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Before You Subscribe to Broadband Internet Service

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Broadband Internet services (specifically cable modem and DSL) bring high-speed Internet connectivity to homes and small businesses. Millions of people already subscribe to broadband Internet, but millions more do not. Are you one of those "on the fence" and not sure whether broadband is right for you? Consider the factors below when making your decision.

High Speed

Cable and DSL broadband Internet service provide greater network bandwidth than alternative forms of access. Listening to streaming audio and surfing Web sites becomes smoother with these "high speed" connections. Your ability to multitask may also improve, as you can download security patches, application upgrades and other large files in the background and still have enough bandwidth for more interesting activities.

Easier Internet Connection Sharing

Sharing an Internet connection among multiple computers on a home network becomes much easier when you have broadband. All popular wired and wireless broadband routers allow sharing of DSL or cable Internet service. Conversely, few home broadband routers support sharing of dial-up connections, and sharing other forms of Internet can be problematic. The high speed of broadband service also means you can access the Internet simultaneously from several computers without suffering annoying delays.

Higher Cost

Broadband Internet service generally costs more than the cheapest alternative, dial-up. The exact price difference depends on your choice of providers but generally ranges from $100-$500 USD per year. If you have this additional amount in your budget, you are more likely ready to make the jump to broadband Internet service.

Access to Online Gaming

Popular Internet gaming services like Xbox Live require you have broadband Internet service in order to use them. If you want access to such services, installing broadband Internet seems like an easy decision to make. However, if you want your family to steer clear of Internet gaming activity, this may in fact be a reason to avoid broadband Internet service.

Access to Internet Phones and Telephone Lines

Broadband Internet service will not tie up your telephone like dial-up Internet does. This means you can make and receive telephone calls and be on the Internet at the same time. If you are an infrequent Internet user, this advantage of broadband may be of little interest to you. On the other hand, having broadband Internet service also enables you to subscribe to Internet phone service, potentially eliminating your traditional phone line altogether.

Constant Connectivity and Access to the Office

Finally, unlike dial-up Internet, broadband Internet service is designed to remain available at all times. You can use your broadband link to quickly tap into workplace email and intranet conferencing systems whenever needed.

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