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How easy to switch between 512k and 2mb, and vice-versa?


How easy to switch between 512k and 2mb, and vice-versa?

We're going to be getting ADSL in our house this year (we're students sharing a house), and since I use F9 at home will be getting that for the house too.
We're not sure whether to get the normal 512k ADSL, or the 2mb home version - if we started with 2mb, would it be easy to change down to 512k later (assuming we go on the monthly contract)? Would we have to pay the activation fee again?


How easy to switch between 512k and 2mb, and vice-versa?

My advice would be to start on the 512k option, either the "ADSL Home", or the slightly more expensive "Home Worker" Standard package which gives a better contention ratio. You may find this is perfectly adequate for your needs.

You'll see there's an "UPGRADE to this account" button supplied on the description page of each account type. Whether you could also use that to "downgrade" if you were on a more expensive package I don't know. My assumption was that, simply by clicking on this button, I'd be able to upgrade automatically to that account type, but when I tried it (I did it for each different account type), I was presented with a screen telling me that because I am already on an ADSL account type, it could not be handled automatically, and I should raise a Contact Us item. I see, in a post elsewhere from someone who has upgraded to a faster connection, you do have to go through a de-activate/re-activate process (with the associated cost) in order to upgrade, so it obviously pays to try to get the right speed connection from the outset (as well as saving the inconvenience). But even if you do start on a 512k package and discover after a couple of months that the 2m option is the one for you, what you'll have saved in subscription fees will more or less cover the (re)activation fee.

I think, for a handful of people using the connection for normal sorts of activities such as web browsing, email, text usenet, a bit of chat, and occasionally sending assignments to your tutors, a 512kb connection will be fine. If you're all going to be doing heavy file downloads of episodes of your favourite TV programmes which haven't yet been shown here yet, then a faster connection might be appropriate (but if you can temper your eagerness to see the latest episodes before anyone else, wouldn't it be wiser to save the money on the ADSL connection and use it to buy the DVD when it comes out?)

Since several of you will be sharing a connection, the obvious thing is to go for an ADSL router rather than a modem. Decent routers are not particularly expensive these days (about the same as a modem a year ago), especially to rich students able to fork out £60 a month on a 2mb ADSL connection (all thanks to those attractive student loan options, and oblivious to the mounting debt, no doubt!), and it is, of course, a one-off cost. Depending on what you're allowed to do in your accommodation regarding cable runs , you might also consider wireless networking, so either an ADSL router with built-in wireless capability, or a separate wireless access point might be on your shopping list.

Edited on 2003-09-01, having seen confirmation that a speed upgrade does require ADSL de-activation / re-activation.