Skip to content

Getting started

You won’t need the latest or most expensive technology to access the internet. In fact, many modern devices can get online, such as:

  • desktop PCs and laptop computers
  • tablet PCs (such as an iPad or Kindle Fire)
  • modern mobile phones
  • even many modern TVs.

Even if you don’t own any of the above or don’t have an internet connection at home, you’ll find many local libraries will have PCs with internet access.

Choosing your internet provider

To get online you’ll need an internet service provider (ISP) to set up internet access either through your telephone line or a mobile device. It’s likely that your current telephone provider will be able to upgrade your current package, but it’s a good idea to shop around because the cost of the service can vary. Some of the better-known providers are BT, Virgin Media, Sky, PlusNet and TalkTalk.

To find the best broadband options available in your area, check the uSwitch price comparison website.

Alternatively, you can contact Simplifydigital at 0808 169 1327 for a free comparison service for broadband options. They can give you the necessary information and support for the best deals and can talk you through the process of getting connected, right up to the point of connection or purchase.

Equipment for going online

You will need a router to use the internet at home, but this is usually supplied by your internet provider when you sign up. Most modern routers can connect to your devices wirelessly, but if you have an older one you may have to connect to your PC using an ethernet cable. If your PC or laptop is old it may not have a wireless receiver built in. You can however purchase an adapter for a relatively small price.

Tablet PCs and modern mobile phones typically come with a wireless receiver built in, so they can connect wirelessly to your router with little hassle.

John has gone from beginner to digital champion in just over one year; it’s amazing he has literally helped hundreds of people.

A small favour

All the information and advice we provide on the website is free and completely independent, as is our National Advice Line that is open 365 days a year.

But demand is going up. We are an ageing population and more people than ever are coming to us for support, which is why we need to ask for help.

If you are able to, just a small gift today could help us reach even more older people wherever the need is greatest.

Please support our work

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

This page was last updated:

Was this helpful?

Back to top