written by: Senadheera Jayakody•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 5/24/2011
While dial-up connections are gradually fading away, Internet broadband is becoming the standard for an Internet connection. Read this beginner's guide to Internet broadband and learn the basics.
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Introduction to Internet Broadband
With the evolution of the Internet and technology many people are searching for faster Internet connections for their daily needs. If you really want to enjoy the true experience of the Internet you need a broadband Internet connection..
Broadband refers to telecommunication in which a wide band of frequencies are allowed to transmit information. Therefore data can be multiplexed and sent on different frequencies within the band at the same time. This allows more information to be transmitted in a given amount of time. A highway with more lanes allows more vehicles at the same time. This is what happens when you use a broadband internet connection. Both connections use modems (but the type of modems are different), and a telephone line in most cases. But the difference lies in the connection speed. As you already know, broadband connections are much faster than a dial-up Internet connection. Another difference is that broadband connections are always on (always connected to internet); unlike dial-up connections where you have to pay for the time you spend on internet.
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Advantages of Internet Broadband
If you are a beginner to the Internet you might like to know why you must select a broadband connection over a dial-up connection. With faster data speeds, you can do whatever you did with your dial-up modem in much less time. You can surf the Internet and download files at a remarkably high speed. You can watch online video, listen to online music, and also play online games which you couldn't imagine with your dial-up connection.
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Types of Internet Broadband Connections
There are several types of Internet broadband connections available such as ADSL, Cable, Wireless, Satellite, and SDSL.
ADSL is the most popular type of broadband connection available. This is normally delivered through a telephone line with the help of a modem or router. You can still make telephone calls while you are surfing the internet.
It is necessary to have a special modem for a cable Internet connection. Most cable TV providers now also provide cable Internet.
For a wireless Internet connection, you need to install a special antenna that facilitates the connection. There's no need to use a pre-existing wired connection such as a phone or cable line.
If you have a SDSL connection you can both upload and download data at a very high speed. This is very similar to ADSL. But in an ADSL connection the file upload speed is very slow compared to download speeds. SDSL is preferred for business purposes
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Comparison between Dial-up Connections and Broadband Internet
Usually data transfer speeds of modems are measured using kilobits per second (kbit/s) and megabits per second (Mbit/s). The speed of a typical dial-up modem is just 56kbit/s. Broadband connection speeds vary from 256kbit/s to 8Mbit/s or more. 56kbit/s means it transfers 56 kilobits of data per second. Since 8 bits equal to 1 byte (1B), it can also be expressed as 7 kilobytes per second (7kB/s). Kilobytes and megabytes are the units that we generally use to measure file sizes. (Ex. 100kB file or 128MB pen drive)
56kbit/s = 7kB/s
256kbit/s = 32kB/s
8Mbit/s = 1MB/s (1Mbit = 1024kbit)
A 56kbit/s modem can transfer only 7kilobytes of data per second. But 8Mb/s broadband modem transfers 1 Megabyte of data in just a second. That's a huge difference!
Beginners Guide to Selecting an Internet Broadband Connection
When you are looking for a broadband Internet connection there are several questions you have to address first.
he first question is availability. What broadband service is available in your area? If there are several service providers that are competing, try to speak with a friend who is already using a similar broadband connection. Check whether promised data transfer speeds are actually available for them and try to check data transfer speeds several times of the day.
The next thing to consider is the connection speed you want or need. If you need a higher data transfer rate, you need to select at least a 1Mbit/s connection or higher. 1Mbit/s is probably the best connection in terms of cost and the performance. If you can afford the price select a speed of 8Mbit/s or higher for high quality video streaming and super fast downloading.
Cost is a big issue when you select a broadband Internet connection. If you don't want to download large files or watch hours of online videos, then go for a slower connection with a lower usage allowance. 1 GB of monthly data is sufficient if you use the Internet for just surfing and checking your emails. There are additional costs when you buy a connection. You need to buy a modem, and sometimes a router. Compare these prices as well.
Another important fact to check is whether your computer supports the new broadband connection. Older computers might not be able to support modern wireless broadband standards, for example.
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If you use a dial-up connection you may already be fed up with it. It may seem to take ages to load even a simple webpage. If you value your time you absolutely should covert to a broadband Internet connection. The Internet is already designed for broadband users, and this trend will continue in the future.
Just say good bye to your dial-up connection. This is the best and last thing you can learn from this guide to the Internet broadband.