When looking for a broadband connection to suit your needs, you’ll find that there are various types currently on the market. You’ll find that most connections are ADSL and that they use BT phone lines. Using the existing telecommunications infrastructure is beneficial, especially if there is no fibre optic cabling in your area, as you can still get a fast connection.
However, an ADSL connection will mean BT line fees as well as service charges and a minimum 12 month contract. If this puts you off, then there are several other options for getting broadband without using a BT line:
Cable internet connections are extremely fast, with Virgin Media offering speeds of up to 120Mb. In most cases, data allowances are unlimited, making them an excellent choice for heavy users such as online gamers. On the finance side, there are no line rental charges.
Fibre optic cabling carries signals long distances without degradation. Virgin Media offers a completely guaranteed advertised speed because of this.
This form of mobile broadband is ideal for people who are light browsers and need to access the internet on the move. The connection is usually provided through a USB dongle to be attached to laptop’s and desktop machines.
The portability of this type of connection means that you can get on the internet anyway, whether you’re at home, on the train or at an important meeting. You may even be able to do so when abroad (check your ISP first).
The current five 3G providers offer between them a variety of standard contracts, SIM-only contracts, short term rolling contracts and pay-as-you-go contracts. This makes it easier to find an arrangement that suits your needs and budget.
4G mobile broadband is much faster than its predecessor 3G. Up to five times faster, in fact. To use it, it requires a 4G dongle or Mifi unit. The super-fast broadband download speeds make it a much more viable alternative to a fixed broadband connection.
Disadvantages of non-BT line broadband options
There are several disadvantages of the above connection types that you should be aware of before making a decision to sign up for one of them. Cable connections, though very fast, are usually more expensive than ADSL and it is currently only available in certain areas. However, this may well change in the future as BT installed a new fibre optic network in the UK in 2012.
Mobile broadband has its limitations too. Coverage is still an issue, with bad or no reception in some parts of the UK, with particularly rural areas lacking in a strong signal. Before signing up to mobile broadband, check for reception to avoid being tied into a contract without being able to get it!
4G mobile broadband also has its shortcomings. The technology is currently only available through one provider EE, although other ISP’s are gearing up to offer 4G services. Coverage is only limited only to major towns and cities, plus using 4G is much more expensive than 3G.