The Basics of Broadband Internet

by Aeyne Schriber on December 15, 2008 in Internet Access

If you are frustrated with slow loading Web pages and consistently getting disconnected from the Internet at a moments notice, you may want to consider dumping your dial-up access and getting a broadband Internet connection.

Broadband Internet connects your computer to the Internet via cable or DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) as opposed to a telephone line which is used for dial-up access. A broadband Internet connection does not interfere with your telephone line because it utilizes unused wires in the line which transmit data rapidly and reliably, making your Internet surfing experience a lot more user friendly.

A broadband Internet connection makes the Internet consistently available to you and is only disconnected if the cable box or DSL line is intentionally unplugged. This means that you do not have to worry about getting disconnected from the Internet unexpectedly.

With a broadband Internet connection you are generally charged for the service on your cable bill and the cable provider is responsible for installation and maintaining the services. Through your cable line, you are connected to the provider’s main network which is in turn, connected to an Internet service provided by an ISP (Internet Service Provider). The cable company provides the technical support for the connections they installed for you and the Internet Service Provider is responsible for the actual connection to the Internet.

Broadband Internet service is billed to you on a monthly basis and generally includes unlimited Internet surfing, cable rental, installation fees, browser and email applications, Ethernet and software configuration. You do not have to have a cable television connection already in place; however, most cable providers will offer you a discount on broadband connection service if you do.

From a price standpoint, a broadband connection will typically cost you anywhere from $25 to $35 more per month than a dial-up connection but you can consider it as upgrading your service from dial-up access.

From a security standpoint, when you obtain broadband Internet service the company will assign you an IP (Internet Protocol) address which is used to deliver data that you request over the Internet. This address will not change unless you request to have it changed. With dial-up access, the IP address changes every time you log on. Since your address remains the same on a broadband connection, you may want to install a firewall and an anti-virus software program with the connection to protect your PC against potential hackers. Additionally, you may want to disable any file sharing programs.

Like everything else there are always pros and cons and with broadband you will enjoy the higher speed connection but you will have to take measures to protect your PC as a tradeoff. Overall, broadband Internet creates a more enjoyable computing experience and expands your capabilities for surfing the Internet, conducting business, or social networking. While dial-up access is somewhat more secure, you must be able to tolerate the hassles that come with a slower connection as well as the limitations as to what you can accomplish with your PC.

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