More of our devices is connected to the Internet. If some device does not have it, then we will not want to buy it. I thing that soon even toasters will be equipped in WiFi module. Currently, we have Internet in our computers, tablets, phones, TVs, scanners, consoles, fridges, washing machines etc. We want to provide Internet connection for these all devices in our home. But, how should we choose the proper one? Most of us choose the provider guided by advertisement or the price. People do not analyze what they order, unfortunately it often happens that everything is slow and nothing works.

 

The basic criteria applied in selecting Internet connection are:

  • price, price, price – it is obvious that nobody wants to have expensive Internet connection at home
  • speed – this is very important parameter for consumers, however not everyone understand what it exactly means 🙂
  • data limit – this is the worst possible limitation, nobody likes it
  • stability – surprisingly, hardly anyone pays attention but you can find a lot of comments on the web
  • availability – sometimes it is very interesting, because it happens that even ISP does not know where he can and where con not provide the service

What types of Internet connections do we have to choose? Let’s start from the beginning, because nowadays the choice is really big. To begin with, we have two types of connections: wired and wireless. The difference is quite fundamental.

Wireless techniques

To use them we use the air medium, namely radio waves, which propagate in it. What technologies can we use?

Wi-Fi

The range of WiFi is about tens of kilometers with the achievable maximum throughput approximately 300 Mbps. Wi-Fi operates at 2.4 GHz (2400 – 2485 MHz) and 5 GHz (4915 – 5825 MHz) bands. WiFi equipment is available in every computer shop. If your operator supplies densely placed APs, then you will need only a standard computer with Wi-Fi adapter (currently it is built-in every laptop). However, very often you will have to install outdoor antenna. Wi-Fi is  definitely faster than GPRS.

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Mobile Internet

Let’s face the truth, this technology is dedicated for mobile devices. In my opinion, it should not be used at home, unless we have no other choice. The achievable throughput depends on used technology:

  • GPRS: 30-80 kbps
  • EDGE: 296 kbps
  • WCDMA: 384 kbps
  • HSDPA: 14 Mbps
  • HSPA+: 28 Mbps
  • LTE: 300 Mbps

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This technology is very expensive, therefore ISPs apply data limits and additional charges for additional data. The operators are the same as for mobile phones.

Satellite Internet

This is the most expensive solution dedicated for very low populated areas. Similarly to the case of Mobile Internet, here also ISPs apply very annoying data limits. 512 kbps – 20 Mbps throughput is achievable in this technology. Unfortunately, latency is high so the use of in-real-time services is limited.

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Wired techniques

DSL/ADSL/VDSL

Who has not used ADSL? This is one of the most popular Internet access technologies, which uses telephone line. This technique allows us to achieve 50-80 Mbps for download, unfortunately upload is slower because connection is asymmetric. In this technology, very important is the distance between our location and  the Telco Central Office. The longer distance means the lower throughput. In contrast to 56 kbps modems, this technology does not occupy the whole telephone line. You can talk and transmit data at the same time, because data are transmitted at different frequency.

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Local network

This solution is very popular in dormitories, academic campuses and also housing estates. Mostly, Ethernet technology is used, so these networks are very stable and allow to achieve very high throughput. Unfortunately, installation cost may be high.

Cable Internet access

These solution uses cable television infrastructure. This solution is very popular in high populated areas. Without any problems you can achieve high throughput (e.g. 250 Mbps). It is also very cost-effective solution if you are interested in having a lot of HD television channels. It is also free of data limits 🙂