Plus.Net; a 2-month review

Some time ago now I mentioned that I was leaving Tiscali’s awful broadband service behind and joining Plus.Net on a 90-day trial instead and at that time I promised to give my thoughts on my new ISP after a few weeks. Well I’m coming to the end of my second full month with Plus.Net so figured my review was overdue (and I know people are dying to find out what I think of Plus.Net).

Summary
Speed: “Up to” 8Mb/s
Usage: 8GB 15GB (plus unlimited usage from 00:00 to 08:00 every day)

Plus.Net and their Service

Overall I’m quite pleased with the service. The first month went off swimmingly; my broadband speed ended up somewhere around 6,000 kb/s download and 375kb/s upload according to SpeedTest.net. My ADSL modem says it’s synced at about 8,000KB/s so everything’s looking good. I’ve been pleased with the speeds, haven’t noticed any service interruptions and billing seems to have been hassle-free.

Overall I like the company too. I like the reassurance I get from knowing I can contact them without using a rip-off 0870/0871 number like Tiscali’s if I can’t quickly resolve any matter that might arise by using their forums. I also like the fact that they don’t use scummy Tiscali/BT-type marketing of “From £4.99 a month” with tiny small-print hidden away somewhere informing you that that only applies to the first 3 months of an 18-month contract!

Usage Limits

As far as the 8GB daytime data transfer limit of my “Broadband Your Way Option 2” package goes, the first month (including over Christmas when I was out of the house for 3 or 4 days) I stayed well within the 8GB daytime limit.

On the second month though, I was racking up the data transfer bloody fast. By the end of a week and a half I’d used about 4.5GB during the ‘peak’ times (8AM to midnight) and I still had 3 weeks to go. It was at this point I decided I could only download overnight, which means it’s taking a severely long time to download large files, although I think slow sources are as much to blame as anything.

It is annoying having to download overnight and switch my PC off as soon as I get up at 8AM (or setting it to shut itself down at 8AM at the weekend), but that seems to be the sacrifice necessary for good value broadband.

Other Options

I could always go back to Tiscali who are now offering 8Mbps speeds on the £14.99 unlimited usage package I was on, I couldn’t actually download anything during the day, but then again with the usage limit I can’t really do that on Plus.net either. The main thing keeping me away, I suppose, is that their support is expensive (0871) and also pure shite.

There is an option 3 with a 20GB daytime usage limit for an extra fiver, but for that same price you can get a 30GB daytime package from ADSL24 who, like Plus.Net, also offer a geographic number to contact support (although their overnight transfer-limit is 300GB instead of unlimited).

So I have 3 options: Stay on Plus.net’s Option 2 at £14.99 and monitor my usage closely, upgrade to Option 3 and relax a bit with 20GB transfer but pay £19.99 or switch to ADSL24, or another Entanet reseller, and relax a bit more with 30GB usage but risk the unknown in terms of quality and service – oh and risk a £5 penalty if I go over my limit! ADSL24 offer similar features (static IP, generous overnight usage etc.) for the same price.

ADSL24’s extra transfer allowance and the fact that they don’t throttle different types of data has to be weighed against the ominous £5 penalty if you do go over (Plus.net just block P2P and limit your web speed for the remainder of the month) and the ‘better the devil you know’ factor.

Conclusion

It’s maybe not as resounding a recommendation as they deserve given my previous experience with Tiscali, but overall I’d be happy to recommend Plus.net to all but the heaviest peer-2-peer users. If you do decide to take my recommendation, please tell them the user who referred you was ferson. Thanks.

* since I wrote this review, Plus.Net have increased the daytime usage limit on Option 2 from 8GB per month to 15GB per month. To me this makes them easily the best choice provider.

Author: nerd.

An experienced IT professional, I used to run a number of small websites and spend a lot of time tinkering with my sites or my PC - back when I had free time.

3 thoughts on “Plus.Net; a 2-month review”

  1. Hi Steve,

    I’m certainly very happy to hear that you’re enjoying your Broadband servce so far.

    Regarding your data transfer, are you aware that you can “pre-pay” for additional Gigabytes @ 75p each, should you find this to be a better solution for you financially rather than changing your product?

    This won’t affect your contract – you’ll still be on a monthly contract and you can change your product once a month should you wish to do so.

    All the best,

    James Bailey
    PlusNet Comms Team

  2. Hi James, thanks for the response.

    I’m aware of the pre-pay usage, yeah, though to be honest at 75p/GB it’d be much better value to upgrade to Option 3 – so I’d be paying for less than 7GB extra and getting an extra 12GB, plus higher speed caps for daytime use of P2P, download sites etc.

    I think I read on your site that you’re the cheapest ISP in the UK for extra data transfer per GB, but the PAYG option still doesn’t seem like particularly good value in light of the above.

  3. Hi again,

    You’ll absolutely see some ISPs that will offer you more traffic for better prices. We’ve based our prices on the current and pending BT Wholesale prices. So basically you pay us for what we pay BT if that akes sense 🙂

    If/when BT announcement further pricing changes, then we’ll adapt our pricing accordingly, but yes, for additional GB we are the cheapest.

    James

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