FiOS, broadband, Satellite and DSL… When your searching for internet service, what should you be looking for?
Your first instinct might be to select a high-speed internet service on price alone. And that may work out just fine; everyone loves a good deal. In some cases, choosing one plan over another will save you a lot of money (which is why bundles have become so popular in everything from Internet to car insurance). Without worrying about the price, which type of internet service is the smartest choice?
Satellite Internet Service
Weather you’re living off the grid or just outside a metropolitan area, your most reliable internet connection is likely to come from a Satellite internet provider. With speeds typically between 5-10mbps, Satellite ISP’s can be an excellent option for most web operations. However, there is always a lag with satellite communications as data is bounced between the earth and the satellite in question. This delay is no different for internet or TV service, which makes this type of connection less desirable for folks interested in online gaming.
FiOS – Fiber Optic Internet Service
As we’ve recently discussed, FiOS is the best choice for speed and reliability. The only problem is that it may not be available in your area. Frontier is among a handful of companies working to increase the footprint of fiber optic networks across the nation. Download speeds over fiber can be as high as 50 Mbps! Which is a great deal more than most families can make a dent in.
Click here to find out if Frontier FiOS is available in your area.
Cable Broadband Internet Service
If you live in or near a big city, chances are you’re able to get your internet via cable. DSL may be available as well, but cable’s faster speed makes it an easy choice in most situations. More than likely, a cable connection is going to be perfect for most people, even those with large data requirements (i.e. teenagers). You’ll have no problem streaming movies and television, playing video games or connecting multiple devices. Cable download speed can vary by plan and time of day, but Frontier offers service up to 24 Mbps.
When is DSL the Right Choice?
DSL won’t get you the fastest speeds, but it may be the be choice available. DSL relies on a home phone line. Most people can expect to see download speeds up to about 8 Mbps. If you have a choice that includes cable broadband or FiOS, you’ll probably want to avoid DSL. For some people, particularly in rural areas, DSL will likely be the fastest option. Don’t discount DSL just yet though, depending on where you live, your DSL service might be just as fast as broadband cable internet.
A New Internet Speed Test Tool from Netflix
Do you ever feel like your internet is slower than it should be? Well Netflix they have just launched fast.com. By using the same servers that distribute movies and TV shows, they’ve created an internet speed tool that you can use for free at Fast.com. It will tell you exactly what your current internet speed is.
Yes, fast.com is actually free with no membership or login required. It works for mobile or broadband internet connections. It’s also available to be used anywhere in the world which is pretty cool.
With think internet speed testers can be a bit confusing. Fortunately, this is site makes checks really easy.
The process is pretty straightforward. You simply put the URL address into your browser window then it will shortly tell you the speed of your connection.
Why Does My Internet Speed Change?
Internet speeds can change from location to location, for two main reasons, internet congestion and an overload of users at that time, in that place.
As experts in the field, Netflix also has tools for other aspects of your internet speed. But this one is completely unique to anything they’ve offered before.
Maybe you’ve used the controls for cellular data or monthly streaming rate — online gamer‘s know the value of a solid internet speed test! If so you’ll know that there are never many bugs and there is always a keen simplicity in use. I think it’s great that a company with such potential server power is constantly striving to bring new products to market without charging us an arm and a leg.
With that in mind, I wonder what will be next? Maybe they can make the speed test even faster. As I’m not a programmer I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Online Gaming Guide -WiFi
If you game online, and want connect to the internet using WiFi, you’ll want to know what to look for in a wireless router.
There isn’t anything fun about dealing with a slow router, and gaming should be fun! Investing in the right router will help you get the most from your internet connection. WiFi, is inherently slower than a direct connection LAN connection. If you’re looking for a great router for gaming, you’ll need speed and reliability. WiFi routers have come a long way, and they’re actually closing the gap on traditional wired connections, making internet gaming more accessible than ever.
Internet Gaming WiFi Routers
802.11G – Wireless G
A Wireless G Router has a maximum transfer rate of 54mbps and operates on an unregulated 2.4GHz frequency range. Wireless G is susceptible to interference, but’s it’s backward compatible with wireless B devices. This is the lowest common denominator, and should probably be avoided.
802.11N – Wireless N
Wireless N routers have a theoretical transfer rate of 300mbps with 2 antennas. If the router has 3 antennas, it should be capable of speeds up to 450mbps. It’s likely that speeds will actually fall a bit closer to 130mbps or less, unless certain configurations and conditions are met — it’s a little out of the scope of this post. Wireless N routers can operate at both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and utilize multiple signals (Multiple In – Multiple Out… or MIMO). Wireless N is a much better choice for gaming, although it may require additional set up.
802.11AC – Wireless AC
Wireless AC is the next big standard. The standard is quite finalized yet, but there are a lot of wireless AC routers currently available. It is expected to be finalized in 2014. You might see wireless AC referred to as Gigabit WiFi (1Gbps… 1 GigaBit Per Second). You will have a stronger signal strength than Wireless N, and greater coverage area. Wireless AC is the best choice for internet gaming.
New FCC Guidelines for Broadband and High Speed Internet
At first glance, it may seem like the FCC’s decision to release nutritional label style broadband labels, might be an April Fools Day Joke. Surprisingly, it isn’t. The Federal Communications Commission chose to follow the nutritional guideline model because of its familiarity. It represents an opportunity to give consumers more details about there internet service and access. The goal is transparency, which aligns with new rules for ISP’s like Frontier, to provide consumers with better clarity.
It’s important to point out that the new labels are currently optional, but the transparency isn’t. This is great for everyone. Currently, it’s hard for consumers to compare internet service providers, because every ISP seems to be measuring to a different set of standards. We’ll be working hard to present our service with clarity. Expect changes soon from Frontier and our competitors, we’re certain that Frontier will still be the best choice for you and your family!
In a statement, FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler said “These labels provide consumers clarity about the broadband service they are purchasing, not only helping them to make more informed choices but also preventing surprises when the first bill arrives…” He added, “Customers deserve to know the price they will actually pay for a service and to be fully aware of other components such as data limits and performance factors before they sign up for service.”
We agree. The new guidelines are a step in the right direction, and will give consumers more choice and better control over their broadband connection. The new labels detail pricing, internet speeds, latency, data caps, modem costs, and early termination fees among other items in a familiar and easily understood format.
It’s important to point out that the new rules also affect wireless cellular companies such as Sprint and T-Mobile. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but we estimate a fairly widespread adoption of the format.