Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

ADSL broadband. A broadband type that uses BT landline to provide broadband connection in the UK.
You may also use your telephone to make and receive calls while you are online. ADSL can provide upto 8Mbps download speed.


High-speed ADSL +2 technology is the upgraded version of ADSL. This type of broadband is available in places where the local exchanges are upgraded to this technology. Can offer up to 24 Mbps download speeds.


Also known as head-line speed or connection speed. Bandwidth shows how much your broadband connection can send and receive the data per second. It is measured in bits per second (bps) or mega bits per second (Mbps)

Broadband modem

This is the device that connects your PC to the internet. It codes and decodes the signals that are transmitted over the broadband line. Modem helps the faster transmission of data on the internet.

Contention Ratio

It shows how many people share your broadband line. Expressed in ratios like 20:1 or 30:1. In a 20:1 contention line, a maximum number of twenty users can access broadband.


Dial up or narrow band runs at 56Kbps download speed or less than that. You cannot use your telephone when you use dial-up. Dial-up connection is not as much stable as broadband and gets disconnected periodically.

Dynamic IP address

IP address assigned to a PC. Dynamic IP gets changed after an internet session and gets renewed each time you log on the internet.

Ethernet card and cable

Broadband hardware. They, along with modem connect you to broadband.


Generally, software that blocks any attempt to hacking or unauthorized access of your broadband connection.


Known as public wi-fi hotspots, they have one or more wireless access points and provide wireless broadband access to the users with wi-fi enabled devices like laptops.


HSDPA stands for High-speed Downlink Packet Access. Mobile broadband uses this technology to transmit data at faster rate.

Internet service provider (ISP)

The company which offers broadband service. For example, Be, PlusNet, O2.

IP address

Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique number assigned to a PC. There are two types of IP addressess – static and dynamic. Statiic IP address is permanent as against dynamic address which always changes everytime you connect to the internet.


Unit that measures speed on a broadband line. Kilo bits per second or 1000 bits per second.


Migration Authorisation Code or MAC is a code which you need when you switch your broadband provider. The switch becomes seamless when you give MAC to the new provider.

Megabits (Mbps)

Unit of broadband speed. Megabits per second or 1000 kilo bits per second.


A component used in ADSL connection. It splits the BT phone line so that both voice and data can share the same line.


Modulator de modulator. The device that processes data on a broadband line.

Mobile broadband

Refers to the use of GPRS networks and advanced 3G & HSDPA technologies to provide broadband connection to the smartphone users and laptop users. Usually slower than ADSL or cable broadband and the users often depend on the signal strength.


The Office of Communications (Ofcom) is an independent regulator of UK telecom industry. It helps to resolve the issues between the broadband users and the broadband providers.


Router helps multiple PCs to share a single broadband connection.


Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Upload speeds are par with download speeds on a SDSL line. Perfect for businesses.

Static IP address

Permanent IP address assigned to the computer in a network.

Usage cap

Monthly download limit. Your usage during a month should not go beyond this limit failing which you would pay for the additional usage.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Network with advanced security and encryption features.


Wide Area Network. A large network making up of many local area networks (LAN).


Wired Equivalent Privacy. This wireless securty feature makes sure that your wireless network is safe from the unauthorized access by hackers.


Wireless Fidelity. Wifi users can access broadband on their smart phones or laptops.


Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is a wireless broadband technology used to transmit data over long distances.

Wireless access point

A component used in wireless networking or wi-fi hotspots.


Wireless local area network.


Wi-Fi Protected Access. Advanced wireless security feature that uses encryption to protect wireless network from unauthorized access by hackers It provides better protection than WEP.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP or broadband telephony uses internet connection to make and receive voice calls. The call rates are quite cheaper than standard telephone service.

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