Broadband internet access, also referred to high-speed internet access, provides businesses and consumers, internet access at considerably higher rates of speed than standard dial-up modems. Broadband does not simply pertain to one specific type of internet service or data transfer rate. Broadband is continually changing and developing, and it encompasses a wide range of technology including fibre optic cable, cable modems, Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), WLAN (wireless local area networks), and DSL (digital subscriber lines).
Broadband Internet is so much more than lightning fast web browsing. Along with broadband Internet emerges opportunity to take advantage of new money saving technologies not available to dial up Internet users. Broadband phone and the up and coming IP TV are just a couple examples of the newest technologies dial up users are missing out on.
Broadband Internet users also save money by downloading their own music, games, and even movies instead of renting or purchasing them for a much higher price from a retail outlet. Of course dial up users can do this as well, but not in a very timely fashion since it could take up to a couple of hours just to download a simple song.
Broadband Internet rates have reduced dramatically within the course of the last five years. High speed Internet can now be purchased for as little as fourteen dollars a month in some places, and usually has a top end comfort level of around fifty dollars or less per month. This means broadband can sometimes be even cheaper than dial up ISP.
At the uppermost level, the two primary categories of DSL are asymmetric and symmetric. Residential broadband DSL typically uses asymmetric variations which include RADSL, UADSL/G.Lite, and ADSL. Data transfer rates are considerably slower upstream than downstream, so this type of broadband DSL, ADSL, is suitable for residential use where surfing the internet is the primary internet activity. Residential internet users generally have more incoming than outgoing data.
Symmetric varieties of broadband DSL, SDSL, are IDSL and HDSL. These broadband DSL variants are suitable for most business applications. Upstream and downstream transfer rates are the same, making SDSL technology suitable for server hosting, video conferencing, LAN applications, file transfers, and email.