Tutorials/Articles on switching to Broadband?

  Newuser2149 17:31 10 Aug 2006

I'm looking to switch to ADSL broadband from dialup for my 6-yr-old laptop (2xPCMCIA slots and 2xUSB1.1).

I'm getting bogged down with standards, protocols, gateways, modems, routers, hardware firewalls and not getting very far IN making sufficient sense to decide what I need for secure and effective broadband. It's all getting a bit bewildering and sales staff don't seem all that knowledgeable. Are there any good articles or tutorials on the web (or books - though I suspect the whole field is evolving faster than they can publish books) that will help me get to grips with the subjsct?

  FelixTCat 18:04 10 Aug 2006


Broadband is only a fast, always-on internet connection. For your pc, you will need a USB modem, which most broadband ISPs will provide free. You even connect these just like dial-up.

Because it is always connected to the internet there is a greater chance of some nasty person trying to interfere with your pc so you will need a measure of protection, normally a software firewall, an anti-virus program and an anti-spyware program. All are available free and the free versions are every bit as good, or better than, the commercial products.

The biggest debate is not usually whether to go broadband but which ISP to use.



  Newuser2149 21:18 10 Aug 2006

Thanks Felix,

I do have a software firewall (Kerio 2.1.5), Avira Antivir and Windows Defender already installed. However, one of the questions I had was: should I also aim to have a router with an up-to-date hardware firewall and, given that I'd have to connect via a PCMCIA card, should I look for an ethernet (fast ethernet?) or a USB router, or does it not matter (eg if the phone line is the limiting factor)? (I already have a USB2.0/firewire PCMCIA combo card for my laptop.)

When I've asked such questions of the TalkTalk agents (whom I'm considering signing up with) or with PCWorld staff, it's clear they really don't know the answers. The TalkTalk £25 modem does not appear to incorporate a firewall; consequently, I sought to get a better understanding of what the options are.

If you can point me in the right direction I'd be most grateful.


  ade.h 21:48 10 Aug 2006

No such thing as a USB router - USB is not a network medium - all routers use an Ethernet interface.

ALL decent routers have host firewalls - I have yet to see one that does not.

Do you really want to go for Talk Talk?

If you do decide to take the router option, you will need to consider standards. click here

  lslad 21:56 10 Aug 2006

Its probably a given but dont go with BT am having a total nightmare - all the customer service and tech support is out in India - everyones really nice and polite but they just follow scripts so anything out of the ordinary results in your machine is faulty!

  Newuser2149 23:06 10 Aug 2006

Thanks - things are becoming a little clearer. The Forum FAQs is a useful link.

The attraction of TalkTalk is that I'm already with them for phone calls and line rental (Talk One) - free calls at weekends and I use an Orchid dialler to route non-weekend calls via 1899/18185 etc. Consequently, the £20 a month deal for broadband, line rental, free calls including international to USA/Canada is very attractive and possibly cheaper than my present dialup and Talk One system.

  ade.h 23:12 10 Aug 2006

There is such a thing as too cheap, unfortunately.

  Newuser2149 08:33 11 Aug 2006

Back to the drawing board then. I'll have to spend some time reading the posts in this forum before making a decision. Many thanks to all for the advice and suggestions.


  FelixTCat 08:43 11 Aug 2006


Have a look at this one: click here

Put your phone number in the Availability box and use the code "cheaper" (without the "s) in the Promotions box.

The support is great and the company runs deals which received Which? best buys.

They will provide a free USB modem or a half price wireless modem router (and a bottle of sun cream lotion!).



  Newuser2149 16:18 11 Aug 2006

That's great. Many thanks, Felix

  Cymro. 11:38 12 Aug 2006

I agree with Island don`t go with BT for the very reasons he gives. The only problem now is which I.S.P. to go for? Someone out there must know of a better I.S.P. as I for one would very much like to know.

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