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Understanding Broadband - Advantages and Disadvantages

written by: J. Edward Casteele•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 1/15/2010

Broadband internet access is one of the most groundbreaking technologies invented to date. The article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of broadband networks.

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    What is Broadband Internet Access?

    Only a few years ago, a dial-up Internet connection was the most used medium to connect to the Internet. However, in the last few years broadband Internet access has become common.

    Broadband is a faster medium to get access to the Internet as compared to the dial-up. It is fast in terms of data transfer, upload, and download, and the connectivity is much better with files, images, and data being transmitted much faster. Once a person uses broadband, there is absolutely no way he or she would want to use dial-up again.

    A broadband internet access is referred to as an “always on" connection. Thus, the user does not have to go through the process of dialing up and logging in every time they want to connect to the Internet. All that needs to be done is to open the browser and start browsing as the Internet connection is automatic. Unlike the dial-up, the user does not have to free the phone line to authorize the connection.

    A normal broadband connection comes in three types: cable, wireless, and DSL.

    Cable: The cable connection is available in locations where there is access to cable television as it uses the same line that is needed for the television. This type of broadband connection is available from most cable television providers.

    Wireless: As the name says, this connection is wireless meaning it needs no wires to connect. This can be much faster than cable and DSL connections at some locations, but it much more expensive.

    DSL: DSL broadband Internet access is available through local telephone companies. The DSL infrastructure is well established in the US except for at some remote locations.

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    Advantages of Broadband Network

    • BROADBAND The speed of a broadband connection is the major highlight. The data transmission speed of the connection is more than 200 kbps while dial-up is 56 kbps. This is true in the major part of the country, as most connection speeds are "provisioned." (ISPs promise to make a best-efforts attempt to deliver the provisioned upload and download speeds.)
    • Broadband Internet access allows the Internet to be connected while the phone line is in use. This is because both the voice line and the data line are separate in the broadband connection.
    • With broadband, the user need not worry about checking email. If the computer is on, the email application will automatically update from the server by checking for new emails.
    • Thanks to broadband, multiple users can work at the same time simultaneously. In contrast to this, if multiple computers are used on the same bandwidth in a dial-up connection, the speed will be very low.
    • Broadband connections have digital connections and are highly reliable. There are fewer breaks as the data transmission is fast. In dial-up modems, at times there is a data overload.
    • As the connection is fast, the download rate is also fast. Thus, downloading, music, files, emails, etc. is much faster in a broadband connection.
    • In a broadband Internet connection, there are no automatic cut-offs or time-outs of the connection.
    • The broadband connection is an “always on" connection. The broadband connection is always on 24/7 once the computer is started. This saves a lot of time as compared to dial-up where the user has to free a phone line, put in a password, connect, and then browse.
    • Broadband connections are billed according to the usage or plan and not as per how much time is spent. Thus, users do not have to keep a track of the time they spend on the Internet.
    • Broadband Internet access is available for wireless devices as well. This connection is an advantage for those who own a laptop, palmtop, or cell phone.
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    Disadvantages of Broadband Network

    • Speedier broadband connections cost almost twice as much as a dial-up connection. However, this can be reduced to an extent if you already have a separate phone line for the Internet that you can cancel.
    • Security concerns arise when the computer is on 24/7. Since the computer is on most of the time, there may be a possibility that someone might want to access the computer. Many security features are available in the market to overcome this issue.
    • The broadband connection increases the speed capability of the Internet, but does not guarantee the speed. The speed of the Internet is also very much dependent on the IPS's servers. If the servers are slow, outdated, or over-burdened, the speed of the Internet connection will suffer.
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    Conclusion

    Broadband Internet access comes with both advantages and disadvantages. However, despite the disadvantages it has become the most common way to connect to the Internet. Broadband is the future of telecommunications, and the broadband connection industry is growing just as customer demand is growing. Simultaneously, research is also ongoing to provide a better product. To conclude, it can be rightly said that the broadband Internet connection is a very important invention in the world of technology and one that is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.