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What is the internet?

The Internet is a global telecommunications network which links millions of computers.

How do I access the internet?

You don’t need the latest or most expensive technology to access the internet.

You’ll need:

  1. a digital device
  2. a modem or router
  3. an internet service provider (ISP).

Digital devices:

Digital devices you can use to get online include:

  • desktop PCs (personal computers)  and laptop computers
  • tablet PCs (such as an iPad or Kindle Fire)
  • smartphones (such as an Android mobile phone or an iPhone)
  • a smart TV (‘smart’ just means the device is connected to the internet)

If you don’t own any of these, or you don’t have an internet connection at home, you’ll find PCs with internet access in many local libraries.

A modem or router:

modem is a device that uses your telephone line to give you access to the internet. You can also get a router, which allows different devices in your home to share the same internet connection (i.e. Wi-Fi network).  Your internet provider usually gives you a modem or a router when you sign up as part of its service.

Internet service provider (ISP):

Internet access is set up through your telephone line or a mobile device by an internet service provider. Popular internet providers include BT, Virgin Media, Sky, PlusNet and TalkTalk. If you already have a telephone provider, they should be able to upgrade your package to include internet access.

It can be worth taking the time to shop around because the cost of the service can vary.

Different service packages will also have a different data limit. Your data limit is the amount you can download each month, and is measured in gigabytes (GB) per month. If you go over your data limit, you could be charged extra or it may affect your internet access.

Once you’ve chosen an ISP, that company can usually arrange for a computer technician to set up your computer and internet connection.



Broadband is simply a permanent Internet connection that is faster than the one that you get with a standard modem and telephone line. The faster an Internet connection is, the broader its bandwidth is (how much data it can cope with). This is where the term ‘broadband’ comes from.

Having broadband makes all the difference when it comes to getting the most out of the Internet. The time that it takes to move to a different page on a website becomes much quicker; it should be almost instantaneous. Also, you can make telephone calls while you’re online and using the Internet. There’s no waiting to do either one or the other. However, often the faster your Internet connection is, the more it will cost you.

Can I get broadband?

The majority of homes can get ADSL broadband, which uses British Telecom’s (BT’s) copper-wire telephone network. This is available directly through BT or via a third-party. Cable broadband is less widely available through Virgin Media.

How do I get broadband?

If you opt for ADSL broadband, installation is fairly easy. The provider will give you a ‘microfilter’, so that you can use your telephone at the same time as the Internet, and a broadband modem, so that you can share the connection between more than one computer.

If you choose cable broadband, and you aren’t an existing subscriber to the provider, an engineer will probably need to come out to wire things up for you.

The video below explains how the internet works.

For specific advice & recommendations contact wightfibre.com

Updated 26/08/2021