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14 Aug

The Best Internet Connectivity Types for a Tablet

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Be it for entertainment or for work, tablets are the best devices one can be using these days. Sized between a smartphone and a laptop, a tablet brings you better balance of screen space and computing power. However, to ensure juicing the best experience out of your tablet, you need access to a fast and uninterrupted internet connection. No matter where you go, some form of this is essential so that you can check your email, stream audio and video, download files, etc. Every tablet on the market has network connectivity built into it. What differs is the exact network features, and paying attention to these could spell the difference between a satisfying and an awful experience.

Another thing you should watch is the internet connection you sign up for. Simply Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area” and then picking the first option you chance upon, will not cut it. While the Googling part is par for the course, beyond that you need to make an informed decision based on a number of factors, such as availability, speeds offered, reliability, etc.

Wi-Fi

The most commonly found type of internet these days, Wi-Fi is something pretty much any mobile device has the tools to access, and that includes most tablets as well. The technology connects to local area networking, which means there would need to be a working internet connection besides this. The network broadband connection gets shared over a wireless network or a public hotspot. The latter can be seen in lots of places, like airports, coffee shops, and libraries. At any of these places, it is fairly easy to get online when you feel the need.

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Internet Connectivity Types

Wi-Fi has many standards that go with each other; with 802.11n being the most common one on devices sold these days. 802.11n is highly flexible, and able to use both sides of the spectrum. 802.11b and 802.11g are both compatible with the 2.4GHz range. It is best if you have the 5GHz spectrum which works with 802.11a networks, because that gives maximum coverage. If a device supports both spectrums, it is designated 802.11a/g/n. 2.4GHz-only devices, on the other hand, have a 802.11b/g/n designation.

Some tablets come with a special antenna-based technology called MIMO. This lets the device use more than on antenna to step up the usable bandwidth, by broadcasting signals over multiple channels. Aside from the wider bandwidth, this also makes the connection more reliable, as well as boosting the range of the tablet. Check if you have this device option available when you Google “cheapest internet service providers in my area”.

More recently, many products have started coming out with 5G Wi-Fi networking, mainly following the 802.11ac standards. Some of these are supposedly able to reach 1.3Gbps speeds when it comes to transfers, which is more than three times what you would get from 802.11n. Much like 802.11a, this uses the 5GHz range, but is different in that it also supports 802.11n. This technology is widely seen in the latest router products, but less frequently in tablets, owing to the added cost that would entail.

Following are the different Wi-Fi standards and their features.

  • 11ac – Speeds go up to 1.3 Gbps, and this technology covers the 5 GHz Band, as well as 2.4 GHz through 802.11n.
  • 11n – Speeds go up to 450 Mbps, and this technology covers either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
  • 11a – Speeds go up to 54 Mbps, and this technology covers the 5 GHz Band. Corporations make up the bulk of users.
  • 11g – Speeds go up to 54 Mbps, and this technology covers the 2.4 GHz Band.
  • 11b – Speeds go up to 11 Mbps, and this technology covers the 2.4 GHz Band.

3G/4G Wireless

Every tablet that has 3G/4G connectivity costs more than one that does not, because the hardware that allows for it includes additional transceivers. That raises the overall bill by about one hundred dollars. After getting a tablet that has this, your next step should be to locate a wireless service plan that delivers your internet needs. The cost of the hardware can be brought down through rebate offers at the beginning of the subscription, or by signing an extended contract with the company. Many companies give hardware subsidies, so make sure to look for that as well when Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area”.

Most wireless data carriers place limits, which restrain your data use inside a given month. For example, a company might cap usage at a measly 1 GB, which is nowhere near enough in case you decide to do a decent amount of video streaming. Another thing to note is that different carriers do different things after you have exceeded the usage cap. While some throttle the speed down to snail-pace and force you to forego data-intensive use like streaming, video conferencing, and downloading huge files; others simply let you carry on and then hit you with extortionate overage fees at the end of the month. The former practice is called data throttling, and lots of companies use it. Make sure to pick out such details after Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area”.

When 4G first arrived on the consumer scene, it was hard to figure out thanks to different providers rolling it out in different ways. These days, however, you get a pretty much standardized experience on LTE, with speeds ranging between 5 and 14 Mbps. Carriers lock down LTE tablets using internal SIM cards, so before buying, you need to find out what carriers a specific tablet allows you to access the internet from. LTE coverage is not as far-spread as 3G either, so make sure your device can access both technologies. It is best to look out for these specifics after Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area”.

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3G was a previous standard used in delivering cellular data, but most newer devices too can catch 3G signals. While it is a mishmash of many technologies, the only thing you need to know as a lay consumer is whether your device goes with GSM or CDMA. Each covers different frequencies and technologies, and cross-compatibility is not an option. In the US, T-Mobile® and AT&T® manage the GSM networks, while Verizon® and Sprint® manage the CDMA networks. The speeds are almost the same, but reliability tends to vary with region, which is something you should remember when Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area”. Because of this, it is important to check through the provider’s coverage maps before signing up. A tablet with 3G compatibility may be locked down to a single provider, and you should also check if that is the case.

Bluetooth and Tethering

Bluetooth technology involves connecting mobile devices to wireless peripherals, using what is called a Personal Area Network (PAN). The peripherals mentioned can include even your headsets and keyboards, and the technology allows transmitting data among them. The main function you should look for after Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area” is tethering.

Tethering links a mobile device with a mobile phone, with the latter acting as a tether to the broadband connection. Any device which can emit Bluetooth signals is a potential tether, as long as it can also access 3G/4G signals. It does not have to be a phone either; your tablet too can share a connection with other compatible devices. However, most wireless providers have found ways to get hardware companies to block these features, rendering the connection method far less effective than it could originally have been. As a user, you can work around this by either unlocking your device, or paying your carrier extra for getting to use the tethering feature fully. Make sure you find out about this when Googling “cheapest internet service providers in my area”, and not after you have signed up for a plan. Alternatively, get in touch with a carrier you are interested in, and ask them what options exist along these lines.

Mobile Hotspots/Wireless Base Stations/MiFi

This relatively new technology lets users connect to wireless routers that are small enough to carry in their pocket. The device can catch 3G or 4G signals, and connect compatible devices, such as your tablet, to the internet in this way. Novatel made the first of such devices, and called it the MiFi.

A portable hotspot may not be as convenient as having a modem built into the tablet; however, you get the use the connection with more devices, and the hardware costs less. A MiFi device would be locked into a single carrier though, and may require you to sign a contract around a specific tablet device.

Many new tablets carrying 4G technology have the capability to operate as hotspots, so that other Wi-Fi enabled devices in the area can connect to the internet. For consumers that own both a tablet and a PC, this setup is much more appealing than the prospect of signing different contracts for each device. All they need to do is make sure the functionality remains under the single data contract.

Near Field Computing

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Known in short as NFC, near filed computing comprises a comparatively short-range networking system. This technology is most famously used by mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. It could be used for more, such as syncing your devices with each other. Many new tablets come with NFC technology built in.

Different Options for Internet-On-The-Go

Nowadays, you see almost every crowd comprising a good number of people chugging laptops or tablets wherever they go. These people get internet access in a variety of ways: free Wi-Fi at public hotspots, a mobile broadband device installed directly in their laptops, or a hotspot device they can carry around, which lets them access cellular data from virtually anywhere.

While Wi-Fi and 3g go hand in hand, you may be faced with having to choose between the two, especially if there are budgetary constraints, technological limitations, etc which need to be factored in. Following are the pros and cons of different on-the-go internet options.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

These places are open to public use, and let you access the internet on their network while you are there.

  • Pros: Most place charge nothing for using their internet, and they can be found easily in suburban and urban areas. You can also buy food and drinks in the vicinity.
  • Cons: The establishment may require you to spend in other ways to be eligible to access their internet; think Starbucks. Wi-Fi hotspots also tend to remain unsecured in terms of encryption. You also need to locate the hotspot, and then stay within range of the router or repeater for as long as you wish to be online.

Cyber Cafes

Internet cafes let you use their computers for hourly rates, and sometimes they even give you access to Wi-Fi internet.

  • Pros: There is no need to be carrying a device with you, because the café has got your covered there. They would also have peripherals hooked up for you to use, such as printers, scanners and webcams. Here too, you can buy food and drinks.
  • Cons: There are fewer internet cafes than there are Wi-Fi hotspots, and using a terminal in such a place could get expensive unless you finish quickly. There is also the issue of many of these systems being exposed to malware.

Tethering

Some cellular networks let you turn your cell phone into a modem, and then connect this to your laptop or tablet.

  • Pros: You can access the internet almost anywhere, consider the availability of cellular signals. Web surfing is more secure this way, and lastly, you may be able to pull this off without paying extra fees.
  • Cons: Some areas may not have reception, in which case this would not work. When it does come through, you find it to be slower than every other form of internet use. Lastly, some carriers do charge extra on their cell phone plans for the option to use tethering.

Mobile Broadband

Using either a USB modem or a built-in broadband card, you would be able to access the internet on your laptop no matter where you are.

  • Pros: Being any place with cellular reception allows you to go online, and the speeds rival what you would get from residential DSL.
  • Cons: There are many areas where reception is non-existent, which means you would have to either move to another place or find an alternative way to connect. Another issue is that data usage is often capped, at around 5 GB monthly.
03 Aug

How Much Internet Speed Do you Really Need

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The latest innovations and advancements in the field of telecommunications have considerably changed the way in which we communicate, work, educate our children, and access information. A recent survey revealed that approximately 113 million American citizens actively use the internet to access social media platforms, play online games, and to connect with their friends and family members. The survey also revealed that these internet users spend more than 9 hours on the internet every week. This implies that the demand for the internet is growing exponentially in today’s digital era.

However, several internet users in the United States often claim that the internet speed offered by their service provider is not sufficient for meeting their internet related requirements. As most of us are heavily reliant on the internet, the demand for high-speed internet has dramatically increased over the last few years. If you feel that the internet speed offered by your internet service provider is not up to the mark, then you should consider upgrading your internet plan or switching to a new internet service provider.

Several customers who are new to the world of internet often ask is there any way to catch the best internet deals in my area. If you wish to do this, then the first and most important thing you should do is to figure out how much internet speed you really need. The internet speed requirements of one customer may significantly vary when compared to another customer. For starters, you will need to examine your internet usage patterns and thoroughly assess your needs. So, instead of asking yourself how to acquire the best internet deals in my area, you need to ask how much internet speed is needed at my home or office.

Different Types of Internet Users

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Types Of Internet Users

If you are a person who uses the internet connection at his home actively on a daily basis, then you will surely need access to a high-speed internet connection with no delays or interruptions. However, users who are signing up for an internet connection for the first time in their life will not probably need access to an unlimited internet plan with greater speed. This is because most of these users will be using their internet connection for light activities such as checking emails and accessing social media platforms.

Light Internet Users

A vast majority of the light internet users in the United States use the internet connection at their home for web surfing, checking emails, music and stand-definition video streaming, and to share files with low sizes. If you are a light internet user who is wondering how to capture the best internet deals in my area, then consider choosing an internet plan with a speed of 5 to 10 Mbps.

Internet users who use the internet only a few times every week for basic or light internet activities should opt for a basic internet plan. This is because there is no point in paying for an internet connection with greater speeds if you are not actively using the connection. However, if you feel that your internet connection is too slow or if your internet demands have considerably increased, then it is best to upgrade your plan. On the other hand, customers who do need higher inter speed could consider switching to an internet plan with lower internet speed to save money. Nevertheless, you need to take into account your internet speed requirements before changing your internet plan.

Moderate Internet Users

Most of the moderate internet users in the country use the internet connection in their home to play online games and stream HD video contents. In addition to that, some moderate users particularly businessmen and employees often use internet to video conference with their clients. In most cases, all these moderate internet activities might happen at the very same time, which in turn means that these users should choose an internet plan that delivers at least 10 Mbps speed at all times. However, the maximum internet speed required for these online activities is around 25 Mbps. So, you should not subscribe to an internet plan with greater speed, as you will end up overpaying for the service.

If you are using the internet connection each day of the week to check emails, watch YouTube videos, stream high-definition video contents, and to scroll through Facebook feed, then you are a moderate internet user. If you choose an internet plan with less than 10 Mbps, then you will not be satisfied with the service. So, opt for an internet plan with 10-25 Mbps speed to enjoy a fine internet using experience.

Heavy Internet Users

Internet users who love to stream plenty of HD video contents through streaming services and the ones who like to play high-definition online games on a regular basis fall into the category of heavy internet users. These users also engage in other heavy internet activities such as video conferencing, streaming and downloading music files, and more. The minimum speed required for these online activities is estimated to be around 50 Mbps while the maximum is around 1000 Mbps In the case of extreme internet users.

If you are a heavy internet user, then you will probably want your videos to load at a rapid pace. This means that customers who are using a slow internet connection will often feel frustrated and irritated when it takes a greater amount of time for their videos to load. This is something most users wish to avoid.

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Internet Usage Limit

Several customers, especially heavy internet users, often ask how to acquire the best internet deals in my area. If you are a heavy internet user wish to get the best internet deals in the market, then you need to pick a plan with zero monthly data caps. This is because most heavy internet users will surpass 1 or 2 TB of data within just a few weeks. So, if the monthly data limit in your plan is 1 or 2 TB, then you will need to buy additional data from your internet service provider.

Factors That Affect your Internet Speed

Customers who are asking themselves how to get the best internet deals in my area often forget to check the customer reviews and service reliability of the internet providers who are operating in their area. It is significant to note that you will most probably experience a few system outages and other issues with your internet service. When that happens, you will need an expert team of customer service technicians who are there for you to resolve the issues. So, you should get in touch with your preferred internet service provider and check whether their customer service is good or not.

If you are satisfied with the customer service and plans offered by the provider, you should ask them whether the internet speed advertised by them will be consistent or not. In addition to that, you must make sure that all issues related to your internet connection will be resolved by the provider at the earliest. Some of the most common factors that affect the speed of an internet connection are as follows.

Technology

If the internet routers and modems in your home or office are old or outdated, then they will fail to keep up with your high-speed internet connection. As a result, you will find it very difficult to use the internet and to carry out personal and work-related tasks with ease. Internet users who wish to avoid such hassles should get in touch with the leading internet providers in their area and ask them whether they need to upgrade the internet producing devices in their home or not.

Moreover, the type of internet connection (DSL, fiber, cable, or satellite) that your internet service provider is using to deliver internet to your home will also have a significant impact in the speed of your service. Most of the fiber internet providers in the country offer greater speed to customers due to the innovative technology that they are using to deliver internet. On the other hand, the speed offered by cable and DSL internet providers is not that impressive when compared to the fiber optic internet providers in the country.

Data Caps

Some of the internet providers in the United States usually put a monthly data cap on their unlimited and high-speed internet plans. If the monthly data cap of your internet plan is 1 TB, then the speed of your service will be considerably decreased once you hit the 1 TB data mark every month. This will prevent you from streaming video contents and using the connection for other heavy internet activities.

The good news is that you can buy extra data from your provider by paying additional dollars and continue to enjoy a fine internet experience. However, this might not seem like an economic option for several internet users because you will end up overpaying for the service. So, active internet users and the ones who consume a greater amount of internet data every day should look for an unlimited internet plan with no monthly data caps.

Number of Devices

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If you are a new user who is subscribing to an internet connection for the first time in his/her life, then you will be probably using the connection through your PC and smartphone. However, this is not the case when it comes to moderate and heavy internet users. These two categories of internet users usually tap into their internet connection from gaming systems, smart TVs, computers, tablets, and multiple smartphones at the very same time. This will certainly reduce the internet speed of your service.

Likewise, if there are multiple numbers of heavy internet users in your home, then look for internet plans with a minimum speed of 50 or 75 Mbps because you will need such an internet speed to meet your requirements. Moreover, in such cases, you should also avoid internet plans with data limits because you will exceed the preset limit every month due to the heavy use of the internet.

Other Factors

It is crucial to remember that the peak hours of internet usage in the United States is usually between 7 to 11 pm at night. This means that several users will be using the internet in between these peak hours, which means that the speed of your internet connection may get a bit low during these hours. This is because the demand for internet usually outweighs the capacity of the system during the peak hours.

If you are living in a rural or remote part of the country, then you might have picked satellite internet over other viable choices. The issue with satellite internet providers is that the signals transmitted by them might get disrupted due to storm and other adverse weather conditions. However, most of these issues may get resolved within a day or two.

Points to Remember

Most of the internet users love to stream their favorite TV shows and movies through an online streaming service. The minimum internet speed required for streaming videos through Netflix and other popular streaming services is estimated to be around 3 Mbps. However, the recommended internet speed may vary based on the quality of the video.

For instance, users who are streaming standard definition videos will require only an internet speed of 3 Mbps while streaming videos in HD requires a minimum internet speed of 5 Mbps. Finally, internet users who are streaming TV shows and movies in 4K or HDR resolution will certainly need to subscribe to an internet service that constantly delivers an internet speed of 25 Mbps or above.

Another important thing business owners and employees should realize that a minimum internet speed of 3 to 4 Mbps is only required for basic computer programs and checking emails. However, businesses who communicate with their clients through Skype video calls will need to have access to an internet connection that offers a speed of 10 Mbps or more. If your employees have to transfer large files on a daily basis, then a minimum internet speed of 40 Mbps will be required at your office.

Conclusion

If you are wondering how to get access to the best internet deals in my area and save a few dollars, then you need to thoroughly compare the different internet plans of internet providers. If you are able to find a plan that perfectly matches with your internet requirements, then it is best to subscribe to the plan. However, you should also look for promotional deals and other offers, as it will surely help you to save hundreds of your valuable dollars.

30 Jul

The Typical Charges in an Internet Plan

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There are very many ISPs out there, who advertise attractive deals to catch your eye and reel you in towards a subscription. However, many people who sign up for internet service later find internet service providers tend to throw in extra charges in the bill they send in at the end of the month. You may be shocked by the extra $20 charge for something you did not even know you were getting in the first place.

As a consumer, you can protest hidden internet fees should you ever encounter them. However, we find internet service providers generally list out the charges you can incur, either on their plan details page, or in their terms and conditions. Some are crafty enough to bury this vital information in some obscure cranny on their website, so that most consumers remain unaware of it and stay likely to sign up. While miscellaneous fees are bad, it is the relatively hidden typical fees, which you should be most aware of.

Introductory Price and Normal Price

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First off, these two are not the same. You may find internet service providers offering a connection for insane prices, sign up for one, and see a steep rise in the bill amount after a year is up. The problem here is that you did not pay attention to the wording of the introductory deal. May ISPs offer remarkably low-priced connections whose fees stay the same for a limited period. You need to watch how long that is, because after you exceed it, the monthly rate rises to what the provider offers as standard. They may also this the “prevailing monthly rate”.

Places to Look for the Standard Internet Rates

  • Offer details page: When going through plan options offered by different providers, you are bound to see some text under the plan price you are interested in, usually something like “pricing info” or “see offer details”. Click on this and you will likely be taken to a page that has complete details regarding the pricing and validity of different deals. Nine times out of ten, this information will be displayed in a format that is hard to sit and read through, but that is exactly what you should do.
  • Page footer: If there is an asterisk next to a promotion you are interested in, you can scroll down until you find the same thing at the bottom, next to the information you are looking for. This will be tiny-print text giving out details on the current offer, as well as regular pricing it will default to once the promotional period is up. Language like “Limited time offer” and “One year offer” should be attended to, because that tells you how long you can enjoy the advertised perks. Furthermore, you will find internet service providers are not required to mention what exactly the “standard” rates are, which means you would have to check that out as well.
  • Online shopping cart: One place to look for the normal pricing is the online purchase page. Most ISPs would tell you the typical rates as you choose options.

Perks of Promotional Pricing

  • If you find internet service providers offering attractive promotions, and sign up for one, there is a guarantee that you will be paying a relatively low bill amount for a fixed duration, which can be year, or the length of the contract.
  • While being treated to internet service at a low price, you have the option to find and line up other options to witch to once the contract is up. This does not work if you have subscribed to a lifetime deal, or even a normal one where you pay month-to-month.

Rental Fee

You find internet service providers that charge extra for renting out a modem, router, or both. This is not much of a “hidden” fee, especially when signing up initially. However, many people tend to overlook it, much to their financial detriment.

Renting is easy, but most ISPs charge inordinately, often to the tune of $10-15 a month. That said, owning a modem or router that is compatible with your service choice can be a good thing in the long term, but the upfront cost will no doubt seem steep. You may be able to get the money back after a year or so, and buy and start using a branded and compatible wireless router.

When buying your own equipment, you need to ensure it works with the services you are getting. Double check with the provider to see if there will be connectivity issues after you set it up, and if there is, ask them if they can sell you a modem router combo that is guaranteed to work.

Finding Rental Fee Information

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You generally find internet service providers to be upfront about the need for renting equipment. The only problem is, almost every provider puts this information in a different place on their website. There are many possible stops, you can make online for said information, such as the following.

  • The provider’s equipment page
  • The provider’s plan details and options page
  • Their service support page
  • A page listing “authorized devices”
  • A page listing the terms of service

If you have equipment you can use, then see if the provider has a site dedicated to information regarding its compatibility. Some of the bigger Telcos have pages where you have the option to order compliant internet accessories right off the bat. The catch with some ISPs is that they may require you to use solely their equipment as part of the requirement for service guarantee, so you should be aware if this is the case. If none of this goes anywhere, them up and ask how you can get the needed equipment.

Data Limit Fees

The average internet user does a variety of things online, such as stream videos, look through social media pages, pay bills, etc. All this usage still leaves them on the safe side of the data limit. However, many users burn through data a lot faster than this, which is why they need a proportionally high data allowance per month, which of course would cost more. The data caps and fees would vary based on the provider you chose to go with, although extra data is usually charged at around $10 for 50 GB.

Figuring Out your Data Limit Fees

Clicking on stuff like “See offer details” can get you information that includes details on your intended plan’s monthly data allowance. This will likely be accompanied by a way to purchase additional data each month, or even purchase unlimited data. Triple play package providers would also list out the pricing benefits of combining services, one of these often being unlimited internet data.

If you have questions on data usage, you should check out the support page on the provider’s website. It will have FAQs, as well as the topical articles covering every aspect of the deals they are offering. Sometimes, you find internet service providers like XFINITY® who help subscribers stay within the data cap by alerting them they have consumed a high percentage of monthly allowed data.

Late Payment Fees

Defaulting on your internet bill payment almost always invites a late fee, no matter which ISP you are getting service from. This is one area, where they tend not to budge, and the late fee for a month can range between $5 and $25. This is why setting up an automatic draft is a good idea. If you decide not to do that for some reason, at least set yourself a reminder that alerts you when the payment date is near. Additionally, some ISPs charge a return check fee in cases where the payment does not clear, and this applies to card payments as well.

Finding Information on Late Payment Fees

The first place to look for information on late payment fees, is the Support page on the provider’s website. After that, you should also check out the “billing terms and conditions”, because that is bound to cover returned payments, late payments, and reactivation costs resulting from the provider cutting off service because you did not pay for a long while.

Dropping, Moving, and Cancelling Fees

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You would normally find internet service providers do not mandate service contracts, at least not the good ones. Everyone offers the contact option though, and once you sign, you have to keep paying until it expires, or be charged an early termination fee. Often in the case of large providers, this fee is prorated based on the duration of service you have already paid for. That means if you are just a month shy of contract expiry, you would have to pay lower early termination fee than if you had, say, half a year left to go.

Certain providers also need you to get a contract extension whenever you change your address. This lets you steer clear of an early termination fee, but your contract length may get extended as a result. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly. If you cancel a single service component of a service bundle before the promotion you availed ends, you may well lose all of the reduced rates on the individual services.

Setup Fees and Costs

When subscribing to cheap internet service from a provider, you would normally be given the option to establish your own modem router in the home. Most ISPs set it up for customers at no extra charge. If you want this done by a professional technician, the ISP would tell you how much that would cost. Just be sure you do not miss out on any free installation offers, particularly if you are dealing with unique equipment, such as in the case of satellite or fiber internet. Even ISPs that normally have charge in place for this may offer it gratis, as part of a promotion.

Finding Out about Internet Setup Fees

Information regarding fees for internet setup can be found alongside the list of equipment you need to begin using the service. This may mean that what you are looking for is on the “Terms of Service” page. If the provider likes to be open with such information, they may even put it up on a plan pricing page. This is even more probable if they are waiving the installation fee as part of a promotion.

Other Places to Go for Fee and Charge Information

When you try to uncover any hidden internet fees from a provider’s side, and their main pages have nothing of use to you, then it is best to head on to their community forum. Such forums always have employees monitoring them, which mean, at any time of day, you can ask them about the costs, as well as why your bill is so high. Some forums even have discussions between employees and subscribers, where the former is able to remove any mischarges the latter has been subjected to.

If even that does not work, then up their customer service team. If you are lucky, you may find someone to help you out at understanding whatever is bothering you.

Bundling

It is common to find internet service providers who wish to sell you the three main entertainment service as a bundle – TV, internet, and phone. Clumping them together not only makes payments simpler, it also lets you get off paying a discounted price. When there are two services in a bundle, it is called a double play package, and when there are three services being clumped, it is called a triple play package. Following are some of the benefits of bundling.

  • A single bill: This carries the overall monthly fees you need to pay for getting internet, phone, and TV service in your home. It saves you time and minimizes risk of late payment.
  • Sign-on Bonuses: Many people find internet service providers that offer huge incentives to people willing to drop their old provider and come over. On top of that, if you order more than one service, your incentives get bigger as well. Many companies have been known to give gift cards worth over $ to new customers who bought a triple play bundle. Based on the package of choice, there may even be an option to get free service for the first several months.
  • Faster internet: A cable provider may upgrade your internet speed because you chose to bundle your cable and internet services together. You may also stand to receive special features, products, and other incentives.
  • Membership Rewards: Customers who bundle may get entered into a rewards program which lets them earn points that can later be cashed in for merchandise.
24 Jul

How to Go about Choosing an Internet Service

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Fast internet is a hard thing to live without these days. While there are many service options to pick from, the more speed you want, the fewer these boil down to. Many areas in the country have access to no more than two choices when it comes to getting wired broadband.

What you Can Get in your Area

To get a new internet connection, you need to find internet service providers servicing your location. This is easily done; simply Google it along with your zip code and you will get a list of all companies currently delivering internet service in the area. There are some sites that generate revenue each time you click one of their links to listed recommendations, but some of these do provide accurate and often useful information about what you need. Be wary of handing out personal information, but try to learn as much as you can about the options open to you.

Internet Service Types

It is not enough to simply find internet service providers in your area; this should be followed up with research into what each of them offers in terms of service. Various aspects need to be looked at, including speeds, reliability, and cost. Cable and DSL are two of the fastest internet options you can go for, and then there is also fiber optic internet to consider. However, the latter is far less common in the country, and if you live in a remote or rural location, chances are you will not find internet service providers offering this in your neighborhood. In such cases, satellite is always an option, although it does not bring the same level of speed as cable or DSL.

After you find internet service providers whose plans are within your budget, the next step is to decide what speeds you will have need of, so that it gets easier to choose among the various types of internet service. Always prefer broadband, because it offers higher speeds than dial-up. Broadband covers different types of internet service, each of which is detailed below.

DSL Internet

This is a form of internet delivery, which makes use of a local phone line to bring internet signals into your home. Where dial-up leaves you unable to use the phone and the internet simultaneously, DSL assigns a separate frequency for the latter so that the two do not get in each other’s way. That means you will never pick up the phone and be treated to the annoying sound which indicates someone in the house is on the internet, something which most former dial-up users have nightmares about.

DSL Service Providers

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DSL is slower than cable and fiber optic. Download speeds generally range between 1 Mbps and 12 Mbps, but there are companies that offer connection speeds of up to 45 Mbps to customers, although you would be lucky to find internet service providers of the latter type. 1 Mbps only suffices to cover basic tasks like checking your mail and browsing the web. A bit higher on, 7 Mbps speed allows you to comfortably stream medium quality audio and video, but would cause lags if multiple devices were connected. The more devices you connect, the higher the speeds you will need, which is why most people leave their home Wi-Fi password protected, so that no guest or neighbor can simply connect and start using up data, unless they are given the password of course.

Pros

  • Available almost everywhere
  • More affordable than fiber and satellite

Cons

  • Slower than fiber optic and cable internet
  • Actual download speeds rarely match the advertised “up-to” speeds; With cable and fiber, they do

Cable Internet

You mostly find internet service providers offering cable internet with speeds ranging between 15 and 25 Mbps. Relaying internet signals though cable wires instead of a telephone line, cheap cable internet is consequently faster than DSL. You find internet service providers providing speeds as high as 300 Mbps on their highest tiers, which easily outshoots the 45 Mbps maximum speed of the best DSL offerings. While most households do not need internet faster than 100 Mbps even when multiple devices are connected, businesses by and large are able to derive immense productivity benefits from access to such speeds. Moreover, cable is found to be more reliable than DSL.

Pros

  • Faster than fiber optic and DSL, as long as you choose from the higher tiers
  • Gives better reliability than DSL

Cons

  • Costs more than DSL and other alternatives
  • May be unavailable in your neighborhood, and if not, may only be offered by a single provider

Fiber Optic Internet Service

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Fiber Internet Providers

Usually the fastest option find internet service providers offering, fiber optic brings speeds of 25 to 75 Mbps to subscribers, which is comparable to what cable puts on the table. However, it beats both cable and DSL at upload speeds. The usable upload speed in a connection is important for people who do video conferencing and file sharing. With cable internet, an advertised 25 Mbps download rate would usually be paired with a mismatched 1 Mbps upload rate. DSL is worse in this; often coupling 6 Mbps advertised download rate with a meager 0.5 Mbps for uploads. On the other hand, fiber optic providers offer upload speeds of no less than 5 Mbps on their lowest tiers.

The main drawback of fiber optic internet is its limited availability. In many areas of the country, you still would not find internet service providers offering this type of service. The main reason for this is the requirement of separate dedicated cables, specifically cables containing specially constructed tiny glass fibers, which can relay information in the form of bursts of light.

Pros

  • Faster than DSL at downloads, and cable at uploads

Cons

  • Not widely available, especially compared to DSL or cable

Satellite Internet

This form of internet is the go-to option for individuals and businesses that cannot find internet service providers offering one of the alternative service types in their neighborhood. It costs more than the other options and brings lower speeds, but deliver internet access anywhere in the country as long as you have an unobstructed view of the southern sky (since we are to the North of the equator), and a properly placed satellite dish. A satellite holding geosynchronous orbit sends signals to this dish and receives the information it sends out. The main advantage of satellite internet is that you can always connect to the internet, and not have to hang up the phone for it either.

Mobile Broadband

You find internet service providers like AT&T®, Verizon®, and many others providing mobile broadband services. For the uninitiated, these let you connect to the internet through a cellular network, which is similar to accessing internet data on your smartphone. The subscriber needs to have a functioning wireless modem or hot spot for this. The packages offered are highly similar to cell phone plans, where you pay for a definite number of gigabytes of data each month and get to use that. The costs also include a fee for getting each device connected, whether tablet, USB modem, or mobile hot spot. Based on affordability and data allowance, mobile broadband leaves a lot to be desired – you would be hard pressed to find internet service providers offering packages comparable to the options under DSL, cable and fiber. However, the former does come in handy when you are on the road.

Choosing the Right Service for you

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Choosing The Best Option

After familiarizing yourself with the different types of service that ISPs offer and provide, you need to make a choice based on which of these suits you. Two main factors should drive you decision: what speeds you require, and whether you can find internet service providers giving out that specific type of service in your area. The latter can weed out a lot of options if you live in a remote or rural area, leaving you with just a few companies to choose from. After that, you will probably get to choose among different speed tiers, because most services have more than one.

Advanced users and those with several devices to connect, would do well to sign up for a higher-tiered plan. Most others can get what they want from a cheaper plan; besides buying more speed than you need is a waste of money.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is best defined as the upper limit to your download speeds. It is analogous to the size of a water hose. A 100-gallon tank can be filled up in 20 minutes with a hose that can carry 5 gallons per minute, and much faster by a fire hose, which can obviously transfer a lot more water in the same time. Similarly, the more bandwidth you can access, the less time it will take to download or upload data.

The most commonly used unit of bandwidth is bits per second (bps). This is not the same as bytes per second (Bps). A byte of data is made up of 8 bits, making 1 megabyte (MB) equal to 8 megabits. A 1 Mbps connection theoretically allows you to download an MB of data in eight seconds. That means the average MP3 file of 6 MB size would get downloaded in 48 seconds, while a 5000 MB movie would take around 11 hours.

The Bandwidth you Need

Your connection would have a bandwidth, which gets shared among all the devices connected on it. Your usage determines how much bandwidth you are going to need generally. If a person in the house is downloading a game while another is streaming a movie, and yet another is posting HQ pictures on Instagram, a lot of bandwidth is needed to ensure everyone is kept happy.

Video streaming usually takes up the maximum amount of bandwidth, for which reason a household running simultaneous streams would require continuous access to higher speeds. A single standard-quality stream can be accommodated by a 3 Mbps connection, while a high-definition stream would entail 5 Mbps or higher. For two simultaneous HD streams, you would need access to around 10 Mbps bandwidth.

Online games take up less data, and hence, require lower bandwidth. What a good gaming experience does require is low latency. Downloading a game is a different thing though. The installer is usually a huge file that would take a lot of bandwidth to download in a short time. People who limit their use to general web surfing, social media, and emailing would not require speeds over 1 Mbps.

One thing to remember is that while you find internet service providers touting really high speeds, there is no guarantee that you will get to access them after signing up. What you do get is the listed speed; the bandwidth you get to enjoy is affected by many factors, including the number of devices online at the time, your hardware, the ISP’s infrastructure quality, etc. On the plus side, subscribers may sometimes get faster speeds than they signed up for, such as when the overall network demand drops.

Pay as much attention to the upload speeds offered, as you do the download speeds. This is important if you plan to be doing a lot of high quality video conferencing or time-sensitive file sharing. The upload speeds are often lower than the download speeds offered, but if you can find internet service providers that are not stingy with the former, it is best to prefer signing up for one of their plans.

Most people living in metro cities have access to reliable and fast internet provided by multiple ISPs, falling under each of the types detailed above. Again, cable is the fastest option, followed by slower internet service types like DSL and others. Fiber optic internet is available in many major cities, but not all. People living in rural areas without other options, would do well to sign up with a satellite service provider, even though this option only gets them annoyingly slow speeds, even lower than cheap cable internet. Those on the move can sign up for a mobile broadband plan from their cellular provider, but this way of staying connected is very expensive, and to be used sparingly if one is watching their budget.

17 Jul

A Thorough Look at Satellite Internet

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Satellite internet is one of the many types of internet service people use these days. Mainly preferred in remote and rural areas, it is often the only way that a person living in either can gain access to the internet.

What is Satellite Internet?

High-speed satellite internet is made available through the transmission and reception of data between a satellite dish at the subscriber’s end, and a geostationary satellite placed 36,000 km (22,000 miles) above the surface of the Earth, directly over the equator. The satellite sends information to a station called the NOC, which is short for Network Operations Center and receives data from it as well.

The NOC stays connected to the internet or a private network, facilitating the flow of all communications from the satellite dish towards the orbiting satellite. When you enter the URL of web page in your browser, the satellite acquires data from the NOC and then sends it your satellite dish in the form of radio waves.

Whom Does it Work Best for?

With the arrival of high-speed fiber internet, a lot of people have gained access to blazing internet speeds that allow seamless HD streaming, online gaming, and data downloads in homes and offices. This has made it the most preferred business internet solution at present. The catch though, is that fiber is not available everywhere, at least not yet. Limited availability forces many consumers to look for alternatives that afford similar benefits, and that is where high speed satellite internet comes into the picture. The best thing about satellite internet service is that anyone with a clear view of the southern sky can get it.

How Much Speed Do you Need?

Where speed and cost are concerned, satellite internet can leave you feeling like you picked the short straw. Being said that, it is important to understand how much speed you actually need in your home or office. 25 Mbps download speed, for instance, means you can get 25 megabits into your machine every second, while upload speeds signify how much data can be sent online in the same interval. High speed satellite internet providers tout maximum bandwidth while advertising their plans.

“Bandwidth” is the highest speed your connection can deliver, and this would be different from the actual speed you get at a given time, which depends on your connection, what time of day it is, and environmental factors. Generally, 1 Mbps download speeds are sufficient for basic web browsing, and even some light file downloading thrown in. A connection that gives you 5 Mbps download speed allows more than one users to do moderate browsing, download files, and stream standard-definition video and audio. With 15 Mbps download speed, you can raise the number of users and not feel a drop in speed, while 25 Mbps download speed can accommodate several users simultaneously.

Advantages of Satellite Internet

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High Speed Satellite Internet

Satellite internet gets beamed directly to your home from the satellite, which means the signals do not need to pass through a lot of cable or phone lines to get to your PC. That in itself gives rise to the following advantages when using high speed satellite internet.

  • Always online: As long as your system or device is powered on and connected to the network, it is also connected to the internet. This is invaluable to avid internet users, as well as people who rely heavily on internet use for their work or entertainment. Come to think of it, almost everyone falls into one of these categories these days, which means a connection that doesn’t get dropped is a must. With high speed satellite internet, all you need to do is power on the device or machine to be automatically connected; there is no need to dial up or log on.
  • Availability: It is easier to avail satellite internet in the US, than it is to get DSL or cable. Almost any place you are while stateside, is covered by a satellite network, including remote and mountainous regions, where it is impossible to relay DSL or cable service.
  • Multiple users: Most households these days have more than one computer each, and it is considered normal for every member of the family to have a machine of their own. High speed satellite internet allows every machine in a house to connect simultaneously, without someone else needing to “log off” before you can “log on.”
  • Easy to use: High speed satellite internet is touted by providers as a ‘no problem’ internet option, and while as a consumer you would instinctively doubt it, it turns out this is exactly the case. All you need to do is get it set up, for which a technician arrives and installs a receiver on the outside of the home. After that, you can begin accessing the internet without any hassles, and no further equipment needs to be added either.
  • Fewer service outages: While a downed wire or ice on the lines can disrupt the delivery of most other internet service types, high speed satellite internet is thankfully immune to such issues. As long as you have a signal reaching your dish and PC, you can stay online and do what you need to be doing.

Disadvantages of Satellite Internet

High speed satellite internet is not without its disadvantages. Given that you obviously want the best deal for your buck, the following are a few cons of satellite internet you should know before signing up with a provider.

  • Fair Access Policy: Many providers have a FAP that limits how much internet speed a subscriber gets access to at different times. For example, during peak use hours, your service could slow down considerably, something that would not happen if you went with DSL or cable instead.
  • High latency: Latency is the total time it takes for a data packet to travel between nodes, both ways. Effectively, it is the time taken for the round trip each data packet makes. You may have noticed high latency when making use of voice chat applications, or VoIP service. This also occurs when you are streaming a high quality video, and the connection does not have enough bandwidth to allow seamless streaming. Satellite internet is known for having a higher average latency than other types of internet service.
  • Weather disruptions: Since the data signals need to travel long distances, any blocks these encounter along the way can disrupt your internet connection. These blocks include high winds, rain, and snow. If you live in a place that has an abundance of even one of these things, your high speed satellite internet connection can get dropped a lot.
  • Receiver placement: Subscribers of high speed satellite internet are required to be careful with where they have their receivers installed. The latter should have a clear view of the southern sky ahead of it, which must not be blocked by trees, fences, walls, or anything solid for that matter.
  • Cost: High speed satellite internet costs more monthly than you would pay for a DSL or cable connection that brings the same internet speed, and it is also more expensive to set up.

Best Providers

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Best Satellite Internet Providers

HughesNet® and Viasat® are the two main providers of high speed satellite internet in the country. The former is considered an exceedingly better option by many businesses, owing to the fact that it trumps the competition in terms of speed, reliability, and cost, and manages to provide the best overall internet experience to subscribers. Viasat® recently launched a second satellite apparently capable of delivering speeds up to 100 Mbps, which means the company may come out with next-generation plans that place it at the top. Currently though, the following are the best business internet providers based on various factors.

  • Speed: Compare a HughesNet® business internet plan with one from Viasat®, and the first difference you will notice is the one in download speeds. While the former delivers up to 25 Mbps on each of its plans, Viasat® stops short at a relatively mediocre 15 Mbps. For a business, this 10 Mbps difference is what separates easy and productive work, from a stall in the same. Based on location Viasat’s speeds can drop even further.
  • Affordability and data: HughesNet® gives you the best value for your buck, starting off with a base plan at $69.99 per month, which brings 25 Mbps maximum download speeds, with data usage capped at a lofty 35 GB. Viasat’s cheapest plan, on the other hand, costs $99.99 a month and brings a meager 15 Mbps download speed, capping data usage at 20 GB. Simply put, it is not only more expensive, but also slower, as well as allowing you to use less data. The last bit can be worked around with an additional fee, and here too HughesNet® outdoes its main competition. While Viasat® charges $10 for each extra GB, HughesNet® makes it more affordable at $3.
  • Customer service: This is an important thing to watch about any service you consider signing up with. In the case of high speed satellite internet the Better Business Bureau (BBB) scores both HughesNet® and Viasat® at A+, and while this score does not completely guarantee you will get stellar service each time you call customer support, it does show that both companies take customers and their complaints seriously. On the flipside, BBB also reported that both companies got 99% “negative reviews”. This is par for the course, considering that all internet providers tend to have drastically low ratings.

Other Connection Options for Rural Businesses

High speed satellite internet is often the best choice for a business located in a rural area, although it is not always the only option. Based on what you can access locally, the following internet connection options may also be on the table.

  • Fixed wireless: There is an internet delivery option where the ISP connects a business online using land-based radio towers, in what is called fixed wireless internet. AT&T® is one prominent Telco that provide this type of service.
  • Mobile/cellular: Another way to access the internet in a rural area is through mobile hotspots set up by a cell phone company. The downside to this is the steep cost it brings, prompting many phone users to switch off their mobile data usage unless they have real need of it.
  • T1: an older technology which brings internet service via copper wire cables, T1 is different from DSL in that it stays dedicated to a single location. This raises its reliability, but also ends up making it tremendously expensive. That, and the fact that it can only deliver speeds of about 1.5 Mbps at most, make it a less preferred option than high speed satellite internet.

Satellite Internet vs. Cable Internet

  • High Speed Cable Internet

    High Speed Internet

    Reliability: Satellite internet signals can easily be blocked by anything solid, or even bad weather, sunspots, or thunderstorms. Taken generally, high speed cable internet is more reliable by far. It transmits signals via physical cables, which are consequently harder to interrupt. In actuality though, cable interruptions are fairly common, and avoiding these entails signing up with a reliable provider.

  • Availability: Cable internet is available almost anywhere that you can get TV service. This makes it available to a lion’s share of consumers in the country, but those in remote and rural areas usually get left out. Satellite internet, although less well-known, can be accessed anywhere that is open to the sky, even in remote and rural areas. People in large cities may not find this very useful, but many rural communities consider it as a lifeline.
  • Speed: Cable internet download speeds can be anywhere between 20 and 100 Mbps, with several companies offering the latter. However, the upload speeds are generally very low, and usually only reach up to 5 Mbps. At peak traffic time, this can bring down your download speed. Still, high speed cable internet scores higher than high speed satellite internet in this respect, which only bring you 35 Mbps of download speed, and 2 Mbps of upload speed. This is more than sufficient for checking your email and surfing the web, but something more data-intensive, such as high-graphics gaming, can cause lags aplenty.
  • Service costs: Cable internet subscriptions charges vary with location and provider, although bundling services can earn you serious discounts. There may also be an installation fee. Satellite internet costs more per month, and requires you to buy a satellite dish from the provider. This also brings an installation fee, along with additional costs in case you decide to avail higher service speeds.
10 Jul

How Much Do you Know about Fiber Internet?

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Fiber internet is one of the smartest options to go with these days if you are considering installing or upgrading your internet. Everyone has heard of fiber, or at least about how the government plans to expand its availability across the country. Many experts see the service provided by fiber optic internet providers as the next step in the evolution of digital communication, and the following is a look at why that is probably not too far off the mark.

Fiber internet is basically internet that gets delivered to you via fiber optic lines. This kind of access is unique because unlike cable and DSL, which send information as electric signals through copper lines, fiber optic lines make use of tiny glass or plastic strands that carry data in the form of light. The system employed by fiber optic internet providers uses binary transmissions, and delivers immense speed and reliability to users.

Why is Fiber So Fast?

The speed of internet is highly dependent on the amount of data your infrastructure is capable of handling. DSL and cable use traditional copper wires which were initially meant for only voice communication, and that limits how much data they can carry within a certain time. Satellite internet too falls short in this regard, mostly because of tremendous distances that the signals have to traverse to get from one end to the other. In fact, satellite internet gets you much the same speeds as cable and DSL, but brings the problem of high latency, which in this day and age is hard to work past.

Fiber optic lines, on the other hand, send modulated light in place of electricity, and that raises their bandwidth capacity. Typical connections from fiber optic internet providers deliver speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second – a hundred times as fast as data coming in through old copper wires. Gamers and avid streamers get the best out of connections from fiber optic internet providers, because they need something that can transfer tremendous amounts of data quickly and reliably.

Fiber Optic Cables: Anatomy

Fibers individually surrounded by multiple layers of strengthening material that protects them and keeps the light signals from leaking out. A typical cable laid by one of the fiber optic internet providers packs several individual fibers of this sort, which enables transmission of high volumes of data using a single connection.

Single-Mode vs. Multimode Fiber

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Types Of Fiber Internet

Single-mode optical fiber contains a smaller core and relays laser diode transmissions for very long distances. Multimode fiber relays LED light with the help of a bigger core by making the light “bounce” until it reaches its destination a shorter distance away. The latter type of fiber is considerably cheaper, which is why it is commonly used inside city networks.

Ribbon vs. Loose Tube Construction

Ribbon fiber optic cable packs fibers in a close formation and is a lot cheaper than its main alternative, loose tube fiber optic cable. The latter gives more emphasis to protecting the fibers, and achieves this through the use of greater padding to ensure external damage is kept to a minimum. The number of fibers a cable contains can be two, several hundred, or anywhere in between.

Color Coding

A lot of the times, all the fibers inside a cable happen to be of the same type. In these cases, the outer layers are accordingly color-coded. On top of that, fiber optic internet providers also mark individual fiber bundles inside the cable to ensure ease of installation when cables need to be spliced together.

Simplex vs. Duplex

Since it is usual for connections to go two ways, cables are mostly sold in one of two packaging styles: duplex and simplex. Duplex cables carry two separate fiber cables joined by a mutual outer coating, and have two exits on each end. Each cable only relays data in one direction, making duplex cables highly suited to high-traffic connections such as at fiber switches, servers, and backbone ports.

Dark Fiber

It is not uncommon for cables to be installed with surplus unused fibers. These are called “dark fibers”, and can be used in the event that more capacity is required in the future. As a result, fiber optic networks are highly scalable especially in relation to coaxial cable and DSL. A network set up by one of the fiber optic internet providers has the potential to easily grow as and when the need arises.

Parts of a Fiber Network

  • Fiber optic cable: Nothing works without this; it is a cable, which carries pulses of light between two different places.
  • Transmitter: This is the device, which converts digital signal into pulse form, and then transmits the same through the fiber cable. Some transmitters are capable of sending multiple signals at once by keeping these at different wavelengths, and effectively enhancing the capacity of each fiber. The technique is called WDM or Wavelength Division Multiplexing.
  • Receiver: This is the device, which the turns arriving light pulses back into digital signal, and then feeds them to a digital device. If WDM was employed, it falls to the receiver to translate all the different wavelengths used in a single fiber. Transmitter and receiver are often the same product, in which case it is called a transceiver.

Differences between Business and Residential Fiber Internet

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Parts Of Fiber Network

Business fiber internet service invariably costs more than what a residential subscriber would have to pay, despite the underlying technology being the same. Small businesses may not initially understand why they have to pay higher prices for essentially the same thing. What is overlooked though is that business fiber internet carries many guarantees which residential fiber lacks.

  • Flexible configurations: Fiber business users usually require different things from an internet service that their residential counterparts. These usually include sophisticated configurations that bring about much higher performance after, say, switching over from cable. Multiprotocol Label Switching or MPLS directs data among various network nodes through short paths to prevent routing lookups, increasing reliability. Border Gateway Protocol or BGP exchanges routing information for use in routing autonomous systems. Besides, many businesses have the need for larger IPv6 or IPv4 subnets whether for security or speed, or both. This applies particularly to organizations that have complex network infrastructures, where fiber connectivity can bring the necessary flexibility they need to meet their requirements.
  • Cloud service and data center access: Fiber-optic internet for businesses allows configuring point-to-point circuits for use in Wide Area Networks (WANs), as well as in inter-office VoIP telephony. To top that off, business fiber can also be tweaked to open up direct access to cloud services or a data center. With more and more companies relying heavily on hosted cloud options for data storage, it makes sense that these organizations would need quick access to their data, while not having to compromise on security. Fiber connectivity allows applying the direct connectivity concept to on-site resources called Storage Area Network (SAN). As long as the business is connected directly to this via a WAN, the firm gets to enjoy appreciable speed, availability, and security when it comes to their data.

Fiber vs. Cable and DSL

Other than being much faster in comparison, fiber scores over cable and DSL in some other ways as well.

  • Fiber-optic lines are better suited to carrying data over long distances: Both light and electricity degrade when they travel long distances, and when that happens, the signal grows weak, or the bandwidth drops; suffice to it is never pleasant for a user. Copper cable links cannot be laid continuously for more than 328 feet if you want to uphold signal strength. Fiber optic cables, on the other hand, can maintain signal strength for up to around 25 miles. This is why so many people sign up for connections from fiber optic internet providers.
  • Radio waves and electricity do not interfere with fiber optics: Copper may be a great way to get electricity from one point to another, but not in a closed system, and the flipside of this is the issue of possible radio or electromagnetic interference. Higher this interference, the lesser the signal strength will be as a consequence. Sometimes, the signal may get cut entirely. This, however, is not an issue shared by plastic and glass lines laid by fiber optic internet providers, which are sufficiently insulated against interference.
  • Fiber optic lines have less chance of incurring wear and tear: Copper, being a soft metal and good heat conductor, is more prone to damage when exposed to the elements. It generally breaks down after a few years. Fiber endures longer and better for the simple reason that it is much harder. Regarding pressure, copper can take about 25 pounds before it is irreversibly damaged, while fiber easily stands up to between 100 and 200 pounds.
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Basically, if speed, reliability, and efficiency matter to you, then fiber is a choice that is hard to beat. If you are already convinced it is the one for you, the next step is to sign up for a connection offered by one of the fiber optic internet providers servicing your area. Google “fiber optic internet in my area” and you are bound to get a list to start working with.

Shortcomings of Fiber Optic Internet

Fiber internet does have its downsides, but not enough to knock it off the top when you consider internet service options. Still, it is important to know everything you can about what you sing up for. The following are the main disadvantages of signing up for a connection offered by one of the fiber optic internet providers servicing your area.

  • You probably will not need all that speed: Most people are used to lower speeds than fiber internet offers, and still manage to satisfy their work and entertainment needs inside what they get. The problem with this is that while a new fiber connection’s speed may seem enticing at first, the attraction can easily fade after you realize you do not have much use for it on a regular basis. The FCC says a single user on average need just 1 Mbps to browse the web, and 4 Mbps to stream HD videos or play an online game. To qualify as “advanced telecommunications”, a service needs to provide speeds of 25 Mbps, but that is already the case with many cable providers. Although fiber optic internet providers beat them easily at this, you would not be squeezing the juice out of the bandwidth unless someone in the home was streaming a Blu-ray movie while another was playing a game.
  • Availability is very limited: Not many fiber optic internet providers offer widespread service, and as of 2104, less than 25% of the country has fiber-optic lines in their neighborhood. DSL and cable, in contrast, are available to 90% of the population. Fiber internet is mainly provided in the north Atlantic coast and the Midwest. A few fiber optic internet providers such as Google and Verizon have promised nationwide network expansion, but that is still some ways in the future. To know what options you have, go online and check for provides by zip code.
  • New lines require new infrastructure: The main reason cable and DSL are still around despite fiber’s undeniable superiority in so many areas is that they have an existing infrastructure which can be used to relay internet signals to subscribers’ homes. These are the lines originally put in place for phone and TV service. Fiber-optic lines are not so common in the country, and whenever one of the fiber optic internet providers wants to service a new area, they are required to lay the necessary infrastructure. This means most fiber internet companies are looking to compensate for that initial cost they have had to up within multiple locations, consequently hampering further availability because expansion brings most costs.

Is Fiber Internet Right for you?

In a nutshell, you need to be a gamer or HD streaming aficionado to be able to fully utilize the best that fiber internet has to offer. Otherwise, cable or DSL can just as easily meet your needs, and at far lower prices no less.

Fiber Optic Internet Providers

High Speed Internet

Assuming your household is deep into HD streaming or gaming, and you are lucky enough to be living in a neighborhood already serviced by one of the major fiber optic internet providers, you should definitely sign up with them and partake in the superior benefits it offers. A 1 Gbps plan from Google or Verizon would be priced similarly to the typical 25–50 Mbps plans from most cable companies. This makes sense after knowing the many advantages fiber optic carried over cable. However, the availability of fiber internet is so limited that most people who want it have to wait until it starts up in their area.

Questions to Ask

Before signing up with one of the major fiber optic internet providers servicing your area, there are a few important question you should not neglect to ask.

  • What download speeds can you expect? Most ISPs are clear on the top speeds in their various plans. If there is any vagueness here, make sure you focus on what the download speeds will likely be, because that decides how well you would be able to stream movies or play games.
  • Will there be a data cap? As a way to make keep people from cutting the cord, many ISPs have begun putting caps on the amount of data each user gets to use inside a month. Going over this gets you charged an extra fee, or stuck with intentionally slowed internet. It is best to avoid deals with data caps, especially ones that you are highly likely to exceed.
  • What about additional costs? The advertised price is what you are supposed to end up paying at month’s end, but we do not live in an ideal world where service providers value and uphold transparency. What is likely to happen is that you find out they have been charging for the modem or router they gave you, and this goes into the monthly bill. Make sure you know beforehand if this is the case, and are all right with it.
  • Is it just an introductory deal? Even fiber optic internet providers give insane offers to draw new customers, and you do not want to get addicted to that pie. Think for the long-term, and be clear on whether you will be getting an introductory deal, and where that would leave you after it ends.
06 Jul

The Life after Net Neutrality Repeal Seems Prosperous for ISPs

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Net Neutrality Repeal

The Net Neutrality ruling has been repealed. It originally came into effect in 2015 under Barack Obama’s presidency and had banned internet providers from throttling speeds, blocking certain websites, or giving favorable treatment to sites as long as they are indulged in legal activities. In other words, ISPs were legally bound to treat web traffic equally irrespective of its source. The “neutrality” in Net Neutrality calls ISPs to be neutral on all said aspects mentioned above.

The spotlight of the ruling was the aspect that ISPS should not charge money to prioritize traffic for certain sites or apps, but that holds little significance now. For instance, US-based ISPs at a liberty to block or throttle speeds of a peer-to-peer websites or applications used to download movies or other types of content over the web. Even the bandwidth of an internet service can be throttled by ISPs, which means that you may have the “best internet deals in my area” but bandwidth throttling may put the speed at risk.

Besides, the internet services are no longer a “utility”, as mentioned under the Communications Act’s Title II. Instead of FCC, ISPs now fall under the jurisdiction of FTC. In other words, the Federal Trade Commission can regulate the behaviors of ISPs and take a decisive action such as levying a penalty if it is called for.

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There was so much of skepticism, when FCC chairman Ajit Pai first proposed the deregulations of Net Neutrality. The skeptics argued that this would give the control to internet service providers and that most major ISPs having a customer base in their respective nationwide footprint does not help either. Meaning, if one or two top ISPs choose to take advantage of the repeal, such practices will not be beneficial to customers.

On the flipside, Net Neutrality repeal also means that ISPs who chose to take advantage of it will have to disclose that they have opted for that practice to FTC. It is no grey area of legislation. Further, not all internet service providers have expressed that they would capitalize on the deregulations. Maybe disclosing that is a matter, which can have an effect on the reputation of the top ISPs in the US.

Look up on the internet for a list of “best internet deals in my area” and you will land up on a page that reveals the top plans from best ISPs. Yet remember, now the market is at their disposal, as they have the authority to block sites, throttle speeds, and even censor web content.

03 Jul

Choosing the Best Wireless Internet Provider in your Area

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Best Wireless Internet Provider

Video Streaming Services

There is no denying the fact that the internet requirements of customers have considerably increased over the last few years. The launch of streaming services such as Netflix, DIRECTV NOW®, and Hulu has dramatically changed the internet requirements of users. Most of us love to stream TV shows, movies, and other HD video contents on our smartphones, laptops, tablets, and PCs by using the internet connection at our home. However, streaming is actually a heavy internet activity, which means that you will need access to a high-speed and reliable internet connection to enjoy a fine streaming experience.

A recent study conducted by experts in the field of telecommunications revealed that the connection speed of an average internet user grows by 50 percent each year. The innovations and advancements in the field of technology have helped several internet providers to boost their internet speed. Still, customers in several parts of the country do not have access to a high-speed internet connection, which means that these users will not be able to stream HD video contents or play online multiplayer games that seamlessly.

Customers who are living in the rural parts of the United States had to choose dial-up and satellite internet connections earlier because no other options were available to them. However, the efforts made by the top internet service providers in the country bought a number of internet connectivity options to customers such as DSL internet, fiber optic internet, wireless internet, and more. One of the best and most popular internet connectivity options available to American citizens is undoubtedly wireless internet.

A Simplified Guide to Wireless Internet Service

Fixed wireless internet connection is considered as one of the most effective alternatives to satellite internet in remote and rural parts of the US. However, the major downfall was that this type of internet connection was limited to rural areas until a few years ago, but that is not the case anymore.

Customers who are new to the world of internet connection and providers might not be familiar with wireless internet service. If you are not familiar with the internet connectivity options available to you, then you might not be able to make an informed buying decision. This might in turn prevent you from acquiring the best internet deals in the market.

What is Wireless Internet

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DSL Internet Services

Fixed wireless internet connection is sometimes confused with high-speed satellite internet connection, which is the major reason why several customers have not heard about the former type of internet connection. In simple words, fixed wireless broadband can be defined as an internet connection type, which incorporates the use of radio waves in order to deliver internet to businesses and homes. This means that most of the wireless internet service providers in the country use radio waves to transmit data instead of fiber optic cables or traditional cable wires. The receiver serves the crucial purpose of communicating with the wireless base station near your location. This in turn gives you access to the internet with the help of a cable that carries broadband signal from the receiver to the wireless router at your place.

Fixed wireless internet service is relatively a lot different from fiber optic, DSL, and other types of internet connections. If you are able to find the best wireless internet provider in your area and strike a good deal with them, then the expert customer service technicians from the company will initially install a receiver on your office or home. For instance, if an office of your business enterprise is located in one of the remote parts of the country, then subscribing to the best wireless internet provider near you will allow you to enjoy numerous benefits.

This type of internet service is commonly available in all the rural parts of the United States. This is because setting up the required infrastructures for other high-speed internet services such as DSL and cable can be a little bit expensive in such areas. As transporting cable wires and burying them in the ground means internet providers will have to make a huge investment and gather the necessary permits to do so, this might not be a simple straightforward task.

Even if the leading internet service providers in the country went through all these troubles to set up a high-speed DSL, cable, or fiber optic internet network, the revenue generated in these parts of the country would be relatively less, which is not good for business. On the other hand, the cost of setting up infrastructures for wireless internet connection is relatively cheap. So, the financially viable option is to set up a wireless internet service in less populated or urban parts of the country.

Pros and Cons of Wireless Internet Service

Wireless Internet Service

Internet Service Options

Just like any other internet connection type, wireless internet also comes with a few pros and cons. If you are unable to decide whether wireless internet service is the ideal choice for you or not, then you should go through the advantages and disadvantages of the internet service, as it will enable you to come to a conclusion.

One of the most noticeable advantages of choosing the best wireless internet provider is that it is pretty much easier to set up when compared to other high-speed internet services. This is because wireless internet connection set up does not require any kind of physical cable, which in turn makes the setting up or installation process a lot more cheap and straightforward.

Another fascinating thing several customers do not know about wireless service is that there are no monthly data caps in most of such internet plans. This means that customers can use as much data as they like without any interruptions or extra fees. So if you are a heavy internet user, that is, a person who uses streaming services on a regular basis or play online multiplayer games daily, then it is best to settle for wireless internet service. However, you will need to get in touch with the best wireless internet provider in your area and ask them whether their plans come with a monthly data cap or not. If not, thoroughly compare the different wireless internet plans offered by the wireless internet provider and choose one that meets your needs. This will help you to catch the best wireless internet deal in the market.

One of the major downfalls of fixed wireless internet service is that the antenna, which is placed at the home or office of customers and the providers’ ground station, will need to have a direct line of sight. If not, then establishing a wireless internet connection will be an almost impossible task. Another thing to realize here is that hills, trees, and other obstructions may also affect the quality of wireless internet service. Such obstructions may also prevent the installation and setting up of wireless internet connection in some areas. So, the first and foremost thing you should do is to get in touch with your preferred wireless internet provider and ask them whether the service is available in your area.

Note that the price of the most of fixed wireless plans is actually a bit higher when compared to other broadband internet plans. This means that if you are on a tight budget, then a wireless internet connection might not be the ideal option for you. However, most wireless internet providers allow subscribers to bundle two or three of their services together, which in turn allows you to cut down the monthly bills. If the best wireless internet provider near you offers such an option, then you will be able to save hundreds of dollars.

Satellite Internet vs. Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed Wireless Internet

Satellite Internet Provider

One of the most popular options available to customers who are living in the remote areas of the country is satellite internet. However, several internet users have a misconception that both fixed wireless internet and satellite internet is the very same thing. It is true that satellite internet connection also provides high-speed internet access to customers without using any cable or phone lines. However, satellite internet connection is very much different from a wireless internet connection in a number of ways.

For instance, adverse weather conditions affect satellite internet connection a lot more than they affect wireless. In the former type of internet connection, transmitted signals from the provider will have to travel through the atmosphere and back to the Earth. So, bad weather and other factors may affect the quality of these signals, which will in turn deprive you of a fine internet using experience. Such issues are not common when it comes to choosing the best wireless internet provider.

Most satellite internet providers usually put a monthly data cap on most of their plans. This means that this type of internet connection might not seem like a good option for heavy internet users. In addition to that, the internet speed available to customers in satellite internet plans is relatively less when compared to wireless internet plans. So, if both these types of internet connection are available in your area, it is best to settle for the best wireless internet provider.

Wireless Internet Connection vs. Wired Internet Connection

The internet connection in most homes and business enterprises usually rely on wireless or wired technology. In some cases, we use both wired and wireless technologies in order to meet our needs, particularly when we are using internet on multiple devices. It is a widely known and accepted fact that high-speed wireless internet connections are ideal for connecting multiple devices because they offer incredible speed. However, it is still a little bit hard to assert that wireless internet is better than wired internet as both of these services have their own pros and cons.

When it comes to stability, security, latency, and speed, Ethernet or wired internet connections continue to be a far better choice than wireless internet connections. The internet speed offered by wired internet providers is actually a lot more impressive than that of wireless internet providers. Even the best wireless internet provider is unable to provide higher downloading speed to customers, which is quite sad. However, wireless internet service providers in the country have been putting in extra efforts to improve the availability of the service and to boost the speed. The latest advancements in the field of internet will enable them to considerably increase the speed of their service within a short span of time. So, there is still hope left for the wireless internet customers in the country.

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Wired Internet Connection

Another noticeable thing that makes wireless internet far superior to Ethernet connections is convenience. You will be able to enjoy a fine browsing experience from anywhere within the range of the wireless modem. In addition to that, the impressive speed offered by wireless internet providers will enable you to stream HD video contents without any interruptions or delays.

Cellular Connection vs. Wireless Service

Several internet users have a misconception that there is no difference between cellular connections and fixes wireless internet service. The reality is that mobile connections come with a wide variety of access points, which acts as mesh networks. These mesh networks allow mobile data users to pick up data from several different points when they are traveling from one location to another. On the other hand, the data transmitted in fixed wireless internet service originates from a fixed position and it is then delivered directly to the receivers at the residence or office of customers with the help of a line of sight.

In most cases, the internet speed offered by wireless internet service providers is far superior to that of mobile connections. The speed offered by mobile internet data connections is usually around 10 Mbps, whereas the speed offered by fixed wireless internets service is more than 50 Mbps in most markets. So, if you are looking to subscribe to a high-speed internets service, then wireless internet is the best option available to you. Yet note that the internet speed offered by wireless internet service providers will significantly vary from on a number of factors such as location and speed. So, you will need to reach out to the best wireless internet provider in your area and ask them what the maximum internet speed they offer to customers is. If the speed offered by the internet service provider does not seem impressive to you, it is best to look for other viable options.

Choosing the Best Wireless Internet Provider

Selecting an internet plan that meets your needs used to be a simple and straightforward task until a few years ago. That is not the case these days because a wide variety of internet plans is available to customers today. The abundant number of internet providers and the plans they offer will confuse customers. As a result, they will find it very difficult to find the ideal internet plan that meets all their internet requirements.

If you wish to avoid such hassles, then you will need to spare a quality amount of your time on research, as it will enable you to find the best wireless internet provider in your area. It is true that this might not be an easy task, particularly for the ones who are new to the world of internet shopping. If that is the case, then you will need to consider getting in touch with the leading internet service providers in your area. In addition to that, you should go online and check the customer reviews of existing and current subscribers of each one of the wireless internet providers who are offering their service near you. This might help you to decide which one of them is the best wireless internet provider.

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High Speed Internet

Once you have figured out the best wireless internet provider near you, thoroughly examine each one of their internet plans. Customers who are planning to use the wireless internet connection at their home to browse emails and access social media will be content with a basic internet plan that offer a maximum internet speed of 10 Mbps. However, if there are multiple internet users in your home or if you have a heavy internet user, it is best to go for an unlimited internet plan that guarantees access to a reliable internet connection with a minimum internet speed of 50 or 75 Mbps.

An important point to remember is that most wireless internet service providers usually offer promotional deals and other exciting offers to new customers. So, make sure to ask the best wireless internet provider you chose whether you are eligible for any such offers.

28 Jun

How to Find the Best Satellite Internet Provider in your Area

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Best Satellite Internet

Internet service options provided in most urban areas in the country fall under three types: cable, DSL and fiber-optic. However, when you move into the rural and remote regions, this scenario changes. Most major companies offering cable or DSL services skip over these parts when setting up their networks, which means people living or and working there do not have these same internet options available to them. If they want internet access, they have to turn to satellite internet, or dial-up.

There are many reasons why consumers sign up for satellite internet, which brings its own set of major pros and cons. Following is a look at how it works, and whether you should choose it as the answer to your internet needs.

How Satellite Internet Functions

The name gives it away – there is a satellite orbiting the Earth, which forms the most important equipment used by the service provider. The company sets up a satellite to revolve in geostationary orbit above the equator, around 23,000 miles over the ground. It holds a stationary position relative to the Earth’s surface.

Satellite internet customers have a dish set up in their homes, which receives signals sent down from the satellite before transferring them to your router. The router feeds these signals to your computer so that you can get on the internet. Signals from the dish can be sent in through an Ethernet cable, or to a Wi-Fi station. It goes without saying that the former delivers better speed.

Reasons for Choosing Satellite Internet

The major driver behind people signing up for satellite internet service is the absence of a ground-based alternative. This happens mostly with rurally based people. Sometimes customers are able to negotiate the construction of a connection singly to their residence, assuming they are dealing with one of the best satellite internet providers in the country. However, that works only if said residence is close enough to one of the provider’s network points. Otherwise, the company would have to lay new cables to the subscriber’s location, which they usually will not do because it’s expensive and impractical.

Normal installation of satellite internet is remarkably easy, with the technician spending just a few hours mounting the satellite dish on the home and aligning it properly. After that and connecting it to the router, their work is done, and your connection is ready to use. The best satellite internet providers make it a point to ensure you do not have to face delays in this, and the technicians they send over are skilled, efficient and courteous.

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Internet Service Options

While dial-up is one of the options a rural customer can go with, it pales in comparison with satellite internet in terms of speed. When connected via dial-up, streaming and gaming can slow down to a crawl, with some games simply failing to work at all. Satellite internet, while it cannot fully remove these issues, can sure mitigate them. Moreover, you can comfortably utilize a decent data allowance of 20 GB or such. Inside that, a customer gets to watch 30 hours or more of video of standard definition quality on a streaming service. If it is HD video, you can watch seven hours of it. The pricing on plans would vary based on the provider you choose, but as a rule, satellite internet costs more than dial-up, even when it is from the best satellite internet providers in the country. If you need fast and copious data flow, it definitely beats dial-up on both counts.

Technical Limitations

Other than the problem of data allowance being limited with a satellite connection, there are some limitations as well, which you need to be aware of before signing up. These have to do with the type of service delivery. The foremost of them is “latency”, which is caused by the distance, which data signals have to travel among the satellite, your computer, and the ground servers.

Latency is technically the amount of time from the instant a command gets sent from one end, such as when you click on a link, to the instant the intended function takes place. Remember, the satellite that is providing you internet is 23,000 miles in the sky, and that the signal from your computer has to reach it and get sent back down to the NOC or Network Operations Center. The NOC processes it and sends it back up, after which the satellite sends it to your dish. All of this happens pretty quickly, but not instantaneously; so you normally see many slight delays while using the internet. These become more pronounced for gamers, who generally require near-immediate responses while playing. High latency is an issue that hounds even the best satellite internet providers and customers.

Bad weather too can wreak havoc with good signal delivery. If there are highs winds or rainstorms in your area, it is usually a given that satellite internet reception will poor, if available. Bandwidth can be a problem as well after you have used up a set amount of data; even the best satellite internet providers in the country throttle speeds in keeping with Fair Use Policy. Some of the best satellite internet providers make this easier to swallow by offering daily bandwidths instead, which only inconveniences you for a day, instead of the remainder of the month. Satellite internet also precludes the use of VPNs, owing to their high latency.

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It is important to have a good idea on how satellite internet can affect your daily internet use, and whether you are ok with that. Living in a rural area with no available ground-based internet service can limit your options for fast internet considerably, and when that is the case, getting satellite internet may be your only way forward. Sure, it is expensive, but not being able to go online can get unbearable pretty quickly, so you take what’s on the table.

Optimizing the Connection

Satellite broadband is often more complicated to optimize than fiber, cable, or DSL. The system has two main parts: a home network system and a satellite system. This may confuse users at first, but clears up sufficiently after you grasp the basics of line-of-sight transmissions. When you have that concept down in your mind, it is easy to see that optimizing a satellite internet setup in your home carries much the same specifics as doing the same with a landline-based home network. Below are the basic steps you need to know how to carry out in case you cannot reach the company for some reason.

  • Ensuring that the dish is not faced with any physical obstructions, or improperly oriented
  • Ensuring that the router or modem is loaded with and operating flawlessly on the latest firmware
  • If you are using Wi-Fi in your home, placing the router in an open space and close to where your computer is
  • Using a wired connection to squeeze out the most speed, especially if you are big on streaming and gaming

Factors Affecting the Signal Reaching the Dish

There are two key components to your satellite dish receiver: the receiver and the dish. The latter performs the function of focusing radio signals and reflecting them back onto the receiver, which is placed in front of it. A signal from a satellite is basically what you call a line-of-sight signal, which means there needs to be a line of sight extending from the dish’s center to the satellite that’s in the sky. Loss of this would always degrade the signal. Maximizing the quality of your satellite internet depends on giving the dish proper orientation and placement, which requires having accurate information about the geostationary satellite. The service technician always has the information with them, because it is the main thing they need to help you fix a dropped connection or slow speed.

A broadband satellite, as mentioned above, is placed in geosynchronous orbit at 23,000 miles above ground, which means it will not move with respect to a person standing directly below it. There is no need to keep checking where the satellite is, but you do have to keep the view in front of your satellite dish free from physical obstacles that could block signal flow.

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Satellite Internet Coverage

When a professional installer sets up your satellite dish, they make sure it is properly oriented. If it came with a self-installation kit and you were the one to put it up, there is a chance you will experience service issues. At these times, do not simply assume it is your network hardware that is at fault. First, call your satellite internet service provider and ask them for assistance with aiming the dish. They would normally ask you for your location and easily tell you the satellite’s bearing. While stateside you are in the Northern Hemisphere, and geosynchronous satellites are placed directly above the equator, which means you will usually need to aim the dish South.

Accurate tuning can be done with help from your internet service provider, by getting the direct bearing with respect to the satellite. For instance, if you are in Tampa, Florida, and the internet signals you get are beamed down from a satellite placed at 115.1°W, it would have a bearing of approximately 235 degrees. All you need to do is download a compass app on your phone and using this, stand behind the dish and keep turning till you are facing 235 (roughly Southwest). At this point, you are facing the satellite. Point the dish in that direction as well, and angle it at 30 degrees from the ground. After this comes the part where you remove any obstructions blocking the dish from a full direct view of the sky ahead. If there are trees or buildings blocking the path, the dish will need to be moved to a better place and oriented once more.

Optimizing the Home Network

After ensuring that the satellite dish is facing in the right direction and has an unbroken view of the sky, you will need to move onto optimizing the network equipment that will be set up inside the home. This will comprise a router-modem combination, or a separate modem with router boxes. Both can be optimized in the same way, with the main goal being ideally placing the wireless router and ensuring that the firmware on the devices is updated.

Your modem or router will have a sticker that shows its IP address as well as other information. The IP address is specific to each device, and will be in the 192.168.xx.xx format. In some cases, the prefix may be something other than 192.168, but you do not find a lot of that these days.

After locating the IP address of the hardware you are going to set up, you will be able to get on the network using a web browser. You will first be taken to an internal web page that the device generated. From here, you need to take the option that lets you update the firmware. Just search for “firmware” on the page, and click on the link. Follow the instructions you see, and you will have the latest firmware installed in no time.

With regard to the Wi-Fi connection inside the home, you need to understand and remember one thing: Wi-Fi signals do not require a line of sight between the emitting and receiving devices, but can weaken after passing through solid objects. The fewer walls and floors these need to go through to reach your computer or tablet, the better. In other words, you would do well to place the router in an open space and in the upper third, as well as preferably in the same room as your PC. If that is not possible, and the speeds you get are disappointing, maybe it is time to start thinking about the hard cable alternative.

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Locating IP Address

If you want to know whether your area is being serviced by a satellite internet service provider, the first thing to do is call up the best satellite internet providers you know about. If that gets you nowhere, Google “best satellite internet providers” along with your zip code, and call up the ones that show up in the results. Every service provider is outspoken about satellite internet being providable in areas open to the southern sky, but that does not mean they will service every area in the country. Confirm which companies bring internet to yours, and start researching and comparing their plans. When comparing the best satellite internet providers servicing your area, go by speed, pricing, contracts, early termination fees, and data caps. This will shorten the list and hopefully let you pick from no more than a handful of options.

The Best Satellite Internet Providers in the Country

  • Viasat: An established provider of satellite internet, Viasat has been steadily improving its offerings over the years it has been in the business. If you have been a customer for some time, you do not need to be told that they are now giving faster speeds for less money, as well as the highly enticing option of unlimited data. Some areas get up to 100 Mbps, thanks to a recently launched satellite, effectively making Viasat one of the best satellite internet providers in the country. In some areas though, the speeds are as meager as 12 Mbps. Viasat is not taking on new installations in some areas, but you are generally likely to get access to their services considering current coverage. The main problem with choosing Viasat is that it raises the bill after the first three months, even though you would still be paying a lot less per GB. Another downside is that the company imposes steep early termination fees, which kick in if you stop paying before the mandatory 24-month contract ends.
  • HughesNet: HughesNet is Viasat’s main competition in the satellite internet arena. While initially derided for slow and pricey plans, since launching a satellite in 2017, the company has upped its game and started offering a minimum speed of 25 Mbps across all plans. Coverage is not very wide though, and the plans come with data limits beyond which the speed gets throttled, which is annoying. Pricing is pretty standard and transparent. After your connection slows down post exceeding the data limit, you can buy a data token to raise the speed to what it was. However, this coupled with the already high price of satellite internet can be very expensive. HughesNet does automatically adjust the quality of your streaming videos to the available speed, which means you do not have to do this manually. There is also bonus data of 50 GB, which you can use on off-peak hours every month, but you would need to stay up between 02:00 and 08:00 am, or schedule your downloads for that time. This is good for large downloads like games, movies or software updates. HughesNet also mandates a 24-month contract, and charges up to $400 if you cancel prematurely.
27 Jun

The Benefits of Choosing DSL Internet Connections for Business Uses

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DSL Internet For Business

If you are a customer requiring a speedy internet connection to run processes that need more volumes of data, applications that use high bandwidth, and business phone service, you would obviously need to choose the best internet providers in your area. Most businesses are situated in locations that have Digital Subscriber Line or a cable connection that provide high-speed broadband internet or its equivalent. Yet again, ensure that if “DSL internet service in my area” comes from top provides with a national footprint to make sure that bandwidth or speed suffice for business needs.

Most DSL internet connections can handle a large volume of data and can help run bandwidth-intensive apps such as those used for video streaming or data transfer. Yet again, it is important to ensure if “DSL internet service near me” is reliable and fast. Not all service providers give the same kind of speed as advertised, but DSL generally has a reputation of being reliable.

The internet services delivered over digital subscriber lines are “always on” connections, as it makes use of existing wired telephone lines in the premises. Further, when you sign up for a dedicated DSL internet connection for business functions, you are tied to one service provider. On the other hand, if you subscribe to an internet connection from a cable provider, it is likely the connection may come through dealers or third-party providers. So, in case of outages in future, you would have to contact the cable dealer and get responses that can be far from satisfactory.

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High Speed Internet

With cable internet services, the subscribers in the neighborhood can make use of the same network, so it can lead to potential downtimes or outages. On the contrary, as DSL uses existing phone lines to deliver internet to the premises, you will only share the connection with a limited number of users and that can drastically reduce downtime.

Further, DSL internet is widely available and costs lesser than standard broadband services. It is much faster than a dial-up connection, slower than fixed wireless or fiber optic broadband, but comes at a price tag that can be affordable. Further, to support bandwidth-intensive applications, it is possible to allot a specific amount of bandwidth for an application to make sure accessibility. In other words, with on DSL connections, you can ensure that other applications on the network run effectively without conflicts.

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