ISDN & the hopeless technophobe

smurkin

Can't get enough of FH
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My brother has ISDN, or rather he doesn't. It was installed 6 months ago & its never worked. Now, I have never had ISDN, but I promised I'd take a look for him.

First, I plugged it all in, disabled the pci internal 56K modem in the drivers. There is a powered (third party) ISDN modem - USB & a USB hub. Powerd it all up, looks good. Theres a icon in the system tray indicating that the modem hardware is A-OK.

Went to dialup network...set up a connection with the line number on the box on the wall specifying line 1...problem is...it needs a user & password...is this right ?

Also, a bt help guy told him the box on the wall needs activating with a CD (which was never provided)...is this right ?

The package is bt homehighway...costs about £30 per month. Another BT person told him he also needs an isp as well....can this be right ?

Finally...why has he got ISDN...its old technology isn't it ? He wants to surf & download...shouldnt he just get ADSL & bugger the ISDN ?? My bro says he's trapped into another 6 months of contract....but I say to him...give BT some stress - explain you have the wrong package & insist that you should be allowed to switch to ADSL....unreasonable ?

Sorry, alot of questions there.

Thanks

Smurkin
 

RandomBastard

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ISDN is a connection format, you need a dialup isp capable of supporting it. ours never needed a cd to activate it so imo thats bollocks, and yes adsl is much better
 

throdgrain

FH is my second home
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I had idsn for years, and yes you need someone to connect to , just like 56k.Any account will do.
Amazing how this seems so odd to you, when not so many yearsago isdn was the "l33t" gaming connection :) I can remember being accused of cheating on q2 simply because of the massive advantage it gave you over 56k'ers :)
Bear in mind too that if you call BT Openworld they do a free conversion from isdn to broadband, the bloke actually comes round your house and changes it for free. This isnt hearsay, I had it done myself.
However , if for some reason he cant get broadband, for example my brother cant get it, but can get isdn, do remember isdn is still like 1000 times better than 56k for gaming :)
 

smurkin

Can't get enough of FH
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throdgrain said:
Bear in mind too that if you call BT Openworld they do a free conversion from isdn to broadband, the bloke actually comes round your house and changes it for free. This isnt hearsay, I had it done myself.
Thanks. Thats exactly what I wanted to know. I remember myself what it was like playing q2 against ISDN dudes with the railguns... :D not really knocking ISDN here...I realise it has its place, even today. Its just the numbers 512/256 versus 128/128, the cost & the more complex setup...

/edit I dont suppose that inlcudes a free DSL modem/router ?
 

throdgrain

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Im pretty sure Bt does include a modem too. Dont talk to them about routers tho, they dont like em as they insist on one pc per phone line ;)
 

SawTooTH

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BT supply an ISDN PCI card to connect their wall socket to your pc. It worked great for me in those early years but the monthly rental plus call charge on top (doubled if you used 2 lines simultaneously) proved an expensive solution. Get yourself either a cable modem or ADSL. Lots of flat rate packages around at the mo starting around the 15-20 quid mark per month. Im on a 1MB connection at 30 quid from NTL, including rented modem that they replace if it develops a fault (been through 1 so far). NTL are okay as long as you dont have to contact customer services..who are always engage. Touch wood, mines been okay for 2 years now.
 

Xavier

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BT offer routers on their openworld packages according to one of the team whose family recently made the leap from 56k - they're nothing too special but it was apparently just another option in the signup process.

Xav
 

throdgrain

FH is my second home
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Xavier said:
BT offer routers on their openworld packages according to one of the team whose family recently made the leap from 56k - they're nothing too special but it was apparently just another option in the signup process.

Xav
Well when I spoke to them they were very insistant that the line was for one pc only. When I gave them a hard time about a bit of loss in game however they said "well, most people use a router for gaming". I said but you wont let me have one of them, they said, or implied "get one and dont tell us" !
So I did :)

This may have all changed now of course, it was some time ago.
 

Lester

One of Freddy's beloved
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Dec 22, 2003
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You can get flat rate internet access from some ISPs -Pipex for one- but it can be expensive.

If you just configure your network connection to dial an ISP it may not work as you need to tell them you're on ISDN and they will give you another number to ring - this also means you can bond and get the full 128k - but you will get charged regular phone rates unlkess you have BT Home Highway type package where you can get some pre-paid minutes or FRIACO flat rate access. You just need a terminal adapter, either internal or external and you're off.

AFAIK you can't cancel or change your ISDN if it's still within the first twelve months.

ISDN can actually be quicker than ADSL these days - if you are on a particluarly busy exchange for instance - and you tend to get more consistant speeds.
 

throdgrain

FH is my second home
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Lester said:
AFAIK you can't cancel or change your ISDN if it's still within the first twelve months.

ISDN can actually be quicker than ADSL these days - if you are on a particluarly busy exchange for instance - and you tend to get more consistant speeds.
These two statements are incorrect :(


(Luv ya Lester :) )
 

Lester

One of Freddy's beloved
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Ahh but..

when you are connected to an exchange via ADSL you are plugged into a 50:1 line card in the DSLAM. If this is full and all people are using it heavily you will be heavily contened all the way through BTs backbone to your serving ISP. You will then suffer the contention that your ISP determine is suitable throught their central pipe. With ISDN you are connected either directly or through BT webport/surfport to your ISP - they still contend their internet access but there you go.

If you are on ADSL and traffic from your exchange increases significantly - other users etc- you will suffer slowdown etc. Your ISDN line is uncontended all the way to the ISP - (except the last little bit)

AFIK.....
 

throdgrain

FH is my second home
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Agreed M8, but I had ISDN for years, and the best downlaod speed you will ever get off 64 is 7kbs , or 14 or so off of 128. If you got a d/l speed of 7kbs on adsl you'd just turn it off and download from somewhere else, Ive never ever had to download at 7kbs since Ive had adsl.
Also BT will definately change you from (BT) ISDN to (BT) ADSL for free :)
 

~Yuckfou~

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ISDN connections are typically at 64k, unless you bond both lines for 128k.
Not all ISPs support 128k without charging double.
That said, a 64k ISDN connection is far superior to a 56k dial up.
 

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