Plusnet Assist FAQ
Why have I received a pop up message saying Plusnet Assist is closing down?
As of 1st October 2016, the platform that supports Plusnet Assist will be decommissioned. This means Plusnet Assist will stop working and we recommend that you uninstall the software. We sent this pop up message to let you know about the upcoming closure of Plusnet Assist.
How do I uninstall Plusnet Assist?
To uninstall Plusnet Assist you should simply follow your Windows operating system guide for uninstalling a program from the Control Panel. For more help with this, check your computer's user guide or visit the Windows support pages.
What are the minimum system requirements?
- Connection type: Plusnet Broadband or Plusnet Fibre
- Operating system: Windows XP SP2+ (32bit only), Windows Vista or Windows 7
- Processor: Pentium II 450 MHz or higher
- Memory (RAM): 128 MB or more
- Hard drive space free: 200 MB or more
- Browser: Internet Explorer (up to version 9)
If you're using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, User Account Control (UAC) must be switched on to use Plusnet Assist. Sometimes people turn this off to prevent pop-up alert prompts for software changes; however it can lead to a less secure system. Plusnet Assist needs to have UAC switched on to work properly.
Please note: Plusnet Assist does not currently work on Windows 8 or Internet Explorer versions 10 and above. Plusnet Assist is not available for Apple OS X or Linux systems.
How do I use Plusnet Assist?
Once installed, Plusnet Assist sits in the background and monitors your computer. If it finds a problem with your connection or email settings it'll pop-up on-screen and offer to help fix the problem.
You can also launch Plusnet Assist yourself, using the icon on your desktop or the systray (on the bottom right of your screen).
If you're online, you'll be taken to the Plusnet Assist home screen (see question 5 for more on this). If you're not, it'll offer to help fix any problems it can find to get you online.
If you ever want to stop Plusnet Assist from running, right-click the system tray icon and choose Exit.
Why must I wait 5 mins after I install Plusnet Assist?
After installing Plusnet Assist it's best to stay connected to Plusnet Broadband for at least 5 minutes afterwards. This gives Plusnet Assist time to download all the files it needs to support any broadband or email problems in the future. After this time you can disconnect or turn off your computer.
Which routers does Plusnet Assist support?
Plusnet Assist is designed to support the following Plusnet supplied routers:
- Technicolor TG582n
- Thomson 585v8
- Speedtouch ST-516
- Netgear WNR1000
Other routers (including older Plusnet supplied routers such as the Thomson 585v7 or BT Voyager range) are supported with a generic guide.
What options are available on the Plusnet Assist home screen?
You'll see 3 tabs at the top of the screen: Home, My Network and Plusnet Services.
Under each tab you'll see the following:
|Home||My Network||Plusnet Services|
Can I use Plusnet Assist to set up a new email address?
Plusnet Assist can only setup existing Plusnet email addresses. If you didn't opt to take a Plusnet email address when you signed up with us, you'll need to register one before using Plusnet Assist to setup your email software.
If you have got a Plusnet email address you'll need the following information to set up your email:
- Your email address (example: email@example.com)
- Your Plusnet Account Password
Which email programs does Plusnet Assist support?
Plusnet Assist can setup (or repair problems with) Plusnet email accounts in Microsoft software such as Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail.
How does Plusnet Assist configure email accounts?
Plusnet Assist makes it straightforward to set up a new account in your email software (Windows Live Mail, Outlook or Outlook Express). It will set up new POP3 settings for you, meaning you don't have to click around the the software menus trying to find out where to put things.
Note that you must have an active Plusnet email address for this to work. If you didn't choose an email address while signing up, you'll need to register one.
Important: Plusnet Assist will set up your software to download all your POP3 mail from the mail servers. If you are used to leaving your email on the server so you can access it from multiple PCs then we would advise you to set up your email using IMAP. See our email setup guides for help with this.
Plusnet Assist will also set up your email software to use SMTP authentication. This lets you send and receive email from any Internet connection. Please note: we don't recommend using public Wi-Fi hotpots to check or send email. Find out more in our Wireless security guide.
Plusnet Assist won't setup accounts, change or repair settings if you use IMAP or your own domain.
I'm having problems connecting to the Plusnet email service, what should I do?
If you are using Plusnet Assist to set up or troubleshoot email and see the message 'Sorry, we checked your connection and email settings and haven't been able to connect to the Plusnet email service', please check the following:
- Check that you selected whether this is a Primary email account or an Additional mailbox from the drop-down menu when first using email account setup.
- Check that your Plusnet account username was entered correctly when you first installed Plusnet Assist. You can check this and update it if necessary by right-clicking on Plusnet Assist in the Systray (bottom-right of your screen) and choosing 'Update My Identity'.
- If you have just created a new Additional mailbox from our website check that you have waited at least 30 minutes for it to have become active.
If you are sure that you have your email account details correct and you are still seeing this error message this may be caused by your firewall. Please check that your firewall settings allow Plusnet Assist to connect to the Internet. The firewall you will be using will either be Windows Firewall (found under the System and Security settings in the Control Panel) or that of any anti-virus software you have installed. Please check with your vendor if you are unsure how to change firewall settings in your security software.
I have anti-virus installed but Plusnet Assist tells me I don't?
When you run the PC Healthcheck, Plusnet Assist checks to see if Windows Firewall is switched on and whether it can detect any anti-virus software. If either of these conditions is not met then you'll see a pop-up alerting you of this.
Unfortunately Plusnet Assist can't detect firewalls which are provided as part of third party anti-virus products. So, if you are using an anti-virus that has its own firewall and which turns off Windows Firewall you will see the security alert. If that is the case you can ignore the alert by pressing 'OK'.
Can I keep using my own anti-virus software?
Yes. You can use any anti-virus software. We recommend a high quality commercial product such as Plusnet Protect.
PC Healthcheck tells me I have no wireless signal and to move nearer the Plusnet router, but I am near it?
If you're seeing the message 'No wireless signal detected' make sure that you check that the wireless switch on your laptop is 'on'. This may be a switch on the outside of your laptop or it can often be a key-press combination (check your laptop manual if you're not sure). Check that the Wi-Fi button on the Plusnet router is on (press it to turn the green light on/off).
PC Healthcheck tells me I have a poor wireless signal but I don't seem to be having any problems, should I be concerned?
Some laptops come pre-installed with a third-party wireless manager instead of Windows' own. If this is the case with you then Plusnet Assist might show inaccurate wireless readings. This should be no cause for alarm if you are connecting to the Internet regardless.
I'm confused about which usernames and passwords to use, help!
Knowing which username and password to use in different areas can be confusing - if you need help please see our Usernames guide.
Is Plusnet Assist safe?
Yes, the solutions it offers have been thoroughly tested and are designed to repair problems on your computer. No changes will be made to your computer without your permission.
Any data transmitted over the Internet is encrypted before it's sent, so it can't be read in transit. This keeps Plusnet Assist secure and private.
I'm trying to install Plusnet Assist and I get a message about trusting the website, should I?
Depending on your version of Windows you might see a message like this:
'A website wants to open web content using this program on your computer. This program will open outside of Protected mode. Internet Explorer's protected mode helps protect your computer. If you do not trust the website, do not open this program.'
This message is explaining that Plusnet Assist will see if it can reach the Internet to check if you have any connection problems. It does this by checking that you can get to Yahoo.com, BT.com and Google.com. Please click Allow if you see this message.
When I try to install, I am told this program could harm my computer
This message is given by Internet Explorer when its SmartScreen filter comes across new software it does not recognise. It does this to protect you against installing viruses from untrusted sources. If this happens while installing Plusnet Assist, please choose the option to Run anyway. You will be able to tell that Plusnet Assist is trusted software because it is digitally signed by us.
What data does Plusnet Assist collect and what is it used for?
Plusnet Assist gathers information from your computer that our Support Team will be able to use to help diagnose problems if you ever need to call for help. The data gathered includes information about your:
- Basic PC specification
- Network connection settings
- Operating system
- Browser information
- Installed Anti-Virus or Firewall software
- Default POP3 Email program
Please note: Plusnet Assist does not gather or tamper with your personal files.
Can I use Plusnet Assist and opt out of the data gathered from my computer?
Yes, you can opt out of the data collection function of Plusnet Assist by following these steps on each computer that Plusnet Assist is installed on:
- While connected to the Internet, open Plusnet Assist (click the desktop icon or right click on the system icon and select Open)
- On the home page, select the Plusnet Services tab
- Select the link to the Plusnet Terms and Conditions of service page
- Remove the tick from the small checkbox
You can opt back in at any time by following the same steps and re-ticking the box.
Why am I being asked to accept cookies when I run Plusnet Assist?
Plusnet Assist tests your Internet connection by connecting to one or more of these websites when it first runs. This is no different than if you had visited any of these websites yourself in a web browser. If you prefer, you can choose not to accept these cookies (with no detrimental effect to Plusnet Assist).
I've noticed that Plusnet Assist installs a lot of Internet Explorer 'Mcci Browser' add-ons. What are these?
Plusnet Assist uses Internet Explorer technology to create the alert boxes that guide you if you have connection or email problems, or if you're using the Utilities from the Home screen. The alert boxes are powered by a proprietary technology used in Plusnet Assist known as Mcci Browser.
If you're using Internet Explorer 9 you may be prompted to prevent these add-ons from running. You shouldn't do this as it will prevent Plusnet Assist from working properly.
How do I change my account details in Plusnet Assist?
When you install Plusnet Assist we ask you to type in your username, phone number and postcode. If you have entered any of these incorrectly it's easy to change them.
Right-click on the Plusnet Assist icon in the Systray (bottom-right of your screen) and select Update My Identity.
- Username is the single word you chose to represent your Plusnet account (it's the one you log in to this website with)
- Broadband phone number is the telephone number you have broadband installed on
- Postcode is the postcode of the property where your broadband is installed
These details allow us to help you more effectively if you need to call our Support Team, so make sure they're up to date.
I don't use Internet Explorer, can I use Plusnet Assist?
We recommend that you use Internet Explorer to download and install Plusnet Assist. You can then use Firefox or other popular browsers and Plusnet Assist will still be able to detect and help you fix connection problems. Sorry, but Plusnet Assist does not support Google Chrome at this time.
Please note: Plusnet Assist can only help configure settings in Internet Explorer.
Why does Plusnet Assist close unexpectedly when I try to enter my wireless network key?
This is likely to be because you are using a Wireless Key that's longer than 32 characters (Plusnet Assist does not currently support keys above this length). Please see our wireless connection guides for help connecting wirelessly.
Will I be able to use Plusnet Assist if I already have BT Broadband Desktop Help installed?
Plusnet Assist will replace BT Desktop Help if you have it installed on your computer. We recommend that you uninstall BT Broadband Desktop Help and restart your computer before you install Plusnet Assist.
Is this only for Plusnet customers?
Yes, Plusnet Assist has been designed to support Plusnet Broadband. We're sorry but Plusnet Assist won't provide specific support for Force9 and Free-online settings.