Broadband Internet is the term that describes several types of high-speed Internet services. The three most common types of broadband Internet are cable, digital subscriber line (DSL) and cellular service, but there are other varieties as well. There are several advantages to a broadband connection and few drawbacks.
Most people in the United States have some form of broadband Internet available to them. Cable subscriptions come over the same lines as cable television, DSL comes in over the phone and cellular uses a cell signal. If any of these base services are available, broadband probably is, too. In more remote areas, services such as satellite Internet are often available.
The biggest advantage of a broadband connection is speed. Broadband service can be hundreds of times faster than dial-up connections. This will allow most systems to download information in a fraction of the time of dial-up. This faster download applies to everything a user may do, from loading webpages to paying bills to downloading files.
A broadband connection won’t tie up a phone line—most types of broadband connection services don’t use phone lines at all. DSL systems do transfer information over a phone line, but they will allow calls to go through while they are in operation. This will not only keep a phone line available, but will also prevent unintended disconnections when somebody tries to use the phone.
With a broadband connection, it is possible to do things that are difficult or impossible with a dial-up connection. Users may play persistent online games, watch videos or chat without worrying about disconnects. They may also use Internet telephone systems to talk all over the world for much less than standard telephone options.
A computer is always connected to the Internet with a broadband connection. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Being able to access the Internet day or night without ever getting a busy signal can be a real time-saver. On the other hand, the computer is more vulnerable to Internet-based attacks and will need a basic firewall to protect the system.
In addition to the protections needed for you system, there is one other main disadvantage; price. A broadband Internet connection is usually much more expensive than a dial-up connection. There are often new subscriber deals, but these are often lessened by the initial hookup fees. This is one of the main advantages of cable broadband; if it is through the same provider as the user’s television, it is often possible to receive a price break for using both.