Five Myths About High Speed Internet

by Chris Rawluk - Date: 2006-12-05 - Word Count: 783 Share This!

There are a lot of misconception about high speed internet. With the increasing popularity of broadband service and variety of technologies that power our internet connections, it is important to understand what's true, what really matters and what is quite simply...myth.

Myth 1: High Speed Dial-Up

Dial-up is dial-up. There is no way to turn a regular modem connection into a lightning fast portal to the Internet universe. Essentially "high speed" dial-up is a regular dial-up service that is "enhanced" by the compression of common file types like text and graphics so they are more quickly transmitted, and by storing frequently used files locally so they don't have to be downloaded each time you visit a page. While it may help you access your favorite web pages more quickly it won't increase your Internet connection speed in any way. If you want speed, get a real high speed internet connection such as DSL, Cable or Satellite.

Myth 2: Internet Speed Tests

When you request a file or a web page over the Internet, it is transmitted to you in small data packets that are passed along the Internet from the source to your computer. The speed at which the information arrives at your computer is dependent upon the path it takes. Think of it like maneuvering though traffic. The busy intersections and slow roads can increase travel time. While a fast connection is nice, it won't help you if traffic is heavy or the web site you are visiting is slow to respond. When you visit a speed test website you can gauge the speed of that web site in sending you data at that time. Nothing more. Nothing less. Does it help you to know this?

Myth 3: High Speed Internet Performance is Not Dependent on my Computer

Often we hear people justifying the purchase of a cheap or outdated computer: "I only need it for Internet and e-mail." While accessing the Internet is certainly less taxing on a computer than some other tasks, the performance of your high speed internet connection may be severely limited by a poorly outfitted or old computer. An underpowered computer will not be able to render a web page for viewing, stream music, or show a video nearly as fast as a modern machine. With the increasing complexity of Internet content, the need for modern equipment is even more necessary. Your broadband connection may transmit data at a faster rate, but your computer puts it all together into something you can use.

Myth 4: I can "Uncap" my Cable Modem and Freely Enjoy the Blazing Speeds that I Deserve.

Your cable company is secretly holding out on you and they are terrified that you will discover the secret to unlimited speed. Sorry. Not true. First, your cable company is not secretly holding out on you. They are intentionally holding out on you - it's their business. If you pay for their lowest level of service they will give you their lowest level of service. If you pay for their top speeds they will give you their top speeds. This myth developed out of a half truth: A few years back, certain cable modems could be hacked to bypass the service limits imposed by the cable provider. Broadband technology has matured over the last few years. Modern cable modems can't be "uncapped", but if they could, your theft of service would not go unnoticed by the provider.

Myth 5: I Don't Need a Router Since I Don't Have a Home Network.

A few years ago you might have found a router in the back office of a business network. Now, you can pick up a router at any department or electronics store for less than the price of the latest video game. It's true that a router allows a number of computers to share a single internet connection, but even if you're only using a single computer connected to the internet, a router is an extremely useful piece of equipment to own. Your router sits between your Internet connection and your computer. In addition to acting as a traffic cop in a multi-computer or home network environment - it acts as a firewall - blocking unwanted traffic before it ever gets to your computer. While it is useful to have a firewall installed on your computer, the built-in firewall in a router cannot be beat for simplicity and overall protection. In addition, many routers now function as Wireless Access Points, feature parental controls to block questionable content and can even schedule or restrict access during certain times. They will also allow you to network your modern electronics, such as a gaming console or a TiVo(r). A router is the technology centerpiece to any home with a high speed Internet connection.

Related Tags: broadband, high speed internet, dsl, cable modem, isp, speed test

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