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Guide to Broadband Internet Access

Reader rating: 5 out of 10



Introduction

Broadband is soon going to be the standard for Internet access. The Internet is now much more than just text and images; it's turning into a multimedia network.

This How-To Article evaluates your options for broadband Internet access, and shows you why you should make the switch to broadband.


Guide to Broadband Internet Access

Why should I move to broadband?

Many people are confused over the true benefits of broadband Internet access. The most hyped point about it is "fast speeds". While broadband access usually does provide fast speeds, it also provides much more. Your access is always on, eliminating the need for dialing up to your ISP. If your computer is on, Internet access is on. Another benefit to this "always-on" access is that your phone line is no longer tied up, and eliminates the need for a separate phone line.

Do you have more than one computer which you would like Internet access on? Broadband access makes it easy to share your Internet connection. Because the modem is separate from the computer, broadband Internet access can easily be shared over a network.

Common reasons for not upgrading to broadband

I'm worried about losing my existing E-mail address. When you switch to broadband, you generally will lose your current E-mail address. But if you look at all of the benefits of broadband access, losing your E-mail address shouldn't hold you back from it.

I like using AOL Instant Messenger or MSN Instant Messenger. Without AOL or MSN, I won't have these services. Actually, you can use either of these services without using AOL or MSN Internet Access. AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Instant Messenger are available as separate downloads. They can easily be used separately from AOL and MSN.

I like the services and communities that AOL and MSN provide me with. The services and communities that AOL and MSN provide to your are simply portal services. Many sites such as My Yahoo! and the MSN Homepage provide services which are very similar, if not the same to the ones which these ISPs provide you with.

Configuring broadband access looks like it's very difficult. Setting up broadband access on your computer is very simple. The technician which sets up your access can usually help you configure your computer to work with broadband. If you run into any problems, customer service is usually just a phone call away.

I like how my E-mail and other information is shown to me immediately when I sign on. There are many ways around this issue. A very simple and easy solution is to download MSN Explorer. It brings together your E-mail, Personal Homepage, and Instant Messenger Buddy List, similar to AOL or MSN, but instead with your high speed broadband access.

Which access is right for me?

The three types of broadband access we are going to discuss are: Cable, DSL, and Satellite.

Cable

Cable broadband access is currently the most popular among consumers. Your Internet access travels over the same wires as your cable television, and doesn't interfere with your television signal at all. As a matter of fact, you can use your TV and Cable Internet access at the same time, without any interference at all.

Cable access is very reliable, and is widely available.

DSL

DSL is another popular choice for broadband access. It is also widely available.

Internet access travels over your regular telephone line for DSL. You can, however, use your telephone line while using your DSL connection, without any interference.

DSL is also somewhat more secure that cable access, as you are more directly connected to your provider than with cable. With cable broadband, your entire neighborhood is connected together as a network, potentially creating security problems. DSL doesn't have this specific security problem, as your neighborhood is not connected together as you are with cable.

Check DSL availability in your area with DIRECTV DSL.

Satellite

Satellite broadband Internet access should be your last choice, if cable or DSL isn't available in your area. This option is most popular with customers in rural areas, as access is generally available anywhere there is a line to the southern sky.

The problem with satellite is that speeds are not as fast as cable or DSL. This is because the signal must travel from your satellite dish, to the satellite, then down to the satellite company's NOC, sent across the Internet, sent from the NOC to the satellite, then finally back to your dish. This can cause slow speeds, and during bad weather, service can be very unreliable.

Conclusion

The Internet is changing and becoming a more important part of everyone's life. Now's the time to reconsider your ISP, and choose broadband Internet access.

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