea on December 23rd, 2009 3:26 pm

    Talk Talk is a rip off. They must write on their website PC only broadband. When you buy cheap you buy twice. Diabolical customer service you cannot trust a word they say.

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