When BT first launched Broadband
in the UK all the customer-premise-equipment (CPE) was supplied by BT as
part of the service. This has all changed with the introduction of the
'wires-only' service. Here you buy the service from a
provider like BT, Orange, Virgin, Demon, etc - who arrange with BT to make changes at the
local exchange to enable Broadband
down your standard telephone line. Since no engineer calls at your home or
business, it's up you to choose and source the necessary hardware. You
will need at least a modem, to make the high-speed data connection, and
some splitters, (sometimes called micro-filters) which insulate the new
Broadband signal from your standard phones.
Here are a few notes to help
you decide which is most suitable for you.
These are currently the most
popular offering for Broadband connections. This is largely because the
original 'installed' Broadband service came with a USB modem included in
the basic offering. It is also perceived by Service Providers to be the
solution which requires the least support. On the down side, USB modems
have a reputation for being a bit heavy on PC resources, a little slow
and for being rather choosy about the operating system under which they
PCI Internal Modems
If you don't mind getting the
lid off your PC and installing an internal card then a PCI modem could
be for you. It will give you the best speed of any solution but will
require appropriate support for your operating system.
Although primarily designed for
use with several computers on a local network, modem-routers are finding
increasing favour with single computer users as well. This is because a
router is independent of your computer(s) and will work with ANY
operating system including Windows, NT, MacOS9, MacOSX, Linux, and Unix.
Modem-routers are also fast, and
internet access sharing comes as standard, without leaving a PC switched
on, as would be the case for USB and internal modems.
For further information about
BROADBAND check out
http://www.thinkbroadband.com where you will you will find unbiased and well
informed opinions and reviews.