Understanding Broadband – Are You Ready To Upgrade?

Are you ready to upgrade your residential service to DSL or business service to real broadband or T1? Well, the answer lies in what you need. Before you can realize your needs, you must understand more of what the word broadband really means. Below I will try to give you some real technical terms broken down for a better understanding.

First of all, you must know some of the jargon! The word broadband itself simply is defined as a high speed Internet service that gives you continuous access to the Internet on a consistent basis. Broadband includes a technology called ADSL which stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and requires a special modem to access the line. This technology uses standard copper telephone lines to provide Internet access speeds from 1.5 to 9 megabytes per second. DSL technologies or Digital Subscriber Lines use a higher frequency than standard telephone communication.

There are several types of DSL configurations including ADSL or Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Lines, HDSL or High data rate DSL, and VDSL or Very High Data Rate DSL. A DSL line dynamically increases the capacity of ordinary copper wire. Since the signal is stronger the closer you are to the DSL Access Multiplexor or DSLAM the faster your signal will be the closer you are to the DSL provider’s Central Office or distribution point. DSL lines are typically used for small business and residential customers. Of course as your needs grow, it should be understood; that the more data you need to transfer, the larger the pipe (Internet access line or physical copper wire) you need to transport the data. This is where more sophisticated forms of broadband come in for business use. The technical terms for this type of broadband is measured by the amount of data that the line transfers. T1 -Transmits data in the range of 1.5 million bits per second and primarily used by small and medium sized business with heavy upload and Internet traffic. A T-1 line is usually leased by bandwidth used. Typical uses are large graphic files, photographs, sound files, music, video, etc. However, your company should evaluate the amount of data and computers that are connected for Internet Access at the same time. T1 lines in the United States carry a 24 pulse code modulation (PCM) signal using time-division multiplexing (TDM). These lines use copper wire which usually connect major metropolitan areas. There are a number of high quality companies that offer T1 Broadband and you will find that prices do vary so it is important that you compare.

You may also find that your local cable provider may have introduced their version of broadband which actually can emulate one side of a T1 connection. However, you should be aware… you may actually get 1.5 mpbs on the download side, but when you try to upload a file, your bandwidth is cut down to about 1/10th. A cable connection is made for residential customers to surf the Internet with great speed and download files, but not made for you to upload with great speed. This slow upload limit is the major difference between a real T1 line and cable.

There are many types of broadband connections that are much faster circuit than T1, these range from T3 (3 times faster than T1) to OC-48, and a frame relay connection which really are the same thing just MUCH larger pipes (lines) that can transmit the data. I have found while working with broadband providers you really need a persona coach to help guide you through the process. Not only can personal coaches such as ImageLink Networks guide you through the red tape, the efficiency that comes from our presence and telecom knowledge will save you time and money in the end. It is important to seek an unbiased opinion and research for the best real time price for your T1 line. Broadband is a commodity, and changes as new subscribers come online in specified areas. To make a long story shorter, you are ready for a broadband connection if you are tired of waiting for a standard dial up to connect and download.

Do not be confused, dial up companies use a standard phone line to connect you to their server to bring you an Internet connection. One thing is for sure, if you ever experience a broadband connection via cable, T1, T3, DS-3, or better you will never ever go back to dial up.

Business Owners: Can You Depend On Wi-fi When You Travel?

“Don’t worry – wi-fi is everywhere these days!”

That opinion is widespread, but as I prepared for a 10-week sabbatical road trip from Massachusetts to Alaska and back, I didn’t give it much weight. I would be traveling to some of the most remote areas of North America and needing to check my email each morning and night to keep my business affairs humming along smoothly.

Because I found it impossible to get reliable information on Internet access along our route, I prepared for worst-case scenarios. And I’m reporting my findings here to help others plan for a similar trip.

Before we left home, I equipped myself with a wi-fi card in my laptop and purchased a handheld phone/computer device that could access wireless Internet too. The laptop also had a modem that could be used for Internet access through a phone line. And for further backup, I had a virtual assistant whom I could call to request her to check email for me if I were stuck someplace where neither wi-fi nor dialup worked.

My husband and I stayed in mid-priced or budget motels, lodges and bed and breakfast inns. We also took a few overnight ferries. While we took day hikes, we never camped out in the wilderness. Here’s what we experienced:

Wi-fi in motel or B&B room, worked fine: 34%
Wi-fi in office or restaurant, not in room: 12%
Wi-fi in room worked intermittently: 14%
Wi-fi took more than 20 minutes to get working: 8%
Wi-fi did not work after considerable fiddling, used modem instead: 6%
Wi-fi down town-wide from storm or outage: 4%
Wired high-speed Internet in room: 4%
Wi-fi available but forgot to ask for password: 2%
No wi-fi available, used modem instead: 12%
No Internet connection at all available: 4%

So, only one-third of the time did wi-fi work conveniently and right away in the room where we were staying. Another third of the time we were able to use wi-fi with some delay or inconvenience. And the other third of the time, we would have been without Internet access had wi-fi been our only option.

In those no wi-fi situations, hooking up the laptop to the phone line was our next option. Most of the time, this happened in isolated places where finding a coffeehouse with wi-fi for patrons was totally out of the question. And in nearly all of those cases, the laptop modem came to the rescue.

In Watson Lake, Yukon, however, a town of about 1500 people, the high-speed Internet network was DSL and did not work because phone service throughout the town was down. This meant that my backup plan – calling my virtual assistant – wouldn’t work, either. There was nothing I could do about it until we drove on to another waystation on the Alaska Highway where my hand-held device picked up wi-fi at a truck stop.

In Alaska, we stayed one night at a rustic lodge in the middle of nowhere that said they had wi-fi in the restaurant, but it didn’t work, and our room did not have a phone line to which we could plug in the modem. The lodge did not have a pay phone, either, for a call to my assistant, so again we hunted down a wi-fi connection in the next couple of towns the following day.

We were in luck – these nights and the nights we slept on ferries that didn’t have Internet access – didn’t generate any of those angry “Why the #%@$* didn’t you answer my email?” messages that any business owner dreads.

One bonus bit of advice: In many places, motel clerks stared at me blankly when I asked if they had wi-fi. But they all understood the question, “Do you have wireless Internet?” Use the longer question, especially outside of metropolitan areas.

Fixed Wireless NBN Plans – Is It For You?

NBN or the National Broadband Network is altering the way Australians gain access to the internet. There usually are three types of connections that every Australian family can get.

For those in urban areas, the NBN Fibre or fixed line connection is most suitable. As the name recommends, it uses fibre optics to move incredibly quick Internet signals to subscribers.

Households located in distant and remote locations can access NBN through a satellite dish set up in the facilities. Some NBN service provider firms also call this NBN Sky Muster satellite.

Finally, some families lie in between– not as close as families in urban locations, however not too far compared with those in remote areas. These families are most suitable for NBN fixed wireless plans.

What are the benefits of the NBN fixed wireless plans?

  • More steady than current mobile signals– Mobile signals end up being unstable and unreliable because the number of receivers typically change from time to time. With NBN fixed wireless, the tower will send out Internet signals just to a particular variety of customers.
  • Internet connection begins at accelerating to 12Mbps– This is quite quick for a wireless connection and more than enough for typical users. Just make sure that you choose a plan with enough data allowance for your usage requirements.
  • The line of vision requirement– The only need for NBN wireless plans in Australia is that the antenna set up in the family ought to have a direct line of vision to the transmission tower giving off the signals.
  • Speed is sufficient for the typical user– If your primary activities on the Internet are browsing, investigating, watching videos and participating in social networks, you would not have any problems with NBN’s fixed wireless.

Fixed wireless NBN strategies are the 2nd best when it comes to Internet speed as provided by the NBN program. If you just found out that your household is not amongst that ideal for fixed line NBN, NBN wireless broadband is the next most excellent choice. If you are beyond the range of a transmission tower, then a satellite NBN connection is the next best thing.

Is Your Computer Strong Enough For A work From Home Internet Business

If you are planning on doing business online with one of the many work from home based businesses available on the internet, then you are going to want to make sure your computer is up to the task.

Although it is possible to get by with a Pentium 1, at today’s prices there is no reason to do so. Pentium 4 computers and AMD equivalent computers have dropped in price enormously.

I have to admit, I am still using an Intel Celeron 766 Mh computer but I upgraded the ram to 384 Mb and the hard drive to 80 Gb. Also a high speed internet connection is a must. I am connected to the internet from 8:00 Am to 2:00 Am (18 Hours) continuously every day. This means my security including firewall must be set up properly and working. But that’s another article for another time.

Why do you need a powerful computer for your work from home internet business? Well before I upgraded from my Pentium MMX 233 Mh computer I was spending more time re booting from freeze ups and cleaning my hard drive than I was actually working at my internet work from home based business. Yes I started out over 5 years ago using a Pentium MMX 233 with only 160 Mb of RAM and a 3 Gb hard drive, proving that it is possible to build a work from home internet business on an old slow computer. But why would you. I upgraded to a used Celeron 766 Mh computer with 256 Mb of RAM for $200 Canadian. And here in Canada you can buy a Pentium 4 or AMD equivalent for just $400-$500.

I recommend the following main features when looking for your work from home internet business computer.
Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent.

  • 256 Mb of RAM minimum. 512 Mb is better.
    80 Gb hard drive or better
    Ethernet for high speed internet connection.
    Your video card is less important unless you plan to play games on your work from home business computer. Cheaper computers come with onboard video which is just fine for business purposes.
    Try to get at least a 17 inch monitor. Get an LCD monitor if you can afford it. It will save you all kinds of desk space giving you more room to work.
    These are my recommendations for your work from home internet business computer based on my past experiences with my own work from home internet business. They are just guidelines only. In fact you could spend thousands of dollars more than what I have suggested here. Wouldn’t we all love to have an AMD 64 computer with 2 Gb RAM, dual 200 Gb raided hard drives and a 21 inch LCD monitor!