Frustrating at times but impossible to live without, web access is too vital to settle for sub-standard service. PC Advisor analyses what 6,500 of you had to say about your broadband experiences, which ISPs are best, and how to get cheaper broadband.

Web access seems to have bucked the trend for belt-tightening in these tough economic times, having become a near-necessity rather than a luxury.

We've lost count of the press releases and news stories over the past year recounting just what the nation's householders would forego rather than give up their broadband connection, from holidays and alcohol to chocolate and sex.

Given our addiction to the net, it was no surprise that more of you than ever were keen to have your say about your broadband experience, your provider and the pros and cons of their service. Granted, the fact that we teased you with the possibility of winning netbooks and other tech-related goodies in our £4,000 lucky dip may have helped.

In all, 6,557 people completed our survey between May and July. The feedback you provided enabled us to draw broad conclusions about the state of Digital Britain, but it also meant we were able to produce in-depth analysis of the performance of some of the best-known ISPs.

As ever, our aim in running the PC Advisor Broadband Survey was to get an idea of how ISPs are performing, what they still need to get right and where they've improved. Availability and marketing clout meant that BT, Sky and Virgin Media clocked up the highest number of users among survey respondents, but that doesn't necessarily mean they came in for the most accolades - or the biggest criticisms.

Boost your broadband - useful links:

Broadband survey 2009: Web on the move

With web access on smartphones and other mobile devices becoming more prevalent, we plan to run separate surveys in the coming months to see how internet provision on these is panning out.

For now, we've reported on where things stand in that market and how quickly it's being adopted.

NEXT: Our survey says…

Broadband Advisor

Broadband Survey 2009 index:

  1. PC Advisor readers' verdict on Broadband Britain
  2. Our survey says…
  3. ISP reviews: AOL & Be Broadband
  4. ISP reviews: BT & BT Yahoo
  5. ISP reviews: Demon & O2
  6. ISP reviews: Orange & Pipex
  7. ISP reviews: Plusnet & Sky Broadband
  8. ISP reviews: Talk Talk & Tiscali
  9. ISP reviews: Virgin Media & Zen Internet
  10. Mobile broadband
  11. Better broadband for all
  12. Better broadband, shaping up
  13. Behind the scenes: a broadband call centre

Survey sponsored by Broadband Genie