Internet Access Technologies
Have you ever wonder how your computer is connected to the Internet? You probably think that the Internet connection to your laptop goes through WiFi or Ethernet network. However, this is more complicated, because this technology is used only in LAN (Local Area Network) to provide connectivity between the router and all hosts. The real Internet access technology is defined for WAN (Wide Area Network) which provide the connectivity between your router and ISP (Internet Service Provider) devices. Every Internet access technology has its advantages and disadvantages. Which one is the best?
The DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) technology is the most common solution used by stationary ISPs. It uses the same cooper telecommunication line which is used by your home telephone, but the Internet data are transmitted at higher frequencies than the analogue voice. Thanks to this approach it is possible to talk and use the Internet at the same time. There are several versions of DSL technology and the most popular are ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) and VDSL (Very High Speed DSL).
Nowadays this is the most popular Internet access technology offered by mobile carriers. LTE (Long Technology Evolution) offers very high throughputs and reliable connectivity, but it has also very big disadvantages. Unfortunately, mobile carriers use data transmission limits, so you are not allowed to download and upload (in total) more data than it is written in your contract. If you want to use the Internet more intensive, then you must pay more. However, this is very convenient for people who move and often travel, because you can take your Internet service with you and you do not have to sign new contract after moving.
The WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is used by many ISP in order to offer Internet access via wireless technique. In most cases the operator has a single station which is able to cover the whole city and provide Internet connection to all clients. The main difference between 4G LTE and WiMAX is the mobility aspect. WiMAX technology assumes that the host does not move during the data transmission, so it is perfect for home users. 4G LTE is able to provide the Internet connection even when the user is moving really fast. Also, LTE networks are mainly nationwide and typical WiMAX covers only selected area (e.g. a city).
This Internet access technology should be the last choice, because it is very expensive and has high latency. Nowadays, the satellite connection is used for Internet service providing only in extreme cases, in which other mobile and stationary technologies can not be applied. In order to use the satellite connection for Internet access, it is required to install a satellite dish and point it precisely at ISP satellite.