I have been with DC for about 2 years now. They are not free, you pay, but you actually get service. If you want reliability and good customer service, look no further. They have both business and home account types and leased lines, ISDN and are looking at introducing ADSL once BT rolls it out. I never get a busy tone, ever!!! Speeds are excellent almost all the time (it is only slow when USA wakes up and comes online and at just after 6pm when the whole UK logs on to check our email :). It costs ~£12/month. Internet address: www.dircon.net
I was with Dircon for 3 years and I was really happy with the service, but I left for one reason, dircon doesn't have free telephone calls and my phone bills were going sky high. I couldn't surf the net without worrying how much it was going to cost me. Having said that Dircon is a really good ISP, they had a choice of packages. I have used the £13.95 a month unlimited Internet access (which runs your phone bill up if you use it heavily!) and I have also used their £5 a month low usage access where we had 3 hrs surftime but had to pay for any hours you go over the freetime. This package is a big mistake if you go seriously over your free hours as you end up paying heavily. I think that their upper limit of charges was £25 at the time, a bit unfair as the unlimited access package was only £13.95. Anyway, their software was provided on a CDROM and was easy to load and use. It was really easy to connect up with them, I never had a single problem getting on to the net with them in all the 3 years that I used them. The connection was almost immediate, much faster than my present ISP. I also never had any problems with the connection being dropped by them which I do get on my present ISP. I have a 28,000bps modem, but I was only getting connected up at 12,000bps (my present provider connects me up at 19,200bps) I don't know if this has changed since I left. Their Technical helpline was very good, it was on a regular phone line and not a premium rate number which is really good if you are likely to need help and the Technical support staff were very helpful and knowledgeable. I was really sorry to leave Dircon, but I couldn't afford to surf the net for £13 a month and then run up huge phone bills. I changed to BT where I get free evenings and weekend calls and only pay £9.99 a month. If you need a good reliable ISP, with almost instant connection, that won't disconnect you at regular intervals and yo
u don't mind paying for the phone calls then this is the service for you. If Dircon could update their package to include free calls I'd go back tomorrow!
I've been with dircon for about 5 years and I have had only one occasion when I couldn't get a line. The next day they had another put in place. THey offer a great service and employ some exceptional technical staff. Very easy going. Met one of the ofunders years ago whilst looking at communities on the net as he was very into giving back to people. Top notch. My one complaint would be they don't really give much away to customers on the information front, but I haven't had need to ever contact them with any major problems so I can't complain!
I've used dircon now for about 3 years . My initial reason for signing up with them was for unmetered off peak calls ( if you're on the old videotron c&w tariff ) which offered excellent value for money . The deal is still going , and so are dircon which is amazing in a market full to the brim with free isps . I think that's testament to a good service and customer support , not to mention keeping customers up to date with what is happening with the company . I've only had reason to call customer services once and I was impressed with the amount of time their tech support people were willing to spend on the phone . As far as the internet access itself , it's definatley improved from a couple of years back and now there are no busy lines and the connection speed is consistantly high . Downloads from around the world are fast and there are good links to the US and Japan . I found that virgin.net was better for online gaming in terms of lower pings but still dircon is pretty hard to beat and since they have their own quake/quake2 games server it's a fair trade-off . As far as services , dircon have stuck with their formula of offering 20meg of webspace , news and web based email retrieval on a secure server ( very useful ) . My only minor gripe would be the limited amount of downloads from the already small 20meg of webspace ( limited to 80 meg of downloads a day ) but I doubt this will affect many people . Dircon also offer a fixed ip address for a one off £15 admin fee . Wether dircon will hold up against the tide of free ISPs is yet to be seen , I certainly hope it does as I would imagine that most of the subscribers , like myself are pretty loyal to the company that has offered them excellent service . Also worth a mention is the list of users web pages up on the site - so there is an emphasis on community and it does show . If the price doesn't put you o
ff then give it a go - monthly charges are £13.50 and the initial account setup charge is £8 .
I've been using Direct Connection since I started using the net about 5 yrs ago and so far havent even thought about using someone else. Never do I get an engaged tone and always get a great connection speed, usually about 52K/second (using a US Robotics external 56K Modem). Never do I get a problem with connections or email and their service and customer support is excellent. I would highly recommend their services to anyone considering a decent ISP, the free ISPs are good, yes, but they dont offer such great customer service and/or connection speeds. ok, yes, they arent the cheapest, but the cheapest isnt always the best!
Before joining my current ISP recently (LineOne), I was on Direct Connection for a long time, and what a brilliant ISP they are! I know this might sound ridiculous but I felt quite bad when I closed my account with them as I'd been a customer of there's for a long time, and their service (around £100 a year for unlimited access, other options are available too) was bar none, and no doubt continues to be! I hardly got any engaged tones, line drops, and always connected at the highest speed, got 20mb of webspace and unlimited email address plus other net. account goodies! Sadly though, Direct Connection won't be as attractive to the home user now that completely free ISP's (even calls, like LineOne and TFI) have taken the helm for the home net. user market, but they still provide a first class service, and would be the ultimate choice for businesses!