Staff Development Day – Reference Sheet 3

The information below has been provided as Reference Sheets for the OU Staff Development Day at Harborne on 24th November. This advice is not supported or endorsed by the Open University.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

To connect to the Internet at home you will need an ISP – Internet Service Provider. Over the last few years many of these have become household names.

Prices for broadband connection have fallen dramatically, but one thing to be wary of is that the broadband speeds quoted by many companies are maximum speeds possible. The actual speed you will achieve is dependent upon your distance from the telephone exchange (for example I should get ‘up to’ 8Mbps, but in reality I only get 0.5 Mbps!)

Some things to look for are ‘bundled’ deals from companies such as TalkTalk, Orange (which used to be Wanadoo, and before that Freeserve), and Sky, who offer services alongside broadband. BT of course offers Broadband. If you’re in an area which has cable, then Virgin Media offer similar bundles. Remember however that many broadband providers ask you to sign a twelve or eighteen month contract. Talk to your neighbors about what broadband service they use, and the speeds that they get.

Once online you can check the speed of your connection through a web site such as Speedtest will confirm the actual broadband speed you are getting.

You have to think about whether you want to go ‘wireless’ in your home. Nowadays, these are fairly easy to set up, but follow the instructions provided, and ensure that you have a ‘secure’ wireless network, otherwise anyone parked outside your

home, or your neighbors can use your network! You will need a wireless adaptor

for each machine that connects to a wireless network.

If you don’t need broadband, then you can still use a Dial-Up connection to access the Internet. You must make sure that your new laptop or desktop has a modem (sometimes called an analogue modem) to plug into your phone line – many new PCs don’t have this, as it’s assumed you will be using broadband. Tesco offers some good deals on dial-up broadband, including a daytime-only tariff of £5.99 a month – good value if you’re mainly working during the day.


1 comment so far

  1. […] stalls asI did last year.  I’ve updated all the handouts that I prepared last year, including new sections on laptots, and mobile broadband…  I’ll release them here on […]

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