Broadband internet connections have changed the way the world functions. During the days of slower internet (using dial-up modems), the internet wasn't a "go to" place for everything. Libraries were still the number one resource for information, and talking on the telephone was commonplace. Social networking consisted of going outside and talking to your neighbors, and the only video games that were popular were on your Nintendo Entertainment System. Broadband internet connections have changed all of that.
What Are the Different Types of Broadband Internet Connections?Here are the main types of broadband internet connections, ranked by average speed:
1) Fiber Optics - This type of high-speed connection features a maximum speed of 50 mbps as it transfers data over fiber optic lines. Because this data is essentially transmitted via pulses of light, it's extremely fast, but also can be very expensive. Depending on service provider and location, this type of internet access can cost up to $145 per month.
2) Cable Internet - Of all of the types of broadband internet connections, cable may be the most variable in terms of speed, ranging between 4 mbps and 16 mbps. Data is transferred through coaxial cable, the same way cable TV is transmitted. Generally, the user receives cable internet and TV from the same company. Cable internet prices range between $40-$55 per month by itself, but this can be discounted if purchased in conjunction with cable TV and telephone service.
3) DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) - With data transferred over a telephone line, DSL is generally slower than cable internet with speeds ranging between 768 kbps and 7.1 mbps. Expected speed is usually more reliable, as you pay for the speed you want. Depending on what speed you choose, your monthly price will range between $20-$45 on average. Although data is transmitted over a telephone line, this technology is different that the older, slower dial-up modems which are only capable of speeds of up to 56 kbps and not considered one of the types of broadband internet connections.
4) Satellite Internet - Of all the broadband internet connections, satellite internet is the worst value for the amount of speed expected. The reason some households turn to satellite internet is because it's accessible almost anywhere a clear view of the sky can be obtained, in many areas where cable internet and DSL are simply not available. Also, because it relies on data transfer with a satellite, the connection is often unreliable, especially on cloudy days or during storms.
What Are Some Recommended Providers of Broadband Internet Connections?
There are several great providers of broadband internet connections. Which one you use will depend on your budget and what's available in your area.
- NetZero High-Speed Internet - This is an interesting option, because this internet provider actually is a dial-up service that promises broadband-like speeds. The first 12 months are only $9.95 per month, which is considerably cheaper than most high-speed internet options.
- Comcast - Comcast is one of the leading providers of cable internet in the US, and is one of the highly recommended broadband internet connections if available to you.
- AT&T - For DSL, AT&T is one of the most popular options. From DSL Basic to DSL Elite, they have different packages for different desired speeds.