What is Broadband?
Divulging on the technical aspect of what broadband is can lead to much more serious confusion. It is best to understand this in a more practical and simple way. Broadband specifically pertains to a wide range of frequency. It is pretty much similar to the concept of radio frequency except that this has more extensive and stronger signal, hence the term broadband. Radio waves are known to have a narrow band Morse code. On the other hand, broadband can accommodate a heavier load so it could also handle speech, video, music and a whole lot more.
Since broadband can hold bigger amount of data, this has become as a means of communication especially these days. Through simultaneous data transmission using wireless or cable connections, it easily provides voice on demand, video services and fast internet connection.
Over the last decade, more and more people are opting for broadband because of the superb speed and steady internet connection. Compared to dial-up connection which is its predecessor, broadband has provided far better and faster internet connection. There is no need to wait for minutes until a web page loads up, downloading no longer takes days, video streaming is not choppy and web browsing can be done is micro-seconds.
What do you Need for Broadband?
There are different companies which could provide you with broadband connection for home or business. When choosing among the available plans from various service providers, do not just focus on the price. Check out the broadband speed, uploading and downloading monthly allowance and other included services. Side by side comparison will enable you to see which plan would give you more benefits so you could maximize the money that you are spending every month.
The broadband providers may have different names but there are basic equipments that are often used to establish the connection. The basic apparatus list includes optic fiber cable, modem, phone broadband adapter, wireless broadband router, satellite dish, broadband accelerator and broadband modem.
Understanding ISP - (Internet Service Provider)
What makes it difficult to fully grasp the concept of broadband are the jargons. One common jargon that typically pops up during broadband discussions is the term, ISP. ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. Yes, this is the company which is responsible for installing, activating and providing your broadband connection.
When selecting an ISP, the first thing you need to check is the service availability in the UK. This pertains to the geographical scope of the company. All thanks to modern and sophisticated software and websites that ISP companies have introduced, you can easily see if a particular company has reliable services in your location simply by typing your UK postcode.
As a bonus, some companies throw in other services in their plans. You should look into plan inclusions like internet security features, anti-virus software, pre-configured wireless router, internet boosters, parental control or home networking set-up.
Aside from looking into the different broadband plans, speed and features that the ISPs offers, there are usual terms and conditions that you have to be aware of. Some companies have a lock in period which could be anywhere within 1 month to 2 years. This means that you can not terminate their services within that period unless you are willing to pay the contract breakage penalty. Other ISPs offer shorter or no lock in period. So you can try out their services and if things do not go well, you have the freedom to discontinue your subscription.
Do not underestimate the importance of customer service too. There are many ISPs which have been getting bad broadband reviews because their customer service hotline can not address the concerns of their clients like fluctuating speed, poor service, connection issues and other technical aspects. An ISP with a reliable UK customer service hotline would save you from a lot of hassle.
You’re Need for Speed
In the 1990’s the internet was usually accessed through an analogue modem which would get a maximum speed of around 56KB per second which would often restrict the usage of your landline making it impossible to access the internet and leave your UK landline available for incoming or outgoing phone calls. The only other viable solution was to have more than one landline in your house which often resulted in major extra costs.
Broadband or the ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technology not only made it possible to access the internet and make landline phone calls concurrently but also allowed people to surf the internet at a faster speed. Bringing convenience to every home, the broadband or ADSL technology came at an expensive cost for the typical domestic user in the UK.
Within a few years, the telecommunications industry regulator Oftel and many of industry leaders such as BT (British Telecom) recognized the need to make UK broadband more accessible to the typical home. An (ADSL) Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology is based on a simple logic, ADSL means that the spare capacity on the phone line is converted into a digital line. This allows more data to be transferred at increased speeds and allows the consumer to make phone calls whilst browsing the internet.
If you compare broadband speeds, analogue phone line dial-up connections work at a maximum speed of 56KB/sec where ADSL works at a speed between 512Kb per second and 8Mb per second. It may go up to 140 times faster than the phone line internet connection with the newer ADSL technology called ADSL2+.
Since different broadband packages include varying speed, you need to make a smart decision when choosing which one would work best with your needs. Typical web browsing and surfing does not require much broadband speed. The hardest ones to load up might be modern websites with heavy flash graphics or those which are packed with photos, videos and images. For simpler tasks like this, broadband speed ranging from 512 kbps to 1 Mbps will already work for you.
More complex online tasks like downloading (Bit Torrent, IRC, Newsgroups, DLC), video streaming (YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, 4OD) or online gaming (PC, Xbox360, PS3, Wii) needs excellent broadband speed. If not, you would not be able to enjoy these future entertainment activities to the fullest. Yes, faster broadband speed would also mean more expensive broadband packages. Pick those which could give you 2 Mbps or better. There are super-fast broadband packages like Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) these days which can provide you with 24 to 80 Mbps that will allow taking advantage of streaming HD quality films (720p / 1080p resolutions).
Downloading with Broadband
There is no doubt that downloading can be done much faster with a broadband connection. After doing a few clicks, your computer will start retrieving the data. All thanks to broadband, downloading photos, documents, music, movies, DLC gaming, TV shows and other files can be done in a much shorter time. Of course, the number of minutes or hours that the download would take to finish will still depend on the size of the file and speed of the broadband plan you have.
For downloading using broadband, you also have to be familiar with downloading and uploading allowance. This is measured in MB (megabytes) or GB (gigabytes).
If your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gives you unlimited downloading allowance, you can go ahead and download files as much as you need, but be aware of a hidden fair use policy. This is perfect for people who are into online gaming, downloading music albums and HD video since such media files can eat up a large chunk of your monthly download allowance.
There are plans which have set downloading limit. This means that everytime you download a file online, your allowance is used up. If you exceed the limit, there will be extra charges and in some cases can be £2 per extra GB of data (including uploaded data as well).
Video Streaming via Broadband
All thanks to the commendable data transfer speed through broadband, it is possible to watch movies and TV shows through your computer or other compatible devices (Smartphones, Apple iPads, Tablets and Notebooks). What happens is that video is continuously played and buffered while data is being received.
If you are fond of video streaming, it is best to opt for broadband packages with faster speed and unlimited downloading allowance. That way, you would not be annoyed by choppy or delayed videos (waiting for media to be buffered) just because you’re broadband speed is not fast enough. You do not have to limit your viewing too since there is no download allowance to worry about.
What are the Best Broadband Providers in the UK?
If you are looking for the best broadband providers in the UK then you can find out by visiting The Product Site.com. From this site you will quickly learn how to find the best broadband provider that suits you unique internet needs, whether that is just browsing, downloading, streaming or online gaming. The ProductSite.com is the number one leading authority on broadband reviews, ISP reviews and wireless router reviews.