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Broadband has become something that is seen as a basic human right. It’s so important for day-to-day functions that it’s seen as a necessity that everyone should have. As technology has developed and become such a huge part of society the need for broadband is much more important than it used to be. Although broadband is such an important thing in today’s society, not many people really understand what it is, how to pick the best broadband provider as there are there are a lot of great broadband deals and how it actually works to provide us with the service we need. Keep reading as we’re going to cover all the basics and important things you should know about broadband.

What is broadband?

Broadband is used to connect people to the internet so they can experience everything the internet has to offer at a particularly high speed. Before broadband, to access the internet people had to use something called a narrowband dial-up, which many people won’t even have heard of anymore as they’re rarely used. Broadband took its place as the dial-up provided a much slower connection than broadband does. Broadband is never switched off which means you have 24/7 access to the internet, if you wake up at 3 am and want to watch YouTube, thanks to broadband you can. Another thing that makes broadband much better is that back in the day of dial-ups you couldn’t use your telephone at the same time because of the frequencies, but with broadband, you can use anything you want without interrupting the connection. This is why broadband is the US’s most popular way to connect to the internet, it is definitely the most reliable and is found in the homes of millions and millions of American’s.

What are the types of broadband?

There are several different types of broadband, but there are 3 main types that you should know about. The first is ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, this is the most popular type of broadband and the most widely used. This type of broadband is delivered to your home via the copper wired buried within your phone lines. Whilst is it widely accepted to be a speedy type of broadband, some people may have a much slower experience with it as if you live further from your telephone exchange then the max speed it can operate out is decreased significantly. Cable is the next most popular way for broadband to be delivered to homes as it is unaffected by distance so for many people this is a better choice than ADSL. The final type of most commonly used broadband is fiber, this is by far the fastest connection as it uses fiber optic cables to deliver the broadband, it is even faster than ADSL.

How does broadband work?

The most difficult thing to understand about broadband is the technical part – how it actually works. We’ve tried to simplify this for you as best we can to answer this question. Broadband works because of the copper wires that run through your phone lines, as they are used for phone lines most of the frequencies are used for that purpose, but broadband uses the other frequencies on these lines to deliver high-speed internet. In this process something called microfilters is required for it to run smoothly, they are responsible for keeping your broadband running whilst using the telephone. Fiber-optic broadband uses fiber optic cables instead of copper wires, this is why it is a much quicker form of broadband. This type of broadband sends data that has been encoded in the form of light, all the way to your house. Most fiber optic isn’t pure and most of the distance traveled will be by this, but small sections of the journey may use copper wires, however, as it is such a short distance it doesn’t affect the speed very much.

Mobile phones also have a type of broadband that works differently. It works in the same way that making calls from your phone does, microwaves are used to send data back and forth between your device and the nearest phone mast, from here the data reaches a wired network which allows it to connect with the rest of the internet. Satellites again work differently, they are much simpler, data will bounce from a satellite on your house, up to a satellite in orbit and then come back to a satellite that is connected to the rest of the internet network.

What broadband should I choose?

Different homes will be best suited for different types of broadband as this is based on the area and the distance to a telephone exchange. However, there are some great tips that apply to anyone who is looking for a broadband provider as there are so many options it can be a difficult choice. You’ll have to decide what your requirements are from your broadband, if you only need for simple tasks and won’t use it much then you definitely won’t need the highest speed broadband and can save some money and get a mid-range one. If you use your broadband to stream films and play games then you don’t want them pausing or lagging so it’s worth investing in faster broadband. If you are a student or you work from home then there are usually specific packages for these purposes.

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