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Connections

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Speed freak

The term ‘broadband’ is generally described as a permanent high-speed network connection with data speeds in excess of 128 kilobits per second (Kbps). There are different types of broadband connections available from different telecommunications companies and internet service providers. An example would be cable internet, which uses the same coaxial cables that carry cable-television signals. Another is Wireless or WiFi, also technically referred to as 802.11, which allows for anywhere surfing up to hundreds of meters using a wireless network card and a wireless network base station.

Limited bandwidth

Dial-up connections are ultimately tied to the phone line, the quality and the age of the lines determine your actual data mileage for your connection. Broadband, on the other hand, allows for simultaneous use of a voice connection and a data connection at the same time (for example, digital subscriber lines or DSL). Analog telephone lines were never meant to carry large data transfers effectively, and is designed purposely for voice communication. On one end, a phone coverts audio into electrical signals and converted back into audio at the other end. Some broadband connections do away with the phone wires completely so that more than one type of data communications service can be used at a single location.

Always on

A common denominator in almost all broadband connections is being always readily available; as long as the computer is turned on, so is the internet. This is reffered to as an always on connection. No more fiddling with dozens of telephone numbers, and no more dialing, this is one of the basic advantages of using broadband.

One factor that may still determine the choice of upgrading to broadband from dial-up is the price. Broadband connections are still considerably more expensive than a typical dial-up account. Price, however, becomes trivial for the heavy bandwidth user since broadband is actually cheaper in the long run when you consider the amount of data that actually goes through the connection as compared to dial-up. This is described more intently in the next section: Broadband vs. Dial-up.

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