High-speed Internet is provided by many carriers across the United States, but not all serve every geographic location, even within cities the carrier provides partial service to. Fortunately, if you are not able to get cable-based Internet at home, there are many other broadband options to investigate.
High-speed Internet delivered by satellites is an ideal option for homes located in very remote areas not served by wired connections. The technology involved tends to make this option more expensive than wired options, such as cable or DSL. Internet connections are susceptible to the same disruptions experienced by satellite TV subscribers, such as stormy weather. Download speeds for satellite broadband reach up to 1 megabit per second.
Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL is a high-speed Internet service typically offered by phone companies as the technology uses normal phone lines, along with high-speed Internet devices, to deliver Internet service. Like cable-based Internet, DSL is available from a phone company based on your location from the nearest service facility as is the bandwidth (upload and download speed) you are ultimately able to experience. Generally, DSL speeds are comparable to cable, offering speeds that range from the thousands to millions of bits per second.
Optical fiber is a high-speed data transmission technology that is slowly replacing older technology, such as copper wires. In most areas, phone companies offer fiber-optic technology to deliver high-speed Internet to customers. Fiber-optic technology leverages the speed of light to send data through hair-thin glass fibers, capable of reaching download speeds up to hundreds of megabits per second. These speeds make fiber optics superior to other broadband technologies available for home use.
Advances in cellular networks have begun to make high-speed Internet feasible for home use. 3G and 4G networks, which deliver Internet access to mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets, are used to feed high-speed Internet to homes in a growing number of areas. Speeds vary, but can be comparable to cable or DSL Internet speeds. Wireless Internet is offered by mobile phone companies and wireless providers. Consult the Wireless Internet Service Provider Directory to discover providers in your area.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images