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Frequently Asked Questions :

Why do you need Broadband?
Your basic standard old-fashioned dial-up connection is typically 56 kbps (kilobit per second). Most broadband connections are 1MB. Therefore a typical broadband connection is approximately 19 times faster than a dial-up Internet connection. Although most broadband providers round this up to 20 times faster as it sounds better!

Sounds interesting, but what does a quicker Internet connection mean for me?

It means that web pages will load a lot quicker than you were used to – in fact they will appear almost instantly. It also means that you can download large files like video clips and MP3’s in a much shorter length of time. Not forgetting the fact that you can send and receive emails with large attachments quicker too.

Should I get a broadband service?

By Anick Jesdanun AP Internet Writer – 10/10/2004

Q. I’m not someone who downloads lots of music or other large files. Is it still worth getting a high-speed broadband Internet service?

A. With prices coming down, this question gets easier to answer. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, 51 percent of Internet users now connect at home via broadband. Wouldn’t you like to be in the majority?

Having broadband is as much a lifestyle change as it is a speedier way to connect. I had an inkling of that, but the message came through loud and clear when I suffered two weeks without broadband while my ISP figured out what was wrong (about a dozen service reps later, the conclusion was a busted modem).

What I like most about broadband is its always-on connection. It’s like turning on the TV; there’s no need to wait several minutes while the computer makes a phone call, verifies your password, etc. Broadband is on and available when you need it.

That means I could check the weather while brushing my teeth. During my broadband withdrawal, I got caught off-guard by drenching rain, my umbrella still in the closet and my clothes soaked. On subsequent days, I checked the weather on cable but had to wait several minutes for the local forecast.
With an always-on connection, I could configure my e-mail program to check for new messages every minute; with dial-up, I had to receive and send e-mail in batches.

I’m also able to provide tech support while on the phone with my mom and check movie times while chatting with friends. While watching TV, I could pull up the Internet Movie Database to find out instantly where else the lead actors have appeared.

And for those who use the Internet for phone calls and instant messaging, broadband makes you continually reachable.

During my broadband withdrawal, I found I was e-mailing less frequently and listening to Internet radio less often (my stereo system hasn’t been turned on in months).

I ultimately broke down and listened through a dial-up connection. Audio quality was so-so, but more problematic was the need to set aside a full hour to hear the entire show. With an always-on broadband connection, I could listen to five minutes here, 15 minutes there. With dial-up, it took a few minutes just to make the connection, so it just wasn’t worth getting online to listen as I got dressed for work.

The broadband providers, particularly for DSL, have been offering discounts and other promotions thinking that once you try it out, you can’t go back to dial-up.

And they are right!

Be wary of advertised speeds, as they are often theoretical, non-peak measures that don’t reflect actual performance. DSL tends to be more consistent, but cable faster during non-peak hours, but with ADSL, you can upgrade to faster service by paying extra.

Either way, make sure you protect your computer by installing anti-virus and firewall programs .