Author Topic: Opinions on Broadband providers  (Read 4866 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #25 on: 11 September, 2020, 10:09:25 pm »
If you're switching from Virgin the first question is what technology is Openreach able to provide to your location, and how well is likely to perform.  If the line's crap, or FTTP involves impractical installation costs, there's only so much that even the AAISPs of this world can do with it.

Agreed. My flat in the UK, there was a 50m or so length of aluminium, about 300m from the flat, that makes it a right pain to get anything quick.

Sometimes L2TP to AAISP over Virgin Media broadband can be a winning strategy.  Gives you proper IP addresses, monitoring, etc and immunity to some forms of Virgin fuckery, at only double the cost and half the reliability.


Quote
Funny, my CO505 Computer Networks Lecturer said the same thing...

 :D
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #26 on: 11 September, 2020, 10:47:57 pm »
Currently playing with a 4g router to see if I can get useable speeds - even running a pair with unlimited data would cost no more than BT ‘Infinity’, which can be read as c.40Mb download this week - with dropouts.

Ben T

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #27 on: 11 September, 2020, 11:40:25 pm »
Very happy with sky.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #28 on: 12 September, 2020, 08:46:16 am »
I was with BT for a few years without issues, until they ramped up the price beyond sense. I moved to Plusnet on the basis that 'its BT but cheaper' - considerably cheaper.

I saw no great change in the speeds until about three months ago I started getting drop outs occasionally, this coincided with some road works near my cabinet at the end of the road. These got progressively worse, until it was happening four or five times a day.
I'm not a great one for daft questions from 'tech help lines' so I just put a tweet up late one Sunday afternoon "@plusnethelp(or whatever) I'm getting lots of line drop outs - any advice?" - middle of the next day I get a phone call from Plusnet saying they'd checked my line, found no fault, asked me a couple of basis questions and offered me a replacement router.

I doubted this would be the solution - but yes, no more drop outs, and yes, it seems that routers can grow old.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #29 on: 12 September, 2020, 11:18:31 am »
Unless you have actual fibre to your house, they're only as good as the phone line :(

I miss my rural broadband over WiFi - it was only 30Mb but it gave 30Mb upload and a static IP.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #30 on: 12 September, 2020, 12:24:57 pm »
As said upthread, I think the WiFi on the Virgin routers is flakey.
FTFY.

I know the wifi on VM routers is flakey.  Plagued me for ages before switching it to modem mode with a relatively cheap separate router.  Not a single problem since.
The sound of one pannier flapping

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #31 on: 12 September, 2020, 08:58:44 pm »
I have an ongoing dispute with Virgin. Unfortunately they are the only show in town as far as I'm concerned, even though there's a "Citifibre" cable going past my front gate. The connection is fine, but I was paying too much for it (£88 a month for 250Mb, some TV package that we never use, and free calls of up to an hour in duration). I wanted to ditch the TV and change the phone to VOIP. Virgin don't do VOIP. I decided to go for one of their "Oomph" packages - 350Mb straight with no TV or phone line for £56. Then the retention team got involved and offered me what I had before for £44. They sent me a contract tying me in until Jan 2022 but are buggering me about with charges, and when I have a look at my account, they still haven't got it right.

I had a look at Andrews & Arnold but they reckoned the fastest connection they could offer me was 9Mb.
Bach without a doubt.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #32 on: 12 September, 2020, 10:26:24 pm »
A&A's speed depends on what type of string ”our favourite telco” –Ed. have in the 'hood.  Fortunately they already had a fibre running up Larrington Towers Road so FTTP was quick and relatively painless.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #33 on: 22 September, 2020, 01:29:15 pm »
My experience. Of course your mileage may vary depending on where you live.

On VM,
* I've found the customer service to be excellent. Both times I've had a fault, they have had an engineer out the next day.
* Their network does offer low latency, but the peering isn't always great and I find I get higher ping times to lots of places on the internet relative to the vDSL (FTTC) line
* Latency is much more variable, compared to the vDSL (FTTC) line
* I get bandwidth usually (but not always) exceeding those advertised
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)
* Staying on top of what they charge requires an annual phone call
* Offer a broadband only package

On TalkTalk,
* I think their network itself is actually pretty good in terms of peering/latency - it might be higher than VM but there's much less variance
* Bandwidth as advertised
* Awful customer service (over a month to get an ongoing issue resolved)
* Subject to multiple data breaches - getting phishing phone calls when you have an open fault is tricksy
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)

On Shell Broadband,
* TalkTalk reseller
* No issues thus far
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)
* Very well priced through Money Saving Expert deals, although you might have to insist in order to get the exit fee waived
* Rubbish routers (put it in modem mode and attach your own router)

On PlusNet
* Cocked up transfer to new provider - took a month to sort out
* Aside from the above, no issues with customer service (much better than TalkTalk)
* Although they are owned by BT, extra hops and latency thanks to their peering arrangements, so not the best choice for on-line gaming but absolutely fine for anything else

On BT
* Usually an expensive choice, but probably the best DSL (FTTC) service you will get in terms of peering and latency
* Routers do work, but very limited configuration options mean you may want to use your own


No ISP is perfect. Consumer broadband is consumer broadband at the end of the day. You can double your chances with a second disparate line (so VM and vDSL/FTTC) or 3G/4G and a router that can failover between them.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #34 on: 22 September, 2020, 02:20:02 pm »
Currently using BT FTTC with a fast Asus mesh, plus a 4g UPS backed up router for failover duty, plus it’s portable to the shed etc for turbo duty(!)

As much as BT frustrate me, it does generally work. Customer service usually falls into the not our problem it’s your router category, but the last engineer gave me a Gfast modem, which is useful and a smaller box than the BT router in modem mode.

Edited to add that both are fine for Teams use. 6Gb of data on 4g the other day...

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #35 on: 22 September, 2020, 02:22:43 pm »
Are you sure it is the ISP...  ;)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54239180
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #36 on: 22 September, 2020, 02:49:23 pm »
On PlusNet
* Cocked up transfer to new provider - took a month to sort out
* Aside from the above, no issues with customer service (much better than TalkTalk)
* Although they are owned by BT, extra hops and latency thanks to their peering arrangements, so not the best choice for on-line gaming but absolutely fine for anything else

I had terrible problems with PlusNet, perhaps not entirely their fault but they handled the situation very badly.

We signed up at a time when they were expanding rapidly (due to their very competitive pricing - the same reason we chose them), but they weren’t expanding their customer services to keep up.

This would have been fine if there had been no problems with our internet connection. Unfortunately, we were at the end of six miles of copper wire in those days so adsl was a non-starter.

After two months of being unable to get through to their customer services, I cancelled the direct debit - this spurred them into action: they sent the debt collectors round.

I’m sure they’re fine now, but I will never use them ever again after that experience.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #37 on: 22 September, 2020, 06:33:50 pm »
I have the same issue with virgin, speed good but wifi coverage really poor and always dropping off.
Can people explain in VERY basic terms what I can do to improve?
Even “put it in modem mode and attach your own router” is too complicated for me ,..can anyone recommend a router and what else I need?

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #38 on: 22 September, 2020, 07:06:18 pm »
It's interesting how experiences stick with you – many years ago I was with a company called Demon Internet and for some reason it was paid through my credit card. Credit cards expire, it's a fact, so anyway, I inadvertently stopped paying.

Now, I'll admit my fault, but really some kind of notification would have been fine, or a call, or anything other than cut off my internet right there and then and tell me what I owed them had been passed along to a collection agency. Au revoir, dear long-term customer!

Same with EDF, with whom I engaged in a never ending battle to stop them sending a bill literally to 'the meter on the wall adj number 51.' They couldn't, for reasons impenetrable, give me online access (despite me being the company secretary of the business) and because the postie would simply leave bills by the wall, they would blow away. They would agree that yes, it was totally out of order, and singularly fail to solve what would seem an elementary problem of an address change. Just to taunt me, they did briefly manage it, and then reverted it for the next bill. I don't think it was ever solved.

As for droppy wifi, I had issue with a wilting radio signal for years, partly solved with an extender, but I did buy mesh system (TP-Link Deco M5) and it's been fantastic. Someone with better knowledge of Virgin modems will have to explain to precise details (I'm on BT), but it set-up was a pretty straighforward five-minute job.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #39 on: 22 September, 2020, 07:21:05 pm »
I have the same issue with virgin, speed good but wifi coverage really poor and always dropping off.
Can people explain in VERY basic terms what I can do to improve?
Even “put it in modem mode and attach your own router” is too complicated for me ,..can anyone recommend a router and what else I need?

Your router often does two jobs:

1. Encodes/Decodes the data going to/from the Internet (known as the Wide Area Network or WAN). That’s the modem part - it allows you to communicate with the outside world.

2. It routes this data to the correct devices in your home - your Local Area Network or LAN. So you can suffer 10 hours of Teams while your kids watch Netflix all day.

In ‘ye olde days’ you’d have had two boxes to do this - a modem and and a wireless router. The suggestion now is to disable the routing part of your supplier supplied integrated modem/router and only use it to communicate with the Internet. Then you can connect it with a network cable to your own shiny WiFi routing system.

This can be a simple, but more powerful, stand-alone router ( for example https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/networking/network-routers-and-switches/routers/asus-rt-ac88u-wifi-cable-fibre-router-ac-3100-dual-band-10145939-pdt.html?istCompanyId=bec25c7e-cbcd-460d-81d5-a25372d2e3d7&istFeedId=4d7eb93e-055f-499d-8ee5-1cdcc50d67d1&istItemId=xpwatpxrr&istBid=tztx&srcid=198&cmpid=ppc~gg~1014+(Shopping+Ads)+Networking+-+Generic~1014+(PLA)+NETWORKING+-+Adaptive+ad+group~Exact&mctag=gg_goog_7904&kwid=GOOGLE&device=m&ds_kids=92700057346631342&tgtid=1014+(Shopping+Ads)+Networking+-+Generic&=--present--&gclid=CjwKCAjwwab7BRBAEiwAapqpTJeTqMs3HRxTMDk5lWLntgyrWc8I0l98tylN57AOUoOp2li_LRddwBoC7pMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds)

Or it could be a mesh system, which does the same job but has several boxes that can be positioned through your house to ensure a good signal everywhere. The boxes ‘talk’ to each other by wireless. These are known as mesh systems, although some aren’t really a mesh (but I’ll stop there!!)

Mike

IanN

  • Voon
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #40 on: 22 September, 2020, 07:48:32 pm »
I have the same issue with virgin, speed good but wifi coverage really poor and always dropping off.
Can people explain in VERY basic terms what I can do to improve?
Even “put it in modem mode and attach your own router” is too complicated for me ,..can anyone recommend a router and what else I need?

Nothing is ever simple, but I did this at the weekend.

I had bought a two box Asus mesh router. Tick

VM router - put 192.168.0.1 in your browser. Gets you to the VM router software. The password is written on the bottom of the router. Mine is 8 digits in a small white box on the sticker.  There is a fairly obvious button marked Modem mode when you are in.

Network cable from port 1 on the VM router (now a modem)  to WAN port on your new router

The Asus router was a bit of a PITA, and asked a difficult question about DHCP vs PPPoE . I put DHCP and nothing has exploded.
I needed an app on my phone to talk bluetooth to the router until it was set up. glitchy.

Then...    turn everything off. Turn on VM modem. Wait. Turn on new router.

Internet molished

Note the new set up address for the VM modem is 192.168.100.1 -   if you need to switch it back.  Or poking a paper clip down the reset button for 15 seconds should do it.

The VM wifi is still present it seems. Also Virgin TV internet connection still goes to the back of the VM modem





ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #41 on: 23 September, 2020, 10:32:12 am »
If you don't have special requirements (I do, everyone says I'm very special), the Deco M5 was simply a case of download the app to your phone, plug one of the nodes into a spare ethernet socket on the router, position the other nodes, and follow the instructions on your phone.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #42 on: 23 September, 2020, 11:32:53 am »
I've been helping my neighbour on and off for the last few months to get his Ubiquiti home networking setup working with Virgin Media (and the thing stuck in modem mode) as the network provider.

Sheesh. Talk about overkill. Cloudkeys. Security Gateways. He's got about 8 switches with POE flying everywhere, 4 or 5 security cameras (which is the main reason for it all), 5 or 6 wireless base stations, and even a switch in a waterproof box outside for his outside wifi antenna and another camera.

And the UI is dense and it makes it very easy to screw up something by enabling some random property "Enable Jumbo Frames on 2.4GHz VLAN side channel frobnitz: Yes / No" with helpful tooltips that generally just repeat the same thing but slightly paraphrased.

I've got a BT home hub and one extra wifi disc (and I only use that because they sent it to me for free). I've got a single port forwarded to a bastion host to get into my network from the outside, and the Homehub does dyndns with no-ip.com. Don't need anything else.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #43 on: 23 September, 2020, 11:49:44 am »
If they want to have a complex setup like the one you describe, then they kinda need to know how to configure and maintain it themselves!

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #44 on: 23 September, 2020, 11:54:58 am »
For simple use, as an 'add-on' network, the Deco couldn't be simpler. You need a smartphone though.

It was a bit more fiddly for me because I wanted to keep my current LAN with the BT homehub as a modem only (and it links to the primary Deco node via a powerline adaptor to escape the dark clutches of the under-the-stairs cupboard) – I have various items with static IPs etc. that I wanted to keep. That said, the biggest challenge was trying to escape the simple configuration wizard, once done it was very straightforward to apply my own settings with the app (a five minute job). It might not appeal to people who know what a 'bastion server' or 'jumbo frames' are though (I don't, ignorance is my co-pilot).

I was very impressed to be honest, I have a dim memory of trying to configure a TP-Link print server once-upon-a-time, which was an evening full of ad-hoc wifi networks and swearing. Also impressed that it just works, I've had perfect wifi ever since, full speed (for FTTC) throughout the house, even with a slightly dubious powerline link.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #45 on: 23 September, 2020, 12:05:38 pm »
We've been using some BT powerline extenders to provide wifi across the house but they're getting quite old now and seem to be very flaky.

Our internet provider is Sky, and we're getting upgraded to Sky Q this week. Apparently, the Sky Q TV box functions also functions as a Wifi extender, which is great because we'll be able to retire the powerline extenders. At least, that's the theory. Knowing my luck, the box won't be able to connect to the router (current box can't connect to current router, probably due to the fat brick fireplace blocking the line of sight). Looking forward to fun and games getting it all set up.

We used to have a selection of Apple Airport (Extreme/Express) devices for our home network and they worked really well but they had to be retired because they became obsolete.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #46 on: 23 September, 2020, 12:17:09 pm »
Honestly, I wish I'd got the bloody wifi mesh thing years ago (ok, they'd probably not been invented or cost a million pounds each), it would saved many hours of effort, months of frustration, and several rants about getting decent wifi throughout this bloody house.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #47 on: 23 September, 2020, 12:32:31 pm »
Honestly, I wish I'd got the bloody wifi mesh thing years ago (ok, they'd probably not been invented or cost a million pounds each), it would saved many hours of effort, months of frustration, and several rants about getting decent wifi throughout this bloody house.

I guess the Airport setup was a mesh, though I don't recall it being called that at the time. The kit was quite pricy but I got it relatively cheaply through ebay. Unfortunately, they stopped supporting them in.... <google> ...2013, so they've been unusable for some time and are now gathering dust in the obsolete tech graveyard.

It looks like much cheaper options are available now. My only concern with the Sky Q setup is that the TV box will want to talk directly to the Sky Q modem/router rather than via an intermediary. You can get a proprietary Sky Q extender but it's £150, which seems a bit steep.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #48 on: 23 September, 2020, 12:40:50 pm »
I don't think Airport was a mesh, I didn't think it had been 'invited' back then?

I have Airport things around a thick walled house, but instead of getting them to extend the network (which halves the bandwidth each time there is an extension) but by Ethernet, as I've used every opportunity to run cable around, when builders or I were rummaging around.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Opinions on Broadband providers
« Reply #49 on: 23 September, 2020, 12:56:17 pm »
I think there's some argument about what a 'proper mesh' is, but basically, the nodes just talk to each other rather than a central hub. So the one in my office is talking to the one in the bedroom upstairs, which is talking to primary node in the living room (that then links via a powerline adaptor to the cupboard under the stairs where the BT homehub has been confined, for its sins, in modem-only mode).

The downside, of course, is that the mesh nodes have to use up bandwidth to talk to each other (like extenders). But there's no shortage in most home scenarios. Three nodes cover my house and ensure I get a full signal in every room (and the back garden) and I've not had a single drop out since I installed it.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets