Are you planning to get an internet plan for your home or office? Before buying, you should understand the technology that goes behind.
There are several ways of connecting a personal electronic device to the internet. With a wide range of connection speeds and hardware, internet connections change as fast as the technology changes. Before connecting to the internet, you need to choose a certain hardware called the Internet Service Provider, which is a company owning dedicated computers enabling you to access internet by charging a minimal monthly cost.
Here is a list of most common internet connections in the United States, so you can do your homework before signing on the dotted line.
Types of Internet Connections
Dial-up access is cheap and slow and its modem connects once the computer dials up a number. This analog signal is born-again to be digital via the modem and sent over a land-line repaired by a public phone network. Telephone lines are variable in quality and therefore the affiliation is poor at times. The lines frequently experience interference and this affects the speed, anywhere from 28K to 56K. Since a laptop or different device shares a similar line as the telephone, they can’t be active at the same time.
Dial-up is by far the slowest internet connection. It is found in rural communities and remote areas where it only requires the existing telephone lines but many ISP’s and other telephone companies have discontinued this service because of evolution in technology.
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line which is usually available at places where other connections like cable or fiber cannot be found. DSL aims at running the internet connection through the phone lines.
This connection is always on and uses 2 lines on the phone when the computer is connected. With the use of a router, it can change its data transportation and rage of connection depending on the service offered ranging between 128K to 8 Mbps.
On one hand where dial-up connection can be interrupted because of a call, you do not have to worry about getting a call with the DSL connection. It is mostly used in rural communities because of its reliability and affordability. The speed as compared to other connections with an average download from 3 to 50 Mbps, lags behind but is also a cheaper alternative to satellite internet.
Cable connection provides the internet through a modem which operates over cable TV lines. With a range of speeds depending on the uploading and downloading data transmissions, it provides a greater bandwidth over dial-up or DSL and faster access as well. The speed of cable connection ranges from 512K to 20 Mbps.
Full of home phone services and TV packages, it uses the same coaxial as the TV cable. It also has a convenient process of wiring job where a technician will visit your residence if its not working.
As compared to other internet connections, it is a faster and a more stable connection but its uncommon to use by businesses because they lack coaxial connections at their workplace.
Wireless or Wi-Fi connection works without the use of telephone lines or cables to connect to the internet. Instead, it makes use of radio frequency and can be accessed from anywhere. It is really a common network around the United States and can be found growing in coverage areas every minute. The speed ranges from 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps.
They work without wires and offer high-speed internet, for example, mobile broadband or data connections such as 3G, 4G etc. which are commonly offered by mobile companies. The connection speeds are as high as 1 Gbit and if you are in a remote location, this might the best option available to you.
It is important to ensure that you get the strongest signal with proper antenna placement with a clear view of the sky. If there are obstacles such as trees, buildings or hills in between, it can distort your connection.
As one of the most widely accepted internet connections, it does not rely on ground-laid infrastructure like cables, cellular towers or line-of-sight antenna connections. It works through the connection with satellites orbiting overhead. If you have a clear view of the sky, the connection will be better so it is better to get the connection on the terrace or ground facing upwards.
It is also best suited for rural areas with bad weather conditions and obstructions which are not in your control. The speed ranges from 12 to 100 Mbps, which makes it perfect for smaller households where people wish to stream, play games or upload files online. This service is a bit on the expensive side, because it reaches areas where is does not have to compete with other technologies.
Because of the enormous distance between the signal from earth to satellite, it provides a delayed connection compared to cable and DSL.
As the name suggests, fiber connection reaches your home through fiber optic cable using the pulses of light along with the thin strands called fibers of glass or plastic which transmit data. It is the fastest traditional internet connection with download speed of 2 Gigabits which is almost enough to download a two-hour movie in HD in less than a minute.
It is much faster as compared to cable connection because of the fiber-optics. With the internet traffic travelling along copper cables resulting in distortion and slower speeds, fiber optic cables help in reducing distortion, making it much faster. The disadvantage of this network is that is it quite expensive and it is not available everywhere.
With a high-speed internet connection, one can stimulate economic growth and attract new employers and jobs and residents in the area. With all the options available to you, it is important to understand the difference between all these cellular technologies before you sign up for one.