What is broadband?
Broadband, a method of quickly sending and receiving large amounts of information is a technology that keeps pace with today's busy lifestyles.
There are four major categories of broadband access:
This technology works by using your cable television line and computer to send receive information. You not need a second phone line. You never have to wait to log in, and you can access in the Internet even while continuing to watch cable television.
Cable Internet access is similar in speed and performance to the T1 connections used by many corporations.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
DSL service uses the phone wires already in your house. This technology requires a system of switches within your phone company's network that allows for transfer of greater bandwidth over existing lines.
The distance between your home and the telephone company's switch greatly affects your connection. The farther away you are, the slower your speed. Because of this limitation, certain DSL technologies are only available close to your local telephone switch.
Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN)
ISDN has been available longer than Cable Internet or DSL services. It works by dividing existing telephone wires in to channels to handle more information.
ISDN is faster than typical phone modems, but is still a dial-up service. You will need to dial into your service provider and wait to log-in whenever you wish to access the Internet.
Satellite Internet services come in two types. One type uses satellites to send information from the internet to your computer and it uses your phone line to send information to the internet. The other type of satellite internet access uses the satellite for communicating to and from the internet.
Satellite access is available in a wide area provided your satellite dish can point at the satellite without interference from building or trees. This technology is an especially good choice if you live in a remote area not served by cable companies.
Each of these technologies varies in required equipments, cost and availability. Cable Internet Access is certain one of the fastest and most affordable Broadband options. Refer to this simple chart to see if this technology is the right Broadband option for you.
So you want to grab several more frags without having to try? Want to be called names and yelled at because everyone else is jealous of your 30 ping? Want to watch your enemy complain of lag while you run circles around them? Oh yeah, it's good for web browsing, too. If you want all of this, then you need one of these … ADSL or cable.
What are they?
ADSL and cable modems are the new contenders for high speed Internet access. It used to be that your only choice for high-speed internet access was either the very costly ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), or the even more costly dedicated access such as a T1 or frame relay. A new breed of high speed access has come, and it's finally aimed at the residential user. ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) and cable modems utilize technology already run to your home, ADSL with phone lines, and cable with the your cable television lines. Both rival the speed of a very costly T1 line, yet are relatively cheap. They usually will run you between $30 and $50 a month, depending on your connection speed.
So what's the catch?
There are a couple, first of all, both are a costly upgrade for the phone company and cable operators, so they're not available in a lot of places. Second, cable has a big catch, you share your access with your neighbors, so if the kid down the street hosts a busy wares site, you're out of luck. If you know your neighbors well and know they won't be making any big downloads or playing a lot of online games, this isn't a bad option. Third, ADSL doesn't share with your neighbors, but you have to be within a certain distance of your telephone company's office, generally about 18,000 feet (5.5 kilometers) without repeaters. As the distance between you and your telephone company's office decreases, your data rate capability increases, even through it's probably capped well before the 18,000 feet's capability of 1.5 Mbps.
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