There are several ways to get broadband into the home with the two most common being via a cable TV provider or over a standard telephone line. For those without broadband, or those who want to extend their Internet access around their home, I’ll provide more detail here about these two types of service and how I can help.


C A B L E    B R O A D B A N D

In my opinion, this is the best option to go for from a technical point of view. It tends to be a higher speed service delivered over a shiny new dedicated cable that is installed into your home by the local cable provider which, these days, is likely to be Virgin Media. The cable company is responsible for running the cable into your home and terminating it onto a cable modem. Your computer can plug directly into that cable modem or, more likely, a wireless router can be connected to it to provide wired/wifi access for multiple internet enabled devices such as computers, smartphones and game consoles, to all connect to the 'net simultaneously. These days you're more likely to get a 'SuperHub' which is a cable modem, router and WiFi access point all rolled into one box. You don't need to subscribe to a cable TV package to utilise the broadband service, however you usually need to subscribe to a phone package which is also delivered over the same cable.

Pros:
Connection tends to be very reliable
Usually faster than ADSL services in the same area

Cons:
Ties you in with your local cable TV provider - no competition on cable services
Requires engineer installation if no cable connection currently exists to your house
Not an option if your street is not cable enabled



A D S L    B R O A D B A N D

Also known as DSL broadband, this signal is delivered over your telephone line. It uses frequency division to keep the data signal separate to the voice signal so you can natter on the phone and access the Internet at the same time. Although the cabling from the exchange to the master socket in your house (the ‘local loop’) is usually owned and operated by BT, the DSL and/or voice services can be provided by a wide range of operators who buy services wholesale from BT and offer tariffs of their own. Popular operators include the likes of BT, TalkTalk, PlusNet, O2, Tesco, Demon and so on. If you sign up for an ADSL service, it can usually be activated on your existing telephone line without installation engineers being required to attend. The provider may post you some routing equipment that you’ll need to plug in so you can use the service or, if you’re feeling technically minded, you can buy your own from a high street electrical retailer. Having your own equipment often means you can change DSL provider without having to replace the router hardware although some reprogramming will be required.

Pros:
No installation engineers required if you already have a telephone line
Switch between different providers to get a service that best suits your needs and your budget

Cons:
If you don’t already have a fixed telephone line, one will need to be installed by an engineer
Filters are required on every telephone socket with a connected phone in order to split the voice from the data
Filters can fail or become unplugged causing loss of service
Tends to be slower than cable broadband
Some telephone lines are very old and outages may be caused by failing cables/connections



A L T E R N A T I V E S    TO    C A B L E  /  A D S L

Although the likes of O2 and Sky also offer broadband services and you don’t normally associate such companies with wired installations, I’m afraid they also deliver via DSL over a telephone line. Although there are mobile data services, they tend to be slow, expensive and offer patchy coverage. Older technologies such as ISDN are also out there but are dropping off and aren’t as common, cost effective or speedy in comparison. Some companies are pushing fibre optic broadband however this is only to the street cabinet with the connection to your home still made via a DSL signal over the telephone cabling.



E T H E R N E T    C A B L I N G

If you want internet/network access in a different room to where your modem/router is located, you will need a wireless or wired (Ethernet) connection. Wireless is the most convenient method of connection, however there are instances where wired connectivity is preferred. In a large house or a property with thick brick walls, wireless coverage may not be reliable. If transferring large amounts of data such as online gaming or streaming HD video, a wired connection offers greater bandwidth and higher reliablity between your computer and router. Similarly, you may want connectivity to an outbuilding or home office. Whatever the reason, I can provide Ethernet cable runs between your router and the desired endpoint with a wall mounted socket for easy connection. All Ethernet installations come with a free handmade cable to the length required for connecting between the final socket and computer. For more details, see my network cabling page.


Although in my previous life as an I.T. bod I used to offer full broadband installation services, these days I do not. That said, I can assist with the mechanics of getting an existing broadband connection to where it needs to be in your home, so if you need extra telephone sockets, relocation of sockets or installation of Ethernet (wired) points around your home then do please get in touch for a free quotation.