Product Type: Freeserve in Telecommunications Services
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Freeserve Anytime - fast reliable internet access
Date: 12/09/03, updated on 12/09/03 (567 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use, Quick, Reliable
Disadvantages: Price?, n/a, n/a
If you are reading this then you probably have internet access of some description, be it from home or work. If you are reading this from work and are considering going online at home, or you are just after a new ISP for your home access then look no further than Freeserve.
I use Freeserve Anytime (fixed monthly payment for unlimited access via a free phone number) but I have in the past used to standard freeserve system (no subscription charges, you just pay the phone bill) and all that I write below about reliability, access speed etc. applies for that as well.
I have been a Freeserve user for a number of years now and can highly recommend them. Their service just keeps getting better and better.
We will start at the beginning. Firstly, Freeserve is very easy to setup on you PC. You can collect a free installation CD at many shops round the country, including Dixons and PC World, or if you are already online with another provider you can download the software from www.freeserve.co.uk. On activation of the installation you are quickly and easily guided through the procedure. You just tap in your details when prompted and the program does the rest. The installation and setup process via the CD takes about 10 minutes. If you download the software the time will depend on the download time.
Once installed you are given a very useful popup screen with all your account details which you can print off and store. Saves you trying to remember all your passwords etc. Now you are set to browse the web and email.
Connecting couldn?t be easier, just open up your internet browser or email program and the dialup connection box will pop up automatically and you can set this to dial automatically or upon prompting by you.
Dialup and password verification takes a matter of seconds and you are then connected and free to do what you wish. 99% of the time you will connect straight away but every so often you may get a line busy mess
age (only at peak times e.g. 6pm -8pm) but the software will redial automatically and the maximum number of attempts I have had to wait was three. Generally you get through on the second attempt. This may sound poor service but I have tried a number of other providers over the years and at peak times I have sometimes not been able to connect at all!
Once connected the connection is always fast, generally I get a connection speed of 50Kb/s, with other systems I have only managed a maximum of 33Kb/s. The connection has always been reliable, I have never been disconnected, other systems frequently cut you off and with the greater b/s access is much quicker than others on offer.
With Freeserve you can either check you emails remotely via e.g. Outlook Express (you are given all the connection details required to set this up on the handy printout) or via a very easy to use email system on the freeserve web site which is also very handy for checking your email when away from home.
If you do encounter any problems, or if you just have queries the Freeserve web page offers as much help as you will ever need. There are very detailed FAQs available, contact phone numbers and email support and unlike most email support you will generally get a reply within 24 hours.
As for the price, I mention above you can have everything for the price of a phone call, or like me, if you use the internet often you can opt for the Anytime package and pay £14.99 a month for unlimited access and generally when you join for the first time you will get some form of money off. At the moment (September 2003) they offer the first three months at £9.99.
In summary a very easy to use, reliable ISP with great customer care at a very reasonable price.