In today's world, high-speed Internet service is just as important as other utilities such as electricity and water. It is the gateway for everything from education to news,to and all kinds of entertainment, from to – and even For most Americans, a reliable and is today a mandatory component of both work and family life.
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Read more: Life on the Slow Track: Welcome to the Internet in Rural America |
The majority of Americans has access to at least one type of high-speed service from their Internet service provider. Mostly it is a cable, Internet or digital subscriber line connection (commonly referred to as DSL). If you are lucky, it is fiber. If you're less fortunate, it's a satellite or fixed LTE connection. As a last resort for those in remote rural areas, there is a dial-up Internet access. And now, Internet service providers appear offeringoptions. The different types of Internet services are organized according to the fastest and the slowest Internet:
Many variables play a role in the selection of an Internet service provider and Internet packages. To make matters worse, these variables – Internet speed, cost, reliability, and customer service – can vary from place to place. Although the service provider is the same, Comcast's experience in Oakland may be quite different from that of Comcast in Atlanta, just as the McDonalds in your hometown may offer a different experience to those in both of my own the same menu.
For this reason, we do not try to recommend the best internet service provider for you based on the national download speeds or prices, but go another way. We've got WhistleOut, a comparison shopping provider, to handle the heavy lifting in terms of speed and pricing for nearby vendors (see below). And we've spent our time trying to identify the pros and cons of the technology in question and some general buy recommendations.
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- Typical Bandwidth: Download 50-1,000 Mpbs
- Average Service Price Range: $ 50-100 per Month
Fiber optic cables are the backbone of the global telecommunications system and serve as the main connection to most Internet , Television and telephone services of the world. Until recently, fiber was used exclusively to connect cities and countries. Over the past decade, some providers in some cities have begun to expand fiber optics into individual residential and commercial properties.
The Fiber Optic Internet Service provides the fastest and most reliable Internet connection at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second for downloading and uploading . This is orders of magnitude faster than the typical cable or DSL connection. Unfortunately, a fiber optic network is unlikely to be a viable option for you in the near future, unless you live in a large conurbation in the US. About 25% of the US population currently has access to it.
If you live in a location that supports fiber optic internet, you're in luck. Fiber Optic Broadband offers everything you expect from an Internet connection: symmetric speed – equivalent to download or upload performance. Reliability; robust signal strength; and super-low latency. Although the main fiber line may be shared between households or businesses, it is unlikely that customers will experience the speed losses associated with other types of shared connections during peak hours. Whether you're streaming videos, uploading large files to the cloud, or playing the latest online games, a fiber optic link provides fast, consistent performance with an almost imperceptible delay.
Fiber Optics Professionals:
- Extremely fast download speeds, low latency, reliable service
- No Data Limitations
- The best option for data-intensive applications such as video streaming and games
- Requires a professional installation
- Less providers
- Very limited availability
The major telecommunications companies such as AT & T, Comcast and Verizon are building their fiber infrastructure in the US continue out. And other companies are also entering the business. Google Fiber is available to residents of Atlanta, Charlotte, Kansas City, and a handful of other cities. However, it is expected that the great fiber rollout, which has a variety of technical problems, will last for years.
- Typical Bandwidth: Download 25-200Mpbs
- Average Service Price Range: $ 50 to $ 150 per Month
Cables generally offer higher speeds than all other types of internet services, except for optical fiber option High bandwidth activities such as streaming video and music, playing games and downloading (or uploading) large files. It will be delivered on the same physical line as the cable television service – and some providers will offer discounts if you sign up for both. Although available in most parts of the US, the cable Internet market is generally (at best) an oligopoly, with two large companies dominating most states or regions, or (at worst) a monopoly of just one licensed service provider. This can lead to high prices, poor service and the existential agony of supporting a business that you despise.
- Fixed, stand-alone connection
- Faster and more reliable than DSL, satellite or dial-up Internet
- Suitable for data-intensive applications such as video streaming and online games  Cable Disadvantages:  Neighborhoods share the bandwidth, so heavy use by others may affect the connection speed during peak hours.
- Installation fees and monthly service can be expensive.
- Not available everywhere Depending on where you live and what level of service you choose, monthly service costs range from $ 50 to $ 150. I'm paying $ 65 a month for Spectrum's standard cable Internet service, which offers speeds starting at 100 Mbps. In fact, I get about 45 Mbps for download speeds and 10 Mbps for uploading over Wi-Fi (and closer to 65 Mbps and 10 Mbps if connected directly to the router). As with any type of Internet service – and with each service provider – your own mileage varies.
On the positive side, the cable Internet service generally has no data restrictions. This means that you can consume as much bandwidth as you want without being affected by the additional costs associated with other types of Internet services. And a tip: Given that many vendors charge an additional fee to rent a combined modem / router, you can potentially save a few bucks and improve your speed and performance by purchasing your own router.
- Typical Bandwidth: Download 40-50 Kbps (that is Kilobyte per second)
- Average Service Price Range: US $ 5 to 20 per month
An There are not many reasons to recommend dial-up Internet access. Less and less vendors offer it and it is only the last resort for the most rural and remote regions. The only requirement for dial-in is access to the telephone service. If you have a landline connection, you can access the Internet.
- Runs over a telephone landline
- Multiple providers
- Widely used
- Some plans limit the number of attendee hours in which You may be online
- Extremely slow download and upload speeds
- You can not use both phone and internet at the same time (unless you have multiple lines)
- Landline required
But – like those in one certain age from the beginnings of AOL, Prodigy and their dial-in contemporaries know – the connection is extremely … agonizing … devastatingly slow. Nowhere else can you do anything fast enough than load a simple website or send an e-mail.
A handful of vendors – including NetZero, EarthLink, and Juno – continue to offer dial-up access, and the largest name in the dial-up game, AOL, offers a range of plans. The monthly price for entry-level service is just $ 4.99 and provides 5 hours of connectivity. The world-class Internet fare, which costs $ 19.99 a month, provides unrestricted access.
- Typical Bandwidth: Download 5-45 Mpbs
- Average Service Price Range: US $ 40-80 per month
DSL is technically considered broadband Internet. And although DSL may be significantly faster than dial-up, it's also considerably slower than what you'd expect from a wired connection. This is sufficient for basic productivity tasks such as surfing the Internet and sending e-mail, but not fast enough for data-intensive tasks such as streaming videos or playing online games.
- Generally available
- Multiple providers
- Relatively inexpensive
- Bandwidth is dedicated and not shared with neighbors.
- Very Low Link Speeds For Uploading Data
- Speed and performance vary depending on the proximity to your Internet Service Provider.
- Like telephone services that can be disturbed by weather conditions.
However, DSL is widely used because it operates over a telephone infrastructure. And although it operates on landline, the Internet signal is transmitted at a higher frequency, so you can simultaneously connect to the Internet and make phone calls.
Note that there are two types of DSL connections: Balanced connections that offer the same speeds for downloading and uploading data. and asymmetric, which gives you faster download speeds – which is the lion's share of most people's Internet activity – than uploading. Homedna-logo-250×300 "height =" 0 "width =" 370 "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/bioi3zZ1ypThc5QQcL7t3o-NrtM=/370×0/2016/07/25/d586b4d8-8b15- 4113-bf59-d3060270243e / sprint-cow-at-dnc.jpg "/>
CNET / Marguerite Reardon
Fixed Wireless LTE
- Typical Bandwidth: 5-10 Mbps
- Average Service Price Range: $ 50 to $ 85 per month
Fixed LTE Internet services are transmitted by the same wireless towers that enable LTE mobile communication , In rural areas where there is no reliable wired internet service but where cell towers are available, it is more common for a dedicated antenna to be installed at or near your home.
Fixed LTE wireless benefits:
- Provides adequate broadband Internet service in rural and remote areas.
- Does not require any cable or line infrastructure connected to the house.
Fixed LTE Wireless Disadvantages:
- Requires the installation and setup of a professional antenna.
- Physical and geographical obstacles can reduce speed.
- Can be expensive and / or require a multiyear service contract.
- Frequently Dependent on Data Restrictions and / or High Aging Costs Latencies Than Fast Wired Services Such as Cable and Fiber
At some point, the next generation of wireless Internet, 5G, will be available in some fixed wireless networks. (More on that below.) But 5G and fixed Wi-Fi are not synonymous. Not all fixed wireless networks support 5G. And not every 5G network is necessarily a wireless landline.
Currently, fixed LTE can be one of the most expensive types of Internet services because the amount of data you can download monthly is usually limited. additional fees will follow if you exceed your allowance. For example, one of AT & T's fixed LTE service plans costs $ 50 per month for 215 GB of data – plus $ 10 for each additional 50 GB increase. The monthly price for Verizon's Internet Entry Price is $ 80 per month (including a monthly fee of $ 10) for 8GB of data plus $ 15 for each additional 1GB of data. Genographic ” height=”0″ width=”370″ data-original=”https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/0UM6DFfcNDNbdZLcj34hfE6W6AM=/370×0/2012/03/29/2c265965-f0ed-11e2-8c7c-d4ae52e62bcc/102_0249.JPG”/>
Eric Mack / CNET
- Typical Bandwidth: Download 10-30 Mbps
- Average Service Price Range: $ 50 to $ 150 per month
How about an Internet connection being transferred from space? Satellite Internet service is exactly what it sounds like: a dish placed on or around your home sends and receives signals from a service provider's hub via a satellite orbiting the earth. Most satellite Internet service providers, such as Viasat or HughesNet, rely on a handful of large satellites in a geostationary orbit about 35,000 kilometers above the earth.
- Widely used, even in rural and remote areas.
- Multiple vendors usually run at competitive prices.
- Requires installation of a satellite dish on or near your home
- Can be expensive and / or require a multiyear service contract.
- Data limitations can lead to costly overcharges or lower speeds.
- Delayed and prone to failure.
A satellite internet connection is usually It is not always robust enough for modern applications. Latency can be a serious problem, and streaming video and games can be impossible when data is being re-transmitted to space.
It is worth noting that Elon Musk's SpaceX is currently building and launching a new network of 12,000 satellites to enable commercial Internet access via satellite. But it is probably too early to endure to the end. Musk does not expect the service to be operational by the middle of the next decade.
New but not yet widely used: 5G
- Typical Bandwidth: 250-4,000 Mpbs
- Average Service Price Range: To Be Established
The Next Generation of Mobile Radio Technology – Hence the Fifth Generation 5G – promises a new era of Internet access, first on cell phones and then at home, with dramatic improvements in network speed, network coverage and responsiveness. CNET has already tested early 5G speeds in several cities around the world, from Los Angeles to Seoul. Andand the wait may be well worth it.
Example: The Verizon network has seen speeds of more than 1 Gigabit per second in some regions – 10 to 100 times faster than traditional cellular connections. That's even faster than the speed that a physical fiber link provides to your home. And it's not all about speed: 5G networks have extremely low latency – so there is virtually no break between clicking on the link and loading the website or video. Sounds good, right?
- High speed, low latency
- Own bandwidth (no sharing with neighbors), no data restrictions
- Excellent for data-intensive applications such as streaming video and games
- Nationwide Rollout Running
- Untested Technology
- Questionable Signal Strength
However, as with previous generations of broadband, it will take years to replace 5G 4G. The new network will be the first to apply to the next generation of high-end phones. In the future, carriers will expand the broadband offering to private and business Internet users. However, before, installers must provide special high-speed broadband devices that can receive the 5G signals and turn them into a Wi-Fi connection in the home or business, so your other devices can access high-speed. (Note that 5G and Fixed Wireless are not synonymous.) Not all Fixed Wireless networks support 5G, and not every 5G network needs to be a Fixed Wireless network.)
Verizon's 5G broadband service costs $ 50 for mobile subscribers and $ 70 for everyone else – more or less in line with other broadband services. (Here you can find out if you are eligible for broadband.) AT & T's 5G mobile service is free for select customers in the first 90 days. The company then calculates $ 499 for special 5G Wi-Fi hotspots – plus $ 70 per month for a broadband plan with a data cap of 15GB.
Tips for Choosing an Internet Service Provider
- Contact Your Neighbors: Ask which service and which providers other people in your area use (and avoid).
- If possible, buy your own modem / router: Many vendors charge an additional fee to rent a combined modem / router. .
- Pay attention to price spikes after the "special offers" expire: Many vendors offer monthly introductory prices for the first 12 months. The price you pay afterwards is the actual price of your service.
- Watch for Data Restrictions: Exceeding the monthly data download threshold can lead to costly overcharges.
- Set off for a lower invoice: If there are multiple providers in your area, you may be able to use an alternate provider's offer to lower the price of your current monthly service.
- Consider cutting the line for additional savings: View
Other Aspects to Consider When Using the Internet Service
The slowest part of your home network – including the modem, the Routers and the device you use (such as a TV, laptop, phone) and your service provider – ultimately determine the speed and strength of your connection. A super-fast router does not help a laptop with old network hardware, and a slow Internet service hampers all your online activity – from streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify, to surfing the Internet, to sending e-mail.
In addition to the type of service you choose, there are a number of other factors that determine the quality and speed of your Internet connection. When a company advertises "speeds starting at X Mbps," it does not necessarily mean that you can reach that speed consistently.
Your neighbors' Wi-Fi, older devices, walls, floors, and even your microwave can affect your Wi-Fi signal. Most Internet service providers offer a modem / router combination that you can rent. However, you can also purchase your own router, add an extender if you need extra network coverage, or try out an entire home Wi-Fi system. Even if you are unfamiliar with networks, you can adjust some settings to improve performance in case of problems.
Originally published at the beginning of this year.
Fixed on July 30: Corrects the use of megabits per second (Mbps) and illustrates the nature of common fiber optic cables.