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24-7 is in my opinion an excellent ISP The cost of 19.99 a month is not too much if you are a heavy user, as I am. I find the connection speeds of usually 48000bps excellent on my 56k modem. The signup page and procedure is quick, easy and gets you online with an account within just a few minutes, and you only have to stay with them month by month, They will not force you to stay after the first month. When you log in all new singups have an updated login script which actually logs into a secondary login page automatically, an irritation that early users had to put up with. The monitoring of signups means that they have not been swamped with new members like many other cheap or "free" ISP's have been cought out with in the past ( such as World Online/Screaming net)meaning that all members have little difficulty getting a connection. The home web site is still quite basic but is being worked on to upgrade it continually. the email service runs without any noticable problems. The best part of thsi ISP is that there is no enforced cutoffs. The only stipulations that they have are these; a) after 15 minutes of inactivity you will lose connection ( so long downloads will keep the connection open ) b) After 3 hours a requester box pops up asking if you want to stay connected. Answering yes to this requester keeps you logged on for another three hours providing the first condition is met < 15 mins etc. > These two conditions are not at all a problem and this service is in my opinion the best I have seen. I have seen cheaper, but I havent seen such a complete package like 24-7. The sign up page takes minutes to fill in and acceptance happens while you wait, literally seconds, so you can get online within just a few minutes of making your decision. The service has excellent speeds and few log in problems, usually you can log in first time, but sometimes it may take 3 attempts, but that is not exact ly a problem at all. It is quite a new ISP but upon calling their technical helpline it is clear that they know exactly what they are doing and exactly where they want to go. Three cheers for 24 -7
I am regretably cancelling my account with World Online in the next few days. I have been with them since May 1999 when they were screaming net / Localtel. I didnt believe that they could do unlimited access for free, but much to my surprise they did. Their bandwidth and speed left a lot to be desired but over the months their service improved with the addition of new servers, increasing bandwidths and more upgrades besides. Certainly by the latter half of last year I found that their service surpassed most others. I spend many many hours each week online in the chat rooms and found it quite funny that people logged on with compuserve, aol or BT kept getting booted without notice whereas I only lost connection at the end of my two hour time out, which was from xmas extended to three hours. The trouble was that because screaming net had such a poor start, partly caused by the huge bottlenecks in BT's speed of processing requests to move accounts to Localtel, that it gave the service a very poor reputation. I tried many times to tell people that the service was excellent buit few believed me, even though they were having cionnection problems and I was not. Not only was I getting unmetered access and cheap phone calls, but I was also getting extremely good transfer speeds. Now, because of BT not unbundling the local loops to other operators, World Online, along with many others, are having to withdraw their unmetered access. The amount I use the internet this equates to a rise in cost of £60-£80 a month so I am forced to look elsewhere. The only one I have found will cost me £19.99 a month for full unmetered and no cut-off time but relies on you having a BT line. I am forced therefore to go back to BT for my phone ( although I dont make calls with my landline ) much as I hate doing so, but if World Online ever return to a fully unmetered service then I for one will immediately rejoin them. World Online's ISP service was / is second to no ne and any stories that you may have heard about it's past shoudl be ignored. I recommend World Online to anyone because it is everything you could ever need, cheap phone calls, excellent connection and very helpful staff (although phone lines can be very busy). I hope they can return to unmetered very soon and get back the customers that BT are forcing them to lose.
Well, another basic map program I thought. First big mistake. Actually turns out to be a truly excellent tool in finding addresses and roads that usual Microsoft and AA route planners have never heard of, usualy anything less than a B road. I was so impressed as it found my old address on the very outskirts of a small Cheshire village and was absolutely dumbstruck when it found my current address in an even smaller village in Somerset ( The back of beyond ). I have since spoken to a member of the multimap team at LIVE2000 at Earl's Court, London and told them how impressed I was with the detail. They informed me that as soon as they have the full information on exactly which roads are on-way etc.. then their route planner will be probably the most accurate available, and after seeing their site, this I can well believe. They also told me that they are currently gathering data on all countries around the world so that they can have the level of detail only seen in the Uk and Euope areas spread out to cover the whole of the globe. A truly exciting prospect that I cannot wait to see come to fruition. I await it with baited breath
I had never been to London before and so going to this exhibition was also tied in with a visit to the Capital that I was very much looking forward to. I hadn't heard much about the event before going as it was suggested by my Boss and we went along to see just what gadgets and innovations were available. After the 3 hour bus journey and the short trip on the tube, by the way I think I know what TUBE stands for ( Throw Your Body Everywhere ), we arrived at Earl's court, a little unsure what to expect. After previously looking at the official website, only to find that you cannot access the virtual exhibition until the show is on, which I thought rather strange we entered to be confronted by the Sony stand, only to be confronted by, another Sony stand, turn around, another Sony stand. I thought I had entered a Sony showroom. After a while I had a walk around the other stands noticing that there were not exactly what I would call many "techie's" on the stand. Indeed, AOL's stand was phenomenol in its weirdness. I stood and watched a guy try to explain the simplest of tasks on the PC to many people stood watching. Im not sure if anyone followed what he said, but I will be surprised if anyone did. This was something I expected with an internet company, showing users how to use the internet. What I couldnt quite grasp was the young lady dressed as a schoolgirl, complete with rucksack, who proceeded to squirm and slide her way across the floor in front of us. If this wasn't totaly strange then World Online (whom I have as my ISP I may add) had people doing magic tricks and juggling and playing with balloons. I mean Helloo !!! what has that got to do with World Online and the internet ? I was hoping to talk to them about their recent merger with an Italian company. Could I find anyone to talk to about it? no. This I found very evident in many of the stands in the show, lots of glitz, but absolutely no-one there w illing to discuss anything, unless it was the latest stereo system costing 3 years salary ( This I am guessing because most were to scared to tell you the prices of their products.) Then came the Warner DVD experience.. ohh you have to get a ticket.. means it must be good. err.. no wrong again. You were told what a DVD is, im sure only about 2% of the population didn't know beforehand, and then you were given a preview of their latest movie, Three Wise Men, or whatever it was called. I lost interest after 5 minutes in there. They should have just put a sign up saying " come and look at a preview of our new film" Anyhow, sounds from all of the above that I did not enjoy the exhibition at all. far from it. I actually enjoyed it very much, apart from being deaf by the time I left. There were actually some people who seemed to wanted to talk to you about their products rather than throw a leaflet in your hand and turn away. Ericsson's stand talked to me as soon as I entered, in a very friendly and un-obtrusive manner and after having a discussion with the gentleman I agreed to purchase a chat board for my mobile phone. Shame it didnt work with my phone and i had to return it, but hey, nothing is perfect. Must say that the one stand that really stood out for me was the dooyoo.co.uk stand. I looked at the leaflets and didnt actually understand what the site was about and thought I would look at it later at home. I was about to leave when a PC became free and i was then joined by Casilda Peel who proceeded to explain what the site was all about, clearly and to the point and I actually felt for the first time in the show that someone actually knew what tehy were talking about. The stand was fine, the help was excellent, and the whole idea of dooyoo and its blossoming community is, in my opinion, an absolutely great idea. Which is why I am writing this after only arriving home 20 minutes after getting off the bus from Lond on. In a nutshell, the exhibition is very glitzy with great sound and great equipment, but if you want some really straight, informative useful information about ISP's and the internet, or about many other products there, then I am sorry, that is very lacking with the exception of a few stands, dooyoo.co.uk standing head and shoulders above the rest.