In Northern Ireland, broadband is now 100 per
cent accessible. £10m of European investment has enabled Northern
Ireland to provide universal high-speed broadband coverage.
Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals in
your area of Northern Ireland:
What kinds of internet service are available?
Here are the options for getting broadband in Northern
- ADSL broadband
ADSL broadband providers in Northern Ireland include:
BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Plusnet.
This type of home broadband connection is through your BT
landline. It is popular because wherever there is a BT landline,
the customer should be able to get some sort of internet access via
Before you can get home broadband with an ADSL broadband
connection, you need a BT landline installed in your home. If you
already have a BT landline installed at your home, then you should
be able to get ADSL broadband. If you don't have a BT landline, a
BT landline installation will cost you around £125.
The best thing about ADSL broadband is that you can surf the
internet without the connection dropping out when someone picks up
the phone in the other room.
To access ADSL broadband you will need to plug a microfilter
into each telephone socket in your home, this will split the ADSL
signal from the telephone signal and stop you from getting
interference when you make phone calls. This means you can
make a call and surf the net on the same phone line.
These microfilters are usually provided with your broadband
(depending on supplier) but can also be purchased from a good PC
retailer for around £5.
- Cable broadband
Cable broadband is widely available in metropolitan areas like
Belfast from Virgin Media.
The cable feed for cable broadband services is taken into your
home from the street, and connected to a special cable modem, which
is capable of decoding the cable broadband signal. The cable
modem can then be connected directly into your computer, or to a
wireless router which can connect to several PCs if you wish to
share the internet connection. Virgin Media offer several
broadband packages in Northern Ireland which include on-demand
digital TV and home phone services.
- Mobile broadband
There are many mobile broadband providers in Northern Ireland
including: 3, EE and
Mobile broadband can give you a fast high-speed broadband
connection in areas where you can get a 3G mobile
telephony signal. Mobile broadband speeds are generally between
1.5Mbps and 2Mbps which is a lot faster than dial up - but still
significantly slower than your average 'fixed line' broadband.
EE is currently upgrading their 3G mobile broadband in Northern
Ireland, and preparing to roll out 4G services, starting with
Belfast and continuing to reach more areas of Northern Ireland
When you sign up to mobile broadband, you will usually get a
mobile broadband modem also known as a mobile broadband dongle. The
mobile broadband dongle connects to a USB port on your PC and loads
up software from the mobile broadband provider. This software then
provides you with mobile broadband.
You do not need a phone line to obtain mobile broadband services
- this means you can access broadband while you are on the go.
You can have a mobile broadband deal on a contact or use pay
as you go. PAYG mobile broadband is the same as the pay as you
go service on an ordinary mobile network.
In the same way you go down the local convenience store and top up
your mobile phones credit, you can go in and top up your mobile
- Wi-Fi hotspots
If your PC has wireless capabilities then you will be able to
connect to a wireless broadband service or
wireless broadband hot spot. If the home broadband
service that you sign up to also has a wireless broadband router
included, then you can connect your computer to this wirelessly,
and share your broadband connection with several PCs at home.
Wi-Fi availability is more widely available in Belfast, but
there are also Wi-Fi hotspots available in areas such as
Enniskillen and Antrim. Many
Wi-Fi hotspots in Northern Ireland are in Starbucks coffee shops
The Starbucks Wi-Fi hotspots are not normally free to use but
McDonald's currently offers free Wi-Fi access to customers.
Wi-Fi is also available on some public transport in Northern
Ireland. Free Wi-Fi Services are available on the
Airporter airport coaches at Belfast International
and George Best Belfast City Airport.
If you aren't sure which broadband service to go for, make sure
you check out our guide on choosing the right local broadband deal,
or call our friendly Switching Advisors for free, they're available
seven days a week.