In the final part of our broadband jargon buster, we will be looking at some more terms that may perplex many of you when looking to purchase broadband from a supplier. This is a great reference to help decide which ISP is for you.
Bonding is the term used to describe connecting several broadband lines together and therefore giving you increased speeds. It’s often used in larger buildings with several offices or for companies that require faster speeds.
This is a policy that has been introduced by your Internet Service Provider to stop users abusing their unlimited download packages, and is what stops it truly being unlimited downloads. Your ISP will keep track of them the amount of data you are downloading and if they see that you are using it too much for things like torrenting you may incur a penalty as a result.
During peak times you may notice a slow down in performance with your broadband. This is down to the fact that there are many households in your area using their own broadband connection to access the Internet at the same time. So your ISP will manage how the speeds are allocated, giving priority to some traffic over others. If you wish to avoid this look for a broadband provider that provides a no traffic management option.
You may do a lot of streaming if you use services like BBC iPlayer or Netflix. This is the term used to describe anything that can be displayed at the same time as downloading. Streaming has allowed many to enjoy music, TV shows or films without first having to download it on to their computers first. Streaming is a great service if you have fast enough speeds to cope with the amount of data being downloaded. Streaming music can easily be performed by most broadband connections due to the low file sizes. TV Shows and films, however, have larger files types due to the amount of data being displayed, especially for High Definition shows.
No, we’re not talking about the Apple devices here. We’re referring to the Migration Authorisation Code which is similar to the PAC codes you get when transferring a mobile number over to a new network. It is used to identify your phone line and will be supplied by your existing provider to a new supplier within 30 days. The MAC code allows your broadband connection to be switch over to your new provider and is often why you may see issues with your broadband connection when your new service is connected.
This is different to the MAC referred to above and stands for Media Access Control address. A MAC address is essentially the unique serial code for a specific device. For example, you may have an iPad which connects to a router, and you can see its MAC address from the router admin page and even from the device itself. This unique code is the same no matter what network it is connected to and is what allows you to identify a specific device.
A hotspot is a wireless access point where you can access the Internet on the move. You will often find these in hotels and cafes on services such as BT Openzone. Some broadband providers will allow you to connect to these hotspots free of charge as part of their packages, particularly with BT Broadband and Plusnet. A hotspot can also refer to the sharing of a mobile broadband connection through your smartphone. A lot of smartphones have the ability to have a hotspot active, meaning anyone can connect to the phone as it were a WiFi access point and share the 4g connection.
This is a piece of software that protects your computer from being infected with programs and scripts that steal data such as passwords, address details, etc. when you are using a web browser. It also protects you from receiving unwanted spam when using a web browser. This is often a common issue with those new to the Internet, as spotting fake deals, offers and downloads are what enable you to further protect yourself from spyware. However investing in a great anti-spyware will help in that it does that job for you if you are not sure.
Another software that a lot of computers needs, in particular Windows based computers. When connected to the Internet there are several ways in which a virus can infect your computer. It is wise to protect your PC from this threat with anti-virus software. A Virus can damage your computer physically by access files and deleting them. Some also have the ability to steal important personal information.
Cookies are a great sweet biscuit available in most supermarkets. Okay, that’s not what they are in Internet terms, but I’ve got food on my mind. A cookie is a file that is downloaded when you first visit a website and can also store information about you if you let it. A cookie can be used to remember preferences and even store passwords locally on your computer. Cookies are beneficial for ease of access, however, they can be a problem for those of us who are security conscious and don’t want people to know our details. EU law has meant that websites must have a cookie consent message when first visiting a site which should help prevent unauthorised access.