Equipment required for broadband

The majority of providers give an installation pack for new broadband connections.  This normally explains everything required for getting up and running.  Below are details about what hardware is needed for ADSL, cable and mobile broadband connections.

» Requirements for ADSL / SDSL (BT phone line)

» Requirements for Cable broadband (Virgin Media)

» Requirements for Mobile broadband

Requirements for ADSL / SDSL Broadband

A phone line
To check if your BT line is capable of delivering ADSL broadband services, please use the Broadband ADSL Availability Checker provided by BT.

SDSL connections use a new copper wire and do not support traditional telephony services, therefore you will need a new line installed. Use the BT SDSL Availability Checker to see if you can get SDSL.

A DSL Broadband Modem or Router
Some providers will include a modem or router in their packages whilst some require you to pay extra for it. If the provider does not offer one then there are several websites and computer stores that sell them. It may also be worth checking that your chosen device is compatible and will work with your ISP's connection. For example, some providers use ADSL2 broadband technology, which means you will need an ADSL2 compatible modem or router.

If you are planning to set up a network in your home or office to share the internet connection you will need a router. This piece of hardware contains the modem and also has many ports that allow you to connect more than one computer. Many routers are wireless and this is now a common setup for broadband connections. Most laptops these days are wireless enabled so can take advantage of the wireless router. You will need a special modem or router for SDSL connections.

TIP!  Getting the modem included with the broadband service is a good idea since it normally means that it is fully supported by that Broadband provider.

Microfilters for every phone socket

Microfilter image
A microfilter is required for each telephone socket in the house.

ADSL broadband runs through your BT phone line and is designed to allow you to have broadband internet access and telephone line free at the same time.

In order for this to work, a microfilter must be connected to each telephone socket that is connected to the phone line. This must be the first device that is plugged into your BT socket. Some providers include microfilters as part of their packages, others allow you to buy directly from them. Alternatively you can buy microfilters from retailers.

Equipment required for Cable broadband (Virgin Media)

Cable in your area
You will need to be able to receive Virgin Media cable services in your area. Our price comparison service checks if you can receive cable services in your area.

Cable broadband modem
This may be offered by the cable company, but they can also be bought independently.  There are also ADSL and Cable broadband compatible modems or routers available.  Virgin Media offer Ethernet only interface support for new customers after the 8 February 2007. Customers connected prior to this date will still be eligible for support. USB support is not available to customers joining after 8 February 2007.

Equipment required for Mobile broadband

Mobile Broadband USB Modem and Dongle picture

A USB Modem (or Dongle) is
normally included by the
Mobile Broadband provider

Mobile broadband services are available from Mobile network operators including 3, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange. Access to the Internet using a Mobile Broadband service is very straightforward. All that is required is a Broadband USB Modem or Dongle that you simply plug into your laptop or home PC. It is normally included (often free) when you sign-up to a mobile broadband service. Find out more at the Mobile Broadband homepage.