- + Plug it into a USB port to get online.
- + It's a handy size, slip it in your pocket and take it everywhere.
- + It uses 3G/4G, so you can surf, stream and download faster.
- + Perfect for sending quick email, checking Facebook or shopping on your laptop.
Broadband and TV
Many broadband providers also offer a digital TV service, with Sky and Virgin Media the two most recognisable. But as our broadband becomes quicker and more reliable, many other providers are able to offer a digital TV service that's delivered via a broadband connection, including the popular on demand services.
The available channels and services do vary from provider to provider and package to package, so it's worth checking the detail on your chosen package to see what's on offer. Check the compare button on our results table for up to five different packages to see what channels are on offer, side-by-side.
Often referred to as "superfast broadband", fibre optic offers most UK households the fastest available broadband speeds.
Instead of using the copper telephone network, which is how most ADSL broadband is delivered, superfast is transmitted through fibre optic cables. The signal doesn't degrade using fibre optic cables, which means speeds are much faster. Whereas ADSL can offers speeds of up to 16 Mbps (Megabits per second), we're looking at a minimum of 38 Mbps with fibre.
Virgin Media offers the fastest fibre speeds, in excess of 100 Mbps in some cases and is the widest available provider in the UK at the moment. But Sky, Plusnet, Primus, EE and BT as well as some other providers also offer the service.
Unlimited means that the broadband you receive at home will have no caps on usage or downloads.
This means that whenever you want to use the internet, for downloading, streaming or just general browsing, you can do so without ever worrying about incurring extra charges.
Some providers have been known to implement traffic management on their networks, meaning that the speed of a user's broadband is controlled during peak times and this could be the case even with unlimited broadband. It's worth checking with your provider for more information on traffic management.
If you want to have the cost of local and national landline calls included in your broadband package, click this button. Anytime covers your local and national calls during the daytime, evening and at weekends, which means you won't pay extra on your monthly bill for making calls. However some providers will charge for 0870 and 0845 calls, and international calls will also be charged, so do check the details of the package to see what's included.
Your broadband usage, measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB), can be a puzzling subject to fully understand. It's not easy to be truly accurate with how much broadband you're consuming on a monthly basis.
That's why we've cut through the technical jargon by creating three different types of broadband user. Simply match your activities to one of the user types below:
|Light users||A single user, or perhaps there's two of you, who like to browse the internet, send emails and maybe download a few songs during the evenings and at weekends.||
Packages with 2GB of use or more
|Medium users||Perhaps you're a small family, or a couple who like to watch iPlayer or catch-up TV a few times a week, on top of the usual website browsing, email sending and occasional Skype calls.||
Packages with 20GB or more
|Heavy users||You're either a large family or shared household. You like to stream TV or Netflix, perhaps play some online video games and generally enjoy living in a connected world.||
Packages with unlimited usage
There are three different types of broadband speeds that are available to you when you take out a new deal. These are ADSL, fibre and superfast fibre.
ADSL is broadband that's delivered into your house via a telephone line and used by the majority of households in Britain.
These deals offer speeds of up to 16 megabits per second (Mb). ADSL broadband is generally fast enough for you to stream television without too much buffering or pausing and certainly fast enough for day-to-day internet browsing and emailing.
Using fibre optic cables to transfer data, you can achieve speeds of up to 38Mb with a fibre broadband connection.
You will happily watch live TV and play online video games with a fibre broadband connection offering minimal delays or lags.
Superfast refers to fibre optic broadband connections with speeds over 38Mb.
You may opt for a superfast fibre broadband connection if you require large downloads delivered to you quickly, or were a regular player of online video games that needed a faster than average connection in order to play seamlessly.
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|ZTE 4G Dongle with 8GB data for laptops or desktops||Up to 18 Mb per second||8 GB||£21 Per month||Go to site|
Firmly established as a mobile phone network, O2 has branched out and now offers broadband too. O2 was formed when the BT group de-merged several aspects of its business to strengthen its positions with shareholders. Originally known as BT Cellnet, the company changed its name to O2 UK on November 17, 2001. Now known as Telefonica O2, it has the largest number of subscribers out of all the major UK network operators.
O2 made its first step into broadband when it purchased Be broadband – which offered the fastest broadband speeds in the UK. From October 2007 it launched its own broadband brand with discounts to customers who are O2 mobile phone contract or pay-as-you-go customers.
Who is O2 broadband ideal for?
O2 broadband will appeal to anyone who wants super-fast broadband with unlimited* downloads from a broadband company with an extensive background in the provision of communication services. Its packages are straightforward broadband only deals but will carry particular appeal to current O2 mobile phone users who can benefit from a discount.
What do you need to get O2 broadband?
- A BT home phone line.
- A PC with a CD-ROM drive.
- O2 broadband comes with the O2 wireless box. If you don't want wireless you can use Ethernet cables.
- An Ethernet port.
- Windows 2000 or above, Mac customers need Apple Mac OS 10.
All three O2 broadband packages come with the O2 wireless box, a free UK customer service line, McAfee security, free web texts and up to 10 email addresses. You will be tied into a 12 month contract no matter which package you choose.
O2 attempts to offer peace of mind to its customers and runs a money back guarantee. At the time of publication this is a 50day guarantee applicable for sign-ups before July 31, 2008 – meaning that if you do sign up before then you will be able to change your mind if you’re unhappy with the service provided.
As an added extra to O2 mobile phone customers, O2 broadband offers O2 email to mobile with which you can get emails directly to your handset – up to 1,000 a month. They appear on your screen like text messages.