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Internet Service Providers

2002/09 update

This page is the personal opinion of some of the users of the service provided by freenetname.co.uk

"You're our best form of advertising!" ... a freenetname representative.


The service offered by freenetname.co.uk was exceptional, because it was an Internet Service Provider service which gave you your own DOMAIN! This meant that you could call your site by a name of your choice, (for example I (Zyra) am www.zyra.org.uk rather than some obscure URL with a lot of odd symbols, numbers, trade names of other companies etc). What was notable was that freenetname did this for you FREE, whereas it would normally be expensive and incur an ongoing cost. This FREE DOMAIN offer was available to new customers up until December 2000, but after that freenetname took on no new accounts. It was a sad day for us all when the offer was stopped*, and it has been speculated that the reason for the termination was cheating by some people who registered dozens of accounts when they were only supposed to have one per household!

Another important feature of the freenetname service was that the TECHNICAL SUPPORT was FREE, even on the phone! You could phone freefone 0800 UK and talk to the people on Technical Support who generally knew what they were doing and were polite and helpful and were tolerant of any lack of expertise that you might have had. They were willing to patiently talk through various odd technical puzzles which might otherwise have been a source of complete mystification. The freefone has now, unfortunately, been stopped, but you can still get the same service by e-mail, still FREE, at support@ freenetname.net or by completing the online technical script on freenetname's support page (was http://www.freenetname.co.uk/support/mailstrt.asp). You can also phone Customer Services on 0870 909 0586 UK (National Rate).

A significant feature of freenetname is that it is (still) almost completely FREE. What I mean is, there is no monthly fee or rental, no sign-up charge, and no hidden extras. The company makes its money purely by getting a share of the cost of the phone calls when online, and that is at LOCAL RATE (1p per minute at weekends), ie no more expensive than phoning your friend just along the street). This is still good now (2001/11) but when freenetname first started it was EXCEPTIONAL!

Also important for an Internet service is that the e-mail allows "infinite user names", for example your-name-here @ zyra.org.uk is a new e-mail name within this site I just invented. This gives you the facility to act the same as a big company with lots of staff on the payroll. You can have each member of your family at least one e-mail address and still have plenty to spare. Also worth mentioning is that your e-mail mailbox is not limited to an arbitrary size.

With freenetname you can create your own website and it will be hosted by them invisibly to the reader so your site (which may be up to twenty megabytes) will be accessible at any time even though your computer is switched off.

The CD with the freenetname software was available FREE and could be acquired by phoning and asking for one, or you could sign up online by going to the www.freenetname.co.uk web site. Note: As far as I know, you can't get these CDs directly anymore as Freenetname stopped* taking on any new accounts. However I have a few CDs here, and they contain various additional software, and also they are becoming quite collectable!

In terms of flexibility, freenetname scores very highly, for example if you are ill for a prolonged period you can contact Customer Services and have your account kept running, in contrast to some ISPs where you are automatically chucked out after a short period if you don't log on.

LINUX users can be reassured that the information to access a freenetname account can be found on the CD or by talking to the people at Technical Support, in contrast to some Internet service providers at the time whose system was inextricably linked to a fixed way of doing things in the bad old days of Microsoftishness.

Other issues are dealt with in the details page.

For more information phone freenetname themselves on freefone 0800 376 6920 uk National rate 0870 909 0586 uk

There was an actual link to www.freenetname.co.uk here!

The information here is to the best of our knowledge correct, and we are not to be held liable for it, and if you can see any mistakes they can be corrected

News (2002/09): As of 2002/09/24 the site Zyra.org.uk is no longer hosted at Freenetname. Well you're obviously going want to know why, what's happened, and what difference this is going to make. See FNN UPDATE 2002/09

Later update: There was a period when you could not sign up for a new freenetname account! This review is all true, and when it was first written you COULD sign up for a new account. The review has been updated to take account of various changes, but the triumphal tone which implies you may be able to get a new freenetname account does not mean you still CAN! Other ISPs and Hostings are available and this website is currently with Vivostar, which is not a free ISP, but now Zyra's website has grown to require an industrial level of bandwidth, it is reasonable to pay a sensible amount for this!

Also see How to get a free website

Later (2005) update: The term "stopped*" refers to the fact that Freenetname stopped taking on any new accounts for a while. But I have heard news that Freenetname is now taking on new accounts again, free, complete with a free domain name!

Update 2008: Freenetname have been taken over by Madasafish, and the old links to www.freenetname.co.uk redirected to that ISP. Mad As A Fish are known as The Friendly ISP, and they certainly seem to be. However, there's no news on whether they'll be giving away free domains anymore.

You can still get your own website, and it doesn't need to be expensive. See How to Get Your Own Website