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What broadband internet service provider should I use?

Geege

Well-known Member
I'm currently with Sky broadband and live in an area outside of their network which means I pay £17 per month for their "Connect" service with a cap of 40GB per month. My exchange can handle a maximum of 8mb/s. I'm not happy that it seems really slow at the moment and having tested online with Speedtest.et, my upload and download speed shows 0.3mb/s (300kb/s).

Is this normal?

The problem is at the moment streaming video keeps stopping for buffering and stopping and starting. I assuming this is because of the lack of or overuse of bandwidth. Is this right?

I use the interest for browsing (alot, 5+ hours per day) which includes watching (streaming) youtube videos and Rodney Reyolds video reviews, downloading game demos, reading emails etc...

So ideally I would want an unlimited package, that is reasonable in price and reliable with a U.K. based call centre.

  • What ISP do you use currently?
  • What ISP would you recommend? (apart from Tiscali as I had bad experiences with them before)
  • What ISPs provide a tool keeping track to show how much GB downloads you use per month (I'd be interested to know)

Thanks in advance. :)
 

kopchoir

Banned
Can you get Be little cheaper than sky for one of there packages but same price for their middle package and you can leave when ever you want but you need a BT line
http://www.bethere.co.uk/

I get some decent speeds my upload is very good and my download is jus under 8 and my line seems the same as yours

Kop
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
How far are you from the exchange?

As previously mentioned you will get best speed from an LLU provider, but just because the exchange is capable of 8Mbps doesn't mena that's what you will get.

Where I live I could sign up with Sky Max and get 16Mbps. However, I tried it for a bit I realised I can only get 5MBps (still a lot better than you) so switched down to Sky Mid.

I live 3.5Km from the exchange.

The speed you will get begins to drop off quite quickly as you get further away.

300Kbps is pretty poor though.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Azzin

Banned
I'm currently with Sky broadband and live in an area outside of their network which means I pay £17 per month for their "Connect" service with a cap of 40GB per month. My exchange can handle a maximum of 8mb/s. I'm not happy that it seems really slow at the moment and having tested online with Speedtest.et, my upload and download speed shows 0.3mb/s (300kb/s).

Is this normal?
If you live far enough away from the exchange then yes, if you're close then no.

The problem is at the moment streaming video keeps stopping for buffering and stopping and starting. I assuming this is because of the lack of or overuse of bandwidth. Is this right?
On a 300k connection, yes.

I use the interest for browsing (alot, 5+ hours per day) which includes watching (streaming) youtube videos and Rodney Reyolds video reviews, downloading game demos, reading emails etc...

So ideally I would want an unlimited package, that is reasonable in price and reliable with a U.K. based call centre.
Sounds reasonable. :)

  • What ISP do you use currently? O2.
  • What ISP would you recommend? (apart from Tiscali as I had bad experiences with them before) O2.
  • What ISPs provide a tool keeping track to show how much GB downloads you use per month (I'd be interested to know) DU Meter Home Page
As above, follow the "Sam Knows" link and see who (if anyone) has unbundled your phone exchange and you will then see who you can choose from (it's pointless me recommending O2 for example if they are not in your exchange).

Worth noting is that O2 are currently offering £60 cashback if you go through Quidco with 3 months free after that and BE (owned by O2) are offering £40 cashback and 3 months free after that. :smashin:

Quidco - O2 Home Broadband cashback

Quidco - Bethere.co.uk cashback
 

Geege

Well-known Member
"Congratulations, you are in a broadband enabled area.
However, there is another service on your phone line (e.g. ADSL, LLU, DACS, etc) that would prevent you from ordering a new ADSL connection.
The following services are available in your location:

BT Wholesale ADSL
BT Wholesale ADSL Max
Kijoma Wireless Broadband"

(No LLU services)

This is the information for my exchange, Selsey in West Sussex. I live about 1 mile from the exchange.

Samknows Broadband - Selsey (SDSLSY) Exchange
 

Azzin

Banned
"Congratulations, you are in a broadband enabled area.
However, there is another service on your phone line (e.g. ADSL, LLU, DACS, etc) that would prevent you from ordering a new ADSL connection.
The following services are available in your location:

BT Wholesale ADSL
BT Wholesale ADSL Max
Kijoma Wireless Broadband"

(No LLU services)

This is the information for my exchange, Selsey in West Sussex. I live about 1 mile from the exchange.

Samknows Broadband - Selsey (SDSLSY) Exchange
I live about 1.5 miles from our exchange and get 5.5Mbps from the 8 Meg 02 package that I'm on, so I can't see why you are getting such low speeds.

Try putting your phone number in on the BT website to get an idea of what you could "potentially" receive?

BT Total Broadband Speed Test – get up to 8Mb download speeds
 

Geege

Well-known Member
Yeah, I've done that and also "should receive" 8mbps:lease::confused:
 

Azzin

Banned
Yeah, I've done that and also "should receive" 8mbps:lease::confused:
Hmm...

If you've put your phone number in on that link and it says you should receive 8 meg then something is not right.

As your exchange is not unbundled you are reliant/restricted to BT's offerings (whether through BT or another ISP such as you have from Sky), but to receive 8 Meg you would need to live pretty much on top of the exchange, but as you are a mile away that doesn't make sense (to me anyway!).

There are a number of things to try to troubleshoot this...

  1. How are you connected-wired or wireless?
  2. If you're wireless, is the network secure (and if not, is someone else using your bandwidth)?
  3. Do you have filters on all of your telephone sockets?
  4. What router are you using?

Might also be worth asking a friendly mod to move this thread to the ISPs Forum... :smashin:
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
That puzzles me.

That close to the exchange you should be getting a good rate even with your current Sky service.

Whether you stick with Sky or another provider you will be using the same wire and exchange equipment so the service would be pretty much the same - unless you are using an LLU service then all the wiring and switchgear is provided by BT.

I would expect you to be getting close to the 8Mbps now.

So I would question whether you have an existing problem, either with your gear, the local wiring or at the exchange.

Ask your neighbours, to see what broadband speed they are getting?

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Geege

Well-known Member
Hmm...

If you've put your phone number in on that link and it says you should receive 8 meg then something is not right.

As your exchange is not unbundled you are reliant/restricted to BT's offerings (whether through BT or another ISP such as you have from Sky), but to receive 8 Meg you would need to live pretty much on top of the exchange, but as you are a mile away that doesn't make sense (to me anyway!).

There are a number of things to try to troubleshoot this...

  1. How are you connected-wired or wireless? wired directly to the Sky router using a ASDL cable about 2 metres long
  2. If you're wireless, is the network secure (and if not, is someone else using your bandwidth)? Yes it is WEP secured
  3. Do you have filters on all of your telephone sockets? Yes
  4. What router are you using? Sky's own that they supplied (Netgear)

Might also be worth asking a friendly mod to move this thread to the ISPs Forum... :smashin:
Many thanks, MODs can you please move if appropriate please.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Do you know how to go into the router administration tool to check the attenuations.

For example I'm getting

46dB down
29.5dB up

That gets me around 5-6Mbps down at a distance of 3.5Km from the exchange. I am with a LLU provider but in the most part that just means that the provider operates the equipment at the local exchange rather than BT allowing them to offer services like 16Mbps.

I'm on a 8Mbps ADSL (not ADSL2) and my results are about the same as when I was previously with a non-LLU provider.

The smaller the number the better

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Hands down get BE or O2 if you can
 

Iccz

Distinguished Member
If you go with Be (not sure about O2) you can get someone to reffer you, they get a free month and you don't have to pay installation fees :thumbsup:
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Hands down get BE or O2 if you can
I'd only say that if he could get LLU though, which he can't. o2 standard ADSL service is pretty shocking sometimes.
 

wormvortex

Distinguished Member
I'd be amazed if you got the full 8MB if you used an ADSL connection in the frames room of the exchange :)
 

whiskyboozer

Novice Member
Don't all the aforemention 'Traffic Shape'/'Throttle' TBH I can't understand why there is not more outrage about this topic.
 

Geege

Well-known Member
I have checked my Netgear ASDL router DG834GT settings, which shows:

ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
Connection Speed 416 kbps 448 kbps
Line Attenuation 31.0 db 19.0 db
Noise Margin 32.1 db 14.0 db

Is this right?

I found this on the Sky broadband website T&Cs

Sky Broadband: You must subscribe to your chosen Broadband product for 12 months. Broadband Connect product at £17 pm is available to customers outside our network area. Broadband Connect product at £17 pm is available to customers outside our network area. Monthly usage limits: Base - 2GB; Mid - 40GB; Max - Unlimited; Connect - 40GB and subject to Traffic Management Policy. Maximum upload speed: Base - up to 400Kb; Mid - 400Kb; Max - 768Kb; Connect - 448Kb. If your PC/laptop is not wireless enabled you can buy the necessary equipment from Sky. MAC users receive 12 months free McAfee VirusScan worth £19.99.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
EDIT: Nevermind, you posted while I was writing. With that large a noise margin it looks like your speed is being artificially restricted and there's nothing technically wrong. I'd contact sky about it, it's probably just a mistake. There was another thread with the same problem recently.

Upload speed at 448kbps is normal, that's the speed you can send stuff to the internet. Download speed is the speed you receive stuff like video and game demos from the internet.




I'm currently with Sky broadband and live in an area outside of their network which means I pay £17 per month for their "Connect" service with a cap of 40GB per month. My exchange can handle a maximum of 8mb/s. I'm not happy that it seems really slow at the moment and having tested online with Speedtest.et, my upload and download speed shows 0.3mb/s (300kb/s).
Is that 300 kilobytes per second or 300 kilobits per second? ISPs, like hard drive manufacturers, insist on using a funny numbering rather than the usual ones we're used to so you have to divide/multiply everything by 8.

That being said, even if it's 300kilobytes/s that's still only 2.4Mbps in ISP terms and while that's possible it's unlikely if you're getting an 8Mbps rough estimate.

I would echo nheather and suggest you look at your router's control panel and find the attenuation/SNR/noise margin as this is a reflection of your actual line performance, you can use them with this calculator to get a fairly accurate estimate of what you should be getting.

Oh, and if you took the speed readings with a wireless connection then plug in a PC using an ethernet cable and repeat them - it's possible that a particulaly slow wireless connection could be causing your trouble.


  • What ISP do you use currently?
  • What ISP would you recommend? (apart from Tiscali as I had bad experiences with them before)
  • What ISPs provide a tool keeping track to show how much GB downloads you use per month (I'd be interested to know)
I use Post Office Broadband Extra and Homephone with a similar usage to you and although I've never had to contact their customer service I've been happy with the connection.

I would recommend Zen internet, I'd still be using them myself but they sadly don't offer a package that suits me. It sounds like that may not suit you either, but they're worth looking at.

There are plenty of tools to monitor usage for a single computer, I use netmeter myself, but the wonderfully named tbbMeter looks interesting.

I would be very surprised if you went over your limit on just 5 hours a day.
Game demos are fairly large, some up to 2GB. So if you download one 1GB one a day (or a few trailers at a couple of hundred megabytes each) then that's 31GB already.
 
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