Getting the best from broadband
Being able to get online whenever and wherever you are located has become
something that many of us now take for granted. Not only can we get high-speed
internet from our homes and offices but, thanks to mobile broadband, we can
now also stay online if we’re out and about too.
Access to broadband services therefore means that all of us can enjoy the
benefits of the online world, allowing us to work and use our leisure time to
optimum effect. If you don’t already have broadband then it’s easy to get yourself
setup and running, thanks to a wealth of different options from Internet Service
Providers, or ISP’s, and they have a presence in most territories around the
Selecting a broadband package can be a little bit bewildering as there are so
many variations on the theme, but a free comparison website, like Broadband
Genie, makes the perfect place to get started. Here you can view the different
deals and packages, check line speeds to see if your home is able to receive a service, and also view reviews of products and broadband services from real consumers.
Why bother with broadband?
The reasons for getting connected to broadband are fairly limitless, and anyone who has it will invariably wonder how they managed when they were on the much slower dial-up style services that used to be the norm. Broadband connectivity offers an always-on connection, it’ll deliver higher speeds and also allow you to experience all of the additional content that comes with faster internet access.
Now that a lot of content, including television programmes, movies, music and catch-up entertainment shows can be accessed online using these fast connections a lot of people are centering their lives around the computer. With a new PC it’s possible to enjoy all of these things at home or at work, while mobile broadband allows you to do similar things on a slightly lesser scale even if you’re
away from home.
Broadband at home
Most broadband services to the home will arrive via a fixed-line route, like those supplied via the BT network using ADSL technology or, alternatively, a cable connection like that supplied by Virgin Media. Mobile broadband can also be accessed at home, but you can take it with you when you go thanks to the connectivity being supplied via the airwaves in the same way as you use your mobile phone.
When looking at the availability of broadband services in your area then you’ll need to do some homework, which is where the broadband comparison website can really pay dividends. If you’re going down the route of ADSL via BT telephone exchanges (along with other ISP’s who sell their own packages through this system) then be sure to check things like expected line speed and general availability.
Services can be affected if you’re further away from the exchange, and also if your home has older style wiring along with numerous other factors that can impede the quality of your broadband service. Similarly cable broadband is not available everywhere either, although at present it can also be relied upon to be faster and more powerful as much of the cable network utilizes fibre-optic
What to expect
If you’re good to go in terms of being able to have broadband set up in your home then you’ll need to compare prices and deals, as these change all the time. The humble broadband comparison website can help point you in the right direction on this front too. You’ll find that there’s generally a one- off installation fee involved then a monthly charge for a fixed-contract period.
You’ll need to check the terms and conditions of any deals you like the sound of though. There are often caps on monthly usage, which means that you have certain limits on how much data you can upload and download. Heavy users, who download endless movies and large files could be affected by this and it can incur penalty charges or affect your service.
However, ISP’s always offer initiatives with new deals or if you’re moving to another provider, so lookout for special bundle deals where you can get things like TV, broadband and telephone in one package. You should also look out for free kit that is needed for getting set up including modems, routers and software. ISP’s will often throw a lot of this in free too.
Exploring mobile broadband
Good deals also come thick and fast in the mobile broadband world, with some
of the best offering free laptops if you sign up for a fixed contract period. Pay as you go mobile broadband can be a good idea if you want flexibility but not a contract; simply hook up a USB dongle device to a laptop or netbook and buy some credit and you can get online without any kind of contract tie-in.
Mobile broadband can be used all over the world but the main thing is to lookout for roaming charges as these can be very high. It’s often a very good idea to buy mobile broadband access once you get to a country, rather than taking your own dongle with you as these often don’t work abroad and if they do it could cost a lot of money, even for brief periods online. As an example, if you’re looking for deals down under then it’s a good idea to check out the Australian Broadband Genie site for a great overview of services there. If you’re in the US then head over to www.broadbandinfo.com, who offer a wealth of information and selection of ‘Hot Broadband Deals’ to help you make the right choice.
About the author: Rob Clymo writes on behalf of www.broadbandgenie.co.uk, the independent comparison website for broadband and mobile broadband.