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    New Mac sign-up

    This is a discussion on New Mac sign-up within the Mac users forums, part of the Sky Broadband help category; I'm a Mac user and am about to move from Tiscali to UKOnline LLU , but have decided to go ...

    1. #1
      bradhughes's Avatar
      bradhughes is offline Sky User Member
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      New Mac sign-up

      I'm a Mac user and am about to move from Tiscali to UKOnline LLU, but have decided to go for Sky Max instead, and save myself some money.

      On the Sky website, it says it provides a virus checker on the CD, but Mac users can opt for a Mac version instead.

      Has anyone actually tried this out?

      Also, as I'm signing up online, there doesn't seem to be anywhere where I select that I'm a Mac user, so I'm likely to just get the PC CD.... Can anyone confirm if this is the case on their past experience?

      Thanks

      PS - If there's any other pitfalls, please let me know! e.g. I've read the forum and assume that email POP/SMTP will work with both Apple's mail offering and Microsoft's (Entourage 08).....?


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    3. #2
      speedyrite's Avatar
      speedyrite is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      Speaking as a multi-Mac user on Sky Mid, I'm happy!

      Can't comment on Entourage as we don't have it.

      We use Intego NetBarrier and Intego VirusBarrier, so again can't comment on McAfee Internet Security (see here for a link to download the Mac version:
      Sky.com - Security Centre>Article

    4. #3
      Netgeezer's Avatar
      Netgeezer is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      Sky mail is now hosted by Google - so no probs there if you're handy with the config.

    5. #4
      FergusTheDog's Avatar
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      Just asking a few questions made me decide not to join.

      Do I have to use your router (mine is brand new) -"yes, ours is faster and better than any other on the market"

      So, I can't use my Mac Airport router then? - "no, ours is much better and specialised for Sky"

      Can I connect my network printer and NAS backup to the router - "don't think so"

      Does your service work properly with Safari and Mac Mail? - "Can't you get Internet Explorer then?"

      If they are this hopeless pre-sale then what hope for any sort of support?

    6. #5
      NewsreadeR's Avatar
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      If they are this hopeless pre-sale then what hope for any sort of support?
      In Sky's defence (although not justifying) Sales just want to hit their targets and support is nothing to do with sales.

      For the majority of users, it just works, many users use their own routers, albeit against the Terms and Conditions, but they do.




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    7. #6
      Netgeezer's Avatar
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      Quote Originally Posted by FergusTheDog View Post
      Just asking a few questions made me decide not to join.

      Do I have to use your router (mine is brand new) -"yes, ours is faster and better than any other on the market"

      So, I can't use my Mac Airport router then? - "no, ours is much better and specialised for Sky"
      Yes, you can use your own router, but behind the Sky router. Once I terminate my Virgin account I am going to put my Aiport Extreme Base Station into one of my Sky router ports - preserving my Mac environment and without having to make any changes whatsoever. So yes, it can be done. The Sky router stays where it belongs, as a gateway of last resort out into the Internet. And that is not at all unreasonable - it also allows you yet another line of defence between the Internet and your LAN/WLAN. It also allows a degree of flexibility too - the LAN between the Sky router and your Airport Extreme could be used as a DMZ for "stuff" like web or ftp servers, honeypots etc ...

      That said - the Apple Airport routers do not have built-in ADSL Modems and so if you are using one already, then you are either on a Cable modem or another ISPs Modem/Router. In which case just shifting the RJ45 across to the Sky router is all that would be required! It really is that simple.

      Can I connect my network printer and NAS backup to the router - "don't think so"
      No not to the Sky router - but if you do what I did above then you can continue to function in your "pure Apple" environment. Anything that you are doing now would continue without interruption.

      Does your service work properly with Safari and Mac Mail? - "Can't you get Internet Explorer then?"
      It makes me wonder what was meant by that specific question. The answer to both parts is a resounding "Yes". How could any ISP not work with Web Browsers and Mail Clients? Mail.app is quite powerful and flexible, working with the major mail protocols. Safari is a fairly standard web browser, albeit with Apple quirks. Everyone knows it is not IE or Firefox - and if you need functionality that is not in Safari then it really does not matter which ISP you go to, you will need one of the others!

      If they are this hopeless pre-sale then what hope for any sort of support?
      Hopeless? Few, if any, ISPs "support" Apple Mac. What you generally get is a best endeavours which often falls short. But that is just the way things are. Apple Mac is not mainstream, it is up and coming, but by far the greatest user group is Windows. But seriously, I am a Mac user - with three of the beasts networked from here - and I have to say that I have had no need whatsoever to ask any ISP for support. As long as they do stuff the "normal" way with their networking and Mail platform the Mac will happily adapt.

      Sky support is probably one of the better out there - at least it is not outsourced to a sub-continent thousands of miles away from the UK.

      But more than that - this forum pretty much gives you all that you need in terms of experience and expertise. A lot of answers to questions relating to Sky are on here, moreso than with any other ISP as far as I've seen to date (which does not mean there isn't a better forum for another ISP).

      Given that all the answers to your questions are here, what more could one ask for
      It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
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    8. #7
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      Cool Re: New Mac sign-up

      Hi There

      Don't assume anything! It's still a very PC oriented world out there, and never more than with Sky. I have just went over from BT Broadband because Sky was cheaper and now wishing I hadn't - the service is at the least terrible and at the best intermittent.

      I am having huge problems running the most up-to-date iMac and software etc and have terrible error and outtake problems including

      “Safari can’t open the page “webpage” because it could not connect to the server “webpage”.

      To view this page, you need to log in to area “DSL Router”

      iTunes could not connect to the iTunes store. The network connection timed out. Make sure your network setting are correct and your network connection is active, then try again.”

      I have been through all the Mac posts and it seems to me there are 2 recurring themes/problems;

      1 Sky are oversubscribed and their servers can't cope
      2 They are not set up to for Macs

      I wish they would sort this out but whatever you do don't contact the helpline unless you want to blow a fuse and end up smashing your phone, iMac and patience to smithereens.

      Good luck - I'm going back to BT but from what I've read Sky make even this into a 7 ring circus.

      Best regards

      Bobby gee
      Last edited by bobbygee; 09-03-08 at 03:55 AM.

    9. #8
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      1 Sky are oversubscribed and their servers can't cope
      Sorry to say - that is just pants and will never happen.

      Sky are one of the few ISP's who constantly invest in their own Network.

      Their vision is to have the best Network in Europe and believe me, their Network that they have built is enviable.

      If they could get their CS and procedures the same, they would well and truly rock. Whoever posted that is speaking out of their backside, I am afraid.




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    10. #9
      speedyrite's Avatar
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      Quote Originally Posted by bobbygee View Post
      I have been through all the Mac posts and it seems to me there are 2 recurring themes/problems;

      1 Sky are oversubscribed and their servers can't cope
      2 They are not set up to for Macs
      Sorry to hear that you are having problems.

      Is it a wireless connecton problem between your router and iMac?
      If not, maybe the cause is something specific to your line or internal wiring at your home?

      Might be worth investigating and eliminating these before jumping ship. There's lots of useful stuff on here to help point you in the right direction. Why not call Sky and see what support they can give first of all?

      Re your first point, I think Easynet (upon whose network Sky Broadband is based) has more than enough capacity, although I guess there may be a bottleneck at some popularly subscribed exchanges.

      Speaking as a multi-Mac user on Sky Mid since mid-July last year, we have found the connection to be quite satisfactory and in line with expectations.

      Re your second point, I don't think many ISPs use "Mac friendly" as a selling point actually! I suppose from the ISP point of view they're selling a connection. One could argue that any computer support from an ISP is a bonus rather than an expected part of the service. Given that Microsoft operating systems are so prevalent in the market, if they support anything at all, that's what most are going to support. From early days, I have preferred to rely on my own resources especially where networking and internet connectivity is concerned.
      Last edited by speedyrite; 09-03-08 at 09:15 AM.

    11. #10
      Netgeezer's Avatar
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      Re: New Mac sign-up

      Quote Originally Posted by bobbygee View Post
      1 Sky are oversubscribed and their servers can't cope
      2 They are not set up to for Macs
      @bobbygee - Sorry to say that you are wrong on both counts. Although your frustration is clear, I think that you have arrived at entirely the wrong conclusion. But all is not lost.

      Sky's network is not oversubscribed - it is quite huge and supports not only individual consumers but businesses which cannot survive on underperforming networks. Sky invest heavily into their network as can be seen in their figures.

      Macs will work wherever a PC will work. There is nothing in TCP/IP inetworking that will prevent one or the other from communicating. The whole point of such networks is to create a level playing field of communication. Sky themselves use a complete mishmash of different equipment across exactly the same network infrastructure.

      For my part, I am running a Sky service at home with a blend of Mac and PC equipment, Mac and Sky routers with upwards of 9 separate hosts, and occasionally over 12. At no point do I experience your problems.

      I can also add to that seven of my friends and colleagues who are on Sky with similar mixed PC and Mac hosts who are also problem-free. So what you are experiencing is very specific to your situation. And to be fair to you also, this does happen from time to time with Sky - and for that matter every single ISP. None of this is a perfect science.

      So, lets think about how you can help yourself out of the mess that you find yourself in. You are certainly at the right place to get help from those in the know, those who have experienced what you have, and even a few Sky folk who kindly visit on here.

      Firstly, what Sky router do you have? Is it one of the white Netgear phase 1 routers or one of the later black Netgear phase 2 or Sagem routers?

      The Netgear phase 1 routers are notorious for their problems - the firmware is quite broken and variable results occur from perfect to unworkable. Sky have been working for some time with Netgear to get a version of the firmware that will address all of the issues. They are close, and this year (not sure when) we will see Sky perform a mass update of all the Netgear phase 1 routers over the wire. In their own beta trials of firmwares the signs are that they are completely on the right track - the repair results are very successful. So once Sky settle on the version to use they will perform the "push" of the new firmware. You could in this case ask Sky if they will replace your router with a phase 2 - they might if you can put your point across that the service is unusable as it stands right now.

      It could, however, be that you are on a more recent Netgear phase 2 or Sagem router in which case there could be other issues at hand. Again the experience here will no doubt be of help to you.

      It could simply be that the new wires at the exchange or Sky's DSLAM port itself have a fault. Then again, it could be Sky's settings on your line, in which case you need Sky to make adjustments to those.

      It seems to me that, technical fault notwithstanding, you have not been able to properly engage with Sky's support teams. They are only human and it could be as much the specific CSs level of knowledge as your attitude to them on the phone (both count, believe me). If you start off frustrated it will come across and that has an affect on the overall call. Think about what you want to achieve before you call them - write it down even - and then go through the list with them on the phone. I do this myself when I'm particularly angry about something and it does help keep the conversation on an even keel (objective rather than subjective or emotive). Apologies if this sounds patronising, it is not intended, but the psychology of a phone call is as key as the technical fault itself.
      It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
      [Albert Einstein]




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