Continuing our series of reviews of broadband providers in the UK, this week we look at AOL Broadband.
AOL’s broadband packages are worth a look for a number of different reasons. They have a good track record in the UK and offer good 24-hour customer support.
As with most broadband providers, AOL offers a range of special products and introductory offers that may vary from the time of writing. Also, it is worth noting that you will need to have a BT telephone line to avail of any of AOL’S products.
AOL offers three different broadband packages. All of these offer speeds of up to 8Mbps and all come with a free wireless router worth about £50. You should note that 8Mbps is the fastest potential speed. The speed you experience will depend on a number of external factors such as the quality of your line and distance from the exchange.
Nevertheless, AOL has a reputation for providing a good quality of service. If you are in doubt, try it out for a month or two to make sure that speeds match your expectations.
Like many broadband providers, AOL splits its broadband services into distinct packages. So, let’s take a closer look at these:
Wireless Flexi – This package costs £4.99 for the first three months and £14.99 thereafter. As mentioned, you get download speeds of up to 8Mbps. However, you are limited to just 10GB of downloads each month, and you must also pay a one-off connection fee of £29.99. The chief advantage of this package is that the contract is just one month at a time so you can cancel with very little fuss. You also get 24-hour online customer support.
Wireless Plus – AOL’s Wireless Plus package is something a little out of the ordinary. If you sign up for a 24 month contract at £19.99 per month (£9.99 for the first three months) you get a free Hewlett Packard laptop. Obviously, the catch here is that you are tied into a 24-month contract, but if you need a new laptop it might be worth a look. Again, download speeds are up to 8Mbps and you get 24-hour online customer support. In addition, there is no connection fee and you can download up to 40GB per month.
Wireless – AOL’s Wireless package is very similar to Wireless Flexi, but requires that you sign up for an 18-month contract. Monthly subscriptions (£4.99/£14.99) and download speeds (8Mbps) are the same, but this package does offer some advantages, mainly the lack of a one-off connection fee. However, this package also imposes a 10GB cap on monthly downloads.
AOL is a popular broadband choice in the UK, and has a good reputation both in terms of download speeds and customer service. It also provides some optional free telephone calls with its broadband packages, while it also offers separate phone and broadband and phone packages that you may wish to explore further.
However, in this article we are focusing solely on the AOL broadband packages. And while they stand up well in many areas, the 10GB cap on downloads per month is a major drawback. However, if this cap was lifted, AOL would have a competitive product.