Broadband review: IDNet

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British consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing between broadband providers. With a number of companies offering a wide range of broadband packages, most people have at least two providers to choose from. Over the next few weeks we will review some of the main broadband services, starting this week with IDNet.

IDNet, which has been around since 1996, provides a wide range of services to consumers and businesses including web hosting, web design, email services, VPN and, of course, broadband.

It offers four home ADSL broadband options ranging from the basic pay as you go option for £14.99 per month, to the £34.99 per month Home SuperMax product. In general, services are very reliable and speeds are good, even during peak times.

Looking more closely at the packages that are available, all offer download speeds of up to 8 Mbps and upload speeds range from 448 Kbps to 832 Kbps.

As you might expect, download speeds will rarely reach the 8 Mbps mark. In fact, the real maximum speed is 7.15 Mbps and this could dip below the 2 Mbps mark during peak times. The quality of connection will depend on quality of phone line, proximity to telephone exchange, and other factors. Notably, contention ratio should not be a factor as IDNet claims that it does not oversubscribe its broadband services.

Broadband Packages

Home PAYG This is IDNet's cheapest package at £14.99. You get most of the benefits of IDNet's other packages but you pay £1 for every GB you download. With a 1GB allowance included in the monthly charge, this is ideal for the light internet user.

Home Lite This option is slightly more expensive at £17.99 and includes a download limit of 5GB. Again, you will pay £1 per GB for anything over this.

Home MaxWith a 30GB download included in the £24.99 monthly charge, this package will cover the needs of most home users and it represents good value too. As usual, it costs £1 per GB for extra downloads.

Home SuperMax At £34.99, this is IDNet's most expensive broadband package. It combines high download speeds and limits. SuperMax users get priority “at the exchange over standard ADSL traffic”, according to IDNet. A 60GB download allowance is included in the price – 30GB between 9am and midnight, and 30GB from midnight to 9am. You may also benefit from the increased 832 Kbps upload speed.

Benefits of IDNet Broadband

While we think that broadband companies should allow unlimited download limits with all packages they offer, IDNet does represent good value for money, especially the Home Max and Home SuperMax options. And it does offer significant benefits even for the most basic packages, including: monthly contracts; free dial-up back-up account; unlimited POP3 mail-boxes; free static IP address; and more.

Connecting to IDNet is fast and efficient, and if you already have a broadband connection, there is free migration to IDNet. If this is your first broadband connection you will have to pay a one-off £47 connection fee and you should be connected within five days.

Broadband Support

IDNet scores very well when it comes to customer support. Staff are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and will make every effort to find a solution to your problem. There is a freephone support number and a messaging service for all calls made outside business hours.

IDNet is a well-established and reputable broadband provider that offers good speeds and benefits. If you are looking for even faster connection speeds you may want to check out IDNet's business options. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the services and packages that some of the other broadband companies have to offer.

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