Internet technologies are getting better by the day. Not so long ago, dial-up was all you used to get. Although this technology is on its way out, it is still offered in many areas. Unlike the good old slow days, you have not stuck with a single technology anymore. There are superior and faster technologies available for consumers today.
Latest innovations like Fiber to your Home, VDSL bonding, and so on promise even faster Internet speeds in the near future. For now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and focus on the different Internet technologies available today. They all offer different speeds and price points. Hence, each technology is better suited for a particular kind of user. Here is all that you need to know about the most popular Internet technologies.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
This technology uses telephone lines to deliver the Internet to your home. Sounds like dial-up? That’s because, it works almost like a dial-up connection, but with 1 major difference – it delivers much higher speeds. With DSL you can get speeds as high as 25Mbps. As the technology is being updated, these speeds are set to reach 100Mbps.
There are two types of DSL connections out there – ADSL and SDSL. ADSL stands for Asymmetric DSL, while SDSL stands for Symmetric DSL. ADSL technology is cheaper than SDSL. In the case of ADSL, the download speeds are relatively higher than the upload speeds. On the other hand, SDSL’s download and upload speeds are the same.
If you compare DSL to other Internet technologies, you will find that it is very inexpensive in comparison to the other broadband technologies. Since it is an older technology, you will also find more service providers offering you a DSL Internet connection. In other words, you have more options. Further, in the case of DSL, the connection speeds do not fluctuate much. You get stable speeds, which makes the connection reliable.
The biggest disadvantage of a DSL connection is its dependence on the distance from the provider’s office. If you are closer to their central office, you will get better speeds and vice versa. As consumers get more and more dependent on the Internet, the Internet speeds offered by DSL may not satisfy all their needs.
This is the broadband service offered by your cable provider. In case of cable Internet, the Internet is delivered over the coaxial wires or TV cables. A cable broadband Internet connection can offer speeds as high as 100Mbps. However, the speeds vary by a great degree from place to place.
Cable Internet is quite a popular option. It offers a faster Internet connection than DSL and satellite technologies. Unlike DSL, the cable Internet speed is not a function of the distance from the provider’s office. It is also much easier to get a cable Internet connection than a fiber-optic one. So, it really hits that sweet spot. Another big reason behind the popularity of cable Internet is that the cable companies heavily push it. It is familiar and hence, people are more comfortable opting for it.
A big caveat with this rather good offer is that other subscribers in your local area share cable Internet bandwidth. So, if you are using the Internet at peak hours, you will experience slow speeds. If you are an off-peak-hour kind of a user, cable Internet should be your best option.
You can get a satellite Internet connection, irrespective of your location. It is the only Internet technology where availability to a subscriber does not depend on their location. There are no wires, but a dish that you need to install to get the Internet feed right to your home.
No matter how remote your location, you can still get a satellite Internet connection. No other Internet technology can claim this. It is the sole broadband option available for millions of Americans living in rural regions.
Coming to the cons of satellite technology, its speeds are very limited and max out at 25Mbps. Also, it is an expensive option for the speeds it offers. If you live in an area where you have access to other types of Internet connection, then opting for satellite Internet does not really make a lot of sense. It is more like a last resort service when you have no other option.
This is the fastest Internet technology available on the market today. An optical network carries the Internet to your homes. The starting speeds for a fiber optic Internet connection are 65Mbps and can go as high as 1Gbps. If you are a cord cutter, online gamer, or love to download a lot of movies and complete seasons of TV shows on a regular basis, then the fiber-optic Internet has got you covered. This is a rather new technology, and currently, there are two to three major fiber-optic service providers in the US.
The biggest disadvantage of the fiber-optic broadband service is that it is available in only a select few cities at the moment. But, the technology infrastructure is growing in its coverage. As more corporate investment goes into this technology, it will become available at large.
Each Internet technology has its pros and cons. DSL and cable Internet are relatively older technologies but are more readily available. On the other hand, fiber-optic offers very high speeds, but is available in a very limited number of locations. Satellite Internet solves a completely different problem that none of these technologies address.
One Internet technology may be better than the other purely in terms of performance. You can clearly see that on paper. But, at the ground level, availability and costs of the technology are more important factors. These two matters a lot when discussing one technology’s suitability over another for your home connection. Consider them to arrive at a suitable service provider for your home.