As you may have guessed, I use 'Free-Online' (or 'Plusnet' as they are now called) as my ISP (internet service provider) and I'm happy to advertise their service.
First a bit of history
I chose to use Free-Online after trying several other ISPs unsuccessfully (Red Hot Ant and Freeserve).
Anyone who has heard of Red Hot Ant will probably also remember the dissastrous service they offered and the money they stole from people before their offices were finally raided by police and the plug finally pulled.
Freeserve came next and were alright to begin with until the lack of webspace (25MB at the time) became a problem for me.
Also a problem was that they were becoming increasingly intolerant of non-Microsoft software until their website flatly refused to work to any useful extent on any of the browsers available for RISC OS at the time.
Also, their support staff literally didn't want to know you if you weren't using an 'industry-standard' operating system (MS Windows).
Even today Freeserve's (now 'Wanadoo' and soon to be 'Orange'?) service leaves something to be desired with frequent service problems (email delays, connection problems etc...)
I know this as I support and maintain a neighbours PC that uses them.
The joys of Free-Online (Henceforth refered to as Plusnet)
I forget what prompted me to choose Plusnet (probably a friends recommendation) but I've certainly never regretted the choice.
After using their service connecting with a 56k modem, I made the move to broadband a few years ago when the price became reasonable.
The sign-up went pretty smoothly and even though I made hard work of it, their staff were happy to help with any questions I had.
Since I have been with them, I've never considered changing to any other ISP (never needed to).
The service is by far the most reliable I've ever had and I'm frequently surprised when I talk to other people at how much money they pay and how little their service offers them.(BT and AOL are prime offenders in this area)
Plusnet offer a wide variety of broadband services to match just about everyones needs and have a clean un-cluttered website to help you choose the service that suits you best.
There are two more things that have endeared me to them:
First was their decision to upgrade their users from 512k to a 1Meg connection free of charge and then again to a 2Meg connection (also free).
(more recently we were upgraded to the upto 8MB service (again, Free!))
Second is the referrals system they operate. The way this works is simple.
If you can encourage someone to sign-up to Plusnet broadband service then you can earn a reduction in the price you pay each month for as long as that person stays with Plusnet.
Just ask them to type your username into the referrals box when they sign up and thats it.
The more referrals you get, the less you pay each month.
I won't deny, I made this page in the hope of attracting a few more referrals, but you can check on the features they offer when you look through their website and if the reliability of their service was less than excellent I wouldn't still be using them.
There is no point trying to hoodwink people into signing up with them as you only earn referrals for as long as that person stays with Plusnet.
Thankfully, Plusnet are good enough that this is not needed.