Broadband advice needed

SimonGeneral7 Comments

I’ve written before about problems with our broadband supplier, TalkTalk.

Over the weekend our broadband stopped working competely with our 3Com router. The synch light on the router kept flashing, which basically means it can’t connect with TalkTalk’s equipment at the local exchange.

After several long technical support calls TalkTalk “changed some settings” on my line, and I can now connect with the TalkTalk-supplied Speedtouch 330 modem.

However I still can’t get the connection working again with my router, which we need as we need the wireless access throughout the house.

I’ve fiddled with plenty of settings on the router, including the MTU – while I’m not sure exactly what this is, I’ve seen forum posts talking about how this has fixed problems with router access to TalkTalk broadband.

Having spent three evenings fiddling and tinkering, I can get the router to connect (the synch light stays on), but the download speed is so slow it’s useless – the BBC homepage took around 20 minutes to download!

TalkTalk won’t help me as the 3Com router isn’t supplied by them – and they won’t admit to making any changes over the weekend that could have caused a problem with the router set-up.

So it looks like it’s time to look for a new broadband and phone supplier and possibly a new, more modern, router.

What’s important to me is:

  • working connection with a router
  • decent technical support
  • price – for phone and broadband package

I expect I’ll end up paying more than I do now with TalkTalk, but that’s worth it to have a more reliable broadband service – it’s hard to be a consultant and blogger without web access.

Do any UK readers have any advice on broadband suppliers please? Who do you use and who would you avoid?

[tags]broadband, talktalk[/tags]

7 Comments on “Broadband advice needed”

  1. Zen Internet are certainly on the high side for price but their service and rolling monthly contract more than make up for it. I’ve been using the Zen service for over 12 months and I get a real sense that the staff really care about the service they provide. I’ve probably phoned them 5 or 6 times and on every occasion they have been top class. I even moved house and there was virtually no disruption to my service.

    I have no affiliation with them other than being a customer but I think they stand out by mile in comparison to the rest of the industry.

    thanks – Simon

  2. thanks Simon – I think the way forward is definitely to go with a smaller supplier (like Zen) rather than one of the “mass market” suppliers where the customer service isn’t so good

  3. If you use the wireless router which also has 4 ADSL Ethernet outlets on the back and you are using PC ( not MACS) you should be OK. It is HG520S that Talktalk supply. I am having BIG problems using macs as the Java code doesnt go through correcyly.

  4. I use Namesco. Not the cheapest (£25/month for 8mb) but damn good support. Sales tel 0845 363 3632, Tech line 0845 363 3634. I’ve found the tech support guys can deal with my sales/billing queries too – very useful if I’m doing my credit card bills at 1am!

    Our office uses KeConnect, which is rather pricier (£50month unlimited, but v.low contention indeed, normally answers within 2 rings (08450 506050).
    I won’t bother with the cheap guys like TalkTalk or Tiscali or BT.

  5. RE my posting 16 th Nov. I reduced the MTU on the modem to 1400 and also in the Macs own Network Configurations box changed the advanced ethernet setting MTU to 1400. Things work ok now, it was not the Java . I have about 3 meg download speed and 380Kbts upload,but it still crashes often and needs to be switched off and on again. BT had none of these problems.
    There must be something slightly different in the technical spec of Talk Talk. I just wish they would tell everybody.. if they actually know.

  6. Beyond what kind of customer service you’re after (good I presume) you’ll find that WHERE you are as much as who you are with affects what speeds you can achieve.

    And that all rolls right back to BT and the stranglehold they still have on this country’s exchanges.

    Hidden away on their website is a little speedtester.bt.com.

    After you’ve run the the test, the rersults include a telling line about what speed your ‘phone line can be expected to reach.

    Me: I can do 2.5 mbps – a long way shy of the 8 mbps which most providers say you might be able to get “UP TO”.

    Call me a cynic, but all providers are much of a muchness, and they can do little to improve while BT stalls on improving ALL exchanges.

    Move to France. 100mbps being rolled out right now!!!!

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