Thursday, January 31, 2008
With the Internet constantly growing, you may be seriously shortchanging yourself if you doné─˘t have high speed Internet right in your home. Getting high speed Internet though is easier said than done. After all, there are a lot of different companies using a lot of different technologies to provide é─˙high speedé─¨ or é─˙broad bandé─¨ Internet access, but many of the technologies that make these claims provide very different connection times. In fact, it seems like most of these companiesé─˘ definitions of high speed Internet access is anything thaté─˘s faster than dial up!
The cable TV company Comcast helps to clear up some of this confusion. Thaté─˘s because Comcast utilizes its digital cable technology to offer a connection that really is faster- up to twelve megabytes per second actually. That 12 megabytes per second is for short periods of time and is meant to help out with the bigger downloads. But even when the speed isné─˘t kicked up to 12 megabytes per second, Comcast still delivers an impressive 8 megabytes per second.
In order to fully appreciate the kind of speed that a cable TV company like Comcast cable can supply with its high speed Internet access, you need to look at some of the competing technologies. For example, you might want to look into the details of DSL. DSL is often marketed as a é─˙broad bandé─¨ or é─˙high speedé─¨ Internet technology. Ité─˘s delivered over conventional phone lines, so ité─˘s available in a variety of places. However, DSL speeds can be seriously compromised by the quality of phone lines and the distance that the data has to travel over them. Speeds decrease with lower quality phone lines and when the data has to travel over them a longer distance. Because of these constraints, residential DSL download speeds are never more than 3 megabytes per second, and theyé─˘re often more like 268 kilobytes per second. Sure, thaté─˘s faster than dial up, but ité─˘s far slower than the 8 megabytes per second that you can get out of broad band cable from Comcast.
Another common alternative for high speed Internet is satellite based Internet service. Satellite based Internet has the advantage of being available anywhere, but its shortcomings and high cost make it the alternative of last resort for anyone who bothers to shop around. Ité─˘s no faster than DSL and is extremely expensive with hundreds of dollars of required equipment and monthly subscription fees that are 50 dollars or more. To make matters even worse, satellite Internet has a very noticeable time lag built into it because of the distance that the signals have to travel to the satellites (22,000 miles each way!). That time lag makes satellite Internet really annoying at best for real time applications like VoIP and online gaming and makes those applications impossible at worst!
Broad band digital cable high speed Internet service from Comcast is a very good alternative when compared to these others. It doesné─˘t have the lag time, ité─˘s obviously much faster, and since it costs about the same as DSL, ité─˘s really a much better value than either.
In short, youé─˘re really shortchanging yourself if youé─˘re using any high speed Internet service other than cable.