Today, consumers have countless options to choose from when it comes to high-speed Internet services. The three majors forms of Internet services are satellite, cable and DSL, but their options are limitless. And since consumers have more options now than ever before, the market for such services has become quite competitive.
For the typical consumer, this is good news because it means the price of service is dropping. At the same time, most companies are providing numerous incentives to entice new customers. For example, companies are offering incredible deals and faster download speeds to draw in more users. Unfortunately, with countless deals to choose from, you might have difficulty choosing the right offer.
Here at PhoneDog, we help consumers get the best deals on high-speed Internet. By using our state of the art comparison tool, you’ll be able to find the best, most efficient internet service for you.
A Look at High-Speed Internet Services
Before choosing a service, it’s crucial to understand how satellite, cable and DSL Internet services work. While they’re all used to accomplish the same goal, these services function differently. Each type of service comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Comparing Cable Internet
Cable companies are the entities that provide cable Internet. They are also the same companies that can provide consumers with TV and phone service. In the past, cable companies offered cable as their only service; but over time, these companies have grown to provide a number of services.
In fact, some cable companies offer home automation services to their customers. Cable Internet service involves the use of physical components such as fiber-optic or coaxial cables. With the use of a physical hub, a cable company is able to create a connection for its customers.
This form of high-speed Internet requires a cable modem, where the bandwidth from the TV channels is used to connect the customer to the Internet. Since Internet requires only a small amount of bandwidth, it can easily be combined with a television service.
Almost all cable companies allow customers to bundle their phone, Internet and TV services (though not required). For example, it’s possible to bundle high-speed Internet with phone services while never purchasing a TV service.
Cable Internet uses the same physical connections as TV and phone services. So if you wanted to add additional services, all you would need is a modem. Cable services are based on a physical connection, so the service quality isn’t affected by the distance between the consumer and provider. In turn, Cable Internet is particularly beneficial for consumers who don’t share a channel with other subscribers, providing the customers with a quality connection.
Unfortunately, in large, busy areas, the speed of cable Internet can slow down because there are many subscribers sharing the same channel. If many subscribers are sharing large files or streaming video over the same channel, they can make cable Internet much slower for everyone else.
The reason why this happens is because all of the subscribers are sharing the same bandwidth. While it might be cheaper to bundle phone, Internet and TV services, consumers need to understand that it might be cheaper to purchase these services separately.
To get access to a wide range of pricing options for cable Internet, use the PhoneDog tool above.
Comparing DSL Internet
The second major type of high-speed Internet is a digital subscriber line (DSL). DSL is Internet made possible by an analog telephone line, where users access bandwidth through the telephone line. DSL actually uses the same frequency range that is used for sending and receiving phone calls.
An analog telephone line is primarily used for calls, but has plenty of additional bandwidth that can be used for high-speed Internet. This is how DSL functions. But before a consumer can access the Internet, they must connect their home computer to a DSL modem.
The modem is important because it uses an analog phone line to connect to the service provider. The service provider accesses the Internet with a digital subscriber line access multiplexer, or DSLAM. The customer is then able to access the Internet using this connection.
Oddly enough, all phone calls require a very tiny amount of bandwidth, so it’s possible for customers to access the Internet through their DSL connection while retaining the ability to make phone calls. Remember the days of the dial-up connection, when you could not be on the phone and on the Internet at the same time?
The biggest issue that consumers faced when using a dial-up connection was the inability to make phone calls. Due to the way the dial-up connections were structured, they made it impossible to make phone calls while accessing the Internet. However, a DSL connection makes it possible to access the Internet and make phone calls at the same time, giving users more freedom.
The biggest difference between cable and DSL Internet is the fact that DSLAM lines aren’t bogged down by many different users, while cable lines oftentimes are (especially in busy areas). If there are many DSL units located in the same neighborhood, each user will receive a fast, reliable connection.
Put simply, it doesn’t matter how many users are connected at the same time with DSL. Consumers who have cable Internet, on the other hand, experience totally different results. The Internet speed that each individual cable user receives is tied to how many other users are using the same cable channel.
In many cases, DSL might actually be faster than cable because of the user’s location. Unfortunately, DSL subscribers need to be close to the provider because the quality of a DSL connection degrades over long distances.
Before choosing to purchase DSL Internet, consumers should find out how far away they are from the nearest service provider. Customer reviews are also helpful in determining the quality of any given DSL connection. Furthermore, an analog line will need to be installed before purchasing DSL Internet.
Comparing Satellite Internet
It might be obvious how this service works due to its name. Satellite Internet involves the use of a satellite dish to establish connectivity. Before accessing the Internet with this service, a satellite dish must be installed, followed by a modem connected to the dish.
There is a satellite floating around in space that sends signals down to the dish. The signals from the satellite are grabbed by the dish, and then sent to the Internet modem. This is how consumers are able to access the Internet via a satellite dish.
It’s true that satellite Internet isn’t an extremely popular option, but it’s not because it provides poor quality service. Most people don’t really need this type of Internet service because it’s a service catered towards individuals who live in remote areas.
Surprisingly enough, a majority of people live in areas that aren’t accessible by cable or phone companies; so it isn’t uncommon for satellite service to be the only Internet option available to these individuals.
Satellite Internet service is an option for individuals who already own an equator-facing dish, but it’s also available to consumers who would like to install a satellite dish.
Unfortunately, due to how signals are transmitted, satellite Internet is known to have slower speeds. Despite it’s speed, it can still be an excellent option for consumers living in rural areas. For everyone else, cable and DSL Internet are likely to perform better.
When searching for high-speed Internet service, it’s very important for consumers to compare all of the different options available. PhoneDog is a powerful tool that allows consumers to compare Internet providers on the most basic of levels, helping any consumer get the best high-speed Internet that suits their needs.