How do I Choose the Right Wired Internet Connection?

Yes, wired Internet. Although wireless Internet is catching up all the time, sometimes you just want to plug in. Playing most online games pretty much requires wired Internet, it beats wireless in speed, has less latency or “lag” (the delay in information being sent or recieved) and is less likely to be disconnected.

Often, your residence or office will have multiple Internet service providers (ISPs) from which to choose. Here’s a little about the different types of Wired Internet Connections offered by Internet Providers and the typical speeds you’ll get from them. But first, let’s briefly mention one new, troubling aspect of having Home Internet that you’ll need to be aware of.

CAPPING

One slightly wrong thing that the Internet Service Providers have been doing lately is called capping. Instead of unlimited Internet plans as before, there’s an upper limit on the data you’re allowed to transfer (upload and download) in a month. If you go over, you get hit with overage charges in AT&Ts case. In Comcast’s case, you’re banned from their service for a year! Capping is a relatively new phenomenon and not all providers do it, so check first. Unless you’re a really, really heavy Internet user 24 hours a day, there’s a good chance you won’t hit the cap. But keep an eye on your account, just in case.

Now, here are the three major types of home Internet: DSL, Cable, and Fiber-Optic.



Illustration: Gordon McAlpin
Standing for Digital Subscriber Line, DSL is a somewhat old technology that seems to be on the way out in residences, though it’s widely used in business environments. DSL usually requires that you have a home landline phone service. Your phone line then plugs into a DSL Router, a small box that may or may not have a Wi-Fi antenna. Your computer’s Internet plugs in to the router.

DSL speeds aren’t the greatest for the price compared to other types of Internet. A quick look at DSL providers in my area revealed tiers ranging from 3 Mbps download, 0.5 Mbps upload for $20 to 6 Mbps down, 0.75 Mbps up for $25.

DSL is nice in that it uses existing phone lines and doesn’t require additional wiring inside the home, though the ISP still has to cover your service area. It’s sometimes the only choice.

CABLE

Cable Internet travels through your cable TV’s connection (it’s called coaxial or coax). While it once had the stigma of being slow, especially if a lot of people in your neighborhood also had it, cable Internet has come a long way. Typical prices range from 1.5 Mbps down, 0.375 Mbps up for $42, to 50 Mbps down, 10 Mbps up for $117.

If you have cable TV in your home, it’s almost a certainty that cable Internet is available.

FIBER-OPTIC

Fiber-Optic, also known as FiOS, is the newest kind of wired Internet that ISPs offer. Most of the way to your home, the Internet travels on blazing fast fibers. The closest few blocks to your house, the signal converts to traditional phone lines or cable lines, depending on your setup. The two big FiOS companies, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse, provide these huge residential gateway boxes that control the signal for both Internet and TV in your home. AT&T offers 3 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up $35, to 24 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up for $65, while Verizon recently started offering a crazy fast plan. This company offers 15 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up for $55, all the way up to 150 Mbps down, 35 Mbps up for $200.

FiOS is new, so it’s not available in all areas, but the speed per price is tough to beat. If you have the option, get on the FiOS train.

NONE OF THE ABOVE

Rural and remote areas sometimes don’t have access to any wired Internet. These places sometimes have to pay for expensive satellite Internet, or as a last resort, dial-up Internet. Speeds for these are going to be quite slow, but if you want to get online, it’s sometimes the only way.

Now that you know the difference between the different kinds of Internet service, you’ll be able to get the most out of it without breaking the bank! Be sure and bookmark ReviverSoft when you do get online.

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  • Desirae Stolebarger

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