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I’ve changed provider. What now?

So you’ve signed up with a new broadband provider that you’re happy with and you’re leaving your old one behind? That’s great news.

However, there are still a few loose ends you might have to have to care of. Below, we guide you through what happens next...

Switching from an ADSL broadband to another broadband ADSL provider

If you’re going from a standard ADSL broadband connection to another provider you will probably have used a MAC code.

This is the unique alphanumerical code that your old broadband provider gave you when you called to tell them you were leaving and which you provided to your new supplier when you signed up with them.

MAC codes make switching so much easier. Because you used a MAC code, a lot of things you might otherwise have to do are already taken care of.

You won’t have to cancel your direct debit payment to your old provider, for instance. This will be cancelled automatically.

There’s also no need for an engineer to come to your house. An engineer simply uses your MAC Code to switch on your new connection remotely.

Switching from an ADSL broadband provider to a fibre broadband provider

MAC codes don’t work when you’re switching from an ADSL connection to a pure fibre broadband connection. For that reason you’ll need to make an appointment with your provider for an engineer to come to your house and set up your connection.

More usually, though, your provider will get in touch with you to arrange for an engineer to visit.

Switching from fibre to ADSL

If you’re downgrading from fibre to an ADSL connection, you may have to make an appointment to get a BT telephone line installed to your house. This carries an additional charge.

Contracts: what now?

Assuming you’re out of contract, you won’t have anything to pay apart from the period that covers your last bill.

If you are still under contract, however, you will likely have to pay up the rest of your contract term. You may also have to return any equipment provided by the broadband supplier you are leaving.

Setting up your router

After your broadband provider has sent through the equipment you need, you’ll need to set it up so you can start surfing the web.

Unless you want to carry on using your existing router, the first thing you’re going to have to do is set up the router supplied by the new provider. The good news is that routers are now designed so that even people with minimal technical knowledge can do it.

The first thing you need to do is find a good place for it. This should be somewhere that’s relatively easy to reach and isn’t in the immediate vicinity of other household technology that can affect the signal strength, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves and fish tanks.

Wireless routers

If you’ve got a wireless router, you’ll first need to connect your router to your modem using an Ethernet cable. You can then plug the router in and wait a minute or so.

Once a minute has elapsed, you need to locate the list of ‘networks in range’. To do this, look for a wireless icon. This may look like an inverted triangle composed of concentric bars. Or it could look a series of vertical bars of ascending height.

On a PC this is usually located in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. On a Mac, it’s in the top left-hand corner.

Got it? Good. All you’ve got to do now is find the wireless network you’re going to use, which should be a generic name given the router. Once you’ve found, click on it and you should be connected.

Wired routers

Setting up a wired router is even easier. As with setting up wireless router, you’ll need to use an ADSL cable to connect your phone socket to your router.

All you need to do then is find your ethernet cable and connect it from your router to your computer. Assuming everything is plugged in, you should then be able to select your network and start surfing.

Done all that? Excellent. For our guide to what ought to happen next, a checklist of things you'll need to do once you're online and some tips, head to our dedicated page