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Cable broadband guide
Cable Broadband Guide

If you already have cable television, then you have the option of using cable to get your internet service as well. Cable broadband is just as fast as ADSL. In fact, it's a speedy, reliable service which will allow you to download data from the internet at lightning fast speeds and upload almost as quickly. Here's what you need to know about cable broadband.

Can you get cable broadband?

The first thing you need to find out is whether you can get cable broadband. If you're not sure, then use an online postcode checker from a cable broadband service provider to see if the service is available in your area. Most areas can get some sort of cable broadband service, but there are a few that are not covered. If you are in one of these, then ADSL broadband will be a better option.

While ADSL broadband works with your existing phone line, you will need a special connection to use the broadband cable network. Once you're signed up, an engineer will come and connect you to the cable network and then you will be able to have a variety of services, all fed through the same cable network.

What you need

To use cable broadband, you will also need a cable modem. This is similar to an ADSL modem, except that it is connected to the cable network through a thick cable screwed into the back and connected to the wall socket. Other than that, the cable broadband modem is much the same. There are cable broadband modems intended for one person to connect to the internet, known as single port modems, and there are multi port or four port routers which allow several people to use Ethernet cables to share a cable broadband connection.

Some cable broadband modems also have an antenna which allows wireless connection to the internet. It means that if you have a computer in your shed or a laptop in the garden, you can still browse from those locations. You will need the right networking features to use this.

How you can use cable broadband

The main reason to bother with cable broadband is because there are more and more large music and video files available online. It's difficult to download these with a dialup internet connection. Not only would it take hours, but the connection might fail halfway through, leaving you without the content you wanted. With a cable broadband connection, you can:

  • download files in seconds rather than hours

  • upload files quickly

  • watch internet TV (if your connection is fast enough)

  • listen to live radio without any interruptions

  • do video messaging (like instant messaging with video)

Cable broadband speeds range from an average of 2-3MB to 8MB and even higher, and the speed is increasing all the time.

When applying for a cable broadband service, consider what other services can be bundled with it, as this might save you money. If you can get your telephone, television, and internet from the same cable provider, then you will usually be offered a good deal. They will probably throw in the cable broadband modem as well.

Compare broadband providers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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