One of the fantastic benefits of broadband access at home is the ability to stay in better touch with friends and family at a distance.

Make free video calls in High Definition to friends and family - low latency from broadband will make this the closest thing to chatting in person. Instant messaging services from MSN and Google are also a great way of keeping in touch.

Reconnect with old friends and keep in touch with new ones on social networking sites. If you’re not already signed up to a site like Facebook, Flickr or Twitter then getting your profile up and running really could change your life. More than 250 million people across the world now have a Facebook account, with more than five billion minutes spent on the site each day, demonstrating just how addictive catching up with old school friends, checking out your mates’ holiday snaps or following your favourite mini-blog on Twitter really is.

The internet is also a great way to meet new people who share your interests or enthusiasms. - the UK’s largest online dating agency - now has over 6.5 million members - and even newspapers likeThe Guardian have moved their singles pages online. So you never know, you might just find that special someone.