Hi all - bit of a double ask here! We're looking for recommendations for both broadband and mobile providers please.
We're with Virgin Media broadband - but have found the service to be intermittent and incredibly frustrating for home working. I'm the one who constantly drops on Teams/Zoom calls! When the Virgin service drops, I often have to then tether my laptop to my phone - which is on the Vodafone network. The problem is - despite appearing to have a full 4G signal (and appearing via Vodafone's 4G coverage maps to have full coverage) I only get about 0.5mbps download speed - which is again useless for Teams/Zoom. The phone signal is also pretty poor, making regular calls difficult too.
Does anyone have any recommendations for Broadband networks that don't drop all the time? I'm not even that fussed about speed - but I really need setting more reliable. We're thinking of switching to BT. Does anyone have any view on if they're good?
Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a mobile network? We're in the middle of Venetia Road for reference (and if you're one of my neighbours through the walls - I apologise for the connectivity related cursing that I seem to be doing every day!).
Hi Ian, I was with Virgin and thought the same. Now with Zen Internet. Small company but always recommended by Which. Upload as well as download speed is key to good video calls. I get 20Mb upload and 60Mb download for £40 a month. It's ADSL and not fibre, so you need a phone line.
We were with Virgin, who we found to be fairly reliable (we didn't experience many dropouts), but their price increased a lot after the first year. Now with Vodaphone broadband. Generally get around 60Mb. Have had no drops in the past year and cheaper than Virgin.
We moved from Virgin like most people, too many problems. Now with EE, who seem fine.
I used to use BT and always had the full speed I paid for, I'm on Virgin now and also have very few issues so you might be in a different area to me. EE is the best mobile provider in the area I've found. 3 was the worst by far.
I've been with Plusnet for a number of years now, and find them consistently good. I do lots of Zoom/Teams workshops and I've never had any issues. I think Plusnet is now owned by BT but run separately... so I probably get the best of both worlds because Plusnet is more responsive to customers.....
My understanding is that the download speed hasn't much to do with the provider, it's more to do with your locality and how far away (in the streets) your box/hub is situated....
We have virgin and a couple of years ago I noticed we were having a lot of drop outs. They upgraded my router and I also think they upgraded something on their network and it's been a lot more reliable since. As far as I'm aware Virgin are the only company that put fibre optic right into my house, so I'm loath to move to anyone else.
I've been with EE for years and have not had problems with the signal in London.
I had some problems with Virgin in the past, but (touch wood) it's been well behaved for a few years now. I have the router at the front of the front living room downstairs, an extender in the hall just outside that room and my computer is usually used in the bedroom/ofice on the first floor at the back of the back addition.
Below are my speedtest results using that set up.
I recently refreshed my exetender settings by connecting with the computer via my browser and that helped. For comparison, speeds on wifi in the living room are 200mbp. So I'm losing over half my signal, but it's strong enough for me.
we used virgin because they were the best speeds available and we do a lot of uploading and downloading of large files for both our jobs, plus with the kids online all day as well for virtual schooling it was essential. We had problems in the past with dropout but that was totally fixed by a new router and for what its worth it really is always worth checking all the cable connections as it is often mechanical-- I'm pretty techy and even I was convinced it was a service issue one time when it turned out to just be a loose connection.
A great mobile option (which we've use instead of broadband when we're away and recently when moving house before the new connection was put in) is to use Giffgaff SIMs. For £20 you can get 100Gb of data for a month plus unlimited uk minutes and texts, which is enough to work off and stream TV and you can link wireless printer and everything .
for £10 a month you get 9GB of data unlimited minutes and unlimited texts which is plenty if you're at home with broadband most of the time so we use giff gaff for the whole family now for our phones. they are a great service provided you are techy enough to not need to go into a store and have someone do stuff on your phone for you. prices are v competitive and v easy to use. plus if you're overseas for months at a time you just suspend your recurring goody bag until you get back (useful for us in particular)
I have been with Talk Talk since the Start
Issues I have had have mostly been due to issues at local carriers exchange on 888
Plus having local phone pole knocked over, but was fixed in less than a day
But if I have issues, have hot spotted my Mobile phone. Which has unlimited internet on a sim only deal
Which many Mobile firms are now offers for around £20.00 per month
I'm sorry you're having issues. I've just left Virgin- basically similar issues.
Inconsistent actual speeds despite boosters etc. It was bearable enough, but in the meantime they just keep hiking up the costs constantly. As i'm out of contract they wrote to tell me I might get a better deal elsewhere, and then shortly after let me know they were upping the cost again which pretty much told me to go away!
In the meantime I discovered when Virgin connected me up they removed the old phone line connection so to transfer to an openreach provider for higher speed alternative I'd need to pay to have that reinstated.
And finally- they were unreachable when I tried to give notice to leave. Days of unconnected call attempts disconnecting after 40min on hold etc. Then an actual call which also disconnected and they didn't attempt to call back and then they stopped taking inbound calls to customer service because 'all our operators are busy'. grr.
Finally i used Twitter to complain. Instant response and I was able to give notice and have it backdated.
I am seriously unimpressed with the service aspect and frankly the broadband speeds probably were more than I actually needed anyway.
I'll let you know how I go with BT, I've only just transferred over. (was terrified of being disconnected while trying to support remote learning so couldn't face the stress- I work for a school)
I've heard a lot of great things about Zen. Frankly I wanted to change to them but because of the connection cost it just wasn't sensible to do it and BT were offering connection for free on a short contract as a special deal. My intention really is to try and move to a more ethical provider in future (ie Zen!).
I just wanted to say thank you all for your replies. Much appreciated. Only one drop out from Virgin today so far!
Strange how hit and miss Virgin seems to be. Lots of complaints on my street's whatsapp group yesterday about connection problems but mine was - touch wood - rock solid. Am on 350mb but consistently get 385.
Had a look on various bb comparison sites and the fastest I can get through the phone line is less than 70mb. How's that compare with what other people get locally?
At the risk of being patronising, have you determined that it's definitely the connection rather than wifi problems?