What is broadband: The A-Z guide to all you need to know

Prenisha Naidoo
Internet Provider Comparisons

In this day and age, not a day goes by when we don't use the internet. Some of our jobs are solely dependent on it, that alone speaks of the internet's importance.  

In this blog, we’ll delve into the mystery of broadband! We will find out how it works, its benefits, the several types of broadband connections, and the factors you should consider when choosing a broadband package. (To make this fun: Think of this as a little broadband field trip.)

What is broadband – let’s get technical!

As mentioned before, broadband is a type of high-speed internet connection. It's what enables you to enjoy all of those shows you love to stream, seamlessly. It's what gives you that smooth online gaming experience and fast upload and download speeds.

Before broadband, internet access was available through dial-up connections – this required using a phone line to connect to the internet. You can bet it was much slower compared to the high internet speed which broadband can deliver. Oh, how did we ever survive slow internet speed?

Broadband internet is delivered via several types of connections and technologies. These include Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Fiber-Optics, Cable Modem, and Satellite Internet - all of which we will definitely chat about!

How broadband works  

Broadband operates via the transmission of wide bandwidth data over a high-speed internet connection. What else? Broadband internet has a minimum of 25 Mbps download, and 3 Mbps upload speeds. This improved speed is what sets broadband apart from dial-up, as this allows for more data to be transmitted at the same time.  

The technology behind broadband internet is what makes it so much faster than other types of connections.  

Designed to replace the older copper wires which traditionally connected us to the internet, fiber-optic cables began being used to provide broadband. These cables have been responsible for dramatically improving broadband speeds. A total fiber-optic revolution!

Wondering about the advantages of broadband internet?

The benefits of broadband internet are what make it so attractive. Broadband internet gives you that flawless online experience, and we can all attest to the convenience of accessing what we need when we need it.

Besides the obvious advantage of providing a faster connection than what dial-up could offer, broadband also has the following advantages:  

Super-fast consistent performance

The speed offered by a broadband connection is so consistent that it is nearly impossible to experience disconnection. This high speed makes it ideal for downloading larger files and streaming online content.

Provides an always-on connection

What we love most about broadband internet is that it offers an unlimited connection plan, which means you can enjoy a fast, reliable, and constant internet connection without worrying about data caps or extra charges.

Once you start your computer, broadband connections are always available. No more waiting for pages to load or videos to buffer!  


Since broadband is connected 24/7, you don’t need to worry about having a weak connection or being disconnected due to bad weather.  

Internet connectivity along with phone line  

A broadband connection causes no interruptions to the phone line when using the internet. In fact, the same phone line can be used for voice services - this is because the data line and voice line are separate from each other.

Allows for multiple connections

Broadband enables you to connect multiple devices to the internet without any loss of speed or performance. Literally, everyone in a household can use the internet at the same time, without any issues.

What is dial-up internet?

Dial-up internet is an older internet technology that uses a phone line to connect to the internet.  

Anyone old enough is sure to feel a deep sense of nostalgia when thinking about dial-up internet. Unplugging the phone line, connecting your modem, and waiting for the noise. Ahh, the noise. The glorious symphony that greeted you each time you wanted to browse the web. A noise synonymous with the internet in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  

Unfortunately, the thrill of being connected to the web was often short-lived. Connection was usually followed by shouts of, “Get off the internet, I need to use the phone!”  

That was before broadband revolutionized the internet.  

By allowing the signal in one line to be split, broadband enables users to make calls and be online simultaneously.

Comparing broadband to dial-up internet

When compared to broadband, dial-up falls short in many ways.  

Firstly, it has extremely slow speeds meaning it can take what feels like forever to stream videos, download files, and surf the web.

Secondly, dial-up can cause interference with telephone lines, making it difficult to make or receive calls while connected to the internet.

Finally, dial-up connections are not always reliable, meaning that they can be prone to frequent outages or disruptions. All these issues make it clear that broadband is the way to go when looking for a reliable internet connection!

Different types of broadband connections

Remember those technologies and connections we mentioned before (DSL and fiber-optics)? We're going to talk about those guys now!

Depending on what your needs are, you can choose from different broadband services such as:  


Fiber optics is an advanced technology that uses light signals to transmit data. It relies on cables made of thin glass fibers, which carry enormous amounts of data over long distances at incredibly fast speeds.

It can be expensive, but it offers the fastest internet speed, making it ideal for high-speed internet activities like streaming and online gaming.


Cable internet is one of the most popular types of internet connection and is commonly available.

It delivers high-speed internet and uses the same coaxial cable system as your TV service provider. Therefore, the network that provides your cable TV connection is the same one that allows you to access the Internet.

However, it can sometimes be costly as it is subject to data caps, and you could be charged extra if you use too much data.


DSL internet is a service that uses your home's existing phone line to provide internet access. It costs less than cable internet but is no longer commonly available due to the decline in people signing up for the service.


A satellite connection provides internet connectivity via communication satellites. It is often the best option in rural areas where other types of broadband services aren't available. However, it can be slow and negatively affected by certain weather conditions.

How to choose the right broadband provider

Now that you know the details about broadband, here are the top five factors to consider when selecting a broadband provider:

  1. Speed

Different providers offer different speeds, so make sure you choose one that meets your needs. If you're a gamer or frequent streamer, the last thing you'd want is for your internet to lag.

  1. Cost

Make sure you compare the prices of different packages and providers. You don't want to break the bank every month with your internet bill. But, at the same time, there are better options than the cheapest option.

  1. Reliability

Opt for a provider that has an excellent track record for reliability. You don't want to be stuck with slow speeds and disruptions, especially if you use the internet frequently.  

  1. Customer service

Ensure you read what others say about different providers and their services. If you ever run into any issues, it's important to have access to good customer service.

  1. Availability

Different providers offer different levels of coverage and aren't always available in all areas – research which locations your provider services and what type of connection you can get.

How to compare broadband packages  

When it comes to choosing a broadband package, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Data allowance

This is the amount of data you can use before being charged extra or reducing your connection speed. Compare what different providers offer to ensure you won't exceed what's included in your plan.

  1. Contract length  

Some providers require a two-year commitment. Others offer month-to-month plans. This can be a crucial factor, as it allows you to switch providers if you're unhappy with the service or looking for something better.

  1. Installation costs

Certain providers require installation fees, while others offer it for free. Consider this when comparing packages to make sure you don't end up paying more than what's necessary.  

  1. Additional benefits

Some providers give you additional features like discounted rates for streaming, free routers, or home security services. Make sure you're aware of what each provider has to offer so you can get what's best for you.

That brings us to the end of our broadband field trip

Broadband has become an essential service and having the right provider can make a world of difference. With so many options available today, it's important to consider which factors are important to you such as speed and cost.

Everyone deserves accessibility to reliable internet and we, at HomeLinkd, understand how important it is for you to get the best broadband deal for your needs.

Reach out to HomeLinkd and make the right choice for your home broadband connection. A seamless online experience is just a click away!  

Written by:
Prenisha Naidoo
Creative Copywriter

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