If you are looking at different offers from Internet service providers, it is important to understand the different types of Internet connections that are available. Broadband is just a general term for Internet connections that are constantly connected. These include, cable, DSL, and fiber optic (FioS).
The different types of Internet connections
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line, and it operates on a regular telephone line and provides download speeds of up to 25 megabits per second, although this is increasing with new technology. The two forms of DSL line are ADSL and SDSL. ADSL is usually less expensive although and provides much faster download speeds than upload speeds. SDSL provides the same fast upload and download speeds, which is far better for users that use cloud storage.
DSL connections are typically cheaper than other broadband connections, and there are more ISPs that offer DSL connections. DSL speeds are usually highly consistent because it operates on a dedicated line. However, DSL speeds reduce significantly the further away your are from the ISPs central office. Cable broadband is faster than DSL and is usually offered by Telecommunications companies that also provide cable television services. Cable uses coaxial wires to provide download speeds of up to and over 100mbps. The major advantage of cable is in that the connection speed does not depend on distance. The main disadvantage of cable is that the available bandwidth is shared with other users in the neighborhood, so Internet speeds suffer when more people are using the cable. Fiber optic service (FiOS) is the latest technology in Internet connections. FiOS operates over a fiber optic network and transmits data using light. Users can enjoy incredibly fast connections of over 300mbps for downloads and 65mbps uploads. FiOS offers the fastest speeds available today but unfortunately it is not so widely available.
Choosing the best ISP for your needs
A great way to discover the ISPs that provide the best combination of speed and price is by using a price comparison website. As well as this it is important to visit the ISPs’ websites to understand the fine details on their offers. You should find out the exact download and upload speeds on offer so you can get a fast connection at the right price. Also, many ISPs will require you to rent or purchase a modem; others will provide it for free. Some ISPs offer free installation while others will make you pay. Many ISPs will discount your Internet service if you also buy digital TV and offer telephone as part of a telecommunications package. This usually lasts for a limited period of time before the monthly price increases. There may also be limits on the activities you are able to do, such as operating a server. Customer support is another important part of choosing an ISP. It is important to know how easy is it to get support, and the type of support the ISP provides. You also need to find out how long any downtime will be when problems occur, as well as how long it will take should a technician need to visit your home.
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