O2 Broadband

imageAfter many years with my previous provider I finally moved over to O2 broadband last Thursday. It was not without some trepidation that I did so as the existing broadband was pretty reliable and I have heard horror stories from others that have switched providers and been without access. In the end the fact that I could get a (slightly) quicker connection for £15 a month cheaper and have it uncapped was all the encouragement I needed. I need not have worried as the switchover went smoothly even if my previous provider did cut our connection the night before they were supposed to.

For the last few years I have been using a US Robotics router which has served me well. When you join O2 you are provided with a new router but it quickly became clear that this had been designed for the 80% of users and not power users. So it couldn’t do all of the following that my USR could handle:

  • port forwarding
  • MAC filtering
  • changing the default DHCP range.

The last one was important to me as I have a number of devices with fixed IP addresses in the 192.168.123.x range that would have been a pain to change.

The O2 T&Cs state that they won’t provide support for routers other than their own but I thought I would give it a try anyway and I got lucky. I was put through to Brian in technical support who ran though what it was that I wanted to do and confirmed that the router provided couldn’t match the level of functionality of my old router. Over two separate calls we tried a number of different settings to get my USR router to work with O2 but without success and had to conclude that it wasn’t going to be possible. Brian then provided me instructions on how to telnet onto the O2 router and change the address range which has at least sorted my initial problem.

All in all the move to O2 has been a very positive one and I have nothing but praise for their technical support and Brian in particular – although as a North American he did keep calling my router a “rowter” which I am sure is a woodworking tool!