How to choose the best internet plan based on your connection type?

Foremostly you should be aware of the type of internet connection you have at home. If you know that you have access to fiber or internet then this will indicate what type of internet services are available at your home. For those living in rural or remote areas it is evident that you may have limited choices when it comes to internet connectivity. There may not even be fixed line connections and reliance on fixed wireless or satellite connections may be the only option. For mobile broadband more reliable networks like 4G or 5G are required which complicates things. Therefore areas with unstable mobile networks cannot support a mobile internet plan. 


Most homes, offices and buildings are now switching to National Broadband Network (NBN), an Australian national wholesale open-access data network. It includes wired and radio communication components functioned by NBN Co, a Government-owned corporation. This is because other alternative international connections are becoming outdated such as ADSL as many providers no longer offer plans to new customers. Hence there are a lot of options when it comes to providers like NBN plans even when some of its connections like Satellite offer only some fixed line connections. The internet connection options vary by the Internet Service Provider and region. The following factors must be considered before selecting an Internet package and Internet connection type: connection speed or bandwidth, cost, availability, reliability and convenience. 


Types of Internet connections:


  • Mobile

Many cell phones and smartphone providers offer voice plans through the internet. This uses a mobile network which can be 4G or 5G. For home wireless broadband you have a modem which is fixed and needs a power source to work. This wireless connection is a better alternative as it is easy to set up and you only need a mobile signal to access the Internet. There is no need for an installation, just plug in the modem. Secondly, mobile broadband is perhaps the most famous form of mobile network which is data-only SIM plan and you have a certain data allowance by using a SIM card. Other mobile broadband plans come with a modem, a portable one which you can connect your devices to. This serves as a source of internet while traveling or as a supplement for your home internet plan but not entirely as its replacement. 


  • Satellite 

In areas where the broadband connection is not available, satellite internet is a viable option because it too uses a modem just like the wireless access. For this you will need a satellite dish installed in your building and simultaneously need a compatible device in your home such as a modem. The satellite will transmit data to and from your dish and the satellite ground stations to connect you to the internet through an ISP. In Australia especially, the satellite internet is part of the NBN with SkyMuster used in remote parts of the country. However through this there may be limited choices available and the internet may also be slow. You can’t have access to the same speeds that many fixed-line connections do.

Modern consumer grade satellite Internet service is typically provided to individual users through geostationary satellites that can offer relatively high data speeds. The satellite internet relies on three primary components. A geostationary orbit but now in Low Earth Orbit or Medium Earth Orbit. A number of ground stations called gateways that relay data to and from the satellites via radiowaves and more ground stations to serve each subscriber with an antenna or receiver.


  • Asymmetric Digital Line Subscriber (ADSL) 

This is a technology that allows faster download and upload speeds over copper phone lines and is faster than the dial up internet. It is a type of digital subscriber technology DSL that separates telephone voice signals from digital data based on their frequency and allows them to share the same line without any annoying interruptions. In ADSL, bandwidth and bit rate are considered asymmetric meaning they lean more towards customer premises than the reverse case. This uses spectrum above the band used by voice telephone calls. ADSL is generally installed for shorter distances from the telephone exchange. Less than 4 kilometres but can also extend to 8 kilometres. If the originally laid wire gauge allows for further distribution.

There are technical and marketing reasons why ADSL is used in many places, the most common one in homes. Here the upload signal is weakest at the noisiest part of the local loop. While the download signal is strongest at the noisiest part of the local loop. The main advantage of ADSL is that it is cheap. Testra and Optus have thousands of kilometers of copper phone lines. Buried in the ground and only need a DSL filter to allow faster internet access. 


  • Fiber

Fiber-optic internet reaches speeds of upto 940 Megabits per second with a low lag time. This uses fiber-optic cable that sends data as fast as about 70% the speed of light. These caves resist electrical interference and are not susceptible to severe weather conditions unlike the more traditional ones. The Centurylink Fiber service allows you to upload and download files quickly. Enjoy smooth online gaming and video chatting with friends and family. Download a 2-hour HD movie in seconds compared to waiting 30 minutes. Or more over a 20 Mbps traditional internet service. The optical fibers are thin glass cables through which light signals are transmitted. And they can be bundled together to form cables.

Fibers are preferred over copper wiring because they can transmit data over longer distances plus are more reliable. Since it is made up of glass it is immune to electromagnetic interference. And there is less risk of mixed signals. The only downside is cost because optic fiber cables charge a lot when installing around the country. A solution is that NBN mixes fibers with existing technologies. But once they are fit, the fiber cables need very little maintenance. Fiber-optic is a complex technology that allows transmission of information in the form of light rather than electricity. 

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