The Types Of Broadband Connections Present

Understanding internet technology is the first step in maximizing its potential. If you don’t know how much internet speed you require, how much data your current internet connection carries, and whether your internet plan lives up to its promise or not, then you can’t experience seamless web connectivity and will find yourself embroiled in lags, buffering and other issues. Indeed, the technicality of network infrastructures is hard to comprehend for a common consumer. However, this post will take you to the roots of your connection and show you the main types of broadband that are present around you, so you can make the right call. Without further ago, let’s begin.

What is Broadband?

Broadband is a composition of two terms, i.e. “broad” and “band.” Altogether, they refer to any network connection that transmits internet signals in the form of radio waves through an expansive radiofrequency spectrum. In other words, the band of the RF spectrum is broad and consists of many channels, which allows a greater volume of data to pass through in one second. Take the example of a highway. The wider the road and the more lanes it has, the higher the count of vehicles that can travel on it. This, in turn, increases the speed, capacity, and efficiency of the entire traffic system. The same is the case with broadband.

What are the Main Characteristics of Broadband?

Not every internet connection can be signified as broadband. Why? Because there are a number of standards a connection has to meet in order to be qualified as such. These include:

  • High-speed
  • Increased capacity
  • Always-on

Speed is the yardstick for any internet service. If a connection does not support a faster data transfer speed, it cannot shake off latency, high ping, buffering, and other slowdowns. In this regard, Cox internet makes sure to never compromise on high-speed data transmission and enables a lag-free experience. Thus, high-speed internet access is the first condition for broadband. How much speed are we talking about? According to the Federal Communications Commission, any internet service with a minimum 25 Mbps download speed and a 3 Mbps upload speed can be considered broadband.

The second refers to the internet capacity. It depends on how much bandwidth a connection carries at one time. People often confuse bandwidth with broadband. While broadband is an umbrella term for high-speed internet access, bandwidth is the specific range of frequencies that a network uses to transmit data between the ISP and the user, and vice versa. The greater the bandwidth, the higher the range of frequencies, the larger the volume of data, and thus, the faster the speed of transmission.

“Always on” means that a connection doesn’t cut off when another service is in use. Remember the dial-up? When you’d switch the internet on, your phone would stop working? That’s because dial-up used a narrow RF band to transmit data, which couldn’t handle a simultaneous transmission from two or more sources. Broadband technologies, when they were introduced, improved significantly on this demerit. Today’s broadband connections can support multiple streams of data through the same lines.

What are the Major Types of Broadband Connections Available?

Now that we are familiar with broadband and its attributes, let’s move on to its types:

DSL Broadband

DSL or Digital Subscriber Line leverages the existing telephone wiring in a neighborhood to transmit internet service to consumers. These copper cables are already installed in most of the residential and business areas, making DSL a cheaper alternative to other types. The data travels in the form of electrical signals through the copper phone cables at an average speed of 6 Mbps to 100 Mbps, depending on the provider and the distance of your house from the ISP station. Unlike dial-up, DSL is always on. It is high-speed and has a high capacity.

Cable Broadband

Cable broadband is known for using the existing television wiring in a community to transmit internet service to connected homes. The internet and TV data travel side by side in the broad-spectrum coaxial cables as electrical signals at an average speed of 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps, depending on the backbone of the ISP and the peak usage hours, which might slow down performance. Cable broadband is readily available because of the penetration of TV lines throughout the US. It offers higher speeds than DSL and greater capacity.

Fiber Broadband

Fiber optic is a sophisticated technology, as it is. Fiber broadband cashes in the revolutionary benefits of optical fiber to transmit internet data in the form of light pulses through extremely thin glass or plastic wires at a breathtaking speed of 250 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. The principle of total internal reflection ensures equal downtime and uptime, which all the other broadband types miss out on. Fiber broadband has the highest data transfer speed, the greatest capacity, and a surefire always-on capability. The only downside is that it has limited availability since it is a fairly new technology.

Wireless Broadband

The medium of transmission changes in this broadband type. Data travels wirelessly here, thus the name, “wireless” broadband. Wireless broadband can refer to mobile internet, fixed wireless internet, or satellite internet. Though these mediums have differing characteristics, they essentially transmit data over the air in the form of radio waves at an average speed of 12 Mbps to 50 Mbps. Since mobile, fixed wireless, and satellite internet connections are always on, they are classified as broadband, too. They may not have the best speeds, but their coverage is hard to beat.

Broadband Over Powerlines

In areas where there are no copper or fiber cables, providers utilize the existing power grids to transmit broadband to consumers’ homes. The speeds of BPL connections come close to Digital Subscriber Line and Cable since the principle of transmission is more or less the same. In contrast to other broadband types, Broadband Over Powerlines is still emerging as a viable solution for rural residents.

Wrapping Up

Broadband technologies such as DSL, cable, fiber, satellite, fixed wireless, mobile, and BPL have made it possible for internet providers to deliver high-bandwidth deals and for users to enjoy remarkable internet speeds. So, select the best broadband type from the aforementioned categories and get your home connected today.

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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