For the light user of Broadband.
Broadband is an excellent choice for anyone needing or demanding a rich internet experience, be it for work or personal use. The undoubtedly better alternative to a dial-up connection, is a broadband. It is a permanent connection that is hundreds of times faster than the dial-up and can be chosen from the options or service packs available or offered by various internet service providers. Plus it can easily help you upgrade to higher speeds.
Are You a Light User?
Typically the light user or home user in the UK would go for the cheapest package with a 1 or 2 GB download limit. But if usage is on the increase, then one has to just check on other deals available on a comparison chart to opt for the next level or even an unlimited plan. A little bit of search online will give the answers. The light user will be typically using the internet for email, updates on things he/she likes or for some interests, or maybe socialising and some online shopping, on most probably a daily basis, but for a limited period of time. Such a user may connect and disconnect frequently but may not be online most of the time. This kind of user may not download heavy stuff like movies and if so, very rarely. If you are a beginner, start with a light user package during your learning period. Later you can judge the better option available or an upgrade. Students too can start as a light user, depending on their use.
Options for the Light User
Choose a Bundle or Package-
The user can opt for internet package through a TV combo plan coming through the cable. Otherwise he or she can use the mobile Broadband or a bundle with it included. If you only check up your email daily, browse a little and do some shopping, then you can opt for a light user's combo-package offered by most of the ISPs. Get the most out of one package rather than opting for separate services, which might total to more money. If you want to save money then consider the pay-as-you-go packs. For instance Virgin Media offers bundles in Broadband, TV and Phone. So you can choose an appropriate mix according to the anticipated usage of each media. Three of UK still offers one of the cheapest mobile broadband packages. Some of the providers allow you to build your own bundle. Check up with some of the comparison websites offering advice, it can help.
Choose the type of connection-
Light users, as described earlier, can opt for a suitable package from a provider through a fixed landline or fibre optic cable. For the light user, a really good option would be the Mobile Broadband.
For instance Three's Mobile Broadband uses a technology called 3G to send wireless signals to your device. A good way to speedily transfer data wirelessly to your computer or portable device. There is no need for any cables and can stay online on the go. Convenience is what makes it as a great choice. Stay connected on the move and manage time better.
Most of the internet service providers offer cost-effective or even cheap packages for the light user. The connectivity is provided through telephone line or fibre-optic cable or even a wireless router. So compare with the packages and you are sure to hit upon a good deal.
Choose a Service Provider-
Some of the prominent service providers are Sky, BE, O2, BT, Orange, Plusnet, Three, TalkTalk, AOL, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Virgin Media. There are other providers too. Some of them use BT's lines to serve you. Use some comparison sites to help you decide on the best suitable offer or service provider with the right package. Following are some popular service providers.
Sky: The British Sky Broadcasting markets as Sky, offering TV, Broadband and Phone services in the UK. Sky is a popular satellite television service which also offers broadband through its vast fibre optic cable network which connects 3 million homes.
Three: Three provides in UK a wide range of products and price plans for broadband users, having also the country's biggest 3G network. Three covers 97 per cent of the UK population for internet on phone and Mobile Broadband.
BT: BT is the oldest and also one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world. It serves the needs of customers in UK and in 170 countries. It's the provider of fixed-line services, broadband and mobile services. It also provides networked IT services as well as TV products and services. BT has recently crossed the 5 million premises mark with its super-fast broadband (SFBB) network.
BE: BE Un Limited is part of the Telefonica group, which also owns O2, and is an Internet Service Provider in UK. It offers through BT's telephone exchanges the ADSL2+ services. It is now rapidly expanding across the UK.
Orange: Orange is UK's mobile network operator which also has internet service. It is owned by France Telecom in this brand name. It has formed a joint venture with T-Mobile called Everything Everywhere. It serves nearly 17 million customers with mobile and internet services.
Plusnet: Plusnet provides broadband, phone and super-fast fibre optic broadband in the UK. Broadband speeds up to 40Mbps are provided. It is based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and owned by the BT Group.
Virgin Media: Virgin Media owns its own fibre-optic cable network in the UK. By December 2010 it had customers totalling nearly 4.8 million. Of this around 3.78 million subscribed to the television services. 4.01 million were using the broadband internet service. Approximately 4.16 million were fixed-line telephone customers.
TalkTalk: TalkTalk is a telecommunications company providing telephone, mobile, pay television and internet service, based in London. Originally a subsidiary of The Carphone Warehouse, it's now a independent company.
O2: The UK based telecommunications company O2 is a mobile and broadband internet service provider, it is the second largest telecommunications provider in the UK and has about 18.4 million customers.
AOL: AOL is a Internet Service Provider of UK owned by Carphone Warehouse. They provide broadband and telephone services. Subject to location and package, speeds up to 24Mbps are being offered.
T-Mobile: This telecommunications company operates in the UK. T-Mobile UK is a mobile broadband provider and mobile network operator. The company is owned by Everything Everywhere, probably the largest operator in UK.
Vodafone: This is a UK based telecommunications company, Vodafone provides mobile broadband through its 3G network.
Tips for the Light User
- First is to evaluate your usage and needs to find the matching package and type of connection to opt for as per your requirement.
- One must be careful about the small print in contracts or packages. They may seem cheap in print, but if you exceed the limit or opt for extras, it may land you with a big bill.
- Remember to call customer service for technical support or for details and bill clarification.
- Check whether your provider charges, and what if so, for calls to the technical support helpline.
- Providers can even charge users for moving your connection to a new place.
- For complaints, users can approach the telecoms watchdog Ofcom.
- Sources for comparison of deals are aplenty to help you decide.
- Consider also and try out pay-as-you-go packages, if it suits your needs.
- Try to get word of mouth information from, say, your neighbour or colleague. The local conditions and trends might show you a better option.
- If not sure, go for a shorter term contract and switch over to another ISP if need be.
- Choose the right hardware or optimum configuration according to your use, when buying a PC, laptop or mobile device.
- Opt for a security package, which could be also provided by the ISP. Be careful while using sensitive information and credit cards. Play safe.
A internet user is usually subject to the fair usage policy of the provider, although this may not be so important a factor to the light user. When the WiFi or Wireless Router is used and many devices are used by multiple users, the factors might differ. This is referred to the as the contention ratio. It could happen in a large home or an office/workplace.
The internet provides you with lots of information and a host of other services and applications, yet it also has a security risk. Viruses can do a lot of damage to the PC's functioning and data. We are exposed to risks like hacking, phising, pharming and identity theft. Personal information can be extracted and used fraudulently, no matter if you use the web heavily or lightly. Therefore it is advisable to install an anti-virus package and to install a firewall to keep things safe. Protect yourself against fraudsters, hackers and malicious intruders and external invasion. WiFi enabled devices too have to be secured. Positioning of the wireless router centrally is important. Even the ISP can offer a security package.
For instance we have TalkTalk Homesafe, which is exclusively available to TalkTalk broadband customers. It has three simple features which are Kidsafe, Virus Alerts and Homework Time. This package is simple yet provides reasonable security to a user. O2 customers get 24 hour technical support and the McAfee security free. Security is a concern for even a light user.