which is the best for internet for elderly parents

  firestormbob 12:51 20 Nov 2008

hi, my brother in-law is soon to move to thailand and his parent have just bought a laptop to keep in touch with him. All they want to do is to exchange emails and load photos into the laptop. They are currently with BT for their phone but which would be the cheapest internet server to go with. They hardly have a telephone bill as such(just a few ponds per month) and are very frugal with their money. They also live where their nearest neighbour is a few hundred yards up the road and also sometimes have trouble with their home phone line going off.
I do hope one of you can help please.
p.s they live in south yorkshire(if that helps)


  cruiser2 13:03 20 Nov 2008

Are any of your parents neighbours on the internet? Where do they live and how far from the exchange do they live? This could affect how they connect to the internet.
There are several websites which give advice on connecting to the internet and the Which magazine have also produced articles.
Sorry I cannot be more specific as I am not an expert. I am with TalkTalk, but this includes my landline rental, as well as free calls at any time for a fixed price.
Be careful about signing up as some contracts are for eighteen months.

  firestormbob 13:48 20 Nov 2008

thankyou cruiser, i will find out all the info you have suggested.


  David4637 14:58 20 Nov 2008

I would suggest you start up with a pay as you go (PAYG) dial up service. You pay for the time its used. If this becomes a worth while hobby they can upgrade to Broadband at a later date. I use uk2.net as PAYG, its reliable. The registration is very simple and the cost is a local call for every 6 minutes, or what is the current BT rate. David

  amonra 17:02 20 Nov 2008

I'm with cruiser2, have a look at the neighbours, have they got internet access? If they are out in the sticks then certainly do go for a dial-up setup for starters. Dont get bogged down into a 12 month contract for something that may be a bit iffy. For EMails and the occasional photo, dialup is quite sufficient. Who knows, by the time they are committed users, fibre will be available everywhere !!!

  oldbeefer2 17:50 20 Nov 2008

I would suggest that they go for a company that have a UK based help service. I have had endless problems with 'English' speakers from overseas call centres. I am now with a small company in Cheshire who answer the phone instantly when I call and give advice in simple terms. Calls are charged at local rate as well. Worth going down the broadband route and getting them set up with web cameras and (eg) Skype - webcamming is a fantastic way to keep in touch (I have children and grand children in Sydney, so I know!).

  oldbeefer2 17:56 20 Nov 2008

Might be worth setting up remote access as well. I have done this for my brother who struggles with computers. It's a good way to sort out problems from a distance. I use this free one click here which only involves my brother opening a file and telling me the password - I can then see his desktop and manipulate his files, open applications etc.

  RobCharles1981 17:58 20 Nov 2008

Go with ADSL24 I find them top dogs for UK Based Support - the cheapest package starts from £14.99

click here

  Pineman100 18:30 20 Nov 2008

"by the time they are committed users, fibre will be available everywhere !!!"

Now that's what I call hopeless optimism!! ;o)

I'm a bit dubious about the recommendation to start your parents off with dial-up.

My old dad is in his 90's, and when he asked me to set him up for email, etc. a couple of years ago, I started him off with dial-up, for the reasons quoted by David4637 above.

The trouble is, his connection was so frustratingly slow that he almost gave up on the whole idea. But once I got him a broadband contract, he was much happier. He's no computer whizz-kid (!) but he now gets regular emails from all of his family, with photos, etc. attached. And he surfs the internet from time to time, which he thoroughly enjoys.

  john 52 19:00 20 Nov 2008

Just a few links below

click here
that's a really good site for broadband info

click here

This will give you info about there exchange and how far they are from it and what speeds they could achieve or if they would be able to get a broadband connection

click here

£9-99 a month /2 GB allowance monthly contract/ English call centre /free router.

Newnet are also good £12-99 for a 3GB allowance

  bluto1 21:01 20 Nov 2008

Hi, Before you even consider adding their telephone to a "bundle" with the selected ISP check if they are on Low User Tariff with BT. If they are then leave the phone out of negotiations.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Honor 9 Lite review

How Social Media has Propelled Political Graphic Design and Art in the Last Decade

The best kids apps for iPhone & iPad 2018

HomePod d’Apple : date de sortie, prix et fiche technique