What’s The Difference Between Home And Mobile Broadband?

What’s The Difference Between Home And Mobile Broadband?

Broadband internet is the connection of choice for most people in the UK. Because broadband gets relatively fast speeds for an affordable price, it’s a popular kind of connection. However, there are a variety of ways in which you can connect to broadband internet, including having a home connection or a mobile connection. These kinds of connections are different, and each has its own pros and cons. Before you start shopping around for home and mobile broadband deals, it’s important to know what the difference is, so that you can choose the best connection method for you.

Home Broadband Internet…

Home broadband connections usually use the copper telephone wires in and around your house to transport data through a fixed line. With some companies, fibre optic cables are used instead of copper telephone wires. The cable then enters your house, and can be plugged directly into your computer to get online. However, most people plug the cable into a wireless router instead. The wireless router then broadcasts a short range WiFi signal that usually covers most of your house. This means that you can connect all your devices to the internet without using a cable, so you can walk around your house and still have connectivity. It also means that you can connect more than one device to the same connection, which is great for families. Home broadband is very reliable, and it gets great speeds. Traditional ADSL, or phone line, broadband gets speeds of around 17 Mbps. Fibre optic broadband is even faster, and gets speeds of up to 120 Mbps. Home broadband packages are cheap. But be aware that phone line connections require you to have a landline phone, which in turn means that you will have to pay a monthly phone line rental fee on top of your internet bill. The down side of home broadband lies in its name, it only works at home, you can’t take it with you on the go.

Mobile Broadband Internet…

Mobile broadband internet is a little different. Basically, mobile broadband uses the 3G network of a mobile phone operator to get the internet to your computer. You go to a mobile service operator and sign a contract for a data plan, and then receive a SIM card. Then you have two choices. Most people slide the SIM card into a dongle, and then plug the dongle into a USB port on their laptop, which allows them to access the internet. Other people put the SIM card into a MiFi device, which is like a wireless router, in that it will then broadcast a short range WiFi signal so you can connect as many devices as you want without using wires. Mobile broadband is great for having an internet connection wherever you go, since you’ll have the internet anywhere that there’s a cell phone 3G signal. It does have some down sides though. Usually mobile broadband speeds are slower than traditional speeds, being around 7.2 Mbps. Some companies offer 4G networks that can get speeds of up to 40 Mbps though. Secondly, mobile broadband tends to be more expensive than home broadband, and not as reliable.

Phil Turner tries to look at all of the mobile broadband deals he can find when he is looking to make a change.

Photo credit: Steve Johnson

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