Today internet has become an essential part of our regular life and thus selecting the correct internet connection may appear a daunting activity. From the reliability of broadband to the convenience of Wi-Fi, the diverse internet connection range available can leave you bewildered. Here are the distinct internet kinds you must be well-versed with to make a well-informed decision.
Broadband is an internet connection known for its high speed that utilises a wide range of frequencies to transmit the required data. It offers better speeds than conventional dial-up networks, making this network best for distinct online chores like gaming, streaming, video conferencing, etc. Broadband services in India are provided via distinct technologies such as fibre, DSL, cable, etc.
What is Wi-Fi is a common question, many tend to have. It is the short form for wireless fidelity, which is a wireless technology permitting electronic devices to connect quickly to an internet network without the requirement for any physical cables. Over the years, it has acquired tremendous acceptance and popularity owing to its flexibility and convenience offered, allowing users to simply connect with various devices within the Wi-Fi router’s coverage. Wi-Fi hotspots are majorly used in shopping centres, homes, and offices, offering seamless accessibility to an internet connection. Users with Wi-Fi can enjoy great mobility within the Wi-Fi network range, making it a highly preferred choice for offices and homes.
Fibre optic internet is a cutting-edge technology that uses thin strands of glass or plastic to transmit data as pulses of light. This type of connection offers blazing-fast speeds and greater reliability, making it highly sought after for bandwidth-intensive tasks. With symmetrical upload and download speeds, fibre optic internet is ideal for businesses, heavy content uploaders, and online gamers. As the fibre network infrastructure expands across India, more users can access this high-speed internet option.
Digital subscriber line or DSL
DSL uses existing lines of telephone to transmit data. Though it offers higher stability than a dial-up solution, its speed might differ based on the distance between the service provider’s office and the user’s location. DSL is widely available in urban and semi-urban areas of India, where telephone infrastructure is well-established. Though it may not provide ultra-high speeds like fibre, it remains a cost-effective option for moderate internet usage.
Hybrid fibre coaxial or HFC
HFC combines fibre optic and coaxial cables to deliver high-speed internet and cable TV services. It is widely deployed by cable internet providers, offering faster speeds compared to traditional cable connections. HFC’s hybrid approach leverages the benefits of both fibre and coaxial technologies to provide a robust and reliable internet experience.
3G, 4G and 5G
These three mobile internet generation technologies have transformed the way the web is accessed today. With widespread mobile penetration, these connections have made internet access more accessible to millions, although their speeds may vary depending on the location and network coverage. Mobile internet plans have evolved, offering various data packages to cater to the diverse needs of users. 4G and 5G, in particular, have witnessed significant adoption, enabling smooth video streaming, social media browsing, and online transactions.
Fixed wireless access or FWA
FWA uses wireless technology to provide internet access to fixed locations, often used in rural or underserved areas. Fixed wireless connections deliver high-speed internet using radio signals, offering a feasible option in regions where laying physical cables is not economically viable.
Though becoming obsolete, dial-up deserves a mention as one of the earliest internet connections in India. It works through a standard telephone line, offering slow speeds and limited functionality compared to modern alternatives. Today, the dial-up solution is no longer a preferred choice, owing to its inability to manage data-intensive applications and sluggish performance.
Very small aperture terminal or VSAT
VSAT is a satellite-based internet connection often used in rural and remote areas where other internet options may not be available. It utilises small satellite dishes to establish a two-way data communication link, making it possible for remote communities to connect to the global digital landscape.
Power line communication or PLC
These use electrical lines for transmitting data. They come across as an alternative internet network for businesses and homes. It eliminates the need for additional wiring, simplifying installation for users with power outlets in each room. But the performance of PLC might differ based on the age and quality of the infrastructure.
Dedicated leased lines or DLI
These are dedicated networks that provide symmetric speeds i.e., equal download and upload speeds. They are mostly utilised by organisations requiring reliable and consistent internet connections. These lines offer a robust and stable network, ensuring a smooth transfer of data and supporting critical apps such as cloud-based and video conferencing services. While internet leased lines may come across as a costly service, organisations often prioritise them owing to their reliability and seamless operation.
Mobile hotspots enable internet access by tethering to a smartphone’s cellular data connection. They serve as a portable and convenient option for users on the go. Mobile hotspots provide a backup solution in areas with poor network coverage or during internet outages. They are especially useful for travellers who need temporary access to the internet while exploring different regions of India.
Ethernet over coaxial or EoC
EoC utilises existing coaxial cables to deliver internet connectivity, making it a cost-effective option for certain setups. While not as popular as fibre or DSL, EoC provides an alternative for businesses or residences with existing coaxial wiring.
Multiprotocol label switching or MPLS
MPLS is a networking technology that enables efficient data transmission across multiple locations of a business or organisation. It ensures secure and high-speed connections between geographically dispersed sites. MPLS is particularly beneficial for enterprises with multiple branches or offices, allowing them to create a private network for secure communication and data transfer.
Knowing different types of internet connections is essential for you. Being aware of the different types can assist you to zero in on the best option. From broadband, Wi-Fi, and hotspots to fibre optics, there are various choices present in the market. You must ensure to factor in your needs, location, preferences, and budget for making the right choice. So, choose wisely.