For a lot of people, the world of broadband can be a bit confusing. Technical terms are often bandied around without any explanation of what they actually mean and this can make choosing the best provider for your needs a difficult task.
Following the transition from dial-up connections to broadband, there are a number of different services available and you might be struggling to decide which one would benefit you most.
With this in mind, we've compiled a short guide about the available options and what they entail. Read on to find out more.
This stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line and basically means you will receive your broadband connection through signals delivered along a telephone line. ADSL has been very common throughout the UK for a while and provides a reasonably fast and reliable service.
However, its usefulness is often limited for people who live in remote, rural areas where phone lines are limited or not present at all. ADSL connections are often painfully slow in these areas and unable to handle some of the demands of the modern web.
Many ADSL-based broadband services are now being overlooked in favour of fibre optic technology. This uses underground cables to deliver the connection to your home and speeds can be much faster than ADSL, potentially reaching up to 100 Mbps (20 Mbps is considered super-fast).
Once again, availability is the major drawback of this type of broadband. Laying underground cables is time-consuming and expensive, meaning rural areas with small populations are often seen as not commercially viable by providers.
The government is currently working to increase fibre optic coverage through the Broadband Delivery UK project, but even if successful, this will only apply to 90 per cent of households.
A relative newcomer to the broadband scene is 4G. You may have heard of 3G, which is used to access the internet on many mobile phones, and 4G is basically an improved version of this service.
This technology is still at an early stage of development and providers only got the chance to bid for the oppurtunity to release a 4G offering a few months ago. It has been suggested that 4G could be widely rolled out to rural areas, but it will probably be a while before providers know how feasible and effective this would be.
With this technology the connection is received from a satellite in orbit, which makes the issue of location irrelevant, as everywhere is the same distance away from space. Super-fast speeds of up to 20 Mbps are now available and satellite connections are often more reliable as they are not shared with other households in the area.
Another major advantage of the service is ease of installation. All that's required is one small dish and one small modem, which are often installed and fully functioning within a couple of weeks of placing an order.
Keen to find out more? You can explore the benefits of satellite broadband by clicking here.