Which High Speed Broadband Connection is Right for You?
Cable Internet access uses the
same Cable TV wiring already found in many homes, although your cable company
will typically come out to install the cable model and software. Cable download
speeds are theoretically up to 2 times faster than DSL, but because access is
shared with other users in your neighborhood the speed can fluctuate depending
on who is on the network. Since itís unlikely that everyone will be using the
connection (that is, actually downloading information and not just reviewing
Web pages) at the same time, each individual most of the time will not notice
any degradation in service. Still, in more rural areas with fewer subscribers,
you're bound to have faster download speeds than a subscriber in a metropolitan
Due to its speed and availability
in most homes, Cable Internet is especially useful for people who enjoy playing
online games, downloading music, sending instant messages, and surfing
graphic-intensive web sites.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
brings high-bandwidth to homes and small to medium sized businesses over the
ordinary copper telephone lines presently installed behind your walls. DSL
technology is available in various flavors, collectively referred to as xDSL.
It allows voice, video and data to be transmitted at very fast speeds, 20 or
more times faster than an ordinary 56K modem.
Your distance from a telephone company switching station will determine
whether you can receive DSL (you typically have to be within 3 miles) and the
speed of your connection. Depending on the flavor of DSL you have, DSL
may require special jacks and connections or changes to the wiring inside your
home but in the vast majority of cases you will be able to install DSL
DSL provides fast Internet access,
high bandwidth and speed, reliability, "always on" service and
Satellite Internet connects your
computer to an Internet service provider through a satellite orbiting 22,000
miles above the earth. It doesn't require telephone lines or cable access,
making it the one choice for high-speed Internet access in locations where DSL
or Cable are not available. It does tend to be one of the more costly broadband
Satellite Internet access is
equipment-heavy. You will attach a small satellite dish to your house (or
structure close by) that has a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky to
receive the signal. Like with satellite television reception, trees
and heavy rains can affect reception of the Internet signals. You may
also notice lags in the time between clicking on a link and receiving the data.
These lags do not interfere with most Internet activities but can cause
slowdown during online games and may interfere with some VPN software.