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      08.02.2001 00:28
      Very helpful
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      I moved over to Freezone when PlusNet terminated my account. I must say that I am very satisfied with their service. Freezone are more than just an ISP, they also offer website hosting, ranging from small, low bandwidth sites without CGI to full blown database and eCommerce. More on prices and hosting later, though. Their ISP component is currently just a normal 0845 job (1p / min weekends 1.5p evening 4p daytime with BT). They support dual ISDN lines, though, which is a plus. You get 20Mb of webspace with a Freezone dialup account, and unlimited email addresses. As far as I know, there's no CGI-Bin, but you do get counter, guestbook and mail form scripts. Freezone will soon be launching a couple of 0800 deals, one for evening and weekends, and one for 24/7. The pricing of these is supposed to come out this month (Feb) and I will hopefully move over from BTInternet to Freezone as my main ISP when this happens. Now on to the hosting. Their basic hosting package is £5.95 a month and gets you 30Mb webspace, 2Gb monthly bandwidth, and a few pre-written scripts. Next package is £9.95 and gets you Perl / PHP, and lots of other goodies, more space, and more bandwidth. Then there's the database package where you get a choice of Unix (MySQL) or NT (Access) platforms, and everything listed above. This costs £14.95 a month. Finally, there's the super everything-on-the-planet eCommerce package. This gets you the Miva Merchant shopping cart, the database package, CGI, PHP, PGP, autoresponders for email, etc. Pretty much everything you could ever want, and for £19.95 a month. When you sign up with them you get the option of registering a domain name or transfering an existing one in. You can only have one domain per package, which is a bit of a pain - you have to shell out more to get other domains redirected in, or pay for a separate hosting package. If you
      only want one domain, though, their pacakages are great. The tech support people give personal service, and are fairly quick to respond to emails. If you are in a rush, though, telephone is best - it's a local call number, unlike some companies, and you don't usually end up on hold! I've called them a couple of times, and they've always been very helpful and sorted out the problem. There is one very major disadvantage with Freezone, and that is that while you can always recieve emails, no matter what ISP you are on, you can't send emails unless you are connected using Freezone. Also, unless you are using an NT server, you can't FTP unless you dial up to Freezone. If I'd known this, I'd possibly have chosen an NT server for my own hosting package, rather than a Unix one. That said, the Unix one does offer Perl instead of ASP, and I prefer that. Also, they will be offering their own 0800 service, and if it's cheap enough, I think I'll be connecting with them all the time soon anyway! The other main disadvantage is that there's a £30 administration fee to move domains away from them. It only takes a couple of key presses to change a domain over, so there is no excuse for those fees these days, but it's cheaper than FreeNetName, and cheaper than PlusNet, the two ISPs I've used before now. Their website isn't very exciting, it's just really about them, their prices, some FAQs and support info, how to contact them, how to sign up, etc. It is not a portal. There's no news, no chat, or any other stuff that you'd be used to seeing on other ISPs. In a way, this is good. I don't use portals, and I don't want yet another ISP fighting to be my start page! But, if you'd be lost without a portal, then you're going to have to find yourself another one. Also, even the best package has fairly limited bandwidth and space (5Gb a month bandwidth,
      50Mb storage space). That said, who here has a site that uses 5Gb bandwidth a month? And who has a website 50Mb's huge? I have one that's 10Mb at the moment, but it's an over - glorified photo album, with huge images and roll-overs, and I haven't had the time to compress all the photos yet. Still, that's 10Mb, not 50! It's nice to think you have 250Mb a day bandwidth, and UNLIMITED storage, but when you get terminated for using too much bandwidth, and haven't gotten anywhere near those limits, you wonder what the limits really were. I'd rather have an ISP / Host who set reasonable limits, than have one that promised things it couldn't deliver. Their T&C's are also very friendly. There are the usual we aren't liable for xyz, but nothing really sinister - unless you consider it terrible that you can't host any porn or warez on there service! I'd recommend Freezone to anyone as a host right now, and, if you don't use the internet lots, their 0845 access is pretty good - it's reliable and fast. I can't comment on their 0800 deal yet, since it isn't available, but I will be updating this op when it does get started, and my prediction based on my experiences so far is that it will be a good deal!

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