Understanding Information About Broadband: A Useful Glossary

Posted by Bhavesh Joshi On Saturday, February 23, 2013 0 comments
Understanding Information About Broadband: A Useful Glossary
When you search for information in order to learn more about broadband connections, you may feel overwhelmed by all the technical language, unusual words and indecipherable acronyms. The following useful glossary uses non-technical language to explain all of the most common words and phrases that you will regularly encounter when trying to choose or repair a broadband connection.

* Mbps:

The speed of a broadband connection is usually described in terms of Mbps. This stands for ‘Megabits per second’, and indicates how much data can be downloaded via your connection each second.

* Bandwidth:

Bandwidth is the upper limit on the amount of data that you can download on a monthly basis using your broadband connection. In some cases, you will be charged a fee if you download more than this limit, and in other cases your internet speed will simply slow down. You will normally see bandwidth described in terms of gigabytes (GB).

* ISP:

ISP stands for ‘Internet Service Provider’. ISPs are companies that provide the necessary technology to allow homes and businesses to access the internet.

* Router:

A router is a small, box-like piece of hardware that is plugged into your modem and allows other computers in the home to access the internet via the connection that has been provided for the main computer. Routers can also function as security devices, stopping unauthorized users from accessing the internet connection.

* DSL:

DSL stands for ‘Digital Subscriber Line’, which is one type of broadband connection. It provides you with an internet connection through a phone line that is installed in your home or office, and uses copper cables to transmit data.


ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’, and is the most common type of broadband connection at the moment. It downloads data at a substantially faster rate than it uploads data, and it allows the user to utilize their telephone line for phone calls and online access simultaneously.


SDSL stands for ‘Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line’, and it provides extremely fast upload speeds as well as download speeds. An SDSL broadband connection requires an extra phone line, and it is typically only needed if you have a reason to constantly transmit and receive huge amounts of data.

* Fiber Optic Broadband:

Fiber optic broadband connections transmit data as pulses of light through optical fibers, providing much faster connection speeds than those available via DSL, ADSL and SDSL connections (which all use copper cables). Fiber optic broadband is not yet available in all areas.

* Wi-Fi:

Understanding Information About BroadbandWhen you can use the internet without having to connect any cables or devices to your computer, this is called wi-fi access. Wi-fi connections transmit using radio waves, and allow for highly convenient online access in shared homes or public places (such as libraries).

* MiFi:

MiFi stands for ‘My Wi-Fi’, and it is a type of portable broadband connection that can be shared by up to five users and is enabled by a small wireless device.


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