A Guide to ADSL Broadband: what is it and is it right for you?

ADLS broadband is the most popular form of internet connection in the UK and in this guide we explain what it is, what it offers you and how to save money on ADSL broadband deals.

What is it?

ADSL stands for: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, and it provides a reliable connection of good quality. There is also an upgraded version ADSL2 which offers much greater download speeds – up to 25mbps – and is currently available to around 80% of the UK; regular ADSL is available to 99% of UK households.


However, always bear in mind that while the speeds offered by providers might sound impressive, whether you’ve opted for ADSL or ADSL2, the actual speed you end up with can vary greatly. In the main it depends on how close you live to your local BT telephone exchange as they own the landline infrastructure. You can check the coverage in your area or find out where your local exchange is to give you an idea of the speeds you can realistically expect.

Switching providers can equal savings

Almost everyone now has some form of broadband package with one supplier or another, but sticking with your current provider could mean you’re paying more for broadband than you might if you took your business elsewhere. Switching is now very simple. When you switch provider you may need to ring your existing provider for a Mac code, this is standard and once attained you just give it to your new provider.

If you are thinking of switching providers before you start looking around remember to take into account the cost of line rental. This can catch people out and companies will often advertise broadband for a seemingly unbeatable price but when you subscribe and the cost of line rental is added, you could see yourself paying more than you are already. Also if you’re currently signed up to a broadband contract and you want to switch make sure you check your existing contract to see if there are any penalties for taking your business elsewhere, as this could mean switching providers might not save you anything.

A quick visit to a comparison website will let you search through all the best deals currently available and compare providers to see who is offering you the best deal and whether there’s a provider able to beat the price you’re currently paying. Generally speaking for ADSL broadband, regardless of which provider you choose, you should be paying somewhere between £15-£30 a month.


ADSL Broadband providers

1. Sky

Sky offers TV, ADSL & fibre broadband and phone. Sky TV Packages can be bundled, and you can add a variety of extra channels and services, from Sky Sports and Movies to Sky Multiscreen.

2. BT

BT offers ADSL and fibre optic home broadband, phone and digital TV packages in the UK. Its fibre optic service reaches up to 76Mbps.

3. TalkTalk

TalkTalk is now offering broadband, TV, home phone and mobile in a single package. It offers ADSL and fibre broadband, up to 76Mbps.


4. John Lewis

John Lewis is one of the UK's newest providers, offering both ADSL and fibre optic broadband packages. Line rental prices are competitive and their unlimited broadband packages aren't restricted by a fair usage policy.

5. Post Office

The Post Office is one of the UK's most established brands. The Post Office offers a range of ADSL broadband and home phone products including up to 8Mb broadband and inclusive line rental packages.

6. Plusnet

Plusnet, Yorkshire-based broadband provider, features fibre optic and ADSL packages at competitive prices.

Negotiate a better deal

If you’re determined to stay with your current ADSL broadband provider, then there is a way you can save on your existing deal. By calling them up and saying you’re thinking of leaving, or asking for your Mac code, which is needed for switching. This will lead to a discussion about why you’re thinking of leaving and you will then be put through to disconnections. They have the power to offer you great discounts.


You might also want to read about: TV broadband