BLOG: A Business Guide to Connectivity and Jargon
Technology has transformed the way people communicate, access entertainment, travel and work. There are capabilities we take for granted today that would have seemed like something out of a far-fetched film even 10 years ago. As much as new technologies have opened doors and made the seemingly impossible possible, the rapid pace of change has created a huge learning curve for many users and still causes lots of confusion!
So, this month I thought let’s break things down and simplify the technical terminology.
Ok, you know this one, broadband is a high-capacity internet connection, allowing the transmission of large amounts of information at the same time. It’s the common name we give to internet access regardless of the technology that it’s delivered over. Within that broad definition, broadband can be very different.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line has been the backbone of the internet for years and around 1/4 of broadband connections across the UK are still ADSL. It connects you to the internet over copper telephone wires, and it is the slowest/least reliable of the three main fixed line connectivity types. Still, many businesses are happy with ADSL, which in our case offers an average download speed of 10Mbps.That’s enough for basic browsing, sending emails and checking social media.
Superfast Fibre Broadband
More and more businesses are turning to fibre broadband. Superfast (FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet) connections send signals over fibre optic cables as far as the local cabinet, and then over the copper phone wire for the last bit of the journey to the premises. FTTC is faster and more reliable than ADSL, where just a portion of the connection is fibre-optic. For FTTC, the final part of the connection (which runs from the green BT street cabinet to your home) uses standard copper in the same way as ADSL. FTTC is widely available; Our superfast option for small business comes with an average download speed of 66Mbps, which is perfect for businesses where several employees use the internet at the same time for browsing, file downloads, video calling and more advanced business services.
Ultrafast Fibre Broadband
Ultrafast (FTTP – Fibre to the Premises) uses fibre optic cable the entire length of the connection, making it lightning quick (up to 1000Mbps). You may have also heard of G.fast, which uses a different method to get the same ultrafast speeds. Both are great for larger SMEs with heavy connectivity requirements. FTTP is more restricted in its availability but a quick and simple postcode check would determine if it’s available in your area – just ask us.
Internet speed refers to how much data and information can be transferred over the web on a single connection at any given time.
This is important for consumers because the internet speed determines what type of activities you can do on the internet, as well as how many devices you can connect at once. Understanding how you and your business use the internet will help you determine which internet speeds you require.
If your internet speed is too slow, you might run into trouble performing tasks on the web like streaming videos or uploading files.
Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time (8pm to 10pm) across the network. All ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have to give this average figure, speeds can be affected by everything from the weather to your distance from a street cabinet.
Mbps – “Megabits per second” is how we gauge internet speeds. This number represents the bandwidth of an internet connection, which is how much data can be transferred each second.
Bandwidth – Bandwidth measures the total number of frequencies, or capacity, a network connection can handle at any given time. With more bandwidth, more data can be transferred through a specific network. This is significant for determining how many devices can connect to the network at a time.
Broadband speeds are represented with a download speed figure - which is the speed that information gets from the internet to your computer. Upload speed is important too, especially for businesses. It’s the speed with which information flows from your computer to the internet. A decent upload speed is important if you use cloud-based services.
There are two main types of networks, Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN).
A LAN covers a small area such as one building, or site. A WAN covers a large geographical location. WANs can be linked together via a connection eg. A leased line. Advantages of a network include easy file-sharing, data backup and instant communication with other users.
“We pride ourselves on providing the very best internet connectivity to keep your business operational. From simple access to email, the ability to run video conferencing or having your business telephony run over the internet”
By Aimee Walker