If you are setting up your first broadband connection you may be confused by some of the jargon that accompanies getting a good, fast internet connection. With the internet playing such a pivotal role in our lives, getting a good broadband package set up when you move home is vital. This guide should help you through the process from choosing the right provider to running a broadband speed test. Here are the steps necessary to let you enjoy faster web access…
Before you can get broadband at your property you need either a standard landline telephone connection or a cable line connected and active. If you don’t have either of these features then a provider may be able to help you with installation, which must be carried out by a professional.
The most common type of internet connection is ADSL, which runs through your telephone line. The alternative is fibre-optic broadband, which gives you a connection via cables as opposed to through your phone line. If you need very fast broadband (more than 24Mbps- megabits per second) then you should seek a fibre-optic connection. If you don’t need very fast speeds, ADSL will do the job.
To decide which type of internet connection you’d like you will first need to see which is available to you. Fibre-optic is currently growing in terms of availability and not all providers offer this service.
Choosing a Provider
It is sensible to compare the various providers and offers that are available because prices and performance can vary and you will want a service that suits your requirements. There are broadband deals to suit most customers, but you will need to take into account things such as connection speed, monthly data allowance and the length of a contract before you commit.
If you do not think you are going to be using your broadband for much more than some light web browsing and occasional downloads, then a modest download speed and capped data allowance may suffice. Don’t pay more than you need to if you’re not a big internet user. On the other hand, heavy users who want to stream video, play games, use social-networking sites and access large files should pick a faster connection and look out for MoneySupermarket broadband deals with unlimited data.
Your new provider will usually give you the equipment needed to get you online quickly and effectively, typically in the form of a Wi-Fi router. Your router needs to be connected to an appropriately placed telephone socket if you are an ASDL customer, with micro filters placed on all sockets elsewhere in the house so that the digital signal is not disturbed by analogue calls and vice versa.
Fibre-optic customers may have a separate modem as well as a router to set up, but modern devices are usually very straightforward and include their own simple instructions.
Testing your Connection
Checking that your new connection is working properly is important because you want to make sure that you are getting your moneys worth when it comes to your broadband deal.
There are speed test services available online which let you check the real-world speed that is achievable over your connection, usually providing you with both download and upload ratings in Mbps.
You should check to see how closely your own speed matches that which was cited by your provider as being the realistically achievable data rate at your location. Bear in mind that speeds can be adversely affected if lots of other users are sharing your connection while you carry out a test. Peak periods during the evening hours can also cause an entirely normal dip in the speed of your broadband service. However, if you are confident that your broadband is set up correctly and your connection is not being used by other people during off-peak periods, then an unusually slow speed-test reading can be used as evidence that your service is not up to scratch.