Zen Internet UK’s best broadband

February 24, 2010

12, 000 consumers were asked to rate quality and service of broadband providers by Which in their latest broadband poll published in March 2010 issue. Zen was top of the tree with a customer service score of 89%. It was not the cheapest at £17.99 a month but it does offer a one-month tie-in period. Connection speed, connection reliability and customer service were all five star rated. Visit the Zen Internet website to see their current deals.

O2 were next in line with 77% customer service score offering two good packages (1) Standard (LLU- local loop unbundled areas where ISPs intall their own equipment) at £12.50 with unlimited monthly data downloads plus a discount for customers also taking mobile services and (2) Access (non-LLU) at £22.50 with unlimited monthly data downloads and discounts available. O2 were the only provider to be awarded 5 stars for value for money packages. All other ratings were 4 star for O2 network. Check out these packages and more visit the o2 website.

Utility Warehouse was rated 4th in the table of 28 providers by 76% of customers at a monthly cost of £19.75 which includes £1.76 monthly membership fee. Visit the pay as you go broadband website for review of  Utility Warehouse’s phone, gas and power packages. Note too that their connection speeds received an average 3 star rating.

Plusnet were rated 8th by 63% of customers but they do offer the cheapest package and outstanding value for money at £5.99 a month. Monthly data downloads are capped at 10GB. If you leave them within 12 months you will have to pay setup and equipment costs. However, if you pay for setup and equipment, up to £80, upfront you can leave with 10 days notice at any time.

Generally, customers found that switching providers is straightforward. When changing providers the mantra - the most expensive service will be the best – does not hold true.  For more information regarding the Which Survey visit the which website

For more information re the top broadband packages we recommend you visit the Zen Internet website or the o2 website ; the utility warehouse website ; or the plusnet website

Service providers who were rated poorly were Supernet; Karoo Internet, Pipex; Orange; and AOL (the latter being awarded only one star for all customer services and value for money.

Choosing a Mac user-friendly broadband provider

January 2, 2010

Switching broadband provider can save you £135!

The latest research by Broadband Choices suggests that changing broadband provider could save you £135/year. Furthermore, 40% of broadband users are planning to switch and save over the next 12  months. The study also found that reliability is the most important factor when choosing a new broadband package with 42% of respondents claiming it is the number one issue (followed by speed -37%). It is interesting to note that this research found that only 15% of people said that price was a key factor.

Choosing and using ISP for apple macs

Any broadband connection is compatible with Apple Mac computers but modems are not so simple. The modems and routers that are sent from your ISP are pre-configured in order to permit immediate usage, so PC users can get on the net quickly. For Mac users this can often be more difficult, especially when these devices are non.mac compatible.

What to look for: Mac-compatible hardware; Mac technical support

Best for Novices

Everyone has to start somewhere and when it comes to the web – few people dive straight into configuring wireless networks and optimising their bandwidth. If you are a new Mac user one suggestion is to get an ethernet connection as this is generally thought to be more reliable and gives a higher level of performance than USB. Then get a good mid-range broadband product with around a 5GB download limit to enjoy relatively fast and wholly economical surfing!

Experienced Mac users attest that they can network with ease into any decent broadband ISP so the real deal is to choose a provider that explicitly supports Macintosh users just in case you do need a hand with something without the risk of being dis-owned by a Windows-centric ISP! If you are confident setting up your Mac and only require the actual configuration settings then a Mac-friendly ISP may be of less importance to you. However, it is worth bearing in mind that if you do need to ring the technical support you will often get limited assistance unless they have a Mac support team.

Contact your prospective ISP and before committing ask:

Do you have a dedicated Mac support team?

Can I read mail from my ISP mailbox from any other gateway?

Do you offer me web space for my needs?

Customer satisfaction AND savings

Having said all that, we suggest you visit www.o2.co.uk and visit www.plus.net as both these offer superfast and cheap broadband packages. O2 offers great discounts for existing customers which can get you a 20Mb broadband package for less than £10 a month (£7.34 for a Standard package and £9.79 for a Premium). Which currently endorse the O2 Home broadband package at £7.34 a month. Plusnet offers the UK’s cheapest standalone broadband package as well as a new high-end tariff and both suppliers have won a number of awards for customer satisfaction.

Good hunting!

Original research can be found on the www.broadband-choices.co.uk website.

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.

Plusnet bargain

November 27, 2008

Plusnet have just launched an absolute credit crunching bargain. They are offering some new introductory pricing on their broadband products.

They are offering to bundle in the cost of home phone for £1.99 per month for the first 3 months (BTcharge around £10 per month for their line-rental). You need to purchase their £9.99 per month broadband package, but, it still works out to be a mega-bargain.

Visit the Plusnet website to find out more.

If you are considering switching broadband providers – please give Plusnet a look in; they win tonnes of customer satisfaction awards and you can try them out with a 90 day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like Plusnet you can leave! Now that IS a refreshing change.

Top 10 broadband, October 2008

November 1, 2008

The following ISPs have been the most popular broadband providers for the month of October 2008.

  1. Madasafish
  2. BT Broadband
  3. o2 broadband
  4. Virgin Media
  5. TalkTalk broadband
  6. Be broadband
  7. Sky Broadband
  8. AOL Broadband
  9. Zen Internet
  10. Plusnet Broadband
October has been a quiet month. Is the Credit crund hitting you? Are you able to keep going with your broadband payments? Or have you thrown in your broadband contract and switched to mobile broadband?
Let me know by leaving a comment.

Top 10 broadband, September 2008

October 10, 2008

The following broadband companies have proved the most popular Apple broadband providers for the month of September 2008.

  1. Madasafish broadband
  2. o2 broadband
  3. BT broadband
  4. Virgin media
  5. TalkTalk broadband
  6. Be broadband
  7. T-mobile broadband
  8. Three mobile broadband
  9. Zen Internet
  10. Sky broadband

o2 has grown in popularity over the months and is catching Madasafish. BT broadband is still a strong contender.

Top 10 broadband, August 2008

September 15, 2008

The following broadband providers have ranked as the best broadband for macs in August 2008.

  1. Madasafish broadband
  2. o2 broadband
  3. BT broadband
  4. Be broadband
  5. Virgin media
  6. Zen Internet
  7. Plusnet 
  8. Three mobile broadband
  9. TalkTalk broadband
  10. AOL broadband
Madasafish and o2 broadband offerings still remain the most popular with o2 gaining quickly.

Top 10 broadband, July 2008

July 15, 2008

The Top 10 broadband providers for June 2008 (by popularity of our readers is:

  1. Madasafish broadband
  2. o2 broadband
  3. BT broadband
  4. Virgin media
  5. Be broadband
  6. Zen Internet
  7. Plusnet broadband
  8. TalkTalk broadband
  9. Three mobile broadband
  10. T-mobile broadband
o2 are proving a very popular broadband choice. Another big month for BT-owned Madasafsh.

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