* Prices may differ from that shown
I decided to get 02 broadband as I had heard good things about it. I was already an 02 mobile customer and their service had been great from the moment I signed up to a contract.
First we had to get a phone line, my housemate didnt get that we could get one through 02 so she got a BT one. We paid that off in one go, then we phone 02 once it was connected. They worked out we could get the medium speed internet which is fine for 3 of us. You get a free wireless router and a years anti virus for your laptop.
The man on the phone made my day. We had an excellent chat about guinea pigs and random things, luckily its a UK call centre and the call is free. He told me that as an 02 customer I would get £50 credited to my account, £5 off a month and the first 3 months free. This means I dont have to pay anything for about 7 months! He said it would take 6 -11 days to connect and it got connected in 7 days which was much faster than when I was with virgin media.
We bought a takeaway box from the 02 shop and I think this is great if you dont know if youl be in to receive the box by delivery.
The broadband works great and was very easy to set up with good instructions as I am rubbish at technology but even I could do it.
Overall very happy with the service we received and how quickly it all happened.
I recently moved house and decided that I didn't really need sky TV anymore. As they were my previous broadband providers it meant I had to look for a new supplier. I decided to look on Doo Yoo at some broadband reviews. Following that and a bit of research I decided to opt of O2 Broadband.
What is O2 Broadband?
O2 broadband is basically how I get my internet. For an excellent price of just £7.34 a month I get unlimited access to the internet. I took out a twelve month deal at that price. It's called the o2 standard package and it included a free modem/router and one years anti virus software.
Other packages include a premium package priced at £9.79 and a pro package priced at £17.13. As my phone line can only support up to 8 Meg speeds I had no need to go for any of the higher speeds. The package prices also relate to O2 customers only and are slightly more expensive if you're not an o2 customer. I have a pay as you go phone and this enabled me to the get the reduced rate. I also got the first two months free but I notice this is now increased to the first three months free for new customers.
I have had this product now for about a month and following a few small teething problems I am now totally happy with it. The price is excellent seeing as I know plenty of people who are paying over £20 a month for the same broadband.
The broadband itself was very easy to set. O2 kept me informed throughout the whole process and sent me a text once the line had been activated telling me I could now go online. The modem arrived with a set up CD which was easy to follow and set up took no more than ten minutes.
Initially I was disappointed with the speed of the internet. It was ok for surfing but would not have been good enough for streaming or Xbox live. I did a speed check and found I was only getting just over 1meg. I decided to contact o2 broadband support (which was free) and ask them to check the line. The customer service was excellent. I wasn't put through to India and instead had a pleasant Scottish chap who was able to talk me through a number of different options to try. Basically it was resetting the modem etc. Eventually he asked me to remove the faceplate from my master phone socked and plug the internet directly into it. I did that and low and behold I now have over 6 Meg speeds which is pretty decent seeing as the maximum I could have got was 8Meg.
I also set up a wireless network using the free router supplied. I wanted to connect a pc on the first floor. The wireless set up was very easy but the box supplied by o2 didn't give a great signal. I was able to connect but it was again very slow. As the wireless box supplied by o2 is both a modem and a router it meant that I would need to use it. In order to boost the wireless strength I decided to add my belkin router to the setup. Effectively I have two routers but the difference in signal strength has been unbelievable and I am now more than happy with my broadband at £7/month.
I must also point out I live in Northern Ireland and until doing some research I didn't realise that we could get o2 broadband over here. I for one am very glad that I got it and would recommend it to anyone especially if they are trying to reduce costs.
Right, the first thing you should know is that I am an ex-Virgin customer and so am obviously physiologically damaged to some degree. If you can get past this and trust that the healing power of O2 has greatly reduced my need for anger management then read on (I fully intend to review the Virgin brand at some time but.... one day at a time and all that).
Okay so why did I choose O2? For all those of you out there who know the answer shout now...Quality, Delivery and Price. After that nothing really matters. Basically I just did what you are doing now, read a lot (and I mean a lot) of reviews until I was satisfied. Sure there were times after a couple of glasses of red, when the lure of cheap Sky TV thrown in made me sway ever so near to the dark side (Tiscali), but again the reviews were to be frank, absolute pants! So with BT line installed and ready I clicked okay.
Now if you have an O2 mobile contract or pay as you go Sim, you can get a discount on all O2 services. However I do not, so I opted for their basic £12.50 per month up to 8 meg service. Technically it is now a little less (£12.23) after that funny little VAT reduction thing that makes all prices look strange but it was refreshing to see the saving passed on, unlike some companies who swallowed it whole, I digress.
Sign up online was painless, and for the one year contract they also offer money back peace of mind if not completely happy. You also get a free wireless router, free connection and very importantly a FREE helpline number. I was so pleased with this last fundamental item that I was tempted to just ring the number to say well done, but I resisted on the grounds of...... well that would be sad.
Now the one thing you will hear time and time again from O2 Broadband customers is this, you will be kept informed of everything they do for you. After signing up online for the service I must have got half a dozen texts (emails too) in the following few days, telling me everything from my direct debit was being set up to my package was being sent out. At first I found this a little strange if not over the top, but after a little thought, it was very reassuring at that time when you are in the limbo state of signing your life away for another year of DDs' and wondering if you made the right choice.
So after a short wait (I can't remember exactly how long but it was quick) the package was delivered, again I was told exactly which day and could amend if required. The set up was so simple I do believe my four year old could have managed it! Basically you put the cd in the computer and then follow the instructions (and simple animations). My old PC needed to be hard wired and couldn't make the leap to wireless, but my laptop was happy to connect wirelessly. The security options are simple to operate so you can be isolated from those opportunistic neighbours with ease.
What about the actual performance? Well you get McAfee Security thrown in with the service, so at last a non-free piece of software on my PC.........for free! But that is just the icing on the cake of what is a superb service. It is difficult to tell you how good it is because well it just doesn't let me down. I have measured my download speed regularly which rarely drops below 6.9 meg per second, with an upload speed of around or just under 1 meg per second. There is no download limit unless you seriously take the biscuit on fair useage. I can't advise on this as I don't.
I have had the service for just over 6 months now and have no complaints. The only time I have had reason to ring the help line was when I accidentally blew the power supply for the router (okay I was using a grinder on the same extension, it all made perfect sense at the time). It was so refreshing to ring the free phone number and speak to someone in the UK who could help me quickly. They arranged next day delivery of a new complete package and pick up of my old one (including free bag to put it in). Needless to say I was up and running within minutes of it arriving. In conclusion what can I say but Bravo O2.
I have been an O2 broadband user for a year now and have been very impressed so far. The main reasons I decided to go with O2 was price, service and importantly free phone helpline.
Having had problems in the past and needing to phone the provider for support I found nothing more frustrating than being kept on hold and paying for it. So to have a provider which offers a good service at a good cost was a big plus.
It seems pointless discussing speeds that I receive as this is highly dependent on your location to the exchange. I dont get the Upto 8Mbps! but more like 3.2Mbps with an upload speed which is 0.7-1Mbps. I have not experienced any major drop offs and given Im on the internet with work pretty much all day I would notice any problems. Sometime I do get a slow down during certain peak times but even then it only tends to be for a few minutes.
The basic broadband package offers upto 8Mbps and is £7.34 a month as I have an O2 mobile. Every month I get a text message confirming the payment is being taken out and I also get it on e-mail as well. I have no experience on the higher 20Mbps option.
O2 provide a wireless box which is a similar shape to the netgear router, only slightly bigger and not so rounded at the edges. One advantage is it does have an on/off button on the back for those who switch the router off at the end of the day. As for configuration having experience in configuring several routers I have to say the O2 one was the easiest, I simply connected it up and followed some simple on screen prompts and within 2-3minutes I was online. I believe its made quicker as some security settings come with the box so no need to manually configure and the software handles all the connections.
Just about every aspect of broadband can vary - price, availability, speed of connection, reliability, download limits and so on. Then, of course, there's the fact that you can get bundled packages, offering a combination of broadband, TV and phone services. This makes it incredibly difficult for the average consumer to choose which supplier to use.
So, let me make things simple for you. If you are just looking for straightforward broadband, go to the O2 website and sign up for the Standard package. That's my basic recommendation. If you want to know, feel free to read on. Otherwise what are you waiting for? Get signing up. And no, I'm not on any sort of commission for saying this!
I've been with O2 now for just over seven months and have never once regretted my decision to use them. They are one of the cheapest providers on the market, with their standard package starting at £12.23 per month. If you have an O2 mobile, though, you get the package for just £7.34 a month, which is even better.
In order to qualify for the reduced price, you need to buy a £10 top-up at least once every three months (if you're a Pay As You Go customer). That obviously raises the price a little bit, adding on around £3 a month to the cost. But let's face it, most of us probably top up more than that anyway, so this isn't an issue.
The level of service is excellent too. O2 offers the industry average of "up to 8 Megabytes (MB), although in reality you'll probably never get close to this. The speed you actually get will depend on things like the quality of your line and how far from the exchange you are - but this is true of all broadband. Even so, I've been impressed with the speed of the connection. In my current house, I get speeds of around 3.5MB, which is well short of the potential top speed, but fine for my needs.
Another important factor which led me to O2 is that their standard package is unmetered. Many companies in O2's price bracket impose limits on how much data you can download, with extra charges if you exceed your monthly allocation. Such limits are confusing and daunting for users. Exactly how much is 2GB and how do you know when you have used it up? With O2, you can surf the web to your heart's content, send as many emails as you wish, view video content or stream TV programmes and not have to worry. Of course, it's still subject to a vaguely defined "fair usage policy", but this is really only there to catch people who seriously abuse the system.
Signing up for O2 is easy and can be done online by phone using (Shock! Horror!) a free-phone customer service number. I ordered mine online and it only took around 10 minutes and was hassle free. O2 are also very good at keeping the customer informed of the progress of their order At every stage of the process, O2 sent a text to the mobile number I had provided confirming what was happening and how long each stage was likely to take
When everything was ready to go, setup was a doddle, too. The package comes with a wireless router and CD-ROM which you just put into your PC and follow the on-screen instructions. Even a novice can be online in around 15 minutes
The instructions you receive strongly advise you to use the installation CD-ROM, which I did. If I have to set it up again, though, I probably won't. There was nothing particularly tricky and anyone who has set up a wireless network and router before may prefer to do it manually. The CD-ROM does install additional software on your computer which monitors your connection and automatically tries to fix and report any problems. This is helpful for novices, but personally, I don't like programmes connecting without my permission, so would have preferred to be given the option of whether or not to install this. Just occasionally, the software causes a bit of system slowdown as it whirrs into gear, but this is not a frequent issue.
Reliability-wise, I have never experienced any problems. I have experienced no downtime when I have been unable to connect and the speed seems pretty consistent. With my previous supplier, there was often a noticeable slowdown in speed during the early evening when demand was at a peak. There have only been a handful of occasions when I have noticed that with O2.
This alone would be enough to recommend O2, but what really seals the deal is its superb customer service. Normally, trying to resolve a problem with a telecommunications company is a nightmare of Kafka-esque proportions. Certainly, the main reason I left my previous supplier (Tiscali) was down to its appalling customer service.
With O2, it's simple. You pick up the phone, they answer. You explain the problem, they sort it out. Customer service as it should be. On the few occasions when I have needed to contact them, my call has usually been answered within a couple of rings. There's been no waiting in queues listening to atrocious "music" even when I have phoned at peak times. I've spoken to a friendly and efficient human being in the UK and the issue has always been resolved by the time I've hung up. Better still, the helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free if you use a or an 02 mobile. In these days of expensive 0845 and 0870 customer (no)help lines, that is a huge bonus and O2 should be applauded.
By now, you must be wondering what the catch is and there are a couple to bear in mind.
The biggest issue relates to availability. The O2 Standard package is not currently available in all areas and if you live in one of these "blackspots" you can only get the O2 Access package. This isn't as good value for money at £17.99 and is limited to a speed of 2GB. Personally, I don't think this is worth considering, as there are cheaper deals available.
As with many other suppliers, you also need to commit to a minimum 12 month contract. Even so, O2 are more flexible than their competitors. With most suppliers if you move house, you can't take the package to your new address, but still have to see out the twelve months, paying for a service you can't use. O2 will transfer your service to a new number/address for free once in a 12 month period. If you need to do it a second time within 12 months, there is a £50 charge, so you'd need to weigh up whether it is worth the cost.
I can't recommend O2 highly enough. Good, reliable service, easy to set up and outstanding customer service. Assuming it's available in your area, you'd be mad to consider anything else.
O2 Home Broadband
Tel: 0800 230 0202
© Copyright SWSt 2009