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What is Broadband?

by John
what is broadband

With the digital arena expanding rapidly, the demand for internet connections is rising. Video conferences have taken over the conference room meetings, communication is mainly through emails and to top it all, to some extent, classroom learning has been diverted to online mediums as well. To accommodate all these activities, a strong internet connection is a must. 

So what is broadband? Broadband is a high-speed internet connecting devices through a telephone line. Traditionally a dial-up connection was being used, and the speed was comparatively low compared to broadband made of copper or fibre.

What is broadband connection, and who provides it?

Now that we know about broadband, let us understand what is broadband connection. 

A broadband connection is a high-speed internet connection where the internet signal is transmitted from point to point through a telephone line. Earlier dial-up connections did the job, but the speed was considerably low. Home broadband connections use copper and fibre-based lines.

The broadband connections are provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who also provide an option to buy the router needed for internet connectivity. Generally, the ISPs provide broadband connection to houses via Fibre To The Home (FTTH) connection.  You can connect to the internet through the router or the modem provided by the ISP. These are generally Wi-Fienabled for seamless, wireless internet connectivity.

What is the difference between broadband and Wi-Fi?

What is broadband, and what is broadband connection has been explained? We should also be aware of the difference between broadband and Wi-Fi.

A high-speed internet connection is termed broadband. It is a popular way to establish connections to the internet.  Earlier, the internet signals were transmitted through a telephone, but at present, broadband aids the split up of frequencies into channels so that both the telephone and the internet can be used simultaneously.

The technology has changed now, and the latest technology, i.e. Wi-Fi, has replaced the telephone. Wi-Fi uses radio waves to provide network connectivity.  A connection to the internet can be established by creating a hotspot through wireless adapters. Once the configuration is done, wireless connectivity is provided to the devices by Wi-Fi.

You can use broadband as Wi-Fi by connecting the broadband modem to the Wi-Fi router and by connecting the PC to the router with the cable. The rest will be wireless. If you are always on the move and constantly need a high-speed internet for your activities, then Wi-Fi is the best for you. If you work regularly at a fixed location, broadband is the best option. The other aspects that differentiate broadband from Wi-Fi are

  • Broadband is cost-effective, but Wi-Fi is comparatively priced higher
  • Broadband speed is less consistent when compared to Wi-Fi
  • Network congestion is lower in broadband when compared to Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi is more portable than broadband. But portability can be managed with broadband with a Wi-Fi router.

Wi-Fi can be used to connect various devices within a local area using the existing broadband connection through a Wi-Fi router. 

Importance of broadband

Just knowing what a broadband connection is, is not adequate. You should also know the importance of broadband before you venture into one. 

In the present day scenario, everything starting from shopping, paying utility bills, skill training, business meetings and other business activities happens online, and the dependence on internet connection has mounted in leaps and bounds. 

Faster broadband enables remote working, and better communication enhances the social media experience and makes cloud computing easy. High-speed internet connectivity has become a basic necessity for seamless online activities.

Benefits of broadband connection

We already know what a broadband connection is and the importance of a broadband connection in the present scenario. Before going in for a broadband connection, you should know about the benefits of broadband and is it necessary for you.

Some of the benefits of broadband connection are:

#1. High internet speed

The internet speed will be consistent whether you are using it for online meetings, for streaming programmes or games, for webinars, etc. You can conduct any online activity without any interruption or slow down of connection.

#2. Access to multiple users

Access is granted to multiple users. The most desirable advantage is that the speed and connectivity are not disrupted even when multiple users access the internet connection simultaneously.

#3. The internet connection is reliable

Barring the time when the maintenance of the internet connection is in progress, there will be no disturbance in the internet speed. For the convenience of the consumers, such maintenance generally is done between midnight and morning.

#4. Economical

With a lot of demand for broadband connections, ISPs and telecom companies have devised various plans with different quotes to suit the budget of every consumer. You will have the choice of a plan that you consider to be affordable and suits your requirement.

What are the different types of broadband?

There are various types of broadband connections depending on the mode of data transmission and the speed.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

In a digital subscriber line, the data is transferred through the conventional copper phone lines. The internet speed in a DSL connection depends on the proximity to the switching station. The farther you are from the switching station, the slower the connection will be and vice versa.

There are two types of DSL technologies. ADSL, i.e., asymmetrical digital subscriber line and SDSL, i.e., symmetrical digital subscriber line. In ADSL, the download and upload speeds are not the same. It is generally preferred for connections in homes where there are not many data uploads, but the internet is mainly used for watching movies and playing games. The download speed will be much higher than the upload speed in an ADSL connection.

SDSL suits large businesses and organisations where fast speed is required for both downloads and uploads. The activities involve sending and receiving large volumes of data which will require high speed for optimum performance.

Cable Modem

The coaxial cables that are used to audio and video to a television set are used to transmit data in cable broadband connection. The speed of the connection depends on the number of users in the locality.

Fibre Optic

In a fibre optic broadband connection the data is transmitted through fibre optic cables. This is the most preferred broadband connection as it provides the highest speed. 

Fibre broadband transforms electrical signals into visible light using fibre optic technology. The data is carried through electrical signals. When electrical signals are converted to light, they are transmitted through transparent glass fibres. The data is transferred at a considerably faster speed by fibre optic when compared to DSL and cable modems.

Satellite

Satellite broadband connections are slower when compared to DSL and Cable Modem connections.  Satellite broadband connection has been the focus of many technology companies who aim to provide broadband connectivity to even the remotest area across the globe. The set-up cost of satellite broadband connection could be higher, but the monthly fees are in tandem with DSL and Cable broadband connections.

What should you look for before choosing a broadband connection?

Once you have a basic understanding of broadband meaning, what is broadband connection and how it works, the next step is how to choose an internet service provider. You should ensure the following before deciding on the internet service provider in bangalore, delhi, gurgaon or any other city in India.

  • Assess your bandwidth requirement
  • Get an idea of the different plans available and the quote 
  • Be aware of your limitations in terms of budget and choose the ISP that provides a plan that fits your budget and the requirement.

Conclusion

Being equipped with the broadband connection and how it works is essential to know if it suits your requirements. Being aware of the basic aspects of broadband connection and the assessment of your requirements is very crucial before you get an internet connection.

FAQs

What is broadband meaning?

Broadband refers to several high-capacity transmission methods that can send data, voice, and video at high speeds and over long distances. Coaxial cables, fibre optic cables, and radio waves are typical transmission media.

What is a modem?

A broadband medium is an external device that provides a connection to high-speed internet like cable or DSL network. The connection is always available and so it needs not be reconnected every time the internet has to be used. 

What is wireless broadband?

It is a high-speed internet service where the data is transferred via a WLAN, i.e., wireless local area network or a WWAN, i.e., wireless wide area network. The speed defined by FCC for a broadband network is 25 Mbps and above and so a WWAN with a speed of more than 25 Mbps is referred to as wireless broadband.

What is a good broadband speed?

A standard broadband good speed is 11 Mbps, and the faster speeds would be in the range of 11 Mbps and 50 Mbps. 100 Mbps or higher would be very fast speeds.

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