Freeserve Broadband is based on the BT wholesale product. So you can ignore what the help desk told you JamDunc.
As the acid kewp pointed out, it's not about the service you get from the ISP, it's to do with the protocols as in TCP/IP is TCP/IP, the world over.
It's more to do with what modem you have, as some are more of a pain in the arse to set up than others.
As Chris said, he's using an NTL connection (presumably a cable modem), where as mine is with pipex (also a BT adsl wholesale product).
As far as modems are concerned, if it's a usb modem, then to get an idea how much of a pain they can be, have a search for "alcatel speedtouch usb" here at LQ, and see howmany threads you find.
I used to have one, and to be fair, when it worked it worked well, but every now and again, it would be a total pain, so i rid of it (well actually I bought a new one).
for a number of answers and solutions.
If you look here
you can get the info on the one I ended up with, a SAR110. I went for modem router, because the speedtouch I was using, used to annoy me with the delay between OS's when it dropped the connection and re-initialised it again. Alsoyou if you did search my earlier suggestion you would also have seen the problem that I got that no one else seems to have got.
The modem/router (plus I had to buy a £10 NIC from pcworld) was the best possible solution for me. It was easy to set up (It confused the f*** out of me to start, but I phoned solwise technical dept and they talked me through the config for both windows and mandrake linux), they run their own forum for other stuff, and ideas, the router is v reliable and has it's own firewall and ip filtering stuff.
give it a go