For many people the internet has become an essential part of day-to-day life without them fully understanding what terms like broadband mean and what connection speed is suitable for their internet use. That can be easily rectified though; all you need to do is read on.

The dictionary meaning of broadband is the use of signals over a wide range of frequencies, but as a consumer, all you need to understand is that broadband means a fast internet connection. Until broadband was introduced the only way to get online was to ‘dial-up' to the internet through your phone line. A broadband connection can still be provided through a phone line or cable (known as fixed-line broadband) but it is also available via satellite or via a mobile phone signal. Connections via phone line no longer mean your phone is out of action while you are online; by adding a microfilter, both can be in use at the same time, meaning you never have to miss a call again.

Fixed-line broadband offers the fastest speeds to users, but satellite and mobile broadband networks are continuously improving the speeds they offer. At the moment, many rural communities do not have access to fixed-line broadband. If you own a smartphone and can easily access the internet on it when you are in your home, mobile broadband may be a good alternative. If you have poor mobile signal in your area, satellite broadband will be your best option; all you need is a view of the sky.

A broadband connection is strong enough to support use by multiple machines and allows users to watch films and television programmes without downloading them first (known as streaming), watch live broadcasts, play online games and surf the web without having to wait minutes for heavy pages to load. If you are still using a dial-up connection, it may be worth investigating whether you live in area that has access to fixed-line broadband.

The faster the connection speed advertised on a broadband package, the more devices can be connected to your home network without slowing it down. If you have a large family and multiple desktop computers, laptops or tablet devices a deal that offers a high speed connection of 20Mbps (megabits per second) or more should be the minimum speed you should look at. If you live alone and only browse websites to shop or keep abreast of current affairs, then a cheaper package that offers slower speeds will be fine, unless you are planning on joining an online gaming network, in which case, a faster connection may be right for you as well.

As more and more of the services we rely on, from grocery shopping to informing local authorities of fly-tipping or dumped cars, are being made available online, and the choice of entertainment available on the web increases there has never been a better time to upgrade your internet service to a broadband connection. Visit a price comparison site to find out what deals are available in your area.

Source by David Peter Martin