Broadband Explained  
Private Network Connections  

Broadband Explained

Why should I use broadband?
It’s fast – bigger bandwidth
It’s always on – no dial-up & no extra dial-up costs
It’s reliable – stable with a lack of dropouts unlike dial-up
It’s immediate– no dial-up delays
It’s the way of the future…

What does it cost?
Broadband solutions vary from simple low bandwidth inexpensive plans, to elaborate high bandwidth expensive plans. The solution that is right for you will take into consideration your budget, bandwidth and traffic needs.

What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the amount of data sent per second.
Bandwidth can be compared to water pipe systems. Compare the amount of water that will flow through a common garden hose to the amount that will flow through a large mains water pipe. The mains pipe has a huge circumference compared to the garden hose so much more water flows through it per second.

Similarly, a communications line that carries 6 MB will transfer more data than a 64k connection (heaps more!).

6 MB = 6000 000 bytes, 64K = 64 000 bytes, so 6000 000/64 000 = 93.75 times as much!

What is traffic?
All downloaded data is referred to as traffic.
Different broadband plans have different rates for traffic usage. A plan with a minimal account fee where all downloads are additional will suit users with little or no downloads. A plan with a large account fee and many downloads included in this price, where all further downloads are additional, will suit users with many downloads. And there are many options in between.

The idea is you pay a basic usage fee, and then you only pay extra when the traffic exceeds the amount agreed to in your plan.

If you have an existing internet service you can find out how much traffic you use by looking up your account details through your service provider.

What can go wrong with broadband?
Unlike dial-up, broadband is a permanent connection which always has the same IP address. Having a permanent IP address is inviting to hackers as it gives them a target that does not move. This leaves you more vulnerable to attack, so extra security will need to be enforced on your computer. You need a Firewall.

What is a firewall?
A firewall keeps intruders away from your system.
In the same way that a car firewall protects you in an accident, a software firewall protects you from intruders entering your computer. Depending on how keen the hacker is and how well the firewall is configured, and as long as users don’t give out passwords or otherwise compromise security, then your system should be safe – be vigilant & beware of hackers!

How do I get Broadband?
First you will need a broadband modem, called a router, as dial-up modems will not work. Then you will need to decide which package to buy…


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