Ideal ISP for London, UK?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by illjazz, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. illjazz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #1
    My sister just moved to London and asked me for help deciding on an ISP for internet access. I remember from iPhone 4S launch threads I participated in that there's a fair number of UK users on Macrumors.com, so I thought this would be a good platform to ask about this.

    I sent her this link as it seems packed with useful information on the topic: http://www.ispreview.co.uk/articles/11_guide_how_to_choose_a_broadband_isp/index.php

    Any other links, ideas or suggestions you can throw my way would be useful. She's a student and lives in London. I'd classify her as a light user generally, though I know she makes use of Netflix occasionally. In general, she'd like to keep monthly costs low and she only needs internet access, no fixed phone landline (although as I understand, that's mostly included these days).

    I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place on MR but I looked through the entire list of forums and sub-forums here and this seemed most appropriate.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. smwatson macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    You can get really cheap deals, but most of the headline prices (<£10 per month) won't include line rental (£12 a month ish).

    It's worth her seeing if she can get Virgin Media's cable broadband. You can get that without having to have a landline, which saves the line rental cost. And it's MUCH quicker than phone line internet.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
  4. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Another vote for Virgin here. Nice and fast with free speed updates every now and then.
     
  5. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    If you want to get fast BB on a good deal maybe BT Infinity as mentioned above.

    If you need to fix an issue though you may as well shoot yourself in the face.
     
  6. smwatson macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    Free speed updates? I got a letter telling me I was getting free faster broadband (60MB up from 40MB maybe? Can't remember) followed a week later by a letter telling me my monthly bill would be going up by £3.50.

    Lovely stuff.

    To be fair, I get TV through them too so it might have been that bit where the cost was increasing...
     
  7. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #7
    That wasn't great work by Virgin. Massive advertising campaign to say they are giving free speed updates, shortly followed by price increases. The two events might not have been linked in Virgin's mind, but they were in the customers.
     
  8. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    That's where you have to ring virgin.
    I also was subject to the increase. I rang virgin and informed them I was not happy with the yearly increase and was considering moving to Sky for all 3 services. They therefore appled a 'discount' of £7 per month, which ends Feb 2014!!
     
  9. englishman macrumors 6502a

    englishman

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #9
    Cheapest (by far) is Talk-Talk (just a customer).

    Pay one years line rental up front £114 - and then its just £3.25 per month for unlimited and free w/e eve calls

    So £153 per year or £12.75 per month equiv

    Although you can get Virgin in certain areas and don't require a landline its still more expensive

    If she just needs limited use she could get mobile bband for about £10 with tethering but of course it will be slower and limited

    Good luck

    If she's a student some residences have free internet - also many places in London with free wifi
     
  10. azahar macrumors newbie

    azahar

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    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    Europe
  11. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    U.K
    #11
    I doubt she's a gamer but if she is then bethere is a good one.

    In terms of customer service ZEN is meant to be great.
     
  12. chriscl macrumors 6502

    chriscl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #12
    Another Virgin Media customer here, and can recommend them.

    TalkTalk are cheap for a reason - their customer service is *abysmal* they regularly rank bottom in customer-service satisfaction surveys of ISPs, but if finance is an issue, they are cheap.

    (Oh - and not defending Virgin Media but the recent price increase of £3.50 was not down to them, it was Sky Television increasing their wholesale prices for some of their "Premium" TV channels, and Virgin then having to pass the cost on to their customers. Very, very poor timing though by VM, one does wonder if there wasn't some element of deliberate timing from Sky there!)
     
  13. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #13
    I'm really happy with Zen internet, which ranks top or 2nd on satisfaction all the time, not the cheapest, but lots of xtras and no data shaping, great mac tech support ONSHORE in Britain, etc.

    http://www.zen.co.uk/

    https://www.bethere.co.uk/web/beportal/homepage


    You could also look at BE, who have a good deal and seemed to be liked. I've been sceptical of the big package providers like talktalk, virgin, 02, BT, etc. Research how they behave with data, support, privacy, etc, before you buy.

    Also, i would be realistic about how much data a month you'd use, and be aware of terms/conditions. Remember, we have BBC and all the other tv online as well.
     
  14. amenze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #14
    I have just moved house, where virgin internet is not available, and have had to sign up to broadband through a phone line.
    I went with talktalk for the price but the connection and customer service is terrible, if she can go on fibre optic with virgin i would recommend it, as it has great speeds and very good customer service(give a discount if you complain).

    I have never used bt infinity or talktalks fibre optic lines so i cannot comment on that, but if i had a choice it would be virgin all the way.
     
  15. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #15
    Many many thanks, all! I linked her to this thread and she went with Virgin. Ordered it yesterday... said they won't be there for installation until the 25th. Ouch!
     
  16. smwatson macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #16
    That's not too slow. Is there already cable installed? I kept pestering them to not bother coming to install it as I already had a cable socket. They ended up cancelling all installation/delivery charges and posted me the router.
     
  17. rctlr macrumors 6502a

    rctlr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #17
    If you can get it, go for the cheap fibre deal Virgin have. That way you do not need a BT Phone line.
    I ditched the phone line and btbroadband for Virgin Media Fibre, and never looked back - in fact I'm better off with speed 7x and cash too.

    ----------

    Huh, should have read all the way to the end of the thread!
     
  18. glynhughes macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    #18
    I'd suggest a mobile hotspot or tethering to a smartphone to start with. Just to gauge how much bandwidth gets used. Then, if it's genuinely light use, compare 12 months of mobile data charges with 12 months of fixed line internet. Using mobile internet will only be cost effective if usage is quite low (but may be worth the higher charges considering it gives you coverage away from home.)

    If a fixed line installation is necessary, see if the mobile phone network has any bundles before comparing those with other internet providers using thinkbroadband.com DOn't forget to include the cost of a BT phone line for those ISPs that require one.

    I've used BT, Virgin, Plusnet, Eclipse, Be/O2 in the last 5 years. Currently sticking with Be/O2's product for its (so far) superior reliability. Their customer service (main reason for ditching the others) is bearable too.
     
  19. realitystops macrumors regular

    realitystops

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Very North
    #19
    ISP for MAC

    Not the cheapest - BUT - by far the most reliable/helpful and knowledgable (MAC ONLY) edit - windows can use. MUST BE - MACACE.net

    Have used them for the past five years' absolutely the best ever. Been online for 18years or so and prior ti MACACE it was just horrible.

    I don't own shares or work for them ;-)
     
  20. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    iLondon/iDurban
    #20
    Virgin Media gets my vote, 3 years on the trot with brilliant service, no BT line rental cr@p 12 month rolling contract bull$h1te! (I hate BT, bunch of crooks)
     
  21. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #21
    What? Mac Specific? Why? 10 years ago yes, when OSX was launched there was a lot of trouble. Hasn't been the case for years though. Would agree with those that recommend Virgin. Very good deals at reasonable prices.

    We are with BT, not Fibre yet though as the exchange hasn't been 'enabled'. Although they fitted all the cables months ago. Very reliable customer service, well talking to a brick wall is very similar.

    Easy to use and set up though. If it's a cable, just plug and play - one of the few things that still is on a Mac - or WiFi takes about 5 minutes to get up and running.
     
  22. 7031 macrumors 6502

    7031

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #22
    This, plus it seems MacAce has ridiculously high prices for the bandwidth they're providing. 8GB peak time usage per month (8AM to 11PM) plus overages billed at £1 per GB is insane.

    While Virgin is far from a perfect ISP, I'd recommend them - their phone support isn't the best but it's generally a good service.
     
  23. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #23
    Used to be with TalkTalk but they are rubbish. Slow and when there was a problem you get no help.
    Been with Virgin a month now and loving the speed.
     
  24. englishman macrumors 6502a

    englishman

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #24
    How much are people paying for Virgin bband fibre only?
     
  25. Thegolem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    England
    #25
    If she gets her phone unlocked she can get on 3 All-you-can-eat data and tether. The PAYG is £15 a month which technically excludes tethering but word is that you can still tether anyway. I've got the One plan which is All-you-eat-data with tethering inc. and use that as my ISP all day long. That's £25 per month on a 30 day rolling contract and obviously in both cases she'll get minutes and text and internet on her phone.

    ----------

    Tell her there's still time to cancel it! I did when I was going to go with virgin then found out about Dongles then a few months later when my phone contract ended I could move to 3 and get All-you-can-eat data. I got a refund after i cancelled it a week before they were going to install it. What phone has she got? She could even buy a 2nd hand one from CEX and get a 3 sim and it'd still probably be cheaper all inc. than having it installed. Plus if she moves there's nothing to move.
     

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