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Vodafone UK Scraps Forgotten Demon Internet ISP Brand

Friday, January 11th, 2019 (12:12 pm) - Score 6,265
demon_internet

Remember Demon Internet? If you do then you’re probably of a certain age or familiarity with the market. The small business focused ISP has hung around for years despite a lack of promotion or investment, but parent Vodafone has now finally decided to throw in the towel and cast it to hell.

Back in the old dialup and early broadband days Demon was a much more familiar name in the industry, but that was over a decade ago and the market has changed a lot. Despite this Demon are still offering the same ADSL2+ based broadband packages as they were several years ago and the move to “superfastFTTC or faster services seems to have passed them by.

Meanwhile Vodafone’s decision in 2016 to scrap the provider’s “free” email service (here), while not bothering to introduce any new products, was probably a good indication of where the ISP was headed. Despite this The Register reports that Demon still has around 15,000 customers, at least for now.

Apparently Vodafone now intends to close Demon and migrate its remaining customers on to more modern services, which is a process that they expect could take around 60 days. This may prove tricky since Demon’s packages were all sold without phone line rental included by default (optional), while Vodafone includes line rental and currently only advertises FTTC packages for such users (residential and small business).

A Vodafone Spokesperson said:

“Turning off our legacy technologies is a critical to ensure we are investing for the future, reducing our energy costs and making sure our customers are able to take advantage of the latest broadband services. We would like to thank all our loyal customers of Demon Broadband and we very much hope they stay with us.”

At the time of writing we could find no notice about this on Demon’s Service Status page, which was last updated in 2015 and so probably isn’t the best barometer for recent changes.

Just for a bit of fun, here’s our list of the top 10 ISPs for average broadband download speeds from a decade ago. No doubt some folk in remote rural areas will probably be shrugging their shoulders at this point, while exclaiming, “Not much has changed, guv!“. Farewell Demon.. farewell.

Top 10 ISPs for Speed in 2008
1. O2 – 6.4Mbps
2. Be Unlimited – 5.5Mbps
3. Virgin Media – 4.1Mbps
4. Sky Broadband – 3.8Mbps
5. PlusNet – 3.2Mbps
6. Post Office – 3.0Mbps
7. TalkTalk – 2.9Mbps
8. BT – 2.8Mbps
9. Demon – 2.8Mbps
10. Orange – 2.7Mbps

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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18 Responses
  1. Avatar dave

    I’ve known about this for a while thanks to a colleague who has services from Demon. As I understand it, they intend to get everybody off Demon branded services by March.

  2. Avatar DL

    Ahh, good old Demon. I remember using them to access the internet in 1993. Their PPP server was called ragnarok.demon.co.uk if I remember correctly.

    Your top 10 list from ten years ago has fond memories as well – BeThere were excellent, right up until they committed suicide by executing a Nathan Barley-style rebranding and making their website vomit inducing. They spectacularly ignored the universally negative feedback about it and then were bought by Sky and disappeared. I believe they they were started-up by Hyperoptic’s Dana Tobak. (I assume that she had left by the time the awful rebranding happened….)

    Here’s a screenshot of the design
    http://tomkenny.design/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/bethere.jpg

  3. Avatar Pete L

    I remember the days I used to dial into Demon via my Highlands rural aluminium last mile line on a 33.6k modem, just so I could keep my ping a reasonable 250ms on their quake servers. Sad times. Farewell Demon, some good memories.

    • Avatar Joe

      Yeah I used to do that when there were clan events…those few extra ms mattered…

      Long time since UKCCL etc days

  4. Avatar SuperFast Dream

    I also used Demon for, wait for it…. 18 years from 1995 to 2013, from 33.6k to 56K (and using compression tools to squeeze as much as possible out of the line, remember that!) to ISDN to 1Mbps to 2Mbps to ADSL to ADSLMax, the reason I stayed for long, they offered the most robust ISP service I have ever seen.

    In those 17 years if I did have an issue, and they were few and far between, I actually got to speak to a ‘true engineer’, not someone reading from a troubleshooting script, absolutely fantastic.

    Even when they were taken over by Scottish Telecom (Scottish Power)/Thus the service remained great, I only left them owing to BT duping me into thinking I could get VDSL and Demon didn’t offer the service.

    Ah well, fond memories.

    Farewell Demon *tips hat*

    • Avatar SuperFast Dream

      That should say 18 years above not 17, goodness me, the tears are disrupting my ability to type correctly.

  5. Avatar anonymous

    I was surprise I never join Demon Internet even I have been migrated ISP’s over 100 times god know how many times did I spend it?

  6. Avatar Brian

    Spent many years on dial up with Demon, only changed when ADSL came available in 2005. As for speed would love the speed increase to the top of that table.

  7. Avatar Gouledw

    It used to be great to work with some of these smaller but well established ISPs. Now you only deal with the big five as all the smaller ones are usually subsideries. ‘Be there’ were always my favourite.

  8. Avatar exK9user

    You’re all missing the historical importance of Demon Internet as the first big ISP for consumers in the UK. Before they arrived in the early 1990’s there was only closed networks, such as Prestel and Compuserve, that didn’t provide the real internet.

  9. Avatar Nicholas Bannister

    I started with Cityscape which was taken over by Demon. I have used Demon’s Home/Office service for years. Yet I have no idea when Vodaphone retires Demon what options I have to replace my Demon service and how to go about it. Please could someone advise me? Will I be able to keep my Demon email address which I have registered with very many organisations and which is used by my numerous friends and acquaintences?

  10. Avatar Wim Meeuws

    I have been with Demon since the mid-eighties and I am glad I was warned about Vodafone, so I escaped to ZEN azfter all these years.
    a certain age ? …ehh…yes..I am 81 now.
    ZEN are wonderful

  11. Avatar John Dench

    May 6th 2019 is Demon cut off date. I have been with Demon for around 20 years and, like other posters here, started with dial up modem and painfully slow speeds. And then along came Broadband, but still copper cabled. Now it’s fibre…
    The free e mail termination was disgraceful. In order to retain my mail address which as a business user is everywhere, I have to pay an intermediary company each year.

    If you are with Vodaphone and are considering staying with them, get things underway ASAP. Customer service is fine…but I need the new router and fibre service with a smooth transition…rather than continually being told to ‘have a great day’ (at 5.30 in the evening!)

  12. Avatar Mike Cowley

    Been with Demon since just after “Tenner a month” started. Now waiting to move over to VF, it’s now 12th May and my Demon connection is still working.

  13. Avatar Claire Warner

    my biggest techie find was Demon broadband – an excellent ISP with real engineers looking after the needs of technophobic customers like me.
    It was a long and happy relationship.
    Thank you Demon
    What will become of you now, I wonder?
    Mega cyber hug

  14. Avatar Dvaid Mills

    For 20 years or so we have used Demon…. not a blip in all that time except when the router stopped working… a phone call dealt with that. Since February our attempts to transfer to Vf have been horrendous… we were supposed to go live on 8th April 2019… not a sausage… on the Saturday of that week an Open Reach engineer discovered that they had put the new service on the wrong phone line… Four modems and numerous cancelled contracts and re-applications later I today cancelled the lot and await Zen to do their stuff on 30th May.

    Demon were great and we do not need super fast down or upload speeds… As far as I am concerned the old adage “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it applied”

    Please keep your fingers crossed for us.

  15. Avatar SM

    Fond memories of Demon Internet. I remember their use of the “Demon” as a techie insider pun with service support numbers starting with 666 (demon vs Unix Daemon and 666 as in the number of the anti-Christ vs Unix 666 permissions (universal read-write permissions). This didn’t go down with everybody though – a Christian fundamentalist friend of my wife in the US stopped corresponding with her on account of her ******@demon.net email address.
    I they provided a great service though.

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