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Understanding The Various Broadband Choices

Aug 18, 2007
Broadband, also known as broadband internet access, is a high data-transmission rate Internet connection that make use of two of the most popular consumer broadband technologies - cable modem and DSL. With any of these technologies, your Internet connection could easily transmit data faster than 56 kilobits per second (the highest speed of a traditional dial-up modem).

The popularity of broadband internet access radically increased in many countries starting 2000. These kinds of Internet access can surf hundred times faster than conventional dial-up modems, thus the name "high-speed Internet".

Commercial broadband Internet commonly has 256 kilobit per second, which is about the slowest broadband speed for connections advertised worldwide. However, since there is no standard bitrate defined by the industry, the term "broadband" could imply also low-bitrate transmissions or others call "narrowband". Consequently, some consumers turn out to be disappointed about the promised Internet speed of their connections.

The Technology Behind Broadband Internet Access

The most important assessment you have to make is the kind of broadband internet you want. There are various technologies behind broadband access and you should understand these technologies to fully appreciate this service. Things you have to think about include cost, speed requirements and your location, whether home or office. Since there are many choices for high-speed connections, you should be able to know how each one works and find out which service can benefit your work or lifestyle the most.

Some Internet service providers use multi-linking technologies that achieve a faster surfing speed by doubling the speed of dial-up modems. However, if you wish to subscribe to this feature, you should have two dial-up accounts, two telephone lines, two modems and the ISP provider for multilinking. This is the oldest kind of technology and was used way before DSL, cable broadband and other higher-speed connections were available.

The most common technologies for broadband in many countries are DSL and cable modems.

The most common broadband internet is Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). This technology works by using your phone lines to transmit digital signals directly, without having to convert to analog signals. DSL offer higher data rates and allows you to connect anytime without using your phone line, making it available for incoming calls. There are many kinds of DSL, but asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) is probably the most popular for subscribers.

Cable is another type of broadband internet, which uses the fiber networks to give your cable television at home and use them for internet access. Meaning, you get to divide a given amount of bandwidth for a neighborhood. The limitation of cable internet is that some condominiums and buildings do not have cable installed. When this is the case, it could take time to install your internet subscription because building codes and other legal issues should first be done.

Satellite is the kind of broadband internet that is frequently recommended as an alternative for DSL. However, satellite internet is more expensive because you will need an antenna or a dish to receive data signals from the provider's satellite.

Other new technologies, such as optical fiber and VDSL are now adding to consumer's choice for higher-speed Internet connections. Although fiber-optic internet services are used lately, the technology had played a vital role in allowing consumers to connect to broadband Internet using a more cost-effective solution even over larger coverage.

The biggest challenge in broadband is to offer the service to customers in any area, even with low-population densities. Since setting up the broadband Internet access in a particular area could cause many thousands of dollars for equipment alone, many service providers do not have the network in some rural areas for fear that they will not recover the costs.

Although some local Internet providers provide these solutions, many have limitations and drawbacks. The most common problem for rural Internet providers is that these companies usually depend on the quality of local telephone companies.

In some locations that have no DSL or cable Internet, Wi-Fi networks serve their Internet needs. In other countries, high-speed mobile Internet access, such as HSDPA, EV-DO and stationary-broadband WiMax are used.

With today's modern world where businesses and even home-based employees rely on the Internet for everyday communications and worldwide access, broadband and other high-speed technologies present consumers and businesses a expedient way to hook up to the net.

Regardless of what you choose, you can really see the difference of dial-up from broadband internet in terms of speed, reliability and performance once you plugged your computer on.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. To learn more about how to choose the right broadband provider, please visit broadband internet service providers.
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