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All you need to know about Home broadband and mobile broadband

Home broadband and mobile broadband are two very different methods of gaining access to the internet. Many people get confused by the technical jargon surrounding these terms, and often don’t know the full extent of what each broadband type can offer. In order to assess which would be more suitable for your needs, and to find the best package available, it is essential to know the differences between the two types of broadband.

In its most basic form broadband is currently the most effective way to connect to the internet. Broadband became widely available in the year 2000, and has since become a household essential, making the previous method of obtaining internet connection, dial-up, obsolete. Broadband is a permanent connection to the internet, whereas dial-up required you to ‘dial-up’ every time you wanted to use the internet. Now, with broadband, you are ready to surf the internet as soon as you turn on your computer or laptop. cartoon of man on multiple telephones and using a keyboard

Home broadband:

Home broadband is broadband that is installed in your home for the use of one or more computers. 

satellie dish on top of log cabin There are several ways to gain home broadband connection: Through your phone line (ADSL or WiFi router) or cable TV service/ satellite. Broadband via ADSL (using wires) or Wifi router (no wires) means you can use the internet without disrupting the use of your telephone. If you have a cable TV or satellite subscription, you may be able to get a broadband connection through them, which will either come through a set top box, or a cable modem.

Home broadband is relatively easy to set up, with all that you need and instructions on how to set up included in the box you receive once ordered. Home broadband has recently become very cheap, with some packages costing as little as around 5 a month. Home broadband packages charge a monthly fee for your connection, and require you to sign up for a fixed contract of anywhere between 1 month to 18 months. How much monthly line rental you pay depends on the type of package you are receiving; many broadband providers are currently engaged in a price war, trying to offer customers the most in their broadband package for the cheapest price – which is good news for the customers.

This means that you can get a high download allowance and fast broadband speeds for under 10 a month. Most Home Broadband providers offer at least (up to) 8Mb broadband speeds, which is adequate for most broadband users. One thing that confuses a lot of people is the download allowance – each broadband package offers a different download allowance (for example 5Gb), depending on how often you use the internet, and how much data you intend to send and receive. To put it into perspective, 5Gigabytes (Gb) a month download allowance will let you do all of the following:

Send 3,500 emails
Surf the internet for 160 hours
Download 320 songs
Download 200 two-minute videos

That’s quite a lot you can do for only 5Gb of download allowance, considering that many broadband providers are trying to offer ‘unlimited’ download allowance as standard – just imagine what you could do with that!

If you are looking for cheap broadband to use in the home for one or more computers/ laptops, then home broadband is perhaps the best option, however if you have a laptop are looking to gain internet access on the go, just for yourself, then you might want to look at mobile broadband.

Mobile Broadband:

Mobile broadband uses 3G mobile phone networks to gain access to the internet, meaning that on mobile broadband, you can use the internet wherever there is a mobile phone signal. Mobile broadband is very easy to set up, all you need is a USB stick (or ‘dongle’ as they are commonly known) which is provided in as part of the mobile broadband package, and a laptop or PC to plug the dongle into. It really is as simple as that – once you have plugged in, you are ready to surf the internet.

Mobile broadband is ideal for people who use the internet on the go, for example students, businessmen and women and travellers. It is quite cheap and there is more flexibility in terms of the packages available compared to home broadband. You can get contracts that last as little as one month, so you are not tied down to a long contract if you are not happy with the service.  man seated on airoplane using his mobile phone

Many providers are offering gifts with their packages and incentives to become ‘mobile’ when surfing the internet including free laptops – so if you are looking for a new laptop and broadband package, this could be the perfect solution.

man sitting on a globe with a mobile phone in his hand On the whole, mobile broadband tends to be a little more expensive each month than home broadband, this is because you get the flexibility of using the internet almost anywhere, and also because your dongle can only be used on one computer at a time (you are paying extra for a non-shared service). There is also the issue that because mobile broadband technology in still early in development, the speed is not as quick as with home broadband, but this should soon no longer be an issue.

As you can see, there is no need for the idea of choosing a broadband package to fill you with fear. Once equipped with the necessary information on both types available and what they have to offer, you can go and look for the ideal broadband package to suit you, safe in the knowledge that you are equipped with all the information you need.

About the author:

Kimberley Howson is a writer for Top 10 Broadband, the UK’s no. 1 comparison site for broadband and mobile broadband.

This page was compiled some years ago and, therefore, the information maybe somewhat outdated as technology moves on at such a rapid pace, however, many of the basics remain the same. 




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