Using the internet

If you’re here, then you’re probably using a computer, smartphone or tablet - although you don’t need the latest technology to access the internet as many libraries have PCs with internet access. But are you making the most of the internet? Let’s see what it really has to offer - it may be more than you imagined. 

I want the internet at home, what do I need?

To use the internet regularly at home, you’ll need an internet service provider (known as an ISP) as well as a computer. It’s called ‘getting broadband’ – broadband is the description of the higher capacity cables needed to carry an internet signal to your house.

Most phone providers (people like Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and BT) can set up a broadband connection for you quite easily. You may even have ‘broadband’ included already in your current package – but it’s a good idea to shop around for a good deal, and then to stay on top of any introductory deals (and when they run out) as time goes by.

So what can I do on the internet?

The opportunities are endless, but here are just a few of the things you may want to explore once you’re up and running:

  • using email to stay in touch with people
  • talking to family and friends face-to-face via a video call, like FaceTime or Skype
  • playing games, or even watch television using a ‘catch up’ player
  • talk to like-minded people in online forums
  • online banking – managing your money, 24 hours a day
  • researching your hobbies and finding out information easily
  • networking using social media sites
  • shopping – buying and then getting your shopping delivered to your home
  • staying up-to-date with newspapers and magazines

Do I need to use the internet?

As you get older, it’s important to look after yourself. The internet is a simple way to stay in touch with people and use services (particularly in rural areas) that you may not be able to access in other ways.

What else do I need to know about the internet?

You need to make sure that you’re safe, and that you understand how important it is to take care of your personal safety when you’re spending time online. Find out more about staying safe online.

Who can help me if I get stuck?

There are organisations that can help you become more familiar with both the technology and finding your way around the internet. One such organisation is Computer Buddies, set up by the CSV Action Network. Age UK also has a range of resources in the community and online.