It seems that many people don’t really understand broadband so here’s a few tips…
Broadband is a umbrella term i.e. what you have is probably more properly called ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). Asymmetric basically means that you download stuff from the Internet much faster than you can send it. (So, that’s why it takes so much longer to send my photos than to receive them – Ed!)
ADSL works by using part of the available bandwidth on the telephone system that voice calls don’t need. However, to get the best out of the technology you must install a filter on every telephone point you are using to make sure the signals don’t interfere with each. Also, filters vary in quality so the cheapest is not necessarily the best. Try a cheap one first by all means but be prepared to pay for better quality (£5-£8).
If you are getting broadband now (or changing provider) and have just got yourself a new computer be aware that many providers are having issues with Windows Vista and you may need some help setting things up. For example, Tiscali requires a driver update to enable the Speedtouch modem to operate correctly.
Contact a local supplier, preferably recommended by someone you know. In the York area contact Computer Medics who will be able to sort things out for you.
To check whether you are getting best performance from your ADSL service try the speed test here. There’s no need to install anything.
Do make certain, before you connect, that the firewall is active. The one installed in Windows is fine but you can get more control using a third-party system such as Zone Alarm. Incidentally, there’s loads of free software that’s very good – take a look at the Open Source post.
Any problems, why not fire them up here and I’ll pass them on to Computer Medics – those guys can fix pretty much anything!