WHAT IS BROADBAND??
Broadband as many of you know, has replaced the old annoying dial-up modem. If you’re still using the dial up modem (which must be a rare case) then finish reading this article and run quickly to your nearest dealer.
As well as being much quicker than dial up and the fact that there’s no need to hear that whining dial-up noise, you also don’t need to turn your landline off to go on the Internet. Bonus, you can chat to your friends whilst catching up on your online-game, perfect.
NEW TO ALL THIS BROADBAND JARGON?
If you’re getting sweaty palms with all this Broadband stuff then there’s no need to worry. In order to upgrade all you have to do is ring up your provider and get them to setup your phone line so that it can receive a broadband connection. This won’t affect your landline, so you still get chance to catch up with your daily gossip…
They will set you up with a swanky new broadband system that will run circles around your old setup. If you’re a little tech savvy then it’s nice to know that broadband companies install small ‘microfilters’ which will help the system to receive cleaner signals, this will make quite a difference, and at times, without one of these, broadband isn’t possible in your area.
Installing all these modern gizmos obviously come at a cost to the provider, so you will more than likely have to set up a yearly contract with the provider in order to cover the costs.
THIS ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH I HEAR YOU SAY?
If the thought of just ‘quick’ ruffles your feathers, how does ‘superfast’ sound to you? Yup, you heard it. Superfast is now available through something called fiber optics. Fiber optics are incredibly quick and tons more reliable, enabling smooth online streaming and a pixel perfect online gaming environment.
As you can imagine though, the price for this is a little more than your typical broadband set-up. However, much more companies are starting to jump on the fiber optics gravy train and the prices are starting to fall. So if you want the ‘Superman’ of Internet connections then fiber optics is the way to go.
IS ALL THIS CONFUSING YOU? NO PROBLEM, SEE
BELOW FOR A RUN DOWN OF EXPLANATIONS.
SUPERFAST BROADBAND?? EH!!
Superfast broadband is a step up from regular ADSL broadband. Meaning that the connection runs along fibre optic cables rather than copper phone lines. This means however, that areas with this new installed fibre optics are the only areas where you are able to choose this new system. So be sure to check in your local area.
What happens is your phone line will stay the same; it just gets connected up to them little green boxes on your street, which in turn is connected up to the local area Internet exchange. Meaning that you don’t have to do anything to your home setup, you just need to get your phone line pointing to a different line.
The clear benefits of upgrading means that browsing the web is up to 4 times faster than average, and superfast broadband packages can be found with speeds of up to 30Mb+ wooooo, quicker than dash to the local…
With this in place, everything will be instant. Large downloads will feel like Childs play now, and no more waiting around to get that huge video you wanted to watch.
This just doesn’t mean though you get all these bonus features on one workstation, you can connect up your phone, IPad, gizmo, whatever you want, and the speed will still be fast.
WHAT ARE THE TOP SPEEDS WITH SUPER-DUPER BROADBAND?
Its not unusual in the UK to see speeds that are up to 100Mb… How fast is that I hear you say? Put it this way, if you had an online album which is around 100Mb, you could be listening to that album in 6 seconds flat, or a High Definition blue ray film in a super quick 6 minutes!! Now how’s that for service?
WHO OFFERS SUPERFAST BROADBAND?
The fibre broadband market is increasing rapidly, and Virgin Media is no longer the only provider offering a superfast cable service.
BT now has fiber optics at their disposal. Offering packages at speeds of up to 38Mb and 76Mb. BT also owns Plusnet, who offer the same deal.
Sky and Talktalk, are a little behind unfortunately, they offer some fibre optic services, but at the moment they are very limited.
Therefore, the key player still is Virgin, who is able to offer whopping speeds of 30Mb, 60Mb and 100Mb. At the moment, the network covers around 50% of the UK, but this is growing rapidly.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER YOU CAN GET FIBRE OPTICS?
As I say the companies are literally brawling to get this fibre optic phenomenon under way. But not everyone has it yet.
As a general rule of thumb, you can pretty much guarantee that all the major cities now have fiber optic broadband. Therefore in contrast, the more rural areas may be somewhat lacking in availability.
The best thing you can do at the moment is use an online ‘broadband post code checker’. Its not too accurate, but it’s a start. It may be wise to ring up some providers to check though.
BUT THE POINT REALLY IS, DO I ACTUALLY NEED IT?
I mean are you going to benefit from this as much as you like?? We all love super quick, but broadband sill isn’t bad at all. The real benefits to all this fiber optics malarkey are the benefits to online streaming, online gaming and the downloading of large files.