Demystifying High Speed Internet Access

Just what is high-speed Internet access?  Many of us use high-speed Internet access every day for E-mail, gaming, e-commerce, cloud-based business applications, online banking, distance learning, streaming home entertainment, home security, telecommuting, video chatting, and telemedicine; as each requires reliable access to the Internet.

When trying to decide on the best and fastest Internet access, we’re confronted with a number of technology choices like DSL, cable, fiber, and wireless – each touted as the best by the providers that offer it.  While each technology has its pros and cons, all are capable of delivering a reliable high speed Internet connection when your computer hardware and software are configured and installed appropriately.

Let’s talk about bandwidth; which we often think of as being synonymous with speed. We hear terms like “megabits per second,” “download,” and “upload” at varying speeds ranging from 4 to 100 or more.  Just what does that mean?

  • In technical jargon, a “bit” is the basic component of digital data – a single “0” or “1”.
  • A kilobit is one thousand bits.
  • A megabit is one million bits.
  • A gigabit is one billion bits.
  • A “Byte” is 8 bits. Sometimes people confuse bits and bytes in news articles, so it is important to make sure you understand which is really being discussed in the article.  Generally, bits are used to describe bandwidth and bytes are used to describe storage (like a hard drive).
  • Download bandwidth refers to how many bits of data can be received (downloaded) by your computer, smart television or other device, such as streaming video, pictures, and audio content.
  • Upload bandwidth refers to just the opposite; how many bits of data you can transmit from your device, such as e-mail, documents, photos, and video that you share.


Which High Speed Internet Service is Best for You?

When determining the best high speed Internet solution for your home or business’s Internet based activities, it is the bandwidth delivered to your location that matters – not the delivery method.  Whether a 12 megabit per second service comes via DSL, cable, fiber, or some other delivery method, it’s still the same speed with the same capacity.

A simple assessment will help determine the speed you need for your home or business.

  • How many users will be using the Internet
  • What are they doing
  • Emailing
  • Browsing the Internet
  • Sending and receiving large files
  • Telecommuting
  • Gaming
  • Streaming Entertainment Content
  • Which are they doing simultaneously
  • Do you have Internet connected devices that also send and receive data? These include satellite TV receivers, smart TV’s gaming consoles, connected appliances, home automation and security devices and other “smart” devices. You may be surprised just how many internet connected devices your home has.

Each Internet activity uses bandwidth and those activities happening simultaneously will need to share the connection coming to your location.  High Speed Internet delivery ranges from 4 megabits per second to a gigabit per second or more. Your individual home or business needs will determine the amount of bandwidth that fits your needs and budget.