There are two kinds of broadband, the DSL and the Cable modems and both of them are capable of transmitting 256 kilobits per second and sometimes more than that. In simple terms it would mean that your downloads can be 10 times faster than the dial up connections.
The most common kinds of broadband connections that can be found are DSL and the Cable modem. There are many variations.
DSL: The Digital Subscriber Line can be set up between two nodes using a dedicated cable for data flow. The advantage with DSL is you can use the telephone line for voice and data at the same time. DSL transmits the data over the regular telephone line and is very easy to set up. All you need is a modem that changes analog data to digital data. Though dial up connections also receive the data from the telephone line, the DSL is a faster connection because the bandwidth allocated for it is much higher. For a dial up there is no separate bandwidth allocated, and the signal usually gets mixed with a general pool of users.
ISDN: The Integrated Service Digital Network is one of the oldest broadband technologies. It uses a dedicated telephone line for data transfer, and actually the data transfer rates are much lower than with DSL.
T-1 lines: The T1 lines are dedicated leased lines with dedicated bandwidth. There are more variations such as T-2 and T-3 depending on the bandwidth allotted. T-1 lines can be very expensive to set up and need extra equipment like routers and DNS servers at the client’s end. It is typically aimed at the commercial usage and is ideally suited for offices and businesses. Big networks of computers can be set up for Internet connectivity using T-1 lines.
Cable Internet: It is one of the most common kinds of Internet found and uses the same cable that carries your cable connection. Usually you get the cable and Internet as a package deal. The cable Internet borrows the telephone lines of the local telephone company for most of the distance and for the last 1 mile it sets up its own cable along with the TV connectivity cable for providing Internet connectivity.