Editors Pick UK Best Broadband ISPs for 2012 - Page 2
Editors Pick - UK Best Broadband ISPs for 2012
By: Mark Jackson - January 9th, 2012 : Page 2 -of- 3
"those seeking stronger reliability in general often have to consider paying extra for higher quality"

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Best Quality ISPs (Consumer and Business)

Small businesses, home workers and those seeking stronger reliability in general often have to consider paying extra for higher quality. Here’s our pick of several highly reliable ISPs that have a tendency to place quality, support and service above price. We use an approximate price point of £25 as a benchmark for each of the ISPs listed below.

Zen Internet

Reason: Zen remain one of the longest standing and most well recognised of small and medium sized ISPs, with a strong history of awards being associated with their name. They are highly rated by visitors to our website (Zen Reviews) and we have never known them to have any truly major problems. Phone line rental (voice call) services are also available, either separately or as part of a bundle.

Quality comes at a price, Zen's packages start at £18.37 per month (20Mbps speed, 10GB usage), though £25.52 will get you an ‘up to’ 20Mbps package and respectable 50GB’s (GigaBytes) of monthly download data allowance (unlimited uploads). Readers should take note of the extra services too, with highlights including a 1 month minimum contract, anti-virus filtering, 2GB of web space and up to 8 static IP addresses. They also offer 40Mbps superfast broadband services from £27.60.

Pros:

  • Speed
  • Support
  • Additional Services

Cons:

  • Price

IDNet

Reason: IDNet continues to be a small but generally strong and reliable provider that frequently wins high praise from readers of independent consumer sites such as ours (IDNet Reviews). IDNet, like Zen, offers a similar range of broadband and phone services, including via the new 40Mbps superfast broadband products, although IDNet tends to be a bit more affordable.

Prices start at £15.31 inc. VAT per month (24Mbps speed, 24GB usage), though £25.52 will get you monthly data usage allowance of 180GB. All packages come with anti-virus/spam filtering, static IP and a 1 month contract (some also have huge amounts of personal webspace).

Pros:

  • Speed
  • Support
  • Additional Services
  • Price

Cons:

  • Peak usage quota on the entry-level package could be better

AAISP

Reason: AAISP (Andrews and Arnold) is a small, technically niche ISP and their website is filled with jargon, which can make choosing the right package a bit more difficult. This is not a weakness, AAISP offers strong reliability and extremely knowledgeable support, albeit with packages that seem more focused towards business users and telecoms experts (AAISP Reviews) than domestic users.

Prices are also more difficult to pin down due to the ISPs personalised package construction, although 24Mbps services tends to start at around £20 per month for a 2GB peak and 50GB off-peak usage allowance (BT's 21CN platform). Native IPv6 support, 1GB of webspace and a free domain are some of the services highlights. Phone line rental and the new 40Mbps superfast broadband services are also available.

Pros:

  • Speed
  • Support
  • Additional Services

Cons:

  • Price
  • Minefield of Jargon (likely to confuse some people)

ICUK

Reason: ICUK, much like AAISP, is another ISP that often slips under the radar when most consumers are making their new provider decisions. They’re moderately well priced and have received a lot of positive feedback in our reviews system (ICUK Reviews). They also offer phone line rental and call services, although these might benefit from clearer promotion.

Prices start at just £10 per month for a bog standard up to 24Mbps (0.45Mbps uploads) package with a 4GB usage allowance, although paying £25 will give you a 1 or 12 month contract (12 months = free migration/activation), unmetered monthly downloading and email with anti-virus/spam filtering. ICUK also offers superfast up to 40Mbps (FTTC) broadband packages.

Pros:

  • Speed
  • Support

Cons:

  • Some packages only offer small peak-time usage allowances

XILO

Reason: This year sees XILO enter our list of recommendations for the first time, thanks largely to the continued praise of its customers (XILO Reviews). Despite being a vISP the provider has built a good reputation for customer support and performance that others would find hard to match.

Prices start at £17.35 per month for a 24Mbps service with a 5GB usage allowance (unlimited overnight usage), although paying just a little more (£17.99) will get you a 16Mbps service with "unmetered" usage. All packages include a static IP, email anti-virus/spam, webspace and a 1 month contract term.

Pros:

  • Speed
  • Support
  • Price (some packages)

Cons:

  • No superfast broadband (24Mbps+) services

Fast.co.uk

Reason: Though perhaps more of a vISP and thus often not chosen in award shortlists, Fast.co.uk has managed to gain itself a good reputation for quality and support in our Readers Top 10 (Fast.co.uk Reviews), although in recent years we have seen some unhappy customers and their value proposition has weakened but they remain well respected.

Prices start at £11.99 per month for a 24Mbps service with 10GB of monthly usage, though paying £20.39 per month will give you 40GB of monthly usage, a 3 month contract and the usual array of service features (email, anti-virus/spam etc.). Fast.co.uk also offers 40Mbps superfast broadband and phone line rental services. One potential downside could be that Fast.co.uk offers a growing array of packages that are similar but with very different names, which could confuse some people.

Pros:

  • Speed
  • Support

Cons:

  • Price
  • Small usage allowances
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