Internet broadband. Fiber. DSL. ADSL. Copper vs glass. 5G. What happened to 4G? Routers vs modems. Wireless vs wired. The internet world can be a confusing, overwhelming place for those simply looking to connect their home or office with the best kind of internet.
In the last few years, the term “broadband” has been thrown around. But, what is it? Is it a new kind internet? HomeLinkd answers your burning broadband service questions and shares which kind might be the best option for you.
Well, this is an easy question to answer: Broadband is actually just another, more contemporary word for internet. It isn’t an entirely new kind of internet connection -such as 5G or optic fiber.
It simply categorizes a particular kind of internet: the high-bandwidth kind. Broadband can be satellite, fiber, cable, DSL or wireless like 5G or Wi-Fi. To be considered broadband, download speeds need to be a minimum of 25 Mbps and uploads need to be at least 3 Mbps.
This all depends on which kind of internet connection you prefer. However, another determining factor is the location of where you’re seeking an internet connection.
If you’re living in a rural or mountainous area, you may not be able to access fiber or 5G because, in comparison to satellite, these are fairly new technologies and internet providers will only make a connection available in an area if there is a demand for it.
In addition to demand, wireless technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi rely on radio wavelengths to provide internet, so if you are far away from a cell tower or have large hills and mountains near your home, you may struggle to receive a strong, consistent connection.
To date, fiber is the fastest and most reliable type of internet. Optic fiber is able to deliver reliability and high speeds because it is made of thousands of hair-like glass fibers that transmit data to and from your device at the speed of light.
They are placed underground in your area and run right into your home, making it a highly reliable and consistent choice for quality internet. Optic fiber cables can transmit data over 1,000 megabits (1 Gbps) per second! That’s a lot of data moving very, very fast.
Because fiber is underground, it is also not privy to bad weather or physical interruptions like buildings. However, availability will be lower than satellite because installing fiber is more labor-intensive.
4G and more recently 5G is a firm favourite when it comes to internet broadbands for a variety of reasons. It is fast, wireless, mobile, and can deliver high bandwidth. 4G and 5G are also recently developed internet technologies, emerging only in the last decade or less.
Because of its newness, LTE and 5G are suitable choices for travellers, digital nomads, online gaming, photographers and other creatives who move around a lot while working. You can also download large files with no problem. You're also more likely to get unlimited wifi or data on a fiber plan, LTE or 5G.
If you live in a rural area or small town, one of the most reliable and widely available sources of internet is satellite. It is the very first kind of internet ever, invented in 1962, and has stood the test of time throughout the many advancements in communications and internet.
Although satellite can’t provide extremely fast internet speeds, it is available in all areas in the US and is perfectly suitable for homes looking for basic internet connectivity for browsing, emailing, social media surfing and low HD streaming.
Along with satellite, DSL is one of the originals of the internet world. Standing for “digital subscriber line”, internet is transmitted through traditional copper telephone lines. DSL is ideal for homes or offices who are looking for a voice and internet bundled package.
In addition, DSL is generally considered more affordable than other internet broadbands because it doesn’t provide extremely high speeds like fiber and 5G. It is ideal for homes looking for a basic internet connection. However, Viasat can provide download speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which is the fastest option for satellite on the market.
Now that you’ve gotten the download of what broadband is and which option is best for you, there’s no time like the present to lock in your broadband package from various internet service providers like AT&T, CenturyLink and Spectrum.
Getting the right internet broadband for you has never been easier.
Use our handy comparison table to choose the best internet broadband package for you!