Types of Broadband Networks: Which One is Right for You?

Types of Broadband Networks: Which One is Right for You?

For just about every entrepreneur out there, having the ability to access the Internet is really a must. The options available in which we gain the access has grown significantly in the last decade. This guest post will showcase a few of the options that most of us have available when it comes to stepping into the digital world. One suggestion that I did want to point out however is that many business owners work out of a home office. While it might not necessarily be a requirement to sign up for a business plan with the provider of your choice, you may however appreciate some of the benefits of having a business account in your home.

If you want to run a server out of your home that requires access when your out and about, then this is more than likely a must. You may also benefit from guaranteed “up times.” So, while your neighbors are downloading very large files or streaming at certain times of the day when you really need a fast and reliable connection, your service provider may ensure that you are at least receiving the download and upload speeds that you’re paying for. Basically, you get priority. Also, your bundle of services may be less expensive  or you may be able to bundle other types of services that aren’t available to residential customers. At any rate, your mileage of course will vary with each provider, but these are certainly questions to ask before signing up. 

 

Broadband Lars-P-via-Flickr-Creative-CommonsFor most of us, dial-up networking is a relic of the past. Today’s computer users access the Internet using a variety of high-speed networks – some with wires, some without. Below are a few of the more common types of broadband networks.

Cable Broadband

Cable Internet access is delivered to homes over the same coaxial cable lines used to deliver cable television. As such, cable Internet access is often offered as part of a cable television package though it can be ordered separately. In general, neighborhoods are pre-cabled and connected to the cable service provider through a “central office.” Broadband cable subscribers connect through a cable modem which keeps the Internet connection on continuously. This Internet connection can be shared over a wired or wireless network. Because the cable television market is primarily residential, the cable broadband market is also primarily residential.

DSL Broadband

DSL, or digital subscriber line, broadband delivers Internet access to homes and businesses over standard phone lines. Once connected, the phone line can still be used to make phone calls. DSL service requires close proximity to a telephone company’s central office which often limits availability. DSL subscribers connect through a DSL modem. In general, only one DSL modem can use the DSL line at a time unless a router is used.

Fiber Optic Broadband

Fiber optic broadband transmits signals using optical fibers and pulses of light. Also known as fiber-to-the-home, or FTTH, broadband, fiber optic networks deliver huge amounts of data at high speed. With costs comparable to other forms of Internet access and more capacity, fiber optic broadband is expected to be able to handle the demands of future technologies. In order for users to take advantage of fiber optic broadband, a network of fiber optic cables must be in place. Thus, availability is limited.

Power-Line Broadband

Broadband can also be delivered over existing power lines. Broadband-over-power lines is often used in rural areas to deliver Internet access over the existing infrastructure. This type of Internet access is more common in Europe than it is in the United States. One of the drawbacks to broadband-over-power lines is that it is susceptible to interference.

Satellite Broadband

Satellite broadband delivers Internet access to subscribers using satellites and satellite receivers. They do not require a physical infrastructure of cables, making satellite broadband a popular choice to subscribers in rural areas. Modern Satellite Internet systems are a fast option. For example, ViaSat’s Exede Internet service is reportedly four times faster than DSL. However, satellite broadband continues to be one of the costliest options.

Wireless Broadband

Though still impractical and cost-prohibitive for heavy use, wireless broadband allows subscribers to connect to the Internet over wireless cellular networks. Users of smartphones, tablet computers, and laptops often subscribe to wireless data networks. Some devices have built-in wireless modems while others use USB modems, dongles, or mobile Wi-Fi devices to connect to the cellular network.

Internet access has changed dramatically since the early days of dial-up networking. Today’s networks are fast and capable of delivering data, voice, and video.

Sam Jones, the author, lives in the countryside and has been examining his broadband choices to see which will give him the best connection.

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