UK Broadband - Limits and Alternatives
Article plus reviews and ratings of UK websites


Business Broadband
Satellite Broadband Providers
Dial Up Providers
Where to get UK Broadband

Know your limit!

There are a lot of broadband packages around right now, but many of the cheaper options limit the amount of downloading you can do. If you are interested in these cheaper packages but are not sure what kind of limit is suitable for you, there are a couple of methods you can try.

One way to find out is to use Web User's online Bandwidth Calculator. You simple enter how many hours per month you want to do the following things:
How many hours of web surfing?
How many high-quality photos sent/received?
How many low-quality photos sent/received?

70 hours of websurfing and nothing else comes to about 1Gb. It's a useful tool to decide what amount of bandwidth you need to have.

If you want to be more precise about your internet useage, you can download an internent usage monitor. There are several "free to try" ones at, but we have found a very good free one called Down2Home which you can get at JITServ. (There is a "donate" button if you're feeling generous!) Down2Home sits in your system tray and monitors your internet traffic giving statistics about the amount of data your PC has transferred. Right click the icon for volume statistics, reset counter, help and options. Beware, it is a 9.40 MB download for the full set up, but the lite version is just 1.9MB.

Broadband Alternatives

There are parts of the country that are not able to get broadband yet. To check your status, go to and type in your phone number or postcode. Hit "check" to find out what speeds are possible for your line.

If you find that you are not in a broadband enabled area, you might like to look at a couple of other methods.
We have listed a few companies providing Satellite Broadband.

Satellite broadband is ideal for people in remote areas who cannot get a standard ADSL broadband connection.

There are 2 types of satellite connection:

With a one-way satellite internet connection you can only receive information from the internet via satellite. You will still have to have a standard dial up connection to transmit data such as sending emails, playing games or surfing the net. However it is not necessary to have your dial up service connected when you are simply downloading files, once the request has been made.

With a 2-way satellite internet connection there is no need for a telephone connection at all as information is both uploaded and downloaded via satellite. The catch is that this is a much more expensive option and is really aimed at businesses.

Alternatively, you might like to investigate using an accelerator such as Onspeed or PC Pitstop Optimize from Computer Associates which use compression technology software to speed your dial up connection to speeds comparable with broadband. It can be used for PC or MAC, supports most browsers, and at around £2 per month is a very cheap option.

There are a few free versions of accelerators but they will inevitably include pop up advertising and possibly even spyware. If you are willing to take the risk have a look at some of the download managers listed on - be sure to read the user reviews first!


Test Your Connection Speed

Internet FrogHop over to to find out your download and upload speeds.


Where to get UK broadband


Gas And Electricity, Heating Cover, Water, Mobile Phones, Broadband, Home Phone, Digital TV, Car Insurance, Loans, Credit Cards, Current Accounts, Debt Advice Centre, Mortgages
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AOL currently has 3 always on, unlimited time, broadband packages. ADSL or cable is available.
12 months contract. BT line required. Free set up and modem/router.
Anti-virus software, anti spam, firewall protection
7 email addresses
Online support
Free content including news, entertainment, sport and exclusive music sessions
Online tools such as instant messaging, photo sharing and AOL Talk IM.
AOL members can sign up for AOL Talk which gives you unlimited local and national phone calls.
Not available for Mac users.
National rate.


Bolt Blue
Bolt Blue offers limited and unlimted broadband.
Set up cost is around £60, modem/routers are available for purchase. 12 month contracts.
Free mobile entertainment downloads
Free text messaging
Free 5 email addresses
Free 15Mb webspace
Free Personal Weblog
You can request a static IP address for a small additional charge
National rate.


From 512Kb/s to 2Mb/s. Unlimited downloads.
1 month contract with activation fee applicable and modems/routers available for purchase.
Broadband packages include free web web address, monthly contracts, free migration, 15 email accounts and 100 MB of webspace.
National rate.


Vispa Internet Ltd
Broadband, Dial Up, Hosting
Vispa has a large range of broadband packages for both home and business users. Activation fees are applicable on all packages. There is also a wide range of dial options (again for both home and business) including PAYG, flat rate, limited usage and unlimted business packages. Hosting packages include economically priced shared hosting solutions plus colocation for larger business. The website is very clear and easy to navigate, with all the information you need readily available. Launched in 1999, Vispa Internet Ltd is based in Altincham, Cheshire.

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