Best ISP for student house

  Silverworm 16:59 09 Aug 2010

Which are the best ISPs for a house of 6 students? We will need a fast connection, and unlimited downloads. It will be used for watching TV programmes, generally surfing, occasional downloading and online gaming. It has to be fast enough so that if someone is streaming a video or downloading etc, someone playing online on the PS3 won't be affected.


  MAJ 19:51 09 Aug 2010

If you're in a cabled area, then Virgin would be the fastest. If you're not in a cabled area then see what speed your phoneline can supply, most will give up to 8MB which probably wont be good enough for your stated needs,but if your line will allow up to 20MB then that would be good enough. Being a student house, will the students be there for a time because most ISPs will have a minimum contract term. Most will also have a fair use policy so make sure they don't fall foul of that.

  Silverworm 21:14 09 Aug 2010

Thanks for that. I have just checked on the Virgin website and it says that we have fibre optic in our area. The package I'm looking at is 'up to 20mb' speed, what's the chance that we'll get close to that? Is it affected as much by the distance from the exchange as normal broadband is?

  RobCharles1981 21:24 09 Aug 2010

click here

Post Back What Sam Knows Says is at your exchange?

  Silverworm 22:10 09 Aug 2010

Congratulations, you are in a broadband enabled area.
Click here to compare packages available to you.

The following services are available in your location:

* BT Wholesale ADSL
* BT Wholesale ADSL Max
* BT Wholesale WBC (21CN)
* BT Wholesale SDSL
* O2 / Be LLU
* Bulldog LLU
* TalkTalk (CPW) LLU
* Sky Broadband / Easynet LLU
* Tiscali LLU
* Tiscali TV (via Tiscali LLU)
* Orange LLU (Formerly Wanadoo)
* Virgin Media (Cable)

BT ADSL broadband availability

You are connected to the Rusholme telephone exchange.

* ADSL is available in your area
* Your exchange is also enabled for ADSL Max services
* Your exchange is also enabled for ADSL2+ services

According to BT Wholesale, houses at your postcode should be able to support

up to 2Mbps via ADSL
4Mbps or greater ADSL connection via ADSL Max
5Mbps or greater via ADSL2+
Standard ADSL RAG results

* You can receive 2Mbps ADSL
* You can receive 1Mbps ADSL
* You can receive 512kbps ADSL
* You can receive 256kbps ADSL

You are approximately 1.77km from the exchange. Note that this is the straight line distance - the actual cable length will be longer!

BT FTTC broadband availability

You are connected to the Rusholme telephone exchange.

* FTTC is available in your area

Downstream Min: 19.4 Mbps
Downstream Max: 20.6 Mbps
Upstream Min: 8.8 Mbps
Upstream Max: 9.5 Mbps

I'm leaning towards a Virgin cable broadband + landline bundle at the moment, seems to give us what we need at a decent price.

  MAJ 23:19 09 Aug 2010

If (as you say) you can get cable then that's probably your best bet, Silverworm.

  sunnystaines 09:14 10 Aug 2010

6 students all watching hd video on youtube or bbc iplayer at the same time a good test for any connection.

  iscanut 10:18 10 Aug 2010

In one area of the city I live in is a large area of student lets. They have had considerable problems with Virgin recently with very low speeds in spite of Virgin promising very high speeds. Virgin now say that the sheer number of users on at any one time causes a bandwidth problem ! So far unresolved. Many hundreds of students vainly set up a protest outside the local Virgin store, all to no avail.

  wee eddie 10:33 10 Aug 2010

If you have a Flat with 5 Students sharing a connection and they're all on-line at the same time.

What do they expect?

One assumes a modicum of intelligence from Students, maybe that is no longer a necessity?

  Covergirl 12:48 10 Aug 2010

You will get a contract but it doesn't matter who it is with or what they promise, you will fall foul of the "Fair Usage Policy" within days.

A student flat with 6 students, all (no doubt) wanting to watch, download and play different things all at the same time (i.e. from when you get in until when you all crash! (LoL, little joke there)) will place a high load on your data connection and alert the FUP team who will immediately throttle you back.

Now, like iscanut says, other students in his area get "poor speeds". I think you can expect the same.

It would be interesting to see what you get throttled back to - if you get Virgin and are on a 20mb connection, would they restrict it to 10mb? If so, 10mb would be a good speed for 6 of you, some streaming, some downloading and some playing online.

Whatever you get installed, check your initial speeds with a speed tester like the one from Namesco.

Once you have been throttled back test it again.

Don't forget you'll need a suitable type "N" router to get better than 5mbps.

Report back here and let us know how you get on.

  Silverworm 13:20 10 Aug 2010

Ok I may have exaggerated out usage requirements slightly. Yes, there are 6 of us but it will be extremely rare that more than 2 or 3 of will be doing something bandwidth hungry at the same time. Also, most of the time we won't be streaming in HD, just SD like Megavideo etc.

The thing about poor speeds has me a little bit worried though, there are a high number of students on the area.

And about the router, I think the one they supply is "N" ready but I don't think any of our laptops can use that so we would have to use the normal wifi. Does this limit the speed that we can get?

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