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What Determines the Broadband Speed I Can Get

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

Seeking Faster Broadband

When it comes to home broadband, and of course, mobile broadband, too, we’re often primarily concerned with the speed of the connection that we can achieve. The speed will dictate how much data we can download and upload and how quickly we can do the activities that we can do on our broadband connection. There are a number of factors that can influence the speed at which we can do things on the technology. This article will look at these aspects so that you’ll have a better understanding of how your broadband connection works.

The Technologies Including ADSL, Fibre Optic and Mobile Broadband

ADSL Broadband

ADSL broadband travels over the infrastructure that was set-up for phone conversations. It is plugged in to the telephone line that we have coming in to our house. Therefore, you need to have line rental in order to have ADSL. Many providers offer ADSL including AOL Broadband, Sky Broadband, and PlusNet Broadband and many, many others. Because the technology is owned by BT, they have services that allow other providers to jump on to the copper cable of the BT infrastructure and to use the telephone exchanges.

The speed you achieve on ADSL will be massively dependent on how far you live from the nearest telephone exchange. The telephone exchange is the intersection point and from there copper cables will run the internet to your home and devices. The problem is that the technology was set-up not for high-speed internet data but for voice calls and therefore it isn’t good at carrying high-speed internet. Over distance, the speed of your internet will degrade so if you live further from telephone exchange than your friends, the likelihood is you will have a slower connection than them.

Fibre Optic Broadband

With fibre optic broadband, you don’t have the same issues as you do with AOL and ADSL providers. Essentially, cables are made of plastic and glass and are perfectly designed to carry the internet signals efficiently. They will have an inner core and then outer layer to reflect back light from the inner core, and then an outer casing. And the design is such that over distance, speed is not lost and packets can be sent faster than with copper cables.

This is why fibre optic broadband is the fastest broadband technology and generally performs much better than ADSL. You have Virgin Broadband that offers a hundred megabit per second connections to consumers and we have 330 megabit per second connections in the offing from BT Broadband.

With fibre optic broadband, the speed that you get would be largely dependent on the package you go for. Most providers have a tiered structure of speed. For example, BT Broadband has packages around 38 megabits per second and around 80 megabits per second.  This will be the defining factor in the speed that you will be getting in fibre optic broadband coming in to your home.

Mobile Broadband

The speed of the mobile broadband you can get will be dependent on the network coverage you have. If you are a long way from a telephone mast or are heavily obstructed from the nearest one, your connection speed will be slow and your connection will be intermittent. If you have very strong coverage, then you will fare much better.

In addition nowadays, we have 4G connectivity. The 4th generation mobile broadband is ten times faster than the third generation and will facilitate much more intensive activities on your mobile broadband, smartphones, tablets and laptops. If you can get a 4G connection, you’re likely to get very fast broadband of towards 14.4 megabits per second minus inefficiencies. If you can get on 3G connectivity, you’re more likely to get around .5 megabits per second because the top speed is around 1.4 megabits per second. Of course, there are enhancements in this technology, which can make things faster and more efficient but the above speeds are good general guides.

AOL Broadband, Sky Broadband, PlusNet Broadband, ADSL Connection Issues

With all the providers, there are many other issues that can cause you to have slower internet speeds. If you think of your internet as a super highway over which the broadband travels, any roadblock or narrowing in the roads can cause slowdowns in speeds. If there’s a crash at any point along the super highway, then your connection might drop altogether until the issue is resolved.

With broadband ADSL there are inefficiencies that come from the cables approaching your house, the wiring within your house, which can cause a lot of interference and bottlenecks, the equipment that you use in your set-up, which can be of insufficient capacity to carry the speed of internet available, and of course, wireless issues too. If you’re plugging directly with your Ethernet cable, then it will be your set-up and the connection itself that are likely to cause the biggest issues. Make sure that you are plugged in directly to the main telephone socket in your house with your ADSL Wi-Fi router and ensure that you have microfilters plugged in.

Wi-Fi is used with Your A Broadband Service Provider

If you’re on AOL Broadband or any other ADSL provider, then Wi-Fi issues may come about due to interference from other Wi-Fi connections in your neighbourhood, interference from Wi-Fi devices such as wireless boilers, wireless audio systems, and Wi-Fi baby video monitors and also from electrical devices near your telephone line and near your router. On top of this, your Wi-Fi signal can be impeded by physical obstructions just as mobile broadband can outside. Some solutions to this are to get a Wi-Fi relayer or repeater which increases the range, get a premium broadband router or use a home plug system to relay the internet around your house through your electric circuits. 



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