The Pros and Cons of Prepaid and Postpaid Plans

Internet is the ‘God’ of everything in the current era and is needed for the world to function normally. Can you imagine a day where you are unable to check the weather, the news, the state of traffic congestions to the office, keep in touch with your friends and family as well as communicate with your colleagues at work? You can also use it for purposes of checking for recipes, downloading movies and music, getting the kids homework done or even as a conjunct for connecting automated smart homes to your smart phone.

For all the above and more, internet is the essential tool to keep your life functioning on an even keel. However, with so much competition going on in the field, businesses are coming up with various offers to keep their heads afloat as well as be more customer-friendly. The prepaid and postpaid plan offered by broadband providers is one such option. However, it does get a little bit confusing when you want to avail of an internet plan and need to make an educated choice of which plan to go for. So here’s some more information that should help you decide which way to head…

To begin with, let’s define what prepaid and postpaid plans are; as the name suggests, prepaid means you have to select a plan according to your data needs and pay for the services upfront, before commencing on the services. You also get to use only the amount that you paid for; if you need more data, then you will have to pay for additional top-up services. Most prepaid plans become worthwhile and advantageous when taken for a long term, like a year.

Postpaid on the other hand refers to payment for services availed, by the end of the month. However, a downside to postpaid plans is that there is usually an initial security deposit paid to the company. Not to get discouraged, the plus point of postpaid plans is that you get faster speeds and can use as much or as little of the services as per your needs and pay for only that amount. You also won’t get stuck mid-way in your internet usage just because you exceeded your download limits of data, like in prepaid plans. At the end of the month, you get an invoice based on your usage, it’s that convenient.

While prepaid plans are ideal for light users, postpaid plans are ideal for medium to heavy internet users with specific plans tailor-made for you. Aside from this, in prepaid plans, you have control on your bill, but in postpaid plans, it’s so easy to go overboard!

At the end of the day, both plans have their pros and cons, and your choice should depend on the kind of user you are – light or heavy…..

Safety Measures to undertake when giving Children Access to the Internet at Home

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Whatever man creates, the devil finds its own way of misusing it. So also with the internet; it was created for the progress and betterment of mankind, but unfortunately, there are these uniquely crooked-brained individuals who misuse this constructive tool for stalking, bullying and harassing young innocent minds, ultimately ending with their inflicting harm on these gullible youngsters.

If you have a kid at home who uses the internet, you must know that the internet is a dangerous place to be with ‘digital’ footprints being as easy to follow as real footprints. As a parent, it’s your duty to teach your child to be wary about unknown people trying to make friends with them, some of who even go as far as claiming to be friends of your kid’s friends.

To be useful in protecting your kid online, you need to know more about it than your kid – this might seem an arduous task as kids are taught about using computers right from class 1 these days. There is no point in your setting up parental control on the computer if your kid knows how to go around disabling it. You need to know if your child uses chat rooms and social networking websites as it’s so easy for an adult predator to create a fake youngsters profile for the sole purpose of stalking of gullible kids.

Some ways to educate and protect your kid from sexual predators include:

  • Information your child puts up on social networks along with photos are so easy for stalkers to follow and zone in on your kids location.
  • Emphasize on the importance of not sharing personal information to your kid.
  • Information on hobbies and interests posted online can be used as bait to lure the child.
  • Keep the home computer in a public space where you can easily monitor the sites your child visits. Nothing can replace parental supervision.
  • Your child should only communicate with people he actually knows.
    Install parental control software and activate inbuilt safety systems and filters to control the sites your kid may visit.
  • Set your child’s profile to ‘private’ so only friends can view the information within; remove all things related to address, emails, phone numbers, age or ‘photo sharing’.
  • You need to explain to your child about the potential dangers of playing ‘live’ online games, opening of pop-ups or clicking on hyperlinks or even opening junk mails or spam.
  • Teach your children to inform you if someone is making unwelcome contact with them; you can always report this information to the police, your internet service provider and the school.
  • Educate your child on strategies to protect themselves and avoid risky behavior online, as ultimately they need to learn to be vigilant themselves too.

Which is the most Reliable and Consistent Connection Source of Internet?

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Having a consistently reliable source of internet is becoming increasingly important with most people spending a lot of time online. In their quest for a reliable source of internet, many users keep hopping from one Internet Service Provider (ISP) to another without really knowing what the basic problem is. Hooking up with the right ISP makes a big difference in your levels of happiness or frustration as you don’t have to spend long hours waiting for data transfers.

If you are living in the city, you have greater options for reliable ISPs to choose from; in the rural areas, there are usually just a couple to choose from! Here are a few guidelines to follow when hunting for a reliable internet provider.

First, you will need a brief crash-course on the different kinds of internet services available. Broadband internet is actually a loose term that includes internet connections that are ‘always on’; these high speed options include cable connections, fiber optics, DSL and satellite services.

The cable broadband internet comes along with the TV cable connection through coaxial wires with just one outlet required for both facilities. The download speeds can vary between 3Mbps to a 100Mbps depending on the plan you are on. This is one of the most popular types of internet connection and isn’t dependent on distance like the DSL and is faster than services including satellite and DSL. The only disadvantage is that you share the same bandwidth as your neighbors and during peak hours, there may be a drop in speeds.

The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) operates over regular telephone lines and can deliver speeds between 256 Kbps to 24 Mbps. Aside from being cheaper, it provides faster downloads as compared to uploads, with greater speeds expected soon. Where DSL services are available, the speeds are usually very stable and consistent, with only disadvantage being that the quality and speed are dependent on the distance from the ISP’s office.

Satellite internet connections, though a little expensive to set-up initially are very stable and can reach far-flung places where other internet networks cannot reach. In many isolated hilly terrains, satellite networks are the only option available. Irrespective of the location, satellites offer the same download and uploading speeds.

The latest type of internet connection is the fiber-optic lines technology which uses glass fibers as thin as the human hair to transfer data using light. This technology offers the highest speeds as compared to other methods with the only downside being that it’s not available everywhere; and where it is available, it’s on the expensive side.

Aside from your internet connection type, your ISP also matters, so ask around in your neighborhood, before going for the best one to suit your needs. Factors to consider would be reliability, customer service, cost and terms of service.

 

South Korea – The Country with the Fastest Broadband Facility

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South Korea is the clear leader when it comes to broadband internet connection, having the world’s fastest internet connectivity. With about 45 million people (or 92.4% of the population) being hooked up to the internet, the nation displays a substantial relationship with its digital space. Aside from the speed, the country also offers the cheapest broadband in the world, marking the capital Seoul as ‘the bandwidth capital of the world’.

Having achieved that, the South Koreans still aren’t resting on their laurels; on the contrary, they are now working on creating speeds of 1Gigabit per second equivalent to download time of 2 minutes for an HD movie. This commercial version of 5G is expected to hit the country shortly and is part of a long-term initiative by the government to keep the internet evolving.

According to the internet monitoring firm Akamai, Japan holds the second place for fastest internet speeds, with South Korea having a lead by 40%. But then the question arises that how does a small country like South Korea manage to beat technologically-evolved giants for undefeated speeds? Apparently, the reasons boil down to government planning, healthy competition, population density, a long-term vision and the unique Korean culture.

The government has many policies and plans in place that encourage its citizens to get hooked up to high-speed broadband connections; they even offer subsidized rates to low-income people in an effort to keep the country moving ahead.

A healthy competition between broadband providers results in faster, cheaper internet connections. South Korea also offers more varied choices when it comes to types of broadband providers. While most people opt for cable or telephone providers when looking for internet connections, South Korea with its high-density population leads the way with the highest number of DSL connections per head. While ADSL offers speeds of up to 3Mbits to 8Mbits, VDSL has also caught on and is accordingly faster.

With a large population of the country living in densely-populated areas with more than 1,200 people per sq mile in mainly vertically built-up metropolitan areas, setting up internet infrastructure becomes cheaper; an ADSL connection into a single apartment building ends up supplying numerous people in one go, thus bringing down installation costs. While older apartment buildings sport ADSL connections, newer buildings are going for VDSL.

The Korean culture is also important in its use of the broadband. With parents being overzealous on the emphasis of education, they see the internet as an important extension of education. The government also encourages housewives to use the internet in their day-to-day life, thus creating an insatiable demand.

Korea has adopted in part the ‘open network’ system where various broadband providers share infrastructure facilities such as cables for a fee, to offer faster, cheaper internet to the end-user, without having to spend huge amounts on infrastructure.

 

Distinguish between Broadband and DSL Connections

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As the internet world is flying by leaps and bounds every year, you need to make sure that when it’s time for you to get your own connection, it’s at par with the latest technology in order to have access to high-speed, hassle-free internet services.

Terms like broadband, DSL and wireless technologies including fiber optics or satellites might be thrown your way during your research. While the terminologies may stump you for a moment, here is a brief breakdown on some basic stuff you will need to know.

Broadband basically refers to internet signals that are of high bandwidth or capacity, with quite a number of internet services being referred to as broadband also by virtue of their high-speed broadband transmission. Broadband access internet access is definitely faster than the traditional dial-up system and includes technologies like DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), coaxial cables, fiber-optic cables, satellites access or other wireless systems. The point to be noted here is that while all these technologies can be loosely referred to as broadband, the reveres doesn’t hold true; for example not all broadband connections can be considered as DSL!

Earlier, broadband internet was defined as downstream speeds faster than 512 Kbps; this definition has been getting moderated with time and currently stands at around 4 Mbps or more of internet connection. A number of DSL aren’t this fast.

DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line is a type of wired broadband internet connection that utilizes the wires of a telephone service to deliver high-speed internet access. Depending on the location and distance from the internet service provider (ISP), speeds can range from 256 Kbps to 24 Mbps. The quality of the telephone lines and the material used also matters when it comes to deliverance of speeds. The telephone wires used are typically copper (twisted pair) wires. Other than this, the DSL plan that you are subscribed for also matters when it comes to broadband speeds availed.

Another advantage of DSL connections is that you don’t need to drill any further holes into your walls as it can accessed over your telephone wire – all you need is to plug in a DSL modem! This type of broadband connection is now slowly getting phased out as other faster wireless systems like cable and fiber optics are taking over the scenario. Cables can provide speeds that are 100-300 Mbps while fiber optics can provide speeds up to 1000 Mbps.

So when choosing an internet service provider for yourself, a DSL provider may not always be best as connections tend to deteriorate with distance from the ISP provider. That being said, wireless connections also tend to suffer from presence of trees or constructions obstructing the way. The best way out would be to ask your neighbors which connection they are using!

What are 2G, 3G and 4G Networks?

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The wireless option for internet data has been adopted far and wide in India with companies offering 2G, 3G and 4G speeds to their subscribers. Over 75% of Indian internet users are believed to access data over mobile devices, with the craze for hand-held internet devices increasing by leaps and bounds. However, most of them have issues with the internet speeds being offered under the guise of 3G or 4G.

To begin with, let’s first clarify the difference between the 2G, 3G and 4G networks; it might sound a little complicated in the beginning, but it’s mainly to do with internet speeds. The ‘G’ here stands for generation, so it becomes clear, that the 4G has to be the latest technology with highest speeds of above 100Mbps. The speed of data transmission between 2G and 3G, that is between second generation and third generation technologies, is in the faster download speeds and faster access in the 3G networks. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is of the view that a 2G should have minimum data download speed of 56Kbps while 3G should have a minimum download speed of 1Mbps (95%success rates).

However, do note that not all phones are designed to be used with all the above-mentioned technologies as they come with different band compatibilities. The 2G has only 4 bands while the 3G has 5 bands and 4G has about 7 bands. So when buying a phone, make sure its compatible with your data frequency needs.

Interestingly, the first generation (read 1G) commercial cellular network took off as early as in the 70’s, but only took root by the 80’s. The radio signals used were analogue and as they degrade over time and distance, the voice quality wasn’t too great.

This paved way for the introduction of the 2G or second generation GSM network technology in the 90’s which allowed voice and data usage across different networks and allowed roaming for the first time. Along with greater privacy, it also included the 1G features of SMS, internal roaming and real time billing based on services.

The third generation technology, 3G, was introduced commercially in 2001 and supported a wider range of applications as well as increased data transmission at lower costs. Some of these applications included wireless internet access for video calls, chatting, conference calls, emails, mobile gaming, music, video on demand, etc. This introduced a whole new meaning to the mobile phone.

The fourth generation technology, 4G, was introduced in 2010 and is an IP-based network system that provides consumers with higher speeds, better quality as well as greater capacity for data services and multimedia over the internet at lower rates. And things are only going to get better as the fifth generation, or 5G network will soon be rolled out in India too.

Wired Connections and Optical Fiber Connections

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With technology gaining the upper-hand in almost all aspects of our lives, it is becoming increasingly important to know more about the different ways you can access the internet, a feature in our life that is increasingly keeping us connected to our work, family, social life, communication, news, education, entertainment, business, important information, etc.

What many people aren’t aware about is the importance of bandwidth, or speed at which you can access the internet as well as the different materials used to connect to the internet. The speed of the internet helps you to send and receive data at a faster rate, cutting down on time wastage, loss in productivity and sales. This aspect of internet use is further aided by the method used to connect to the internet.

The three main ways of accessing are through fiber optic connections, copper wired connections and the most recent entrant, the wireless connection. With all three being readily available in the marketplace, you need to know a little about their features and benefits before deciding which one is most suited to your needs.

Wired connections are more used in businesses and homes and include the fiber optic cables which are made of glass or plastic and very hardy to degradation, as well as the copper-wired connections.

Copper is an element and was first used about a hundred years ago when the telephone was introduced. Though it’s great for carrying voice signals, it has limited bandwidth use. It uses electrical signals that tend to degrade with the passage of distance, and are further affected by weather, moisture, etc. This means that signals are weaker and less data can be passed through. However, that having been said, copper wiring is better for rural areas as telephone wiring is already laid out, and it comes out cheaper on the pocket too.

Fiber optic cables are new entrants and transmit data through thin strands of transparent material; there is faster transmission of data through photons which travel at about 31% slower than the speed of light in fiber optic cables. Electrons passing through copper wires travel at less than 1% of the speed of light on the other hand.

There is less loss in signal through fiber optic cables, which use light instead of electricity as their copper-wired counterparts do. It’s been estimated that fiber loses about 3% of its signal strength over 100m, while copper wires lose about 94% over the same distance!

Aside from all these plus points, fiber-optic cables do not degrade easily either and are increasingly being taken as the gold-standard in high-quality data transmission. Time for wired cables to be replaced by the relatively newer fiber optic cables….

 

Wi-Fi and Wireless Broadband – are they the same?

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For some time now, the words Wi-Fi and wireless broadband have been used to mean the same thing, which is grossly wrong. With the world evolving so fast in internet technologies, it’s only right that the correct nomenclature is used to prevent any confusion in the future.

To begin with, Wi-Fi is a facility that uses radio waves to provide network connection to computers, smart phones, etc, within a restricted area. The term Wi-Fi stands for ‘wireless fidelity’ and uses a wireless access point or router to transmit signals through a WAP encryption. It uses LAN (local area network) technology and operates in an unlicensed spectrum over a short range, with the area covered being just up to a few limited meters, ideal or home or office use. Wi-Fi is basically a local wireless network that you create using a router connected to the WAN port of your broadband modem.

To access Wi-Fi, you need to have a wireless router that you connect to your existing internet connection through the broadband modem. Upon connection through the WAN outlet, you are now ready to use any device that is Wi-Fi compatible to access the internet. Most devices that use the internet are…

Imagine a situation without Wi-Fi, where to get broadband connection to the numerous internet-enabled gadgets that we use daily, a separate networking device would have to be installed! Imagine the amount of wiring that would require, the expenses incurred with numerous broadband connections, – as well as the restriction on ease of mobility around the home or office with your device. Conjures up unthinkable images of horror in this modern world, right?

Coming to the broadband or wide area network (WAN), the internet connects you to computers around the world via numerous networks and tons of routers. With a broadband connection, you are no longer isolated, but part of the giant worldwide network. And when you access broadband through a router, you are basically using wireless broadband as you don’t need to sign up for a new broadband connection to access the internet. Any DSL or Cable broadband service can be made into a wireless broadband source by using a wireless router.

Another type of wireless broadband is the dongle or small Mi-Fi unit which goes with a mobile 3G or 4G broadband connection, giving you the freedom from cables. All you need to do is plug it into your device and use as they don’t require electricity. It’s designed for those who are always on the go, even when they are abroad.

To sum it up, the Wi-Fi uses local area network (LAN) and is just a way of bringing the internet to your device via a broadband modem. Wireless broadband on the hand refers to cable-less use of broadband internet.

What are the Different Kinds of Internet Connections?

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Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and so is the internet speed to complement it. An increasing number of devices are now connecting to the internet and faster internet speeds is the need of the hour. Different ways of accessing the internet have also been evolving over the years, however as with all things, there are some pros and cons related to these different kinds of internet connections. Let’s take a closer look at some of the different ways of accessing the internet today:

Dial-up (Analog) – This is the oldest and cheapest system; however it’s very slow and unreliable. To connect to the internet, your computer first needs to dial up a specific phone number. Here, the computer providing internet access is known as the host and the receiver is known as client and basically acts as a dummy terminal. So basically, the host receives the data over the internet on behalf of the client and passes it to them. The client connects to the host via a modem which allows surfing up to about 56Kbps.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) – Unlike the dial-up, this internet connection is always on, and it uses two lines, so your phone connection is still free when your computer is connected to the internet. It uses a router to transport data and the connection speeds are much better at anything between 128K – 8Mbps.

Cable connections – Here, a cable TV company provides coaxial cables right into the building to deliver internet connection. Usually a splitter is placed outside the building such that two separate cables enter into the building for cable TV as well as for internet usage. There is greater bandwidth provided over the coaxial cables with speeds up to 512K – 20Mbps.

Wireless connections (Wi-Fi) – This is one of the newer interconnection types and as the name suggests, doesn’t use telephone or cables, but depends on radio frequency bands instead. This internet connection is always on and can be accessed from just about anywhere! It’s typically more expensive and has better coverage in metropolitan areas; speeds can vary anywhere from 5Mbps – 20Mbps.

Satellite Connections – Internet can be accessed via a satellite that orbits the earth but due to the enormous distance the signals travel from the earth to the satellite and back again, speeds are slightly slower than DSL and cable connections. Typical speeds range between 512K – 2Mbps. A transceiver placed outdoors in line with the satellite directs signals to a device placed indoors that connects to the computer or device.

Cellular connections – This Wi-Fi technology is mainly utilized by mobile phones. The speeds vary depending on the provider, but are usually 3G or 4G. A 3G refers to a 3rd generation cellular network, garnering speeds up to 2Mbps. A 4G is a 4th generation cellular network that is touted to achieve peak mobile speeds of 100Mbps – but ground reality is usually about 21Mbps….

How and when did Internet come into Existence?

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The advent of the internet revolutionized the world of computers and communications incomparably. Today, it is represented as one of the most successful products of sustained investment and commitment towards research and development in information structure. The internet has the ability for world-wide broadcasting, a mechanism to disseminate information as well as serve as a medium for collaboration between computers, irrespective of their geographical location.

The stage for this ever-evolving internet technology was set by the invention of the radio, telephone, telegraph and the computer followed by an integration of their capabilities. As can be expected, the invention of this expansive technology cannot be attributed to a single individual but rather to the works of a dozens of pioneering engineers, scientists and programmers; they each developed new features that were eventually integrated together to become the ‘information superhighway’ as we know it today.

The history of the internet began with the introduction of the first electronic computers in the 1950’s with the first prototype of the internet coming into existence in the late 1960’s with the creation of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The first message sent over the ARPANET was the amalgamation of the hard work of the US government’s Department of Defense and scholars from four universities located in UK, France and the US.

It was the early research into ‘packets switching’ and ‘packet network systems’ that popularized the idea of an ‘Intergalactic Network’ of computers. This concept of effective transmission of electronic data later became one of the major building-blocks of the internet. Though ARPANET is the research product of the ‘Cold War’ and was funded by the US, the technology which allowed numerous computers to communicate over a single network continued to grow into the 1970s when Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf created the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol that sets standards on transfer of data between different networks.

This was the stepping stone to the creation of ‘Network of Networks’ which then evolved into the modern internet. Our online world started taking on a more comprehensive shape in the 1990s when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web. The web is the commonest way of accessing online data via internet websites and hyperlinks. Today, this web has developed into an unending trove of information that the human population across the globe accesses on a daily basis – without thinking of how it originated in the first place! So what began as an initiative of the US military computer network program has now become a global communication tool that helps millions of computer networks share a common addressing scheme. Today, the internet has become a crucial tool for online information, entertainment, commerce and social networking.