What other main types of broadband are there for home users?
This works largely in the same way as DSL, but uses a cable line rather than a telephone line. This cable line can carry television signals and phone calls as well as internet data. Users need a special type of modem to ‘untangle’ the internet data from the other services. In theory cable is capable of much higher speeds than DSL, though in practice the service can be slowed if too many people in the same area are transferring data, so the speed advantage is usually lower than it could be.
Some cellphone service operators now offer broadband internet connections over their networks either through phones themselves or through USB adaptors in laptops. These are useful for people on the move or without a fixed-line internet option, but the maximum speeds are usually lower, the service is dependent on a strong phone signal, and there are usually monthly download limits which are too low for some users.
It’s technically possible to receive internet data via a satellite, which can be a solution to remote areas which can’t get a cable or DSL link. As it’s too expensive for a home user to broadcast to a satellite, the usual set-up is for uploaded data to go through a phone line. Another downside is that, even at the speed of light, the satellites are so far away that satellite internet connections have a slightly delayed reaction time, making them unsuitable for some internet uses such as online gaming.