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Author Topic: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's  (Read 1058 times)

Mohawk

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Hi All,

Been doing loads of research recently on changing ISP's and what modem/router to purchase. I would like some advise from someone who has some knowledge in this area.

I was on Sky BB for many years but moved to NowTV as they had a superb offer on BB&Phone. Which is the same hardware/backbone as Sky.
I always got around 39999 Kbps Down and 5857 Kbps Up. I was happy with that :) With using the NowTV-BB Router (NR801)

Here are my current Line Stats.

Connection Speed (Kbps)   39999   5857
Line Attenuation (dB)   DS1:17.2    DS2:44.0    DS3:67.0   US0:5.9    US1:34.6    US2:0.0
Noise Margin (dB)   DS1:7.6    DS2:7.6    DS3:7.7   US0:5.8    US1:5.9    US2:0.0

Now I am out of contract with NOWTV BB and want to start using my own hardware (modem/router).

I understand the best option for a modem/router chip set is Broadcom, as i don't know what my current cab DSLAM is. It could be Huawei by looking at Kitzs Cab look up pages, not 100% sure. Also can't check from my router as its locked.
Can anyone recommend a good Broadcom router, which has lots of config options. e.g. VPN, 3/4G Backup

Now for the ISP, this is where I get super stuck.....

1) If I move to another ISP what hardware changes between me and the exchange? Would someone like Plus.Net or Zen have there own hardware back at the exchange? or do they all use BT's hardware?
I really don't want to reduce my current Down/Up speed. Whats the chances of this changing when moving to another ISP.
2) Does anyone know if Sky allows the use of your own hardware? I saw some reports they changes their T&C's. I can't find anything on their website which states otherwise.
3) Looking at reviews of ISP's it seems my primary option Plus.Net has gone down hill recently. I remember the days when it used to be Force9 :) Can anyone recommend anyone else who provide truely unlimited download without much traffic shaping.


I know this might sound like a newbie type of question but i can't seem to find out up to date info on this type of query.

Appreciate any advice or info in advanced.

Cheers

Mo
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Weaver

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2020, 06:03:11 PM »

1) If I move to another ISP what hardware changes between me and the exchange? Would someone like Plus.Net or Zen have there own hardware back at the exchange? or do they all use BT's hardware?

> Iím assuming youíre talking about FTTC. The answer is nothing unless you take a new modem at your end from the new ISP obviously. Choose an an ISP that allows you to choose your own preferred modem and router and wireless access point (be it separate or combined into one or more boxes)

> I really don't want to reduce my current Down/Up speed. Whats the chances of this changing when moving to another ISP.
It wonít change unless the ISP uses a different target signal to noise ratio margin. Some ISPs are more conservative, trading off speed for extra reliability. Kitz has discussed this elsewhere.

> 2) Does anyone know if Sky allows the use of your own hardware? I saw some reports they changes their T&C's. I can't find anything on their website which states otherwise.
Donít know. Someone else will be able to answer this. Stay away from Sky because their IPv6 implementation is insane. One of our members has just switched away from Sky because of this. See other thread which someone might be able to find for us.

> 3) Looking at reviews of ISP's it seems my primary option Plus.Net has gone down hill recently. I remember the days when it used to be Force9 :) Can anyone recommend anyone else who provide truely unlimited download without much traffic shaping.

My ISP, Andrews and Arnold, has guaranteed zero traffic shaping and offers either truly unlimited download with no small print or congestion, or multi terabyte download which should be enough for most people. I use the former but it is ridiculously expensive compared to the latter. Take a look at Zen. I read good things about Idnet too. It would be worth your while taking a look at Andrews and Arnoldís website aa.net.uk and perhaps talking to them or talking to their customers on IRC. I used Zen and AA at the same time in Lines and AA won out over Zen because of their advances sexy features and generous blocks of IPv4 addresses available free!
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2020, 06:03:29 PM »

1) It varies, as Zen for example have about four different ways they can use to get from the exchange back to their network, depending on what your exchange has.

I believe the only direction your down/up is likely to go is increase, as Sky AFAIK use the most conservative options for stability vs other ISPs such as Zen which push for the fastest your line can handle.

2) Technically Sky can't stop you using your hardware, but as there is no way to find your login details without somehow hacking into their router, you effectively can't as they won't tell you that information.

3) The biggest problem with Plusnet is their billing system, otherwise I don't think there is anything wrong with them.  I still personally prefer Zen though.
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tiffy

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 07:25:40 PM »

@Mohawk:

I recently started this topic on Plusnet:
https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,24537.msg412631.html#msg412631

As you can see I certainly would not have Plusnet on my current ISP choice list even though I have always found their tech. support to be good when infrequently required.

Have a good browse through this excellent forum and the information/guidance sections where you should find all the answers to your questions and I'am sure many of the very well informed forum patrons will be along to offer further advice.

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Mohawk

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2020, 11:06:01 AM »

Hi,

Just wanted to say thank you to the following peeps who replied. @Weaver, @Alex Atkin UK & @tiffy thank you all for taking the time to reply and provide your knowledge.

I took on board all your points and decided to move to Zen Internet.

Called them yesterday and started the ball on moving from NowTV/Sky to them, very helpful and knowledgeable sales person. They did advise me that they did have thier own hardware in my local exchange and considering the current situation with Covid-19 they are still able to handle the line change.

They are going to put me on 40/10 at the moment, but they did suggest to give them a call after 10 days to test the upper 50/10 and if its success they can upgrade me.

I looked at Andrews and Arnold but found them expensive for what i use the BB for, as they had caps. There was no mention of an unlimited plan.

I will use the Zen's free modem/router for a while until I research the best Modem/router, i have been looking into pfsense which does look interesting.

Thanks again :)

Mo
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tiffy

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2020, 12:21:45 PM »

Good luck with the migration to Zen, do hope they meet your expectations during the migration process and in the longer term, please continue to post your progress and experience which is very much welcomed by other forum patrons.

Under normal circumstances you would very likely have received a much greater response from forum members, however, the current world situation could certainly not be described as normal by any standard.
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j0hn

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2020, 05:36:45 PM »

1) It varies, as Zen for example have about four different ways they can use to get from the exchange back to their network, depending on what your exchange has.

The question was between home and exchange, where nothing changes.

Quote
2) Technically Sky can't stop you using your hardware

Technically they could and did.
Their T&C's forbid it and you used to have to use Wireshark to obtain your username and password.
Sky removed this from their terms ages ago.

Quote
but as there is no way to find your login details without somehow hacking into their router, you effectively can't as they won't tell you that information

You haven't needed unique login details on Sky or NowTV FTTC for a couple years.

They allow the use of any modem/router as long as it supports DHCP Option 61 / MER

Quote
I believe the only direction your down/up is likely to go is increase, as Sky AFAIK use the most conservative options for stability vs other ISPs such as Zen which push for the fastest your line can handle.

That usually makes no difference to sync speed, particularly on Huawei cabinets (the vast majority of lines).
It can make Interleaving more likely on ECI cabinets reducing sync a little.

A line syncing at full sync will be identical on both Speed/Standard DLM profiles.

Zen use the Speed DLM policy.
Sky use the Standard DLM policy.
The most conservative is the Stable DLM policy.

Both the Speed/Standard DLM policy saw me on a 3dB Retx High profile with near identical sync speeds.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2020, 06:36:55 PM »

The question was between home and exchange, where nothing changes.

DOH!   :-[  I somehow read that as ISP not exchange, probably because I was already forming a response from the title "what really changes when we swap ISPs".

Had I read it correctly I would obviously have said "nothing really changes between you and the exchange, but from the exchange onwards can vary considerably".   ;)

You haven't needed unique login details on Sky or NowTV FTTC for a couple years.

They allow the use of any modem/router as long as it supports DHCP Option 61 / MER

That usually makes no difference to sync speed, particularly on Huawei cabinets (the vast majority of lines).
It can make Interleaving more likely on ECI cabinets reducing sync a little.

A line syncing at full sync will be identical on both Speed/Standard DLM profiles.

Zen use the Speed DLM policy.
Sky use the Standard DLM policy.
The most conservative is the Stable DLM policy.

Both the Speed/Standard DLM policy saw me on a 3dB Retx High profile with near identical sync speeds.

Thanks for the correction, that's actually interesting to know as I might have tried Sky/NowTV myself had I known this.
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hushcoden

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Re: Should I change from Sky? What really changes when we swap ISP's
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2020, 09:07:52 PM »

I took on board all your points and decided to move to Zen Internet.

I also moved from Sky (8 years) to Zen and I couldn't be happier, very friendly and competent... They even changed my profile from standard to speed with a simple phone call... Nothing to complain so far...

I'm using a VMG1312-B10A with johnson's firmware and it's been rock solid for more than a month (stats attached)...
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