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MAC stands for 'migration access code'. It's a 17 or 18-digit code made up of numbers and letters, which you can get from your current broadband provider.
Until 2015 you needed a MAC to switch broadband providers by phone. However, following new rules introduced in June 2015, this is no longer a requirement.
For more information, check out our buying guide.
This means that you have to notify both your current broadband provider (the one you're leaving) and your future provider (the one you're switching to) of your intentions to move.
This differs from the gainer-led switching process outlined below, and will apply to those looking to move to a fibre-optic broadband provider like Virgin Media.
A gainer-led approach puts your new broadband provider in charge of the switching process.
It means that you don't have to worry about making loads of calls when you want to switch broadband providers. You don't even have to notify your current provider that you're leaving.
This will depend on your provider, and the agreed length of your broadband deal. We recommend you contact them if you're unsure of the details.
If you're following a gainer-led switching process and have had no contact with your current provider, you will be notified of any outstanding or early cancellation charges before your new contract begins. This will give you the option of paying to cancel your current broadband contract, or opting out of the switch.
Some broadband providers perform standard credit checks. Each provider has its own set of rules and criteria, which means that if one provider turns you down, another may be happy to take you on.
Quad-play is a bundle deal that includes broadband, a TV service, a mobile phone and a home phone, all from the same provider. This can help you keep on top of your bills, and in most cases, save some of your hard-earned cash.
Everything you do on the internet uses data, which is measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB) - there being 1,000MB in 1GB.
Your monthly data allowance indicates how often you can use the internet in a single month. At the end of the month, your data allowance gets reset.
Some broadband packages offer unlimited data. These are a good option if you stream lots of content from the likes of Netflix or Spotify.
Mobile broadband is just like the internet connection you'd have at home, but it's portable and supplied by a mobile phone provider. This means you can stay connected on the go, rather than being tied to a desk or sitting on your sofa.
Mobile broadband can come in the form of a dongle that plugs into your laptop's USB port, or a SIM card that fits into your tablet.
You can also use mobile Mi-Fi hotspots to get online when you're out and about. These small, portable devices omit and internet signal and (unlike the devices mentioned above) you can connect up to ten devices to them. This makes them a good choice for big families or groups of friends with different devices.
Most broadband providers let you wirelessly connect multiple devices to your home broadband. The exact number depends on the broadband deal you've got, and also the type of router you're using. If you contact your provider, they should be able to give you an exact figure.
Terms can conditions:
SuperFibre 50: Prices may change at any time during the contract. New customers only (subject to status and credit checks).12-month minimum contract. £18 a month for the first 12 months. £32.25 a month thereafter. VIVID 100: Prices may change at any time during the contract. New customers only (subject to status and credit checks).12-month minimum contract. £23 a month for the first 12 months. £37.25 a month thereafter. SuperFibre 50 and VIVID 100: VIRGIN MEDIA CABLED STREETS ONLY. Subject to survey and network capacity. Installation fee (£40) may apply. Activation fee (£14.99) applies. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Virgin Media’s standard prices apply after 12 months. Broadband: Speeds are internet download speeds & assume minimum equipment requirements met and working at optimum speed & capacity. Acceptable use policy applies. Virgin phone line not included. Equipment remains property of Virgin Media. Further Legal Stuff – see virginmedia.com. Offer ends 18th December 2016.