The word broadband internet used to mean something back when dial-up was the standard. Now, broadband can mean a whole range of types of connections. For those of us who have the luxury of selecting from a multitude of connection types, it might be confusing on which type of broadband internet is the best value for you. If you have broadband internet, you might be wondering if your service is worth what you pay for, as well. These are the four basic types of broadband that are available, and how they stack-up.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
DSL is a wireline transmission technology, probably the least popular and hardest to get in the country nowadays. It is mostly known for its ease of use and security. DSL technology is slower than standard cable internet, but often cheaper, also a great and reliable form of broadband internet connection. The services providers who offered DSL have no phased it out in-favor of fiber optic lines. The availability of dsl and speed of dsl may depend on the distance from your home / business to the closest telephone company facility.
A step-up from DSL, cable internet is offering around twice as much power, but with similar costs. Cable internet is still the most popular form of broadband access, but its technology hasn’t improved much over the years. Through use of a cable modem, users can access the internet through cable tv lines. These are limited by not only speed, but bandwidth, with services often grinding during peak hours of people watching cable TV and using their internet. This is why many choose to go with fiber, if they have it in their area.
Satellite broadband service is offered by the popular satellite TV providers and is now much more affordable than what it used to cost about a decade ago. This is sometimes the only way people can get satellite broadband speeds, if they live in rural parts of the country where fiber or cable is too far away from their homes. The connection speeds are comparable to cable, in most cases. Similar to wireless internet access, satellite connection utilizes a modem.
Wireless broadband access connects a home and business to the Internet by using a radio link between the customer’s location and the service provider’s facility. Generally, Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) provide lower speeds, in the range of several hundred Kbps. WLANs offer wireless internet access over shorter distances and manytimes used to extend the reach of a wireline or fixed wireless internet connection within a home, offices, building or campus environment.
This is where the future of the internet is going. Fiber optic is a very fast and reliable form of broadband speed and it is presently the fastest. It is widely used all over the world because of its numerous features. If you have been following the travels of Google Fiber, you can’t help be excited at how the internet will change, where everything can be done on the internet, with little dependency on the power of your smartphone or computer or tablet. If you already have a form of broadband that isn’t Fiber, but you’re experiencing lag, page load errors, and general slow functionality, you should look at a way to improve internet with a speed test. Higher bandwidth should mean faster speed, but not always. The cable providers, for example, claim speed-boosting capability, but this is just marketing, as it constrained by certain file sizes and peak hours. Run some tests to see if you can diagnose your problems or determine if your broadband platform is just not the best for your situation or your neighborhood’s infrastructure. Time is money, so how much is $10-20 extra saved per month worth to you?
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