BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE BROADBAND WORLD

There are terms we hear so often but never really know what they mean. This is the case especially when we come across technical terms. We all use computers without knowing about how they work, or without being well-versed in any of the computer languages. The same is the case with so many things. The internet, for instance, has become breathing air to many of us, but only a handful of us are familiar with how it works. How do we magically connect to the entire world through our phones and laptops without moving an inch from our couches. We can access uninterrupted entertainment and massive amounts of data. We can see and talk to friends as if they are right across the table. Just a few decades ago, this would’ve seemed like an impossibility. So what has made this possible? It's the broadband industry.

To not confuse you with the technicalities, broadband is to the internet what our blood vessels are to the body. If all organs did not get oxygenated blood through our vessels, they would simply be unable to function. To make sure your internet works right and your access in fast and uninterrupted, you have to make sure your broadband services are right. Clogged vessels make our organs dysfunctional, that's what slow broadband or the traditional dial-up connections do to your internet.

Let's see the different available types of broadbands for both domestic and corporate users out there. All areas have a certain number of internet providers and you can compare their services to see what suits your needs and budget.

There are different types of broadband, such as:

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

This type uses an existing home phone line to provide the internet connection. It begins at 128 kbps and may go up to 24Mbps which is much faster than the dial-up connection.

As this technology uses the phone connection at your home, you will need a home phone connection installed in order to avail of its services. It’s also important to note that your distance from the nearest telephone exchange and the quality of your phone connection could impact the speed of the internet. DSL is usually cheaper than the cable internet. Moreover, it may offer a consistent speed in "peak hours" unlike the cable connection which slows down because it is usually shared in a neighbourhood. .

DSL service isn’t available everywhere so if you are living in the outskirts or the suburbs, it is quite possible that you won't be able to enjoy this service. 

 

Cable broadband

Cable broadband is also known as fibre broadband. With this service, you are given access to broadband via fibre optic cables. The fastest type of fibre connection is Fibre-to-the-Home, but Part Fibre (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) is more common and can still offer good speeds, if not the best.

Cable connection offers download speeds twice that of DSL or even more. But the speeds may fluctuate and be inconsistent especially during the peak hours, i.e. the time of the day when most people in a neighborhood are using the internet.

The affordability of cable broadbands are not specific either. It depends on the competition among the cable broadband providers in a given community. There may be many discounts available to attract more customers if there are multiple providers in your area.

The download and upload speeds for this type of connection are usually the same. While in other types of connections, uploading speeds are much lower than the downloading speeds.

 

Satellite Broadband

Satellite broadband is the more popular option for those living on the outskirts or the rural areas. Since such areas do not have access to line-based services, the best alternative is the satellite connection. It works by using a satellite dish to provide two-way access to broadband services with brisk downloading speeds. The most obvious advantage of this service is that it can be provided virtually anywhere in the world.

However, satellite broadband is most affected by the weather. It requires a clear line of sight between the dish and the satellite orbiting above earth, and anything that might get in the way, for instance the moisture in rain, will interrupt the connection.

Another issue is the high-latency which is caused by the longer distances. This is when you hear a delayed response of somebody in another part of the world to whom you are conversing with over the phone . There maybe a lag in videoconferencing too. While multiplayer games may not be possible at all.

 

Wireless broadband

These services do not use cables to connect, instead they use Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) connections or radio waves to provide internet connections. There are two main types of this broadband service. Fixed wireless  and mobile wireless systems.

Fixed wireless offers high-speed Internet access by connecting to service providers using radio signals rather than cables. These connections can provide you with speeds between 1 mbps and 10 mbps. This is done by transmission towers similar to cell phone towers that connect to a customer’s transceiver equipment that might be fixed at their residence or office.

Mobile wireless is high-speed wireless broadband connection that is basically radio system. They can be accessed from random locations. The faster mobile wireless networks are referred to as 3G or 4G.The “G” stands for “generation,” meaning 3rd and 4th generation.

It's useful for areas where line-based broadband speeds are poor. This service is rather affordable compared to the cable or DSL broadband services.

However, its speeds are inconsistent and not so fast. This option may not be too secure, as it is more prone to attracting hackers because of the absence of a physical connection

We hope that now you are familiar with how the broadband industry works and you can use this knowledge to make the best choice while choosing from the various internet service providers.