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Your guide to master sockets

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Your master socket is a white plastic box built into your wall, usually in your hallway or near your front door. It’s bigger than a normal phone socket because it’s the point where your external phone line comes into your home.

Not all houses have one, but if yours does, it'll look like one of the below:


Non NTE master socket
NET 5 master socket
NTE 5C master socket
FTTC master socket
NTE 2000 master socket
NTE 5C MK 4 master socket


It's best to connect your router to your master socket. You can also use your master socket to troubleshoot problems with your internet, particularly if it has a test socket which can be found inside some master sockets. 

There are two different types of master socket.

Standard master socket

Microfilter connected to standard master socket

  • These have one port on the front.
  • When connecting your router to a standard master socket, you'll need to use a microfilter.
  • This stops your phone and broadband signals from interfering with each other.
  • You'll also need to plug a microfilter into every other socket you're using in your home.

Pre-filtered-master socket

  • These have two ports on the front.
  • This means that your line is already split between your phone and broadband connection.
  • You don't need to use any microfilters if you have a pre-filtered master socket.
  • You can plug your router straight into a pre-filtered socket.

Broadband cable plugged straight into master socket without a microfilter


If you need a master socket installed or you want to move/replace your current one, please contact us to arrange an engineer visit. This is chargeable at £128.40.

Connecting to your test socket

Your test socket is inside your master socket. It lets you bypass the internal wiring in your house and connect directly to the phone line outside; making it the ideal place to test your internal wiring for faults.

If your master socket has a horizontal line across the middle or two ports, then it has a test socket inside.

If your main socket doesn't have a horizontal line and has one port, it doesn't have a test socket. Please don't try to unscrew the faceplate.


master sockets that do and do not have test sockets


Here’s how to connect your router to your test socket:

  1. Carefully unscrew the faceplate on your master socket with a screwdriver. If your master socket doesn't have screws, squeeze the sides of the faceplate to detach it.
  2. Now gently pull the faceplate towards you.
  3. With the faceplate removed, you'll see the test socket on the right-hand side.
  4. If you're testing your router, plug a microfilter into the test socket.
  5. Then plug your router's grey broadband cable into the microfilter's ADSL/DSL port.

If your connection improves whilst you're connected to the test socket, then the problem is probably in your home.

If the problem continues, then there's likely a fault in your local area.

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