Setting up your phone and broadband connection is easy. To connect your phone and broadband, you’ll need to find your home’s master socket. Our guide below has information on what a master socket is, what type you have and how to find it in your home.

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What is a master phone socket?

A master socket (sometimes called the main socket) is where the phone line enters your home. It’s where your broadband signal is strongest. To find it, look for a white box on the wall.

It’s always best to connect your broadband router to the master socket. Connecting it elsewhere may give you a weaker signal. This could be caused by the internal wiring in your home.

What type of master phone socket do I have?

There are two types of sockets – single or double sockets. The way you connect your phone and broadband depends on which one you have.

Single or standard socket

If your master socket has a single socket, then you will need a micro filter. You’ll need one of these on every phone socket that has phone or broadband equipment plugged into it.

A microfilter allows your broadband to work on the same phone line at the same time as your phone service. Equipment that needs a microfilter includes your router, phones, answer machines, digital TV boxes and alarm systems.

Double or pre-filtered socket

If you have a double socket, your phone line is already split between phone and broadband. That means you don’t need a microfilter. You must always plug your broadband router into the master socket. It won’t work if you plug it into another socket or extension.

Diagram showing how a phone test socket, a small rectangular box, detaches from the bottom right-hand corner of a master socket, a larger rectangular box

What's a test socket and a faceplate?

Your test socket is inside your master socket. It’s the point between the wiring in your house and the phone line that comes from outside.

If your master socket has a removable faceplate, then it should contain a test socket. You can find the test socket by unscrewing the faceplate and removing it. If your master socket doesn’t have a removable faceplate, there is no test socket behind it. It should only be removed by a qualified engineer.

By plugging into your test socket you can bypass your home’s internal wiring and test your device directly on the phone line. This will help you find out if any problems are caused by the wiring in your home or by the local telephone line. If you want to test your router you will need to connect a micro filter.

If your devices work okay in the test socket, then the problem is probably in your home. If none of your devices are working in the test socket, then there could be a fault in the local area.