Take Advantage of Broadband – Read These 6 Tips
The power of broadband in today’s world cannot be undermined. Our fast paced lives of today require equally fast paced technology to match pace with them. The level and extent of connectivity offered by broadband has allowed massive progress in the areas of research, technological advancements, health-care; in short, all major and minor industries have benefited from it. Broad band has also changed the face of businesses, with eCommerce experiencing major and ongoing growth in explosive ways. Gone are the days of dial-up internet where slow speeds and internet lag hampered progress; with broadband, technology can grow at a rapid rate and economies can prosper like never before.
What Is Broadband?
Broadband is known by many definitions, but generally it is taken to be a service which allows transfer of various forms of data at high speeds in a reliable way, using the internet as a medium. Access to broadband services is possible through both wired and wireless connections, with varying speeds ranging from a few kbps (downloading) to multiple GBs on the fastest connection. Let’s first see what wired and wireless connections are:
- Wireless broadband networks: Wireless broadband connections can be accessed through a wide range of devices, such as cellphones, WiMAX devices, and satellites. They provide convenience in terms of ease of mobility and lesser cost.
- Wired broadband networks: Wired broadband connections are accessible desktop computers, laptops and notebooks. Such fixed connections, while they may provide faster speeds and reliability, are limited because they cannot easily reach remote areas and are often more expensive than wireless options.
Using Broadband Effectively:
Even though broadband has been in use since some time now, it still has not reached full potential. Users are still unaware of how they can take full advantage of their broadband connections to make their lives even easier. Technological awareness, especially in the developing world, has yet to reach a level where we can identify and take full advantage of all the benefits that broadband has to offer.
Here are 6 tips on how to get the most out of your broadband network:
- Evaluate your usage:
Before getting a connection, ask yourself:
- what are the primary purposes of internet usage in your household: studies, work, research, gaming, general surfing, streaming, etc.?
- how much data will you be consuming in a given amount of time?
- what speeds are required for the concerned usage purpose?
- how many devices, at a maximum, will be connected to the broadband network at the same time?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can evaluate the situation and take a better decision as to what sort of broadband connection will be better suited for your use, and this research will ensure that you get the right broadband connection and make optimal use of it.
- Prioritize speed:
If you are a tech or gaming junkie (or just someone who has to use the internet a lot for work), internet speed is something you will not compromise on. A seamless broadband connection without lags and disruptions: a dream come true. If this is the case for you, then a wired broadband connection is the only option you should be looking at. Although a wired broadband system is much more expensive than its wireless counterparts, it ensures stability, reliability and seamless bandwidth which will let you enjoy your activities in peace.
In case of a wireless broadband network, there is a lot that impacts the quality of the connection. Factors including proximity of the router, placement, the environment being shared with other electronic devices all have an impact on the speed that you will eventually get on your personal device. Be mindful of the fact that devices having similar radio frequencies impact each other’s performance if they are placed in the same area. Also, a device placed closer to the router will experience more bandwidth than one placed farther away. Place your router accordingly to optimize the bandwidth. Another option to increase the signal range of the router is to use devices called extenders, which act as signal carriers and can help extend the signal range of the original router further.
- Read the fine print:
Setting up a broadband connection requires a combination of devices being connected to each other to form a network which emits the desired signals. However, especially in the case of wireless connections, many times these devices comprise of different manufacturers, standards, and wireless protocols which determine speed tiers and maximum bandwidth. This results in the network having to operate on a lower speed standard to ensure that the devices adhere together in the network. So read the fine print and understand the functionality of the network as a whole to ensure a better connection.
- Monitor background data:
Often times when using our devices, there are programs running in the background which we are not actively using, but which are consuming bandwidth nonetheless. Monitoring these through the settings of your personal device and turning the unnecessary background programs off can free up bandwidth for more important tasks.
- Upstream vs. downstream bandwidth:
Any internet device typically uses two types of broadband bandwidth:
- Upstream: data moving out from the device to other portals
- Downstream: data entering the device from other portals
Normally, data usage on personal internet devices is more downstream than upstream, so the same is prioritized on broadband routers as well. Hence, programs involving data moving in have more bandwidth and consequently, more speed. However, some programs such as video calls, large data transfers, VoIP calls and remote device access, more upstream bandwidth is required. Many routers have the option to prioritize bandwidth usage in case of need, so check your routers carefully.
Like all things tech, broadband has much unexplored potential which can be unleashed with a little research and implementation. So use the tips given above and make your broadband experience better.