Internet speeds are traditionally measured in two very distinct numbers. The first is referred to as “download speed,” which is very simply the maximum speed at which your computer can retrieve files from the Internet. The second number is referred to as “upload speed,” which is the maximum speed at which your connection can send files from your computer to an outside source. In Internet packages commonly associated with modern-day Internet service providers, the “download speed” will likely be a great deal higher than the “upload speed.”
Figuring out how much Internet bandwidth you need requires you to take a close look at your own personal usage habits. Someone who is just using the Web to check e-mail and visit a few websites, for example, won’t need nearly as much bandwidth who regularly plays video games online or watches streaming television shows and movies on a service like Netflix or Hulu.
If you’re getting your Internet from Dish or a similar provider, you will have three main types of packages that you can choose from. The first type is satellite Internet, which actually uses a satellite dish on the exterior of your home to send and receive information from the Web. Satellite packages are ideal for people who want high speed access but who live in rural areas or areas where geography makes connections like cable or DSL impossible.
High-speed DSL Internet is another common type of Internet package that you’ll come across during your research. DSL Internet uses your existing telephone connection to get you onto the Internet, similar to the way dial-up works. However, you will be able to reach speeds of 3 megabytes per second to 7 megabytes per second, which are vastly superior to a traditional dial-up connection. The primary benefit of a DSL Internet connection is the fact that you won’t have to have any additional equipment installed in or around your home. If you already have a phone line, you already have everything that you need for DSL.
The final main type of connection is high-speed cable Internet. Cable connections use coaxial cables to transmit signals to the World Wide Web. The main benefit of a cable Internet connection is that it is both fast and secure. The speeds greatly surpass those of DSL Internet and satellite Internet, even with a lower tiered bandwidth package.
Another great benefit for people thinking of signing up for high-speed Cable Internet is the fact that you can often save a great deal of money by getting cable television at the same time. You will pay more for a cable Internet package and a separate cable television package than you would by simply bundling both together. Not only is cable a great, easy way to get onto the Internet at high speeds, but it’s also a great way to save money on your monthly expenses. Even the average cable Internet speeds are more than enough for bandwidth-intensive activities like playing video games or streaming hours of high definition video content on various websites.
Juan Hickman is an internet salesman. He frequently writes about internet packages and tips for homeowners on consumer blogs.