What is Broadband Internet? What are my options?

Is it possible to imagine a world without the Internet? Is it possible to imagine a world without the Internet? You will likely have a negative answer for the first two questions. You will have a negative answer for the next question, however: What exactly is broadband Internet? Although many people will claim that broadband Internet is the type of Internet connection they have installed at their home or office, this doesn’t answer the question.

What is Broadband Internet?

The FCC defines broadband Internet technically as any connection that is greater than 4 Mbps. The more common definition of broadband Internet is anything faster than a 56K dial-up connection.

It is most common to say that broadband or high-speed Internet is the type they use. This is because it is the most popular type of Internet connection in the USA and around the world. It is also true that broadband Internet offers the fastest Internet connection speeds, which is why it is preferred over dial-up connections.

Types of High Speed Internet

There are five types or broadband Internet. Below are their descriptions and explanations:

  1. DSL –Digital Subscriber Line Internet Access is a type Internet connection that you can get through your phone line. Contrary to popular belief, you can use both your Internet and phone simultaneously. Voice and Internet connections travel at different frequencies and are often separated by a DSL splitter. DSL speeds can range from 256 Kbps up to more than 6 Mbps. However, the distance you live from the CO of the telephone companies will impact the speed.
  2. Cable –Cable TV subscribers can ask their provider about Cable Internet. DOCSIS 3.0 cables can offer the fastest consumer Internet connections. Some cable companies, such as Comcast, offer speeds up to 100 Mbps in certain areas. Your connection speed with Cable Internet will depend on how many people are using the same bandwidth at the same time. You will experience a slower Internet connection in the evenings than you do in the mornings. This is because the evenings are dominated by more active users.
  3. Satellite –Satellite Internet is expensive and slow, but it is still the best option for those who live in areas without other broadband Internet options. This connection speed may be slower than the three other types of broadband Internet. It will also depend on the weather conditions. Satellite Internet is not a good choice for gaming because of its high latency (delay). This is because the signal must travel extremely far from the earth to reach the satellite.
  4. Wireless –Wireless Internet is offered by cellular providers like Verizon, Sprint, At&t and Sprint. There are currently two versions of wireless internet: 3G or 4G. The most widely available and provides speeds comparable to DSL services at lower end prices, 3G, or third generation wireless. Fourth generation wireless, or 4G as you might have guessed, is the newest technology and offers much faster speeds. Despite the rapid expansion of 4G wireless networks, there are still very few areas that offer 4G coverage. Although wireless broadband Internet is convenient, its disadvantage is its low usage limits compared to DSL or cable plans. Many wireless providers charge exorbitant overage fees and throttle your connection to a crawl if you exceed the modest bandwidth limits.
  5. Fiber-optic –This type of connection is the most infrequently used and also has the fastest broadband Internet connections of all the types. It is because not many areas yet have fiber-optic Internet connections. It is cheaper than standard DSL or Cable and offers faster connection speeds. There are two types of fiber optic Internet connections. Verizon FiOS uses FTTH (Fiber to The Home) to bring the fiber to your home. If you have the At&t U–Verse version, it is FTTK(Fiber to The Kerb/Curb), which uses copper to get to your home. Fiber connections can provide ADSL2+ Internet speeds up to 50Mbps. They also offer on-demand HDTV and digital telephone service over the same line.

Before you can choose the right type of broadband Internet for you, it is important to first check if they are available in your region. DSL is one of the most sensitive Internet services. You might be eligible for a certain level of service, while your neighbor may not. You should shop around for the best terms and conditions. Not all Internet service providers offer the same terms. The fastest broadband plan should be affordable. This can reach 100 Mbps+ in some areas. These extremely high-end broadband plans can be very expensive. A high-speed Internet plan with speeds between 5 and 25 Mbps may be a better option for you. It will not break your monthly budget.

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