Choosing broadband is not easy. This is because the quality of performance largely depends upon where you live and the provider that you pick. There are two main fixed line broadband networks in the United Kingdom, that is, the Hybrid Fibre Coax which predominantly in urban areas and the Openreach which is more widely available.
Fibre optic cables use light impulses to transfer data rather than electrical impulses. They are durable and faster than the traditional copper cabling because they are not prone to electrical disturbances and lightning storms.
Superfast broadband is necessary to support the increasing number of devices at home which includes mobile phones, tablets and iPad's, notebooks, desktop PC's, Sky boxes among other devices.
A rapidly increasing number of bandwidth-intensive services depend on broadband as a channel for delivering services such as:
· Video services like You Tube, Sky Go, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Apple iTunes.
· Video/voice telephony services such as Skype and music services like Spotify.
· Backup services like Apple iCloud and Carbonite.
Netflix, for instance, requires more than 6Mbps while the BBC iPlayer needs 3Mbps to display high-quality videos. Therefore, without superfast broadband, consumers will have fewer packages of online services to choose from.
Superfast Fibre broadband is great for gaming with a speed of about 76Mb on a BT line. Virgin Media issues 200Mb for better ping times and faster downloads. This means that you may still be able to get great gaming speeds even if you are in an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) area. Moreover, there are internet providers with specific deals tailored for gamers.
Many fibre broadband providers in the UK offer their deals together with ADSL products through Openreach’s network. They include Sky, TalkTalk, EE and Plusnet. Prices of fibre are normally higher than for ADSL.
There is no limit on the number of devices to be attached to one broadband connection. However, your connection is likely to slow down with an increase in the number of connected devices.
For best performance, you need to have a broadband line with high speed. You’ll consider items like line quality, distance from your exchange and network usage.
Now, if some of your devices are using data hungry applications like video conferencing, phone calls over the internet, peer to peer traffic and transfer of large files, a significantly high amount of bandwidth will be consumed. Therefore, the capacity of your router should be up-to-date for effective performance.
This is usually available using fibre optic broadband or ADSL technology. They offer five different maximum speeds that suit most home users.
Sky Fibre broadband is suitable for heavy users or homes where the connection is shared to several devices especially families with students. Besides its high download speed of 76Mb or 38Mb that it provides, there is an additional upload speed of 20Mb or 10Mb useful especially for online gamers and uploading large files like YouTube videos. You are given a speed estimate when signing up with Sky. The technology also provides an exact speed which is almost equivalent to the quoted rates.
The major drawback associated with fibre optic is the expenses involved. It is not easy to find any fibre broadband dealing at prices less than £30 per month. Further, those with higher speeds are purchased at up to £60 on monthly basis. There are discounts but prices are still escalating parallel with better services.
Another downside is traffic management that is always applied to the line during peak hours when users are too many. As such, some providers will filter traffic and customers are likely to experience reduced internet speed and this is why the ADSL is an alternative for fibre optic especially in homes and individuals who are not heavy users.
This type of broadband is normally slower than fibre optic. In fact, it can be 10 times slower. Generally, ADSL are cheaper than fibre, and in most cases, the prices are half that of fibre. It’s possible to get them at £10 per month.
Their speeds can be as low as 36Mb per second or lesser depending on your location. However, you need to check the statistics of your area using a broadband postcode checker so that you may get one with good performance. Home users with few devices that are not data-hungry can use ADSL broadband effectively.