In the good old UK, you aren’t really limited to broadband providers. You are, however, limited to the method the magic of the internet can actually get into your house. You can have copper cable, used by Virgin Media, you can have ADSL broadband which uses telephone lines. This is used by BT, Sky and almost every other company. Or, if you’re really fancy, you can have Fibre Optic lines. These are offered by most companies in areas that are fibre equipped.
Now, is there really any difference between the two? (I’m not including fibre, as not all areas have it yet) The simple answer is yes, absolutely. I, personally, use Virgin Media’s highest speed broadband. Even at peak time, I’m getting 110mbps down and 6-7mbps up. I don’t live near a major city, the nearest is around 20 miles away. My partner’s parents, however, use ADSL supplied by Sky. They get around 4mbps down and 0.6mbps up. They live near a major city, and have the highest speed available. Part of this is due to the router, they use the ISP supplied router which is not great. I use the ISP supplied router too, although mine is dual band and is their latest offering.
To increase your speed, I highly recommend using wired where possible. Be this through the use of Powerline, access points or even wiring in a network the old fashion way. This needs a considerable amount of knowledge to do, but the rewards are great. Couple this with wireless access points, I recommend Ubiquiti’s offerings, and you’ve got a great network.
To conclude, if you’re looking for a new ISP in the UK, and live in a cabled area, I can definitely recommend Virgin Media. Their internet alone costs less than £40 per month and the speeds are just fantastic.