is a way of connecting to the Internet. It is called broadband
because it provides a high-speed connection when compared
with previous ways of connecting to the internet which were
then termed as narrowband.
benefits are usually related to the speed of the internet
connection. If you are currently using or have used a dial-up
Internet connection, you already know that webpages, pictures
and emails take ages to load. Broadband connections make
these things happen much more quickly and you can also do
many things at the same time. You can even let several people
use the same Internet connection at once if you have more
than one computer in your home and they are networked together.
The faster speed of broadband lets you enjoy services such
as streaming live TV and music. Those of you that play online
games will also have great benefits.
How fast is Broadband?
connection speeds vary and are based on many different things
including where you live and which broadband provider you
choose. Usually broadband speed will be between 512k and
10 meg (meg = Mbps - Megabits per second), but faster connections
than this are possible. Dial-up connections are 56k, so
a 512k broadband connection is nearly 10 times as fast.
10 meg broadband is roughly 180 times faster! It’s
like driving a sports car compared to walking.
get broadband you have to find out what is available to
you. Broadband is provided using the BT telephone network
and is available to 99.9% of households in the United Kingdom,
so you should be able to get it. You do not have to sign
up with BT to get broadband. Cable modems are also popular
as an alternative in areas where Virgin Media have a TV
Choosing a Broadband Service Provider
out what is most important to you, if price is a deciding
factor then you can find that you can get a cheaper service
by going with a supplier you already use. Orange and Sky
could offer you a cheaper service if you already have a
TV or mobile phone contract with them. There are currently
two types of charging schemes used. One is a generally fixed-speed
service that is based on your broadband connection speed
and the other is usage charging, where you are charged by
the amount of actual data that you transfer. Providers
offer different qualities of service and you usually get
what you pay for. Cheaper broadband providers sometimes
put minimal investment into providing their services. No
provider has a perfect record, and this is often evident
with larger providers where there is always some negative
you have a Virgin Media service or are in Hull and surrounding
areas, you are limited to using Virgin Media or Kingston
Communications (Karoo) as your broadband provider unless
you get a BT phone line installed.
What Equipment Do I Need?
will require a modem or router to connect to the Internet.
A modem connects your computer to the internet usually using
a phone line. A router lets several computers to connect
to the internet at the same time. If you have a few computers
you could consider a router or wireless-router. Broadband
normally co-exists with your telephone service so you can
still make and receive phone calls while you are using the
Media provide a cable modem for you and other providers
usually offer a free modem/router or allow you to buy a
compatible one from them. PC World and online computer stores
sell them and some routers/modems have different features
and are easier to setup than others. If the provider you
choose offers a modem or router, it is best to get one from
them because they can usually assist in helping if there
are any problems. Also check with your provider to see what
level of support they offer before signing up.
you are also using a phone line you will need a microfilter
for each device plugged into a phone socket (fax machines,
sky box and telephones etc.). A microfilter is a small device
that plugs into the phone socket and filters the broadband
signal from the telephone signal so that you can use both
the phone and broadband at the same time.
broadband is new to you, you will probably be a light or
medium user. But if a few people in your property share
the connection then you would be better off with a medium-usage
broadband connection. If you download lots of music or films
or watch live video content this will increase your usage.