Broadband jargon

Broadband terms can be confusing, especially when they’re technical – that’s why we’re here to help you understand common broadband terms with a simple A to Z glossary.



This stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, which is an older broadband technology which uses phone lines to carry data. The speed is limited to 8 Mbps or 11 Mbps for ADSL2. ADSL has been replaced by both part-fibre and full fibre services, so customers can get faster internet in their homes.



Bandwidth means the maximum capacity of an internet network or connection to transmit data. For example, if your network capacity is at 150 Mbps, the network would not be able to transmit data faster than 150 megabits per second.


Broadband is high-speed internet access. It’s also an umbrella term, referring to various high-speed technologies, like fibre optic technology or wireless broadband.


Cloud storage

Cloud storage is a form of online data storage, often referred to as 'the cloud'. Popular providers include Apple iCloud, Google Cloud, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Amazon Drive. You may want to back up photos or files from your devices to these platforms.


Dial-up internet

Dial-up internet relies on a telephone line to access the internet. It’s an older technology that is limited in speed, so it’s nearly phased out. It was the most common internet connection in the late 20th century.

Download speed

You can think of download speed more simply as the speed of your broadband - it’s how quickly your internet connection can download information. Download speed can be affected by your broadband plan's speed and WiFi signal strength.

Learn more about download speeds



Ethernet uses a wire to connect TVs, laptops, and other devices to the internet. It connects your device to a wired local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). If your WiFi signal is weak, you could connect a device using ethernet to get faster speeds.


Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC or partial fibre broadband)

Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) is an older fibre technology that uses copper wires. FTTC isn't as fast as FTTP, only reaching top download speeds of 80 Mbps. FTTC is being gradually phased out across the UK.

Fibre to the premises (FTTP or full fibre broadband)

Fibre to the premises, abbreviated to FTTP, is full fibre broadband. It's the latest technology, and uses fibre optic cables to get you the fastest broadband speeds. At Vodafone, our full fibre plans offer download speeds of up to 910 Mbps, as well as quick upload speeds – perfect for video calling and gaming.

Learn more about FTTP and FTTC


Gigabit (Gb/Gbps)

In the context of broadband, a gigabit connection transmits data at one billion bits per second. This is a very fast transmission of data which is perfect for video gaming or VR experiences.

Gigabit speeds

Broadband with gigabit speeds means you can get download speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000 MB), which is currently the fastest speed available in the UK.

Gigabyte (GB)

Not to be confused with gigabit, a gigabyte is a measure of storage available. For example, Apple iPhone storage starts from 128GB and goes up to 1TB (1 trillion bytes).


Hotspot / mobile hotspot / mobile internet connection

A hotspot is an internet access point that usually uses WiFi. It allows you to connect to the internet while you’re away from home. On mobile devices, you can create your own hotspot, allowing others to connect to your internet connection.



Latency refers to the time it takes to send data and receive a response. If you have low latency, the response time of your internet connection will be quicker. High latency results in lag, which can be frustrating when video calling or gaming online. If you have low latency, you'll have a good ping response which is better for gaming.


A landline is a wired telephone connection in your home. Traditionally, landlines were analogue connections running through copper lines. However, this is changing with the switch to Digital Voice (VOIP), meaning landline calls will use your broadband connection.

Learn about Digital Voice changes


Megabit (Mb/Mbps)

Megabits are a unit of measurement for the speed of data transmission. For broadband, you’ll often see this written as ‘Mbps’ to refer to the speed of a broadband plan.

Megabyte (MB)

Not to be confused with Megabits, Megabytes measure the size of files or the storage of an item. For example, a video on your computer could be 100MB in size.

Mobile broadband / mobile WiFi

Unlike traditional WiFi which is located in the home, mobile broadband is portable. This can be in the form of mobile dongles, mobile hotspots, mobile routers, or data-only SIM cards. At Vodafone, we have a range of mobile solutions which are perfect if you need to get online both at home and when you’re travelling.

Compare our mobile options


Router (also WiFi Hub or Ultra Hub)

A router allows you to share internet access with devices in your home, by a wired or wireless connection. At Vodafone we have three routers, WiFi Hub, Power Hub, and Ultra Hub for customers on Pro II Broadband.

Learn more about how routers work



Streaming refers to any media content that’s watched on the internet. For example, this includes live television, movies, podcasts, and music videos. Popular streaming platforms you’re probably know include Netflix and Spotify.


Upload speed

Upload speed is how quickly data can transfer using your broadband service over the internet and it's measured in Mbps. It's important for gaming, cloud-based services, or downloading large file sizes.

Find out what a good upload speed is


Vodafone Pro II Broadband

Pro II Broadband is our most advanced WiFi offering for the home. Powered by WiFi 6E, it is the UK’s fastest WiFi technology throughout the home. It comes with our Super WiFi 6E Booster to connect over 150 devices and automatic 4G Broadband Back-up, if you lose connectivity. It is designed to be a whole WiFi solution, making the signal stronger in every room resulting in better WiFi performance.

Learn more about Pro II

Vodafone Together

Vodafone Together saves you money if you have both mobile and broadband with us. You can save up to £4 on your broadband plan as well as 30% discount on additional SIM cards. You’ll also get exclusive VeryMe rewards – it’s great for families as you can add as many SIM cards as you need.

Discover Vodafone Together

Vodafone Xtra

Vodafone Xtra (also known as the Xtra package) is a bundle you can add to your broadband plan. It includes Apple TV on us with a 24-month subscription to Apple TV+, and Anytime UK landline and mobile calls.

Learn more about Vodafone Xtra

VoIP (Digital Voice)

VoIP or Digital Voice (Voice over Internet Protocol) connects your home phone through your router and uses your broadband connection to let you make and receive calls. Everyone will be moving to VoIP services but don’t worry, it won’t cost you any extra with us.

Read more about VoIP


Whole Home WiFi / Mesh WiFi

Whole Home WiFi, also called Mesh WiFi, creates a stronger WiFi signal in your home. It uses multiple access points, often called boosters, to create a mesh network which shares your signal, creating a long-range WiFi network.

WiFi booster

A WiFi booster helps to boost the WiFi signal around your home. At Vodafone, our Pro II Broadband plans come with our Super WiFi 6E Booster, a mesh WiFi device so that you can have a better WiFi experience around the home.

Learn more about Pro II devices

Frequently asked questions

WiFi refers to the wireless connection that allows you to connect your devices to your router, which is your hard-wired internet supply from a broadband provider.

Fibre broadband

Fibre broadband comes in various different forms and the one you have depends on your connection type. Fibre broadband offers fast speeds over fibre optic cables. It is faster than dial-up internet and mobile broadband.

Different types of fibre:

  • Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC): Standard fibre broadband that uses copper cables to deliver internet to the home with speeds of up to 80 Mbps.

  • Fibre to the premises (FTTP): Full fibre broadband that uses fibre cables with speeds of up to 1 Gbps and more.

  • Fibre to the home (FTTH): This is the same as FFTP, the terms are used interchangeably.

  • Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA): A part-fibre broadband with speeds of up to 80 Mbps. SoGEA is replacing FTTC and provides a Digital Voice service.

Cable broadband

Cable broadband uses the same wires that your cable TV uses, for example, if you have a Virgin Media plan and pay for their TV and broadband service. Cable broadband isn’t as fast as full fibre broadband but it's a lot faster than standard fibre plans like FTTC.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is internet accessed through the 4G or 5G mobile network. Devices include mobile hotspots, dongles, or data-only SIM cards. They give you access to the internet if you are often travelling or working away from home.

Dial-up internet

This was the first version of the internet that was commercially available. It required a phone line to use it so you couldn’t make calls from your landline while using the internet. It came before what we refer to as ‘broadband’ today.

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