When it comes to having a broadband internet service provider, we’d all like to have quick and reliable service at a good price. If you’re in the market for internet service, you may be wondering what the best type of internet connection is for you. Below are some of the main types of high-speed broadband internet connections you may want to consider. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™
Cable internet works through the television channels. It runs through a coaxial cable instead of through telephone lines. One channel sends and another receives. As long as your coaxial cable is connected, your internet connection is on too. The coaxial cable provides you with a bigger bandwidth than other types of internet connection can. Cable internet can run fast, typically between 512 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 15 megabits per second (Mbps). Since it runs so fast, you can play real-time games and have voice conversations, VoIP, over the internet. One of the downsides of cable internet is that when more people use it, it slows down significantly. It’s also more expensive than dial-up or DSL.
A digital subscriber line, or DSL, is a two-wire copper telephone line connection that allows you to access the internet. It runs between 250Kbps and 6Mpbs. DSL line uses telephone lines, but the internet and the phone don’t interfere with one another because DSL runs at a higher frequency and is filtered out of phone calls. This means you can use the internet connection and the telephone at the same time. Your computer always stays connected to the internet.
If you’re in an area where you don't have access to cable or DSL, such as a rural town, a satellite internet connection may be your best choice. It’s slower than cable and DSL – and more expensive – running between 56Kbps and 2Mbps. Still, it’s usually faster than dial-up. A downside is that satellite internet providers limit the amount of bandwidth you can use. Most commercial satellite internet service has high latency, making it less than optimal to use for real-time gaming or talking via the internet (VoIP). It’s not ideal for virtual private networks (VPN) either. Usually clouds and rainy weather won’t interrupt your service, although occasional bad storms may interfere with your signal.
A satellite internet connection works by sending data via satellite. A satellite dish is set up, pointing toward the southern sky, at your home or office. It sends signals to a satellite that is in a stationary position above the earth and receives bandwidth from the internet service provider through that connection.
If you’re in an area where you can’t access the internet through cable or DSL, you may need to use dial-up. Unfortunately, a dial-up internet connection is slow. The top speed for dial-up is usually about 56Kbps. It doesn’t stay constantly connected so you have to wait for it to dial up when you want to use it. Additionally, it uses your telephone line to send the data. This means that while you’re using the internet, you can’t talk on the phone.
Cable delivers you internet the fastest, followed by DSL, then satellite and finally analog. If you don’t live in an area where you can receive cable or DSL, you may only have satellite internet and dial-up as options. If you have the option, cable and DSL are the best high-speed internet connection choices.