Most Popular Modems with their Specifications

Internet - Modem

A modem is a hardware device or a network bridge that allows your computer to communicate with your internet service provider through a DSL or cable lines. It converts analog signals into digital signals to enable you access broadband internet for bi-directional data communication; you can receive high-speed internet data this way. Since cable modems are an ‘always-on’ connection with fast data transfer rates, they are considered as being part of broadband devices.

Usually, the internet service provider provides you with a modem that’s suitable to the speeds you are availing, but going for a modem of your own choice might enable better performance. However, before buying a modem, make sure it’s compatible with your internet service. Most DSL and cable providers use different delivery methods for their internet service, so you will need to buy one that is accordingly compatible.

Most ISPs make it difficult to use a modem other than their own by using DOCSIS (data over cable service interface specification) standards to send information to your modem. Other ISPs use cable or DSL (digital subscriber line) modems to connect your home/office to the internet network. If you are using telephone lines to access the internet, chances are you will need a DSL modem.

If you are hooked up with a cable internet provider, then go with the Arris SB6141 which offers great compatibility with the ISP as well as enhancing performance and design. If your ISP offers DSL connections, then you should know that they can come in two forms – as ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) and as VDSL (very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line).

The best DSL modems available in the market are compatible with both these two types of DSL connections. The Netgear AC1600 DSL modem which comes combined with a router is compatible with both ADSL and VDSL internet providers and is one of the best.

And if you are thinking what type of connection you have, just check the back of the modem provided to you – if it has a coaxial connection, then you have cable internet; but if it has a telephone connection, then you will need to get a DSL modem. One thing you must check when buying a modem is the number of downloading and uploading channels available on it; the higher the number, the better it is as it will give you better speeds and performance. You could even think of buying a modem-router combo for greater practicality.

What is VoIP and its Role in the current Scenario?

VoIP-Broadband

Voice over internet protocol, also known as VoIP or IP telephony refers to the transmission of audio and video content over internet protocol (IP) networks. VoIP utilizes technologies including the broadband internet, local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).

The steps involved in VoIP phone calls are not too different from traditional digital telephony and include an initial signalling, channel set-up, digitization of signals and encoding. During the process of transmission, audio/video signals are first packetized before sending; upon delivery, they are again decoded. Aside from VoIP phones, this technology is also available on personal computers and other devices that use internet data, including the popular smartphones.

Even though VoIP has been in the news as being one of the rising stars in communication technology, it has been in use since the last millennium. The steady availability of cutting-edge technological advancements in the IT industry in the present scenario has lead to an explosion of its use in India currently. So much so that it has now become a game-changer for the way small and medium-size businesses operate.

VoIP provides amazing flexibility for its use in businesses and allows IT decision-makers everywhere to take or make calls anywhere at any time without having to be restricted to a specific device or expensive infrastructure. This not only drives businesses towards greater productivity but also allows for constant, easy and cheap communication between people on the move and their home-base.

The consumer market is also flooded with other highly popular VoIP applications including WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime and Viber. This has further been aided by the huge base of smartphone users and easy availability of supporting bandwidth, even in Tier II and Tier III cities. As of 2016, internet usage on smartphones had shot up to 371 million users, giving you an idea of the potential usage of VoIP in India. It not only boosts productivity but also offers businesses the option to consider VoIP as a primary tool for communication. Unfortunately, the Indian market has been slow in picking up on this offering and is sticking to expensive on-site set-ups.

Some of the advantages of VoIP usage include connecting from anywhere as geographical barriers vanish, connecting from any device (from mobiles, traditional phones or the web) and being more affordable. VoIP is touted to become the future of telecommunication – whether business enterprises or regular consumers and may well create a unified Indian communication industry!

How to gain Maximum Efficiency from your Broadband

Efficiency of Broadband

Times have changed and the internet has now become as essential as the very air we breathe. We need it for almost everything starting from checking the news, keeping up with businesses, office work, watching YouTube and movies, music, homework, general information and of course as a cheap way of keeping in touch with people. In fact, you name it, and the internet will be needed for it at some level or the other!

But internet comes at a price and to get the maximum benefits out of it, you first need to check if you are getting the speeds you are paying for. Aside from your internet service provider, there are some other factors too that affect your broadband speeds. These could include your computer, browser, hardware, software, router or the Wi-Fi. Here are some ways to get maximum efficiency out of your broadband connection:

Computer Settings

Check that your computer is set for optimal download speeds as even Microsoft Windows 8 default settings aren’t optimized for high-speed internet connections and could be slowing you down. Download the free tool called ‘TCP Optimizer’ and get your settings changed to maximize your connection speeds.

Service Provider

Alternatively, talk to your ISP about your broadband package as speeds can vary over distance and you might not be getting the speeds you paid for due to the distance from the exchange. Or you could try changing your broadband package and go for higher speeds.

Web Browser

It’s important to keep your web browser up-to-date, ensuring you have the latest and fastest versions. Alternatively, you could also configure your browser itself to maximize the speed of your browsing. An example is Google Chrome which automatically pre-fetches and downloads pages in the background, which it thinks you might want to see next. Browsers like Firefox also offer ‘Image Block’ which is an add-on that you can install to enhance your speed performances.

Software programs

There are many software programs that start running in the background once you log on. These can use up quite a bit of your download allowance and slow down your PC. While some programs like updates and security are important, others can be stopped by changing the settings. Install a free version of ‘PC Speed Up’ for better control over these software programs.

Router/Modem

Use a router that’s compatible with your internet speeds and performance; for wireless routers, reposition your router and ensure there are no obstructions in the way.

Benefits of Unlimited Plans over Ordinary Data Limited Plans

Asianet Broadband's Unlimited Plans

In this technology-driven world, your internet connection is of primary importance as it plays a great role in almost all aspects of life these days. Without the internet, completing work assignments, whether in school or offices, as well as for staying in touch, can become quite difficult and drag you back to the last century.

With businesses and competitions in all sectors heating up, internet service providers (ISP) are also coming out with numerous, complicated-looking plans that could get you going round in circles – and ending up making the wrong decision. So before going shopping for an internet connection, you need to have an understanding of your internet usage and needs to help streamline you towards the right data plan.

One of the major factors you will need to clear-up is an understanding of the limited and unlimited data plans. The limited internet plans offer a fixed data size, which basically means that once you have consumed the bytes paid for, you are out on a leg and can’t browse the internet. In unlimited plans, this scenario doesn’t occur as you have free access for data usage till the expiration of your plan.

There is a price difference also associated with limited and unlimited plans, with unlimited being more expensive by virtue of its limitless advantage. In limited plans, you get to pay upfront before using the data while in unlimited, you are billed at the end of the plan, depending on the amount of data used.

Pros and Cons:

Limited plans offer a pre-determined amount of data/megabytes, making them comparatively cheaper and more affordable than the unlimited form, where the drawback is that you might end up using too much data, resulting in unexpectedly high bills. However, if you end up using all the bytes allocated for your limited plan within a week, then you are out on a leg and have to opt for another plan!

Judging by this, it’s important you have an idea about your specific data needs before deciding on a data plan. If your usage is low and you only go online for work emails or instant messaging, then limited plans seem to be the best for you. However, if you are into downloading files, streaming videos, etc, then you fall into the category of medium or heavy user, making unlimited plans a better option.

Most ISPs provide several limited and unlimited plans, ensuring there is a suitable option for everyone.

Differentiate between MBps and Mbps Speed

The internet has made the world into a global village where all things big and small are shared across the world in the form of documents, videos or audio… However, the internet language still stumps many and some even get taken for a ride just because they didn’t understand what they were signing up for.

When shopping for an internet connection, have you ever wondered what the ‘Mbps’ and ‘MBps’ stood for? To start with, in internet lingo, the small ‘b’ stands for ‘bits’ and the big ‘B’ stands for ‘Bytes’. Furthermore, Mbps stands for megabits per second while MBps stands for megabytes per second. Both are measurements of data with 8 bits being equal to 1 byte. One megabit refers to 1,000,000 bits and one megabyte refers to 1,000,000 bytes.

differentiate-between-MBps-and-Mbps-speed

While the above terms are similar, Mbps refers to internet connection speeds while MBps refers to file or data transferred per second – this includes both downloads and uploads.

Internet service providers advertise their internet speeds in terms of Mbps with higher Mbps denoting greater internet speeds; however you may not always be able to avail of the advertised speeds as other factors including the type of technology used, the number of users online in your neighborhood during peak hours or even the distance of your connection from the ISP’s service center. Mbps is usually represented as two numbers, such as 42/24, with the first representing download speeds and the latter referring to upload speeds.

Megabytes or MBps is used as a measure of file sizes and their transfer rates per second. Similar to the bits to bytes ratio, 8 megabits make up one megabyte. In order to determine how many bytes you are capable of downloading or uploading, divide the file size by your MBps to get an approximate idea of length of time required for download or upload. For example if you want to download a 10MB file with internet speed of 16 Mbps, you first need to divide your MBps by 8, which gives you 2; then divide the 10 MB file size with 2, which gives you 5. This means that you need about 5 seconds to download a 10MB file at internet speed of 16Mbps.

Having an idea this way about your online needs gives you an idea of the amount of internet speeds you require. So when next you go internet shopping, you now know the kind of Mbps or internet speeds you need.

 

What does one mean by ‘Bandwidth of Internet/Broadband’ ?

The internet has come of age, with almost every household having a connection. It could be connected to the mobile or the home computers. However, the question remains whether the users really understand the meaning of the nomenclature that goes with internet usage. Beginning with internet bandwidth or internet broadband, the user needs to know what these words mean so they know exactly what they are dealing with.

Put simply, the bandwidth refers to the data speed supported by the network; it is derived from the engineering discipline and represents the distance between the highest and lowest signals on a communication channel, which in this case is the band. Higher bandwidths indicate greater capacity, but not necessarily a higher performance.

what-does-one-mean-by-bandwidth-of-internet-or-broadband

However, it’s rare that you actually get to enjoy the bandwidth speeds that your internet provider promises you. This could be dependent on a number of factors including the kind of connection technology you use – whether fiber optics, coaxial cables, etc. It can also depend on how many people are sharing the same line, as well as the distance of the connection from the server’s distribution point. It also depends on the kind of package you have opted for or how many people are on the network at the same time – peak-use hours are notorious for low internet speeds.

Internet broadband in telecommunication terms refers to the wide bandwidth of frequencies for data transmission; the broader the bandwidth, the greater is the data-carrying capacity of that band. It also refers to any high-speed internet access that is always available. Broadband can be accessed using various different technologies ranging from coaxial, fiber optics, dial-up access, etc, with the type of technology used determining the actual speeds delivered to your computer. The internet speed also determines the quality of your video, audio or data downloads, so you need to get a broadband connection that can sustain the speeds needed for your activities on the internet.

Since broadband providers only know how much speed they can offer, and not whether it can be maintained continuously, they advertise speeds within a range.

Put simply, broadband refers to the internet speed with bandwidth referring to the width of the conduit or ‘pipe’ in which the data is travelling. The wider the ‘pipe’, the larger the bandwidth that can travel through it; the speed of transfers also increases accordingly.

Now that you know your speed needs, check which broadband technology delivers it best.

What is fttc Connectivity?

The internet space has been evolving right from the time of its inception with new technologies being introduced every once in a while to keep upgrading the system. One of these new generation technologies include fttc connections; here, fttc stands for ‘fiber to the cabinet’ – which is usually located on a street side.

This type of connectivity technology uses a combination of two types of cables to deliver broadband internet – the new gen fiber-optic cables along with the traditional copper cables. In fttc connections, a fiber-optic cable runs from the service provider’s network, through the local exchange before ending in a distribution outlet in a street cabinet (also known as a Distribution Point Unit- DPU). From here, multiple lines can be drawn to the various homes requiring connectivity, usually over a relatively short distance. It is from the street cabinet point that the use of fiber-optic cables ends and the traditional copper cables begins. The fttp (fiber to the premises), in contrast uses fiber-optic cables all the way to the premises or homes of the individual without using a common connection box in-between, making it more expensive as compared to fttc. This of course also has to do with the partial use of the cheaper copper cables in fttc. However, do note that in the long run, the costs could come down to the same thing as more maintenance is required for copper cables.

what-is-fttc-connectivity

The last part of the connection where copper cables are used is also known as the ‘last mile’, even though the distance covered doesn’t have to be just a mile. However, just like the traditional ADSL broadband, the distance between the street cabinet and the premises will definitely have an impact on the speeds that you will be ultimately availing. The greater the distance from the connection box, the slower the expected download and uploading speeds.

What’s more, if your home happens to be more than 1.5km away from the nearest cabinet, then you probably won’t find any differences in speed between a regular ADSL connection and an fttc connection. And if your home happens to be further than 5km from the nearest street cabinet, then there is an altogether no point in upgrading your ADSL connection to an fttc. On the other hand, if your home or business is too close to the ISP’s center, then you would be connected directly to the exchange, totally bypassing the cabinet!

Compared to fttc, fttp has an added advantage of speeds not being affected by distance; that being said, do note that fttp and fttc offer the same speed packages at similar rates, although higher speed packages are possible with fttp at more expensive rates.

In Kerala, fiber-optic technology is relatively new and comes at a slightly dearer rate than the traditional copper cable networks, but times are a-changing!

 

What are these Different Types of Networks – LAN, MAN, WAN ?

For a person new to networking technology, different types of networks like LAN, MAN and WAN might seem a little like playing the alphabet game all over again and get you thoroughly confused with their similar-sounding names. However, once you understand the meanings behind these network configurations, you will find that these acronyms are rather self-explanatory and easy to understand; the main difference between them is in the different geographical areas they serve.

what-are-these-different-types-of-networks

 

Here is a little more about these technologies:

LAN

Also known as Local Area Network, it serves a group of connected computers and network devices within the same building. It’s usually used within an office but becoming increasingly common in homes too due to the popularity of the Wi-Fi. These connections are supposed to be high speed and relatively inexpensive; an example is Ethernet or token ring.

It can be wired or wireless with nearly all modern LANs using high-speed Ethernet. Although other standards like AppleTalk, IPX, NetBEUI and token ring were common in the 80’s and 90’s, the Ethernet has been ruling supreme largely due to its open technology.

Ethernet can be implemented through the twisted-pair cables or through wireless technology – read Wi-Fi. While wireless technology provides greater performance and less interference, there is the downside for potential eavesdropping.

MAN

This refers to the Metropolitan Area Network which covers an area larger than that covered by LAN. It can be used to connect nodes located within the same metro area and can cover several buildings within the same town or city. One of the commonly used technologies for organizations to set-up this type of technology is through the use of microwave transmission technology. Remember seeing those tall microwave antennas on TV news vans? Yes, they use MAN networking to beam back audio and video signals to their main studio. Different buildings can also be hooked up using fiber optic cables, but then that makes it quite expensive.

WAN

Also known as Wide Area Network, this technology isn’t restricted to any geographical area, but within a state or country. It basically connects together several LANs and can be limited to an organization or available to the public. The internet is the best example.

This technology is comparatively expensive and has high-speed features. It can be delivered through wired or wireless technology. However, covering large areas with cable can get expensive, making wireless a more preferred option.

 

What is fttn Connection?

fttn-connection

These days, life is all about internet and its application in almost every sphere of a person’s life. However, the terminologies get into the way and leave many of us stumped. For those of you who were thrown the term ‘fttn’ connection, you might be in a fix to find out what exactly it is and where it can be applied.

To begin with, ‘fttn’ simply refers to ‘Fiber to the Node’ (or neighborhood) connection which is basically a telecommunication set-up based on fiber-optic cables that run from a street cabinet and serve the surrounding neighborhood buildings. Fiber-optic cables also need further explanation and basically refer to a bundle of extremely slim glass or plastic fibers which are capable of transmitting data over long distances without any losses in speed. Fiber-optic cables are a better alternative to the traditional copper cable system that needs servicing and is prone to damage with time.

With fttn, the fiber-optic cables run from the connecting grid center up to the nodes in the street cabinets; from there onwards, not just a fiber-optic cable, but even a traditional copper wire with a coaxial connection for ADSL broadband can be used to connect to your home. The best part of using fttn is that it’s faster to connect to the broadband services than other types of earlier technologies. All you need do is get the right kind of modem for fttn as the traditionally used modems could slow you down.

With homes growing vertically these days, a similar technology known as fttb or ‘Fiber to the building’ has been developed where the fiber-optic cable runs right up to a centralized box within the building from where residents of the apartment complex can take individual broadband connections.

Fiber-optic technology is among the top latest technologies used in broadband data services, and though initial installation might be a little expensive, with part of the cost being borne by the customers, in the long run, fttn is the best connection possible as it delivers data at high speeds. Aside from no frustrated hair-pulling, there is almost little to no maintenance required for fiber-optic cables, making them a viable choice for the future. This newer technology is slowly taking over the copper cables associated with ADSL connections, and there is a good chance that your broadband service provider might also be switching over to this newer technology to stay abreast with competition. ISP giants like Asianet Broadband services with an over 2 lakh customer base in Kerala, are also changing to fiber-optic cables with work already in progress in Kozhikode city. This is supposed to be carried out all over Kerala in a phased manner when you can enjoy lightening speeds of 200Mbps and 200GD data for INR 999. However, don’t get skeptical as significant changes in rates aren’t expected!

 

What does the term ‘Broadband’ and its Technologies Mean?

what-does-the-term-broadband-and-its-technologies

The term broadband refers to high-speed data transmission that is faster than the traditional dial-up system. This type of data transmission can carry large amounts of data via a single channel at a given time and needs a single medium (cable or wire).Broadband transmissions use different types of high-speed technologies including the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) cable modems (which use existing phone lines for internet transmission), coaxial cable modems (where cable TV connections are used in conjunction with broadband internet), fiber-optic technology as well as broadband over power lines (BPL).

Broadband transmission can be both wired or wireless. When it’s wired, we are basically talking about there being a physical connection to a physical location via a connecting cable. There are essentially three main types of wired broadband connections accessed by homes or businesses; these include DSL connections, coaxial cables and fiber-optic cables. Other wired connections include BPL. However with the simple use of a Wi-Fi router, all these wired technologies can be accessed wirelessly throughout your home or office.

DSL broadband connections are easy to install in buildings that already have traditional copper telephone line inlets. The only equipment needed is a modem plugged into an already existing phone outlet and you are on your way! The only real disadvantage to DSL connections is that services get compromised after a distance of 18,000 feet from the service provider’s office. Availability of adequate internet speed deliveries cannot be guaranteed once this distance is surpassed. Another disadvantage is that uploading speeds don’t match downloading speeds. With evolving technologies, the DSL bandwidths may not be at par with speed requirements for certain category of consumers.

Broadband internet using coaxial cables is one of the most popular ways of accessing internet and is faster than the DSL service. An external cable modem device has two outlets – one for cable TV and the other for the internet. All you have to do is switch on the computer to access internet as along with television signals, you also get access to broadband over coaxial cables. Both features can be used at the same time without any interference from each other and distance from the ISP provider isn’t an issue either. Asianet Broadband Services use this technology to deliver quality broadband internet to their cable TV subscribers.

The fiber-optic technology is comparatively new and converts electrical pulses into light pulses before transporting them through very slim glass fibers. There is very little loss of signal, speed or clarity with distance, as compared to DSL or coaxial cables. However, this is a comparatively expensive technology aside from requiring equipment for converting and reconverting electrical signals.

BPL internet connections are delivered over the low- and medium-voltage electricity lines and speeds are comparable to coaxial and DSL cable modes. The only disadvantage is that it’s not cost-effective in rural areas.