The speed of your home broadband affects what you are able to do online. The faster the overall speed of your connection the faster websites will open, the quicker downloads complete and the less buffering you suffer with videos. Many people decide that super fast home broadband is the best option, but is this really the case?
Superfast Broadband providers
There are loads of providers including Plusnet broadband, Sky, Virgin, BT,EE and any other provider on the fibre optic network.
What is super fast home broadband?
The first question you might have when considering super fast broadband for your home is what counts as super fast. Any connection which runs on a speed greater than 20mb per second is considered to be super fast.
The average connection in the UK is has been calculated at 8 to 9mb per second. This is quite far below the super fast minimum speed. However, there are many providers who offer super sonic speeds, with the fastest consumer connections being around 100mb per second. These top speeds are only available through fibre optic connections.
How does this broadband work?
The majority of broadband users in the UK will be connected to internet via their phone line. The connection used by these people is ADSL. However, in order to get the highest speeds possible a fibre optic connection is needed. Fibre optic connections do not work on the copper phone lines but rather through fibre optic cables. These cables are made from plastic and glass, which allows the transfer of data to happen much faster.
The speeds which you are offered on fibre optic deals will vary depending on the provider and the package you are getting. Certain providers place limits on the speed of their high speed deals. There are also only a few providers who offer the highest speed levels.
It should be noted that super speeds are no longer limited only to fibre optic broadband users. There are many ADSL customers who are now able to get speeds which fall into the category of super speed.
The use of ADSL2
ADSL2 is the next step in the evolution of ADSL. This connection will use the same copper lines as normal ADSL and the same local exchange. However, the speed offered by this connection is double the amount of a normal ADSL connection. The highest speed possible on an ADSL2 connection is 24mb per second. This places the broadband just inside the super speeds category.
Of course the speed you are going to get will depend on a number of different factors. The most important will be the distance from the local exchange and the quality of your wiring. People who live in more built up areas where there are more phone exchanges can expect speeds of up to 16mb per second. While these connections do not all into super speed the bandwidth does meet the demands of heavy internet users. The cost of the ADSL2 connection is also generally cheaper than fibre optics.
There are many advantages to getting super fast broadband that you should know about. Of course not all the advantages will relate to every user.
- Online gaming is made easier. Any fans of online gaming know that lag and latency can kill the fun of the game. With super fast broadband you will not have to worry about this as much. Lag in a game can cause your character to die or the movements of your character to be unpredictable.
- On demand TV has been on the rise and more people are taking advantage of this. An increase in the speed of your broadband will increase the speed of your video. You will no longer have to worry as much about buffering pausing your video halfway through. Additionally, on demand TV allows people to download the video onto their decoder. Faster internet speeds will cause this download to be faster.
- Overall web surfing is faster. When you open a website the amount of time it takes to load will be determined by the speed of your internet connection. If your internet connection is very slow you may experience problems opening certain websites as the elements on them require higher speeds. Certain applications will also be quickened by the faster internet speeds.
Disadvantages of super speed broadband
While there are a number of advantages to this broadband there are also disadvantages. The number of disadvantages is actually less than the number of advantages.
- The cost of super fast broadband is generally greater. If you are not willing to pay more for your internet than you already are super speeds may not be for you. Of course there are always deals on this broadband which makes it less costly than it seems.
- The speed advertised is often not the speed you will get. It has been shown that the speed which is placed on the adverts for broadband is the top speed that 10% of the clients will get. This means that 90% of the people with that package will not get the speed advertised. There are a number of factors which affect whether you get the advertised speed including the distance from the exchange and the quality of your equipment.
Who benefits the most from super fast broadband from Plusnet broadband, Virgin, BT etc?
It is easy to say that heavy internet users will be the ones who benefit from super fast broadband the most. However, this is not actually the case. More and more people are completing activities which require high speeds even if they are not heavy internet users. To determine whether or not you will benefit you should consider what you do on the internet and how many devices will be connected to the broadband.
If you have more than one device connecting to your broadband then high speeds will benefit you. The more devices on the network the lower the speeds are for each individual user. If you watch a lot of TV online then a higher speed will be better. Online gamers should also look at higher speeds. Not only will higher speeds increase the game play but any updates or patches will download much faster.