Internet Services in Germany
We only recommend Deutsche Telekom services for domestic telephone and DSL connections (but not for Internet provision). Click here to open a pop-up window explaining why. Please take this into account when reading the information below.
Internet connectivity over analogue and ISDN phone lines
As described above both analogue and ISDN lines can be used to access the Internet using the necessary modem equipment. Modems for analogue lines are built into many/most newer PCs and LapTops, but are of no use for an ISDN connection. There are many different Internet providers available - most people access the Internet on a per-minute basis (note there are no 'flat rate' services available on Deutsche Telekom lines for analogue or ISDN services). In Germany many Internet Providers (ISPs) do not require any sign-up or commitment - simply calling a designated number to make the connection is enough. Typical cost is around 0.8 Eurocents per minute (which includes cost of the call, so is actually less than a normal local 'voice' call), automatically charged back through your monthly telephone invoice. 'Full Service' providers are available such as Compuserve and AOL, but these are to be avoided because of their fixed monthly charges, and for the none-German speaker their German software which is required to access their services. Note that it is usually not possible to transfer a AOL or Compuserve account from another country into the German equivalent, but it may be possible to access their e-mail from another service, although additional 'roaming' charges often apply.
High Speed Internet Connections - A-DSL (often referred to as 'Broadband')
If you wish to have a higher speed Internet connection then the usual solution is 'A-DSL' - Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line, known as 'T-DSL' in Germany. This is a MUCH faster data (Internet) connection providing up to 3072Kbaud download (towards you), and 384Kbaud upload (away from you) speeds, therefore up to 60 times faster than a standard analogue service. The usual domestic DSL connection has 1024Kbaud download and 128Kbaud upload, although in some areas this may be less because of line or quality issues. DSL is essentially an add-on to an analogue or ISDN service, and usually requires no changes to phone cabling into your home (but may need additional computer cabling). Unfortunately DSL is NOT available in every home, especially in country areas, as local telephone exchange equipment may not have been brought up to date, your home may be too far from the exchange to support the service, or there are already too many people on your local circuit connected to the DSL service. Eventful Communications have direct access to Deutsche Telekom technical databases and can easily check DSL availability at your home. If DSL is not available in your area, or on your line the only alternative high-speed Internet service may be a satellite connection which can be quite expensive.
There is a fixed additional monthly charge from €16.99 (for the 1024Kbaud service) for the provision of the DSL service in addition to your analogue or ISDN telephone monthly charges, plus a one-off connection charge of €99.95 (for both new or conversion lines, in addition to other one-off connection costs which might apply) This is simply the cost of providing the DSL capability on the line - it is NOT the cost of Internet access - it is usual to contract to an Internet service, which does not necessarily need to be from or related to Deutsche Telekom for access - typically €16-20 per month which includes unlimited online time. There are also cheaper services which also have unlimited connect time but limit data transfer, e.g. to 5Gbytes per month. Some providers start at €6.99 with a 2Gb data limit but unlimited on-line time. Other providers have services with limited time, but unlimited data transfer.
It is often the case in Germany that if you contract for a phone line (analogue or ISDN) at the same time as DSL that the DSL service will arrive much later. This is not normally a major problem as the ISDN/analogue equipment can be provided at the outset and DSL simply tagged on later. From the hardware point of view an additional 'splitter' box is provided by Telekom (free!) which splits the incoming line between the phone service (analogue or ISDN) and DSL (Internet) service. A special DSL network modem (Ethernet or USB) must then be purchased (from around €100) for connection to a PC or in-house network. With this high-speed Internet access it is not unusual to consider the connection of multiple (networked) PCs, but this will require additional equipment such as network hubs or routers. A particularly flexible solution is a 'wireless' network, with each PC or LapTop having a special interface for wireless connection to a DSL router and therefore parallel and simultaneous access for any PC to the Internet. As the technology advances integrated devices such as wireless modem-router boxes are becoming available. In these circumstances all connected computers share, in effect, an 'always-on' high speed Internet connection. The advantage of a distributed solution such as this is that the connection, and therefore the costs are shared by all systems that connect to the line.
Click on the links below for more detailed information - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.