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Guide to Broadband for Beginners

Nearly 9 out of 10 UK internet users are using broadband to connect to the net, that’s 88.4% of us choosing to drop dial-up in exchange for Broadband. With so many Broadband Providers out there offering an array of different packages it may feel quite daunting making that step from dial-up to broadband. Top 10 Broadband aims to make the change over as pain free as possible; giving you all the background information you need to make that final informed decision.

Getting Started

To get broadband in your home you will need a computer and a phone line or if you already sign up to cable or satellite TV then you have may have the option of getting broadband through them. With so many Internet Service Providers to choose from, all offering different packages, Top 10 Broadband have put together what best to look out for:


Most broadband suppliers now offer up to 8Mb as standard, this is a great connection speed and suitable for most households. If you plan to use your broadband to browse the web, send and receive emails and occasionally download music, then you may be able to choose a cheaper 1Mb package. Superfast broadband packages come with a higher monthly charge but with download speeds of up to 20Mb they are great if you or your family are heavy down loaders or do a lot of online gaming.


Choosing an unlimited download option can be more expensive but if you want to watch or download TV programmes an unlimited account means you only pay a fixed price per month. Capped accounts can offer you anything from 5GB to 20GB download usage; these are cheaper to start with but charge you extra if you go over your limit. It is worth checking out what these charges are and worth bearing in mind that with capped accounts it can be tricky to know how much you have left.

Broadband or Bundle?

A greater number of broadband providers are now offering great deals on broadband bundles. Bundles are packages consisting of broadband and one other service such as digital TV, mobile phone or a landline phone. If you are already signed up to a digital TV company or a mobile phone contract it could be an opportunity to get free or cheap broadband. Bundles can be confusing so read the small print carefully and remember to check to see whether there are any hidden set up costs.


Most standard broadband deals offer a free modem. A modem is a box which plugs into your computer and phone line enabling you to connect to the internet. A wireless router allows you to connect to the web from anywhere in your home, this comes free on the more expensive packages or may come as an extra upgrade cost on cheaper ones. To get set up you may just be sent easy to follow instructions and some software to load onto your PC. Some broadband providers offer an engineer service to set everything up for you which may be free or come with an installation fee. When choosing a provider remember to check for modem and installation charges as these may make what seemed like a cheap deal a lot more expensive.

Contract Length

Most broadband packages come with a 12 month contract although there are many now offering 1 month deals. The longer the contract the cheaper the package usually is. If you leave before your contract you may still have to pay to the end of contract and also return any free hardware.

Customer Support

If you are new to broadband choose a provider that offers free technical support, this will enable you to ring up and ask questions quickly and easily without having to pay any extra. Remember to check that you calls will be free as some providers may charge at a local or premium rate.

Staying Safe

Having a broadband connection gives you a fast, permanent connection to the internet. This is great, but if you are connected all the time there is a small possibility that someone might be able to get hold of your personal data or download things to your computer.

Consider a broadband provider that offers free firewall protection, firewall runs on you PC all the time making sure no programs on your computer try to connect to the web without your knowledge and that no one can download stuff onto your computer.