type of internet service

What Type of Internet Service is Right for You?

Nearly 2.5 billion people use the internet, according to World Internet Stats. As new forms of logging on the the world wide web develop, Internet service is getting faster and faster. AT&T recently announced for a 300Mbps internet service in Austin, TX. But with faster speeds comes added expense. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about each option before you sign a contract.

Dial Up and DSL

Dial up internet is the slowest way to access the Internet. It uses regular phone lines to connect you to the web. Your computer reads the signal with help of a modem. The service provides 56kbps (kilobytes per second) of download speeds.

More than 25 million people used dial up service through AOL back in 2002, according to Gizmodo.com, while just 3 million users still use the service today. Some services offer accelerators that increase speeds by 7 times. The boosts surfing speeds to 392kbps for about $10 per month. This service is ideal if you simply use the internet to check email.

DSL (digital subscriber line) also uses telephone wires to send the internet to your computer, but it offers speeds of up to 25 Mbps (megabits per second). That is faster than some cable services, and DSL is usually cheaper with packages ranging from $25 to $50 a month, depending on your area and options. If you stream videos through an online service or download lots of music, DSL is a better option than dial-up.

There’s two kinds of DSL, Asymetric DSL (ADSL) and Symmetric DSL (SDSL). The only difference is SDSL provides faster upload speeds. If you work from home and upload large amounts of data to a server, this is a benefit. ADSL is less expensive and still allows you to upload data, just not as fast. Both are single, dedicated lines and bt infinity broadband.

DSL speeds vary per household, however. Depending on how far you are from the connection center, called the CO (or center office), your actual speed might be slower.

Cable, Fiber Optic and Satellite

Cable Internet connects you to the web with a cable TV line. This reliable service gives you speeds from 3 Mbps to 100 Mbps, but as more people log on, speeds can slow down since the line is not dedicated. In other words, everyone in your neighborhood uses the same line to connect.

Cable Internet providers offer different service options, so you’ll have to compare to see if it makes sense to go with cable over DSL. Usually it does, since many cable providers bundle TV, phone and internet together.

Fiber optic Internet is by far the fastest with speeds measured in terabytes. You must have fiber optic cabling running right to your modem to enjoy speeds this fast, however. If your area does not have fiber optic cables, this service won’t be available.

Satellite internet service is another option, and it is available everywhere even in remote areas with no phone or cable lines, according to Hughesnet reviews. You simply need a dish and a clear line of sight to the sky. Satellite gives you speeds of 15 Mbps, plenty fast for streaming videos.

There are drawbacks. Cloud cover can interrupt service, but it is priced comparably to DSL and usually cheaper than cable. You’ll have to check with a satellite provider for more details on price.