There are many different types of broadband Internet providers out there, and each uses a very different fundamental type of technology to move those zeros and ones to and from your property. Understanding just how each type of technology stacks up against the competition can be the key to figuring out who has the best deal in town for what you need. Of course, you will need to first compile a list of needs based on the activities you perform, then compare that to the following strengths and weaknesses:
DSL Broadband Internet Provider Benefits
Purveyors of Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL for short) are generally telecoms that have been in the broadband business a long time. Most of those companies even have pre-broadband experience with the Internet, and thus there is a lot of general competency involved when dealing with DSL as a general rule. The technology is fundamentally stable, reliable, and has been widely deployed. Never discount the advantage of being widely available, as popularity tends to be one of the most important factors in any technological race.
DSL Broadband Internet Provider Downsides
DSL may not have the brightest of all futures compared to the competition, and that may be the downside to being amongst the first to market with broadband offerings. The limitations are in the wiring that runs through properties and electromagnetic physics.
Cable Broadband Internet Provider Benefits
Cable providers have some very similar backgrounds to telecoms, so it is no big surprise that they are in similar boats. While thicker cables provider faster connections than DSL is generally able to afford, cable carriers have an extra ace up their sleeve in the form of being able to add additional cables within existing bundles with minimal effort and labor involved. This gives cable broadband Internet providers a slight edge in performance and longevity compared to DSL broadband Internet carriers. Like DSL, cable broadband has massive market penetration.
Cable Broadband Internet Provider Downsides
Again, there are some clear similarities between cable broadband Internet providers and DSL broadband Internet providers in that cable technology was designed ages ago and the networks might need an overhaul to compete with the likes of fiber optics and other systems designed to deliver more data at a lower price.
Fiber Optic Broadband Internet Provider Benefits
Fiber optics form the backbone of the Internet for a few very good reasons, namely that they are fast, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly. These traits all show themselves clearly in the way that modern fiber optic broadband internet providers reach consumers, and the numbers do not lie. The fact is that fiber optics are blazingly fast and transmit data at a slender fraction of the cost that would normally be associated with cable broadband or DSL broadband.
Fiber Optic Broadband Internet Provider Downsides
Unlike cable and telecom networks, the fiber optic networks have limited market penetration. This is due to the cost of trenching fiber optics to property lines, and some also insinuate (or flat out state) that telecoms and digital cable providers have lobbied to make gaining permits for such work expensive or difficult to obtain in other ways.
Wireless Broadband Internet Provider Benefits
Wireless broadband offers a great roaming experience and is very fast. Each generation sees massive improvement, and it will not be long before wireless overtakes cable and DSL internet in terms of speeds.
Wireless Broadband Internet Provider Downsides
Currently wireless technology has dead spots, areas with poor reception, and data caps that are too low to really compare with the more common broadband services.
Satellite Broadband Internet Provider Benefits
Satellite broadband Internet providers offer reasonable connection rates anywhere in the hemisphere where line of sight on a geosynchronous satellite can be had.
Satellite Broadband Internet Provider Downsides
Satellite relay systems induce at least a small amount of latency and are not the fastest options out there, and they tend to be pricey by comparison.
Power Company Broadband Internet Provider Benefits
Your power company may soon be your new broadband provider, and they have some of the thickest metal wiring around. The thickness translates out to fiber-optic killing speeds in some areas.
Power Company Broadband Internet Provider Downsides
The limited market penetration is a major downside to power company broadband, as is the power consumption. Of course, the company could always give itself discounts couldn’t it?