Broadband is a high-speed internet connection that enables the user to access the online world. Whilst the Cambridge Dictionary labels broadband as “A system that makes it possible for many messages or large amounts of information to be sent at the same time and very quickly between computers or other electronic devices” the requirements as to what qualifies as broadband varies across the world.
An ISP, which stands for Internet Service Provider will, usually supply any equipment needed as well as the service for accessing the internet. You commonly see an ISP pay for wholesale access to a network that can be resold to us as a business or home owner, rather than operating their own infrastructure, as this can be extremely expensive. Most of the time home broadband comes into our house through a fixed line from providers such as BT Openreach or Virgin Media Network. It’s not always essential to use a line for broadband as mobile broadband uses a satellite network. This provides a much longer range and allows us to stay connected on the go.
Connecting to broadband has never been easier. It wasn’t until 2000 when the the first mobile device that had access to the internet was available. The ‘Nokia 9210 Communicator’ was not exactly pocket sized but had a full key board and 8MB of storage. Nowadays we can use several devices to connect to the internet such as phones, tablets, TVs, game console computers and laptops. Having access to the internet from these devices allows you to send and receive emails/texts, surf the web, use social media, stream music and videos, play online video games and much more.
The speed you send and receive data can be affected by many things. Firstly the type of connection you have plays a big part. In the UK we have various forms available such as fibre, cable, DSL (Digital subscriber line), wireless and mobile. Another common problem is that sometimes Wifi signals struggle to get through thick walls or objects. For example, if you know you are going to be using a lot of your internet in your kitchen, it might be a good idea to change the position of your router to somewhere closer to you where the signal has to travel a smaller distance to get to your device. Another thing to take into consideration is how old your router might be. Just like a lot of modern technology, after a certain period of time the technology inside it is superseded. Lastly the location you’re in can affect the internet speed. Being in a remote area can have an impact on your internet speed due to poor infrastructure so it may be worth looking at an alternative provider.
A great way to check your speed is by using a broadband tester website (try using speedtest.net). This will show you how fast your upload and download speed is as well as your ping speed which is also known as latency and is measured in milliseconds. If you’re not happy with the speed of your internet the first thing you should try is rebooting or factory resetting your router. Sometimes your devise just needs to restart too sort itself out and allow you quicker internet browsing speed.
This is just touching on the basic information about broadband but it does help to understand what it is and how it works. If you’re not happy with your internet speed or quality, find out who your internet provider is and what deal you’re on. This way you can search the web for a better deal with a different provider.
If you’re still struggling and looking for some support and advice, we are always happy to help and research what options are available and what we feel is best for you and your home or business.