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ADSL is a popular and easy way to connect to the internet. But what does ADSL stand for and how does it work? You’ll find a guide below to this type of broadband. 

What is ADSL broadband?

ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It’s a type of broadband that uses home phone lines to connect you to the internet. 

When you call up a website or download something, data is sent from a phone exchange to a street cabinet near your home. From there, it travels through the copper cables of your phone line to your router.

ADSL is reliable and, because it uses your existing line, it’s easy to install. But you do need a working BT phone line for this type of broadband.

What is an ADSL microfilter and a splitter?

You need a microfilter when you set up an ADSL internet connection. Microfilters are also sometimes called splitters.

The microfilter plugs into your phone connection, splitting the frequency of your line. This allows your broadband to use one frequency and your phone calls to use another, meaning both can be used at the same time. The microfilter stops interference on both your phone calls and internet connection.

What ADSL speed can I get?

SSE’s Everyday Broadband packages use ADSL connections.

These are great for light internet users, who mainly browse websites, shop online and download the occasional file. They're also good for households where there aren’t lots of people online at the same time. 

You can get an estimate of the typical speeds you could receive by using our line checker.

The broadband speed you get can be affected by several things. This includes the distance from the cabinet to your house.

You can find out more in our guide to ADSL speeds.

What is ADSL2?

ADSL2 connections use the same telephone exchange and wiring as ADSL. But they use different software, which provides faster connection speeds. 

The software is used at the exchange, so if the one nearest to you has it, your line speeds could increase.

If you’re looking for an even faster connection, compare our fibre optic broadband packages.