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AOL Broadband review

Our Rating :

There are many much better services out there that scored higher in our reliability survey

This review was updated in July 2011 to reflect the findings of our latest survey.

When UK ISPs were few and far between, AOL was the provider of choice, particularly for less net-savvy users. However, in recent years, the company’s fortunes haven’t gone as smoothly. The UK AOL brand is now owned by TalkTalk, but failed to leave as good an impression with our survey respondents as its parent company.

AOL’s satisfaction rating has dropped from last year’s already low score. Just 54 per cent of AOL’s customers were satisfied with their service: the lowest score for home broadband here. It’s hardly surprising when you notice that, although priced comparably to most other broadband providers, AOL’s packages are all restricted to a download limit of just 10GB per month, after which download speeds will be limited at peak times.

This isn’t a massively harsh penalty compared to the excess fees of some ISPs, but it’s easy to exceed 10GB in a month. If you watched a couple of TV shows on iPlayer, updated Windows and downloaded a game on Steam, you’d already be past the limit.

The main differences between AOL’s three packages are in the bundled phone calls. The Just Broadband package, which costs £15.31 a month, doesn’t include any calls, as its name suggests. The £10.20 Broadband + Calls bundle comes with all the evening and weekend calls to UK landline numbers you can eat, but you still have to pay 12.5p per call connection.

If you’re willing to switch your line rental from BT to AOL (for which you’ll pay £11.99 a month compared with BT’s standard £13.90), the slightly cheaper £9.99 Broadband + Calls + Line Rental deal has faster stated download speeds of 24Mbit/s and also provides free landline calls on evenings and weekends, this time without the connection charge.

All three packages come with a free wireless router, but there are no other extras. There’s nothing to commend any of AOL’s deals, with their 18-month contracts, poor reliability and customer satisfaction scores in our survey and the stingy 10GB cap. We recommend you check out O2 Broadband instead.

See the next page for a full break-down and individual ratings of AOL’s services and the results of our broadband survey.

Broadband survey performance results

AOL Broadband graph

These results were compiled from our online survey, where users were asked to rate their broadband supplier. In the case of customer satisfaction, this is an average of whether users would recommend their supplier and if they’re planning on staying with their current supplier.

Feature table (click to expand)

AOL Broadband table



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