For most people, internet access is a necessity of daily life, probably including yourself. What you might not know however is the different methods of delivering the internet to your home and which one is right for you. Each method has its pros and cons and depending on which internet service provider you choose your options might be limited to one or two.
For the most part, you are probably looking for the fastest internet and while this is a requirement of 4K streaming or online gaming, it might not be necessary if you only use the internet for checking email or browsing the web.
There are many providers to choose from but pretty much only 3 options, and these are:
- Fibre Optic
- Fixed Wireless
Broadband is the oldest of all the methods available but it isn’t obsolete yet while fiber optic is quickly becoming the standard method of delivery but usually at a much higher price and wireless transmission can reach superior speeds without the need for a physical line installation.
Broadband – Still an Excellent Choice
When it was first launched in 2000, broadband was a dream for internet users everywhere that had been using the old 56k dial-up modem method of connection for 15 years. At the time, even the slowest broadband connection was 300 times faster than dial-up and because of this, in only 7 years 50% of internet users were using broadband as their connection medium. While it is now an old medium, broadband is still available and popular.
The many demands placed on modern internet system means that a faster method might be required for 4K streaming, playing the latest online game, or even legal file-sharing but for the most part, if you don’t engage in any of these then broadband is an excellent choice for general everyday use of the internet and is fast enough to handle most connection requirements but it does require a physical phone line be installed.
Fibre Optic – Best for High End Streaming
A successor to broadband, fiber optic internet was designed to take advantage of the already installed communication cables that were laid on the ocean floor. The system was actually installed in the 1980s but it took some time for internet providers to eventually use the speed of light cabling for connecting their services to the homes of the general public.
Growing demand for faster internet coupled with a massive expansion of infrastructure means that fiber optics are now becoming the standard for internet communication. Digital media providers like Sky and Virgin utilize fiber optics and while Virgin uses it as standard, Sky charges a premium since it isn’t part of their standard package yet. However, if you need to stream 4K TV or play graphically intensive online games then fiber optic is a far better choice over broadband. You can check this guide from Latest Deals for more information on Sky.
Fixed Wireless – Excellent for Rural Locations
A relatively new concept, fixed wireless internet utilizes microwave transmissions from directional antennas in order to relay information. Stations that are connected to an existing network are able to transmit data wirelessly from their antenna to another fixed antennae that are installed at a user’s home or office similar to how satellite TV works. This means that there is no need for a physical transmission line such as a phone or fiber optic to be present at a location and only a receiving dish.
Because of this, fixed wireless is an excellent choice for users located in either poor reception areas, hard-to-reach buildings, or remote locations. The nature of the transmission means that there is a minimal loss of speed and because of this, fixed wireless can reach speeds superior to fiber optic and broadband. The use of fixed wireless will also become necessary in at least the UK as established ISPs are set to switch off their ISDN and PTS systems in 2025. Should you be a user of any of these systems, especially businesses, then you might want to consider looking into fixed wireless as a replacement as it costs around the same as fiber optic at general usage tiers but is much more reliable.