Please excuse any stupid questions also! Im trying to sort out getting the internet at home. Now I am confused because I dont know where to start or which of the seven thousand service providers I should choose. And we cant afford anything ludicrously expensive at the mo.

So I assume I need to get the phone connected (there is a line but we dont use it and its not connected), my bro says we need a package with unlimited downloads cos anything else is a waste of time, and I have a computer (which is a good start).

So I need some help basicially to get me on the right track. I havent had to do this sort of thing before and it would appear I am actually totally ignorant of technology and how it all works.

Thanks in advance.


  • how did you get on here then?

    Stick with one of the big providers, BT for example, but you will need to connect the phone line first. Mention it during the process and I am sure they will help you out getting connected. Unlimited downloads is good idea.
  • The first thing you need to do is set a budget on how much you want to spend and then work from there.

    Yes - you will need a phone line. As you want unlimited downloads you will need broadband.

    For the telephone you can either go for a BT line or cable. If you use cable you are tied to the cable supplier for your broadband connection. If you go with BT then you have more choice on your ISP (Internet service Providor) and can change your ISP if you don't get on with them.

    You will need a computer with a USB port and CD drive. The ISP/cable supplier should supply a modem (the bit between your PC and broadband line) and the cables neccessary to connect your PC to modem to the broadband line. They should also send a CD which will "walk" you through installing the connection.

    Personally I have a BT line and my ISP is one of the major supermarkets. I have a 1 meg link with unlimited downloads, which I find sufficient. Look for deal with unlimited downloads, but make the connection a slow one (it is cheaper) as you can always upgrade at a later date if you find it too slow.

    If you post how much you want to spend a month it will be easier to give more specific advise. £30 a month is probably around the bare minimum you will need to spend.
  • Im at work Sarcy.

    £30 is feasible CC. Would that be withe everyting in then? Eg phone line or whatever?? Sorry I really am confused about all this!
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    BT will charge you a fixed connection charge for the line, and then a monthly rental - can't remember how much this costs now as I never bother checking on the bill

    some ISPs will also supply you with a broadband router as part of your package and then there's a monthly cost for this on top of the BT bill

    I don't use BT for broadband but I guess they will do an all-in-one rental/bb bill

    go to the BT website and check it out

    I use Plusnet at home (now owned by BT) and they rank consistently well for service and connection - costs me about £15 pm for a 2Mb connection but I have my own router (for wireless connection for a a laptop)
  • ...UNLESS your street is wired for cable TV, eg
    virgin media,
    in which case you can get internet down that
    instead of your phone line,
    and the performance is usually better.
    I pay about £16/month for that.
  • I was told Plusnet were good too.

    Mike-we have a cable connection if we want to use it, but also sky. Thought about Sky Broadband.

    So if I use cable I dont need a phone line?

    And if I was to get a laptop Id need a router? So it would cost extra monthly or just one off??

  • Yes, if you use cable you don't need a phone line.
  • £30 should be all in, you can pay a little less as an introductory offer, you can pay more if you want a quicker connection.

    Quickly looks at BT and Virgin websites...

    Basic BT landline option is £10.50 per month + cost of phone calls (but you will need to pay them £124.99 installation fee if your place has never been connected to a BT line - check with BT on this before you order). Then you then need to get an ISP to install broadband - typically starting from £15 a month in my area.

    Virgin media - the main cable supplier - are £11 a month for phone (installation charges may apply?). Broadband wil be extra but you will have to go with Virgin as an ISP - starting from £18 a month in my area.

    Telephone calls from both types of phone line will add to the cost.

    Put your postcode in thiswebsite to check what ISPs are available in your area and a guide to costs.

    Again, you should get a modem with the ISP package, this will include a CD which, when you put it in your PC, will automatically start and "walk" you through connecting everything up but check with the ISP that this is the case before ordering.
  • I bow to others experience on the no need of a phone line if you use cable but check with the cable supplier to be sure.

    Ignore talk of routers for now it will confuse you even more, especially if you try and set one up, just concentrate on finding an ISP who will provide a modem which will connect to the USB port on your PC be that a desktop or laptop.

    Also, obviously I can't guarantee the prices above, I am just quoting from the web pages.
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Get an owl!
  • If you're a Sky customer Sky broadband may be free. It was for us when we got it in Nov last year. It's ok too.
  • Right. Thanks for your help guys. Im off to have a look at various websites and may be back with more questions!!!!!
  • Tis the work of the devil!!

    Look where you've got yourself as proof!!
  • I have combined tv, b/band and phone package with Virgin now but before that my phone was with BT and b/band with NTL/Virgin so you don't need an existing phone line as long as you're cabled.
  • So, if you want Virgin cable broadband, you don't have to have a Virgin "cable" phone?
  • A note on Sky: their router will not wire into a USB port, as I only found out when I tried to get mine to...

    Alternatives are to get some extra watsit that does go into the USB port and allows you to connect to the router wirelessly (This is assuming your computer is not wireless enabled: not sure what happens then). Or you need an ethernet port.

    I choose the ethernet port. Cost me £8 and I fitted it to my computer myself. Did involve opening up my computer to slot it in, but it's the easiest hardware change I've ever done. Not as scary as it sounds if you've never done hardware stuff before.
  • Thanks all!

    And yes you may be right "kk"!!
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