What are the different internet technologies

This is all about your Wide Area Network (WAN) connection. That is, your connection to the internet, in most cases.
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What are the different internet technologies

Post by CC_Support »

There are different internet connection technologies. There are now more that are consigned to the history books than are in-use in this country.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of them. Don't forget that these are the generic names, and each company would have their own name for them that made them sound fantastic, such as BT Home Highway, BT Full Fibre and BT Full Fibre 2.

Dial-up modem internet (narrowband) - This was the primary way of connecting some 20 years ago. It gave speeds of up to 128Kbps, but most were 64Kbps.

Then came the xDSL services. There were a bunch of them: ADSL, SDSL, ADSL2, ADSL 2+, VDSL
There are more, but they are variations on these. ADSL (or ADSL Max) before we moved to ADSL2 allowed for speeds of up to 8Mbps. ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. You had 8Mbps download speed but only 2Mbps upload speed, unless you had Annex M which would sacrifice some of the download speed to give you more upload speed. This was required for VoIP and other services that needed a bit more upload.
SDSL was Symmetric, where you had up and down at the same speed. It was way more expensive, so only businesses used to use it if they really needed it.

ADSL2+ was the last of the ADSL 2 range, and you could get up to 24 Mbps download and 8Mbps upload.
With these it was very dependent on the quality of your line to your premises as well as the quality of the lines from your green box to the exchange. Rarely did people get the advertised speed, as some part of the journey was degraded or too long. In the old days, we would hear the modem "Dial up" and then the handshake before it went quiet. It was still making noise after this but at a different tone, there was not so much high-pitched noise, more static sounding noise. That is how the signal or packets were sent. This made any other noise on the line cause interference with the internet connection, which meant we lost packets, which meant things went slower.

VDSL is what most people have today, but we are moving away from that as well as we move to FTTP. VDSL is used for FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) connections. These are the first of the high speed connections, offering up to 80Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. These connections, like all before it, required a phone line like a PSTN (Public Switch Telephone Network) line in order to use them.

FTTC connections are being replaced by SoGEA lines that are basically the same as an FTTC line but without the need for PSTN line. You cannot use the same line for making phone calls across PSTN but can use VoIP.

Now we get to the good stuff. Today, we are seeing more and more people getting on to FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) connections. Again, suppliers have their own brand names for it (BT Full Fibre 2, etc.). This time it is actually full fibre. The fibre cables run from the green box to your premises. These offers speed up to 1Gbps upload and download, though most services are still asymmetrical and are still contended for most.

CritchCorp Computers Ltd offers FTTP and SoGEA connections for your business (we can do homes, but we are not the cheapest in the market for home users). We do have some of the best prices for business users though and can do bespoke plans if needed, such as for startups.

More information about effects on the speed of broadband
Contention ratios

All business and home connections are and have always been contended services. Home connections generally have a contended ration of 1:300 (or more) whereas businesses usually have a 1:20. This makes a difference to the price and to the quality and speed of the connection. The cheaper your connection, the more likely the higher the ratio and so the reduction in speed.

A note on speed. Speed in the terms that we use it today is actually just a marketing term. It is not in the technical sense correct. The sound waves or light beams will travel at the fastest speed they can, always. What you are actually measuring is bandwidth. How fast or slow your connection is, is in fact a mix of bandwidth, congestion and quality of the line. FTTP connections generally have excellent quality, however my neighbour, who has a 1Gbps line, will take 30 seconds to download a file. I, with my 1Gbps line, will take 20 seconds to download the same file from the same source. Why? Because I have a business line and he has a home line. Since everyone in the neighbourhood has a domestic line, they are probably all bunched together down the same line from switch to switch, from the green boxes to the exchange and beyond. I will have a clean run by myself to the internet, or at least to the green box and on to the next junction, as there aren't many businesses round here. This is similar to a leased line, but leased lines are guaranteed 1:1 ratio and have SLAs.
So, if you are in a congested area and having internet issues, then it can be worth getting a business line for a little more but a better service.
I am an official CritchCorp Support Team member and as such my solutions are based primarily on our technologies. If we don’t have a solution, then we will look outside our Services and our Shop.
As the Site Manager, my word is final in any argument.
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