Looking for a new home broadband plan can be confusing, there’s just so much terminology to learn that it can be tough to know exactly what it is that you’re getting. You want the fastest and best Internet service that you can afford, and that means that you’ll need to understand some of these terms so that you can make the right decision for you. In this article we’re talking about ADSL 2+ broadband, what it means, why you might want it, and where you can find it.
What is ADSL?
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, and it’s the traditional kind of broadband that uses the copper wires used for telephones to move data in and out of your house. Unlike with old phone modem lines, with an ADSL broadband service you can use your phone and computer at the same time.
The word asymmetric is used because when you talk about broadband there are two different speeds involved and with ADSL these speeds are uneven. Download speed is the speed at which you can download information (get information from outside to your computer), whilst upload speed is the speed at which you upload information (get information from your computer to outside). With ADSL download speed is much higher than upload speed.
For most users this is not a problem. If you don’t often need to send large files or post many pictures or otherwise transfer information onto the Internet, then upload speeds really won’t concern you too much.
Where Does ADSL 2+ Come In?
ADSL was the original broadband system, and since then there have been two upgrades to the system. ADSL 2 improved speeds slightly and improved the range of the system as well as the time taken to connect. ADSL 2+ has improved speeds even more, especially when compared to the first ADSL connections.
With traditional ADSL you’re looking at download speeds of up to 8 Mbps, with ADSL 2 you should get download speeds of up to 12 Mbps, and with ADSL 2+ you should get speeds of up to 20 Mbps. Basically, if you choose ADSL 2+ you’ll get a much faster Internet service, which many people prefer.
What Does a Faster Service Mean for Me?
When you use the Internet you are constantly downloading information. This doesn’t just mean when you deliberately download a file, every single Internet action requires your computer to download information from the Internet, from opening web pages to playing a video, from sending an email to checking your Facebook.
The faster your ADSL download speeds are the faster your Internet will be. This will mean that you can download your files faster, open web pages quicker, videos will play more quickly and with less buffering. All in all, faster Internet speeds will make you more satisfied with your service.
Which Providers Will Give Me ADSL 2+?
Most of the major UK broadband providers will give you an ADSL 2+ package, but whether or not you’ll be able to use that package depends heavily on where you live. You will need to live in a location that has access to an ADSL 2+ network, and not everyone does. You can check your location’s availability by going to the web site of a major provider or to a comparison site such as uSwitch.com and put in your postal code.
If you own a Mac rather than a PC, unlike in the past most broadband plans will work for you, though you may have slightly more difficulty with set up. Some providers offer better Mac support than others, having special hotlines just for Mac users. The companies best known for their Mac broadband support are Virgin and BT, though you can choose any provider and expect their support to provide help.
Will I Really Get Those Top Speeds?
You’ll notice that when providers advertise speeds they always say “up to” 20 Mbps. This is because that number is the maximum speed of which the line is capable, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll receive that kind of speed. 20 Mbps is the ideal situation speed, and there are many things that are going to affect how fast your connection is.
How far your house is from a telephone exchange will affect speeds, the further away you are, the slower your speeds will be. The condition of the copper wiring in and around your home will also affect speeds; older wiring will transmit information more slowly. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do about these things, and if you’re not getting the kinds of speeds that you want you may have to look into another kind of broadband service.
How Much Will it Cost?
ADSL 2+ is one of the cheaper broadband options. Cost depends both on the provider and on the kind of data limit that you’re looking for, however in general monthly fees range from around £10 to over £20.
You will want to be careful when choosing a data limit for your plan, since this can end up costing you more than you should be paying. A low data limit might have an attractively low monthly price, but you might be forced to pay large extra fees for going over your limit. There are plenty of affordable unlimited plans around though, and it’s probably worth paying a few pounds more so that you don’t need to be concerned with a data limit.
ADSL 2+ broadband can be a great solution to your home computing needs, with fast speeds, reliable service and affordable prices. If ADSL 2+ is available in your location you should certainly consider taking advantage of it. You should be able to get your connection from any of the main UK broadband providers, and such widespread availability of plans is what helps make ADSL 2+ such an affordable option. Choosing a new home broadband plan and not sure what to go for? Check out ADSL 2+ in your area, it’s a fantastic option.