ADSL Guide


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Have recently upgraded to ADSL with Pipex-Dial and it's been working a dream £20+vat a month, £120 for the ADSL modem. Had it up and running in 5 mins. So call ed self-install but its no harder than setting up a standard modem. All I did was plug in a little splitter box in the BT phone socket, looks like the ones you get in Argos if you want to plug in your phone and modem lead into the same socket. Then I plugged the adsl modem in the USB port, and hey presto up to 60k/sec rather than then 5k i was used too. Thats a meg in about 18 seconds. Sweet!

Wow, nice price!

Why would anyone bother with dial-up when you can get ADSL for that.

What modem did you get sharky?

Its an Alcatel Speed Touch USB, Pipex supply them as standard when you order the ADSL line, if you havent already got a modem. But you could always buy one yourself from somewhere else, that way you have more choice and can probably find it cheaper. For instance there selling a PCI adsl alcatel modem for £87.54 inc. vat at Having said that my modem has been fine, only had outage for 1 hour in the last 2 weeks but that was due to BT technical prob.

I would have got adsl sooner but when I applied for it last year they said we were too far from the exchance. Since then they've improved their technology to allow for greater distances - called RADSL, only difference being you might find it slightly slower to upload, but compared to standard phone line its still lightning fast!
Some people are using a router via ethernet.

There are a couple of good newsgroups:

I've had the opportunity to sign up for adsl again, so I've spent some time looking at the current state of the adsl market both in terms of the services being offered, as well as the hardware modem/routers etc.

Thought it might be helpful to post my findings.

I stated as always at who collate figures as to which service provider is offering the best speeds, reliability and customer service. From this list I collected the following list of information for my own purposes:


Activation fee: £0
1 month contract
£23.83 / month - £38 for 20:1- £58 for 1mb
8 ip addresses (static_ips)
D-Link 300G+ ADSL Ethernet Modem £75
Alcatel SpeedTouch 510 4 port hub|router (includes 2 micro-filters & delivery) £95


Activation: £50
1 month contract
£20.38/month - £32 for 20:1 - £52 for 1mb (20:1)
SpeedTouch 510v4 (4 Port) £84.99
SpeedTouch 530 (Single Port) £69.99


activation fee: £50
static_ip - 0845 backup (webspace package etc..
Monthly fee: £34 for 1mb 50/1
1 month contract
150gb cap/month
ZyXel 650R - £75 + vat (+10?delivery)

22.99(inc vat) 12 month contract - 1 month free - no ip


10 days
no activation fee
12 month contract
£42 for 1 mb 20:1
static ip
£70 usb caccy modem

plus net

£38 for 1 mb 20/1
set up: £50 - 12month contract - £60 1 month contract
web space

So what did I decide on in the end?

Well I've plumped for the Nildram 1mb service, which is offered at £39.99/month with a 50:1 contention ratio and 150gb cap (I can't imagine using anywhere near this much). What did I like about Nildram, well I'd heard good things from friends, it came 2nd as the fastest broadband isp for May, and I fancied a faster 1 mb pipe to my current 0.5mb pipe. Overkill possibly? Well the amount of time I spend on the net I figured that an extra £15/20 month was worth it for twice speed. No other ISP I found offered a comparable price with a minimum 1 month contract and good speed/reliability etc.

Next was hardware, I'd had a speedtouch adsl modem in the past - which has served me well. But I could never get it to work in linux being usb - and I still had to "dial up" each time I wanted to connect, plus I could only share the internet connection with micrososft's internet connection sharing which is a bit fiddly, and not as flexible as my preferred option - of getting a 4 port router. This would work seamlessly in linux and I can easily plug a laptop into the router to get immediate access to the internet. There's quite a few on the market that can do the job, but I plumped for a NetGear DG814 - for about £93 inc vat. from - it's a popular model, won a bunch of awards and the fact it'll look good on my desk doesn't hurt either!

Connection date is set for end of next week, so I'll post an update as to how I got on setting it up and whether the faster speed is worth the cash.
Hi Paul

I use Nildram at office and BTinternet at home...both work well and very rarely drop a line...Nildram used to drop lines last year but this year it has been steady....

I opted for self install BTinterent account via 'copper wire' technology no activation fee and no installation fee...all free...NTL do not provide digital line yet in my part of harrow, which will be same as yours I presume...

the modem in both cases is green 'sea creature' look modem...both alcatel and works via usb...
I just plumped for ZEN in the office, with 100% DIY ( don't ask why I'm changing). PCI Modem for £50 and a router £50. A friend has just ordered a 2 Mb pipe from them and is eagerly awaiting installation....
If I get any problem's, you'll hear about it. :)
I see Sharky is making far too much money..... there was a time when he ran this BB off a Sinclair Spectrum and a 300bps "modem" via an accoustic coupler, claiming "poverty".......... :cheesy:

PS. If you have the choice, get an internal PCI ADSL modem. USB thingys are not the best choice, even though they are supplied by all the providers. Strange there seems to be nothing in the way of ethernet devices for ADSL.....
I've used Zen for over 18 months and it's a rock-solid service. Only ever had a couple of minor BT-inspired outages. Zen support is very good - only rung them twice, though - and someone always answers the phone promptly, unlike some ISPs.

I have a 5 PC network, plus wireless Laptops, running off an ADSL router/wireless transmitter. I have eSignal/IB/TradeStation running 24 hours a day, plus 3 kids using various machines at all hours, and it all works perfectly. :D

Haven't felt the need for a 1Mbs service yet; it would speed up the occasional download that I do, but the normal activity on the ADSL link is only a fraction of its capacity, so it's not a limiting factor yet. I suppose if the kids were all streaming their favourite pop videos simultaneously then there could possibly be a problem, but I haven't hit that one yet.
Hi all

I have NTL telephone... NTL haven't got broadband thru their cable network in my area yet .... and no idea when it will happen.

Would anyone know whether there is any company out there that can provide broadband on NTL cable? Most of them seem to only provide on BT at the moment - unless I missed something....

I dont think this is possible. If NTL have not installed the necessary hardware to allow broadband then no-one else will be able to using their existing hardware.

Even with other companies that provide broadband using a BT line it will only work if BT have installed the hardware for broadband in the first place.

How about ISDN as that may be a possible alternative ?

thnx for quick reply T33

ISDN too expensive - other option is for me to just switch to BT, or, even have BT as extra line with their cheapest call option connection (£9.99) - maybe to just receive calls or something....
I saw someone mentioned tiscali earlier in this thread.

I registered for Tiscali broadband over 2 months ago now. Having had numerous problems and several chaser calls, I am still none the wiser as to when I will be up and running. The last call I made to them, I was told that my line had failed a quality test @2mb and they were retesting at 500kb (512kb is the speed I have registered for). Have been promised an email to confirm the result of this but still not heard anything. (Despite the fact that I am already a dial up customer)!

Looks like yet another chaser call to them!!!

Has anyone else experienced similar problems/ time delays etc or is the service generally good?
I would not chose Tiscali as they lock you into a 12 month contract,.......... so if your unhappy you still have to pay up!!
I kicked Tiscali dial up into touch a year back, have used Freeserve dial up and lately ADSL with no problems beyond a small ADSL delay of a few days. Otherwise they've been ok. Tiscali customer service, in my experience, was dreadful - every time I dealt with them I came away unhappy, and convinced they cared zip for customers.