The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
I started 'surfing the net' with the preinstalled ISP Lineone when I bought my PC back in the dark ages of 1998. At that time Lineone were charging £10 per month with local call charges on top of that. My phone bills were regularly £300+ a quarter, at one point I was paying BT £140 a month! However they soon jumped on the unmetered access bandwagon with their Quip deal, £5 per month (yes you read it right) for 24/7 access.
This ended in September of 2000, so I signed up with NTL. I waited about 3 months for my disk - glad Quip gave us some notice before they withdrew their access!
As I live in the back and beyond and don't have NTL telephone or television as yet (they keep threatening us with it) I wasn't sure if I would be able to take advantage of their net access - but I could!!
All I had to do, was dial in the NTL prefix, and I was connected to their network. For the sum of £15 per month I had 24/7 internet access. NOT only that but ALSO I can make up to £15 of voice calls, FREE yes thats right ------FREE, my favourite price. NTL send you a little box to plug into your phone line, and that 'dials' the prefix for you, very handy!
Once I had the hot pink disc in my possesion I placed it in the drive (as one tends to do!) and away I went with the registration process. The disc is registered to the name and address you request it in, so you can't pss the disc around to friends and family that are awaiting their disk.
The registration process was very simple taking about 10 minutes to complete. Once installed you have to dial a local rate number to give your bank account details. I used my credit card to make the first payment, and arranged to set up a direct debit at a later date. These forms arrived about 5 days later, were duly filled in and sent off and I now pay from my bank account, £15 per month. I have never been over charged by NTL and the payment goes out promptly in the same week of the month.
What do you get for your money then with NTL? Well apart from the 24/7 net access, you get to make £15 of voice calls as I have already mentioned. You also get10Mb website space 5 e-mail addresses, online help I have used this a couple of times, but they are often very slow to respond to the actual query - sending an automated response to say they have received your query then a wait of up to 10days to answer it in full! That is the worst I have experienced, but it is not something I need to use on a regular basis. YOu also have access to a 24 hour technical support at £1/min, yes £1 per minute. I have had cause to use this once, whilst I waited 10 days for the email response! Fortunately for me, the query was dealth with speedily with an even quicker disconnection of the call from me!!
A point to note with NTL, they need to recognise your phone line when you dial to their internet connection number, this posed a bit of a problem as BT withold my nu,ber for me. This is easily remedied by dialling 1470 before your number, this then unlocks your number and the computer at NTL recognise you. You can also register another number (must be at the same address though). This is very handy for me, as I use one line for the internet and one line to make calls. So I can natter on the phone, using my £15 of calls, and take advantage of the internet too!
Whilst NTL allows 24/7 access,it is not continuous access. After 2 hours you do get cut off, but are allowed to reconnect straight away. I have not found this to be too troublesome, as I don't download a lot of things, before writing my ops in word, I used to have problems though!! NTL also disconnect you if there is no internet activity for 5 minutes. This caused some real hassle initially, especially if I was engrossed in reading something, or looking at something. To over come this, you can set outlook express to check for mail every 4 minutes to keep activity going. Thus saving you from being disconnected.
The NTL website has some interesting and handy features. In particular you can see your statement of your account. This is great if like me you want to keep an eye on how much of your £15 of voicecalls you have used.
There are some handy mail features here too, you can send mail online now, a feature that has recently been added. You can set a vacation message, that will be sent in reply to any emails you receive. You can also forward the mail from your NTL account to another address if you so wish.
I have received excellant connections from NTL, a lot faster than Lineone, whose speeds on a good day were around the 42.000bps mark at best. With NTL the best connection I have had is 54,000bps and the worst being 46,666bps. This is something I am very satisfied with indeed. It is a rare occasion when I cannot connect straightaway too. Something that was a regular thing with Lineone, especially when they introduced their Quip deal.
ALl in all I would recommend NTL to anyone as I have found few problems with them since I have been using them. I regularly couldn't recieve mail from lineone, and regularly couldn't connect. At £15 per month for those with BT lines I think it is a bargain.
Thanks for this one, really handy. I have just signed up with AOL, which is okay, but it's £15 for access only. The free phone calls sound like a great deal, I'll be signing up with them as soon as I can, Cheers.
MichelleScott 11.09.2001 20:00
Extremely helpful and well-written op. I like your idea about setting OE to check for emails every 4 mins.