Fast, Faster, Fastest…

For the last couple of years I’ve been on a 2Mbit corporate ADSL deal. The advantage is that it has been funded for me (aka “it’s free”), and it’s fast enough for most of the things I need to do while at home, but the drawback is that it has no mail service, which means my family can’t easily have any email addresses. To solve this I simply set up my own email server on my home server. And then discovered that the entire IP address range for this service has been blacklisted by Spamhaus, which meant many people simply rejected email from my server on principle. In short, the IBM package was fine for me to use for IBM business use, but a total pain for the rest of my family.

This came to a head just before Christmas, and so I’m now in the process of migrating off the IBM deal and onto my own broadband package with Be Unlimited. They offer a rather nice “up to 24Mbit” ADSL2+ service for £20 a month, including a static IP address, no blacklisted IP address ranges, and proper reverse DNS support so I can associate domain names with the service. Best of all, my management have agreed to make a contribution towards my business use of it.

And today I got home from work to find that Be Unlimited had delivered my new “BeBox”. This is a rebrandged Thompson Speedtouch TG585 v7 router, with some customised firmware on it. Sadly it doesn’t have a terribly good reputation for reliability, probably as a result of that customised firmware, so it’s not something I actually wanted. Bizarrely Be Unlimited seem to think that this router is worth £100, and insist that at the end of the contract you either send it back to them, or pay them the £100. Which is even more odd, given that you can buy one of the wretched devices here for only £36 retail. Since I already have a couple of nice ADSL2+ routers, the last thing I needed was another, let alone an unreliable one, but try as I might I couldn’t persuade Be not to send me yet another. For the life of me, I can’t understand why they are so insistent about this, but at least they have a Freepost address to return it to, so I can package it up and send it back to them at no cost just as soon as I’ve proved to myself that their line is up and running properly.

The estimates for my connection speed are somewhere around 17Mbits, and the line should be migrated and activated on Monday. I’ll actually sacrifice a little of that downlink speed for an increased uplink speed, but with luck I’d hope to see somewhere around 16Mbit down and 2.5Mbit up. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to use all that bandwidth for yet. Feel free to make some suggestions!

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