(Based on an article by David Boardman)
Prior to taking delivery of the B4RN Hyperfast broadband service there are several things that you should ensure have been done. Not everything mentioned here will apply to you, but it's worth reading through to find out what does.
Check who provides your current email addresses, websites, domain names, telephone services, Red Care lines, etc. Identify where the new B4RN router will be located and be sure you have prepared things ready for the move to B4RN services.
Go through the following to help yourself assess the impact and things you may need to do before you end your current services. Any services provided that utilise the standard landline infrastructure will be affected. This is a greater range of services than you might at first think.
Many people use free email services provided by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and so on and they should not be affected. Anything that is from your current internet provider, e.g. BT, Sky, TalkTalk, EE, Plus Net etc, will be. The bigger impact is that anything you have subscribed to that uses those email addresses will need to be updated to your new email addresses once you have acquired them, so set up new email addresses well in advance of terminating your current internet provision. Remember, many organisations use your email address to send you the instructions on how to unlock your account if you've forgotten the password so having a working email address is vital.
Key Question: Which organisation is currently providing my email?
If you have a website is it hosted by your current provider? If so then it may also be lost if you move to B4RN. Again, as with email, make sure you migrate your account details before you leave the old provider.
Key Question: Where is my website currently hosted?
Home phone numbers need to be moved to a different provider such as Vonage (there are others) before ending your landline service. If you plan to keep an ordinary landline phone then this is not something you need worry about. You should also remember that services such as Redcare require a standard, wired landline.
Key Question: Who provides my current landline phone service?
BT TV packages such as BT Sport are more problematic. Without BT broadband the only way you can get BT Sport is via SKY. As a non BT broadband customer this will cost around £20 per month in addition to your SKY subscription.
Key Question: Do I currently use BT Sport and how is it delivered?
As with BT Sport many service providers offer packaged bundles as part of their service subscription. This might include antivirus, parental controls and cloud storage as well as email addresses and personal websites. If any of these are provided by your current ISP you will need to acquire them individually elsewhere. Also remember to transfer anything you have in their cloud storage to another location before moving providers. Independent cloud storage is not affected but remember the password and email address issue mentioned above.
Key Question: Are there important services bundled by my current internet service provider that I'll need to replace?
Assess what you are going to connect to the B4RN service: computers, tablets, e-book readers, SMART TVs, internet phones, internet radios, security cameras, games consoles, WiFi printers, mobile phone signal boxes, etc.
If you have any of these devices identify whether they are connected by Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
If you require more than four Ethernet connections you will need to install an Ethernet switch, possibly situated away from the B4RN router (e.g. in another part of the house) and connected to it by a cable. To get the best out of the B4RN service make sure you use cat5e or cat6 cables.
If you require many Wi-Fi connections or need to distribute Wi-Fi around your house you may need additional Wi-Fi Access Points.
The issues surrounding extending connectivity by ethernet or Wi-Fi will vary enormously depending on your proposed internet usage and the characteristics of your property. A good starting point for finding out more is the B4RN document called Home Network Help which can be downloaded here and you are also welcome to ask us for personal guidance by emailing us at email@example.com.
Remember that the broadband connection used to be the slowest part of using the internet. With B4RN this is not likely to be the case anymore. Poorly or wrongly configured devices can have a greater impact on speed. All the elements can be optimised to ensure you get the maximum from the 1Gb service, but may require some additional outlay. Decide on your needs and know that whatever they are the broadband connection is no longer the limiting factor.
Contact the team if you need to talk about anything, we are sure to be able to help somehow.