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Broadband speed slow at home? Test BT's wifi solution that also works for Sky and Virgin

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Broadband speed slow at home? Test BT’s wifi solution that also works for Sky and Virgin

TVs, lightbulbs, thermostats, security cameras, doorbells and even fridges can be hooked up to the web and controlled via your smartphone.

It’s all clever stuff but, if your wi-fi signal can’t cope with the strain, these smart home gadgets are as much use as a tap without water. Even if you have the very best broadband beaming into your home, the one router that’s likely to be tucked behind your TV can struggle to broadcast a wi-fi signal to where it’s needed. There’s plenty of devices that claim to boost your connection but these are often fiddly to set up and don’t actually provide a hugely improved signal.

Now BT is trying to help get more homes fully connected via its Whole Home WiFi. This system launched earlier this year and it’s just received a huge price cut, making it a more affordable addition to your house. Whole Home WiFi includes three circular broadband boosters which should be enough to fill most family homes with a fast and reliable signal.

Out of the box, set-up is incredibly simple with a step-by-step guide meaning the system is up and running in under 10 minutes. Once working, users simply disconnect any gadgets from their current router and reconnect to the new BT network.

BT Whole Home Wi-Fi

Internet from the loft to the cellar. And every room in-between.

Superfast, super-reliable Wi-Fi for every room. Whole Home Wi-Fi puts what matters most at your fingertips. It talks to all your gadgets to make sure they’re always automatically connected to the fastest and strongest signal.

And it’s bristling with brilliant controls that put you in charge of a supercharged home network. This is Wi-Fi at its finest.Broadband speed slow at home? Test BT's wifi solution that also works for Sky and Virgin

This wi-fi system certainly works well and you shouldn’t have any black spots once installed. However, it is lacking some of the features found on other boosters such as Google WiFi.

This latest system from the internet giant has a swathe of extras including the ability to prioritise certain gadgets so they get better speeds when everyone is home and there’s even the option to switch on a guest network which means return visitors will have to ask before munching through your data. BT’s version is far more simple and, for some, that will actually make it a more attractive option. Having used it for the past few weeks we’ve been left hugely impressed by Whole Home.

It looks good, is easy to use and means every nook and cranny in your home has internet access. THE VERDICT A reliable way to fill your home with broadband.

It’s not as feature-filled as some other boosters but, if your internet connection is letting you down, it’s certainly worth a look.

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OTHER REVIEWS

TrustedReviews4/5
[1]

The BT Whole Home Wi-Fi outclasses any normal router when it comes to Wi-Fi coverage – and for a tempting price. It requires an existing router, though, and other whole-home systems are faster and more feature-rich. PocketLint[2]

BT Whole Home Wi-Fi joins a growing selection of options in the Wi-Fi space, with a growing number of big-name brands. BT is obviously a known brand in the UK, although there’s no need to be a BT customer to use it, unless you can benefit from any deals or discounts. While we’re talking about discounts, BT Whole Home Wi-Fi launched at GBP300, but is now only GBP200.

That price correction makes BT Whole Home Wi-Fi competitive: Google Wi-Fi is GBP129 for one unit or GBP229 for two, making GBP199 for BT’s three a good deal. Overall, it’s difficult not to be pleased with the performance of BT Whole Home Wi-Fi as it simply solves the problem of weak Wi-Fi patches in the home. As we all have more connected devices and rely on more and more internet services, good Wi-Fi is becoming worth its weight in gold.

And BT Whole Home Wi-Fi gets a gold star.

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References

  1. ^ TrustedReviews (www.trustedreviews.com)
  2. ^ PocketLint (www.pocket-lint.com)

ISP uses wet string to show that broadband is money for old rope

A BRITISH ISP has demonstrated how string can be used to transmit broadband. The 3.5Mbps download connection which the company describes as ‘a bit of fun’ was achieved by wetting two metres of string and linking it with crocodile clips. The upload speed isn’t great.

Salt water conducts electricity better, so this made it more have and less have knot. More importantly, it’s vital that nobody touches the setup – its a bit highly strung. It’s not actually that surprising.

Although we all think of broadband as being about fibre optics these days, in reality, most people still get their data through copper wires, (ADSL) so theoretically that means anything is fair game as long as it can carry a current. Andrews and Arnold, which conducted the experiment is aimed at the home user who has more… nerdy needs. Perhaps a home office, or a lot of infrastructures (or a Hadoop cluster in the garage[1]).

The blog post[2] from the company’s Adrian Kennard explains that, theoretically, you could add two tin cans to get VoWS (voice-over wet string) but we suspect that’s just a loophole to make a joke. Additionally, of course, the practicalities of a network of wet string girdling the country is somewhat limited. But with so many rural areas struggling to get 3.5Mbps then perhaps there’s an argument for trying out something a bit radical.

But as for a commercial use of this low-tech solution? A Frayed Not. Kennard explained to the BBC: “To be honest it was a bit of fun, which one of our techies decided to try out – we have equipment we could test in the office, and why not?”

“What it does show, though, is how adaptive ADSL really is.

This can be important when it comes to faulty lines with bad (or even disconnected) joints still providing some level of broadband service.”

Tell that to the millions of people on slow connections that still have cause t’wine. u

References

  1. ^ Hadoop (www.theinquirer.net)
  2. ^ blog post (www.revk.uk)

Get a £100 Amazon voucher with Virgin broadband and TV deals until Thursday

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  • Get a GBP100 Amazon voucher with Virgin broadband and TV deals until Thursday

Get a GBP100 Amazon voucher with Virgin broadband and TV deals until Thursday

By [9] 2017-12-12T12:11:21.345ZBroadband[10]

Voucher can also be used at John Lewis and M&S

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If you want lightning-fast fibre optic internet, stacks of TV channels, the ability to record your favourite shows and half a year of free Netflix, then Virgin Media’s[11] premium TV and broadband bundles have a 100% hit rate. And for the next couple of days, Virgin will also give you a GBP100 voucher with a selection of its premium packages. The voucher can be claimed when you sign up for the provider’s Full House and VIP bundles, and can be spent at Amazon, John Lewis or Marks & Spencer.

The GBP56 per month Full House bundle includes all of the following:

  • 100 VIVID internet – speeds of up to 12.5MB per second
  • Unlimited broadband use
  • Over 230 TV channels
  • Virgin TV V6 box[12] for recording, pausing and rewinding TV
  • BT Sport channels for Premier League football, Ashes cricket and more
  • Netflix subscription for 6 months
  • Weekend calls to landline numbers

If all that sounds tempting and you can get Virgin where you live then you can sign up for it right here[13] or call 08000-492-102 to order over the phone. But you need to be quick – this offer expires at 11.59pm on Thursday December 14.

Here’s that Virgin Media Full House broadband and TV deal in full:

Get a £100 Amazon voucher with Virgin broadband and TV deals until Thursday Virgin VIVID 100 with Full House bundle | 12 months | Up to 100Mb | Talk Weekends | 230+ TV channels inc.

BT Sport | GBP56 per month + 6 months of Netflix + GBP100 gift voucher
If you just want to sort your broadband and TV in one fell swoop, then fill your boots with Virgin Media. Considering the speed of the connection (roughly 12.5MB per second!) and the amount of channels, there aren’t many internet deals as comprehensive as this. Check out this Virgin Media broadband and TV deal – or call 08000-492-102View Deal[14][15]

If you want even more channels, or are hankering after even faster internet speeds, then the GBP100 voucher is also available with the following packages:

Get a £100 Amazon voucher with Virgin broadband and TV deals until Thursday Virgin VIVID 200 with Full House bundle + Sky Cinema | 12 months | Up to 200Mb | Talk Weekends | 240+ TV channels inc. Sky movie channels + BT Sport | GBP62 per month + 6 months of Netflix + GBP100 gift voucher View Deal[16][17]

Virgin VIVID 200 with Full House bundle + Sky Sports | 12 months | Up to 200Mb | Talk Weekends | 240+ TV channels inc. Sky Sports channels + BT Sport | GBP76 per month + 6 months of Netflix + GBP100 gift voucher View Deal[18][19] Virgin VIVID 300 with VIP bundle | 12 months | Up to 300Mb | Talk Weekends | 250+ TV channels inc.

Sky movie channels + Sky Sports channels + BT Sport | GBP91 per month + 6 months of Netflix + GBP100 gift voucher View Deal[20][21]

Is Virgin fibre broadband available in my area?

Around 60% of UK households are now able to receive superfast Virgin broadband. It’s easy to discover whether you’re one of the lucky 3-in-5 – head to our dedicated Virgin broadband deals page[22], enter your postcode where indicated at the top of the page, and if deals show as available then you’re laughing. If no results are returned, then head to our best broadband deals[23] page instead, and do exactly the same thing to see whether you can get superfast fibre broadband with another provider, such as BT Infinity[24].

Existing Virgin Media broadband customers

Sorry, the Virgin website confirms that these sale prices and gift cards are for new customers only.

Compare all of today’s best broadband deals:

Related news

See more Broadband news[29]

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  1. ^ iPhone X (www.techradar.com)
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  7. ^ Laptop deals (www.techradar.com)
  8. ^ News (www.techradar.com)
  9. ^ (www.techradar.com)
  10. ^ Broadband (www.techradar.com)
  11. ^ Virgin Media’s (www.techradar.com)
  12. ^ Virgin TV V6 box (www.techradar.com)
  13. ^ you can sign up for it right here (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  14. ^ Check out this Virgin Media broadband and TV deal (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  15. ^ View Deal (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  16. ^ Virgin VIVID 200 with Full House bundle + Sky Cinema (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  17. ^ View Deal (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  18. ^ Virgin VIVID 200 with Full House bundle + Sky Sports (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  19. ^ View Deal (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  20. ^ Virgin VIVID 300 with VIP bundle (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  21. ^ View Deal (www.mobiles4everyone.com)
  22. ^ Virgin broadband deals page (www.techradar.com)
  23. ^ best broadband deals (www.techradar.com)
  24. ^ BT Infinity (www.techradar.com)
  25. ^ Downloads advent calendar: get Ashampoo Music Studio 2018 free today (www.techradar.com)
  26. ^ The ultimate camera kit wish-list (www.techradar.com)
  27. ^ The best VPNs for torrents and torrenting in 2017 (www.techradar.com)
  28. ^ Here’s what PUBG on Xbox One needs to change to survive on the console (www.techradar.com)
  29. ^ See more Broadband news (www.techradar.com)
  30. ^ AR Stickers on the Google Pixel 2 make Android Oreo even sweeter (www.techradar.com)
  31. ^ Samsung Galaxy S9 release date, news and price rumors (www.techradar.com)
  32. ^ These are all the Android Wear watches getting the Oreo update (www.techradar.com)
  33. ^ Best mining GPU 2017: the best graphics cards for mining Bitcoin, Ethereum and more (www.techradar.com)
  34. ^ The best phone of 2017: 15 top smartphones tested and ranked (www.techradar.com)
  35. ^ Ataribox pre-orders start on December 14, but details remain scant (www.techradar.com)
  36. ^ How waterproof is your phone?

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  37. ^ Win an Honor 7X with TechRadar and Honor! (www.techradar.com)
  38. ^ Honor 7X: flagship features, GBP269.99 price! (www.techradar.com)
  39. ^ Android 8.1 has arrived – here’s everything it brings (www.techradar.com)