As the internet has grown, we have developed tons of new ways to connect to the web. To keep you updated on all these developments, we’ll be examining the most common internet connection types.
In addition to covering the basics of internet connections, we’ll also go over some frequently asked questions to help clear up some of the confusion surrounding these connections.
Broadband, Fibre, 4G & 5G: What’s the difference?
The term broadband generally refers to data connections that link homes and businesses to the internet. Although fiber connections are a subform of broadband, It is a common misconception that fiber-optic connections are a separate form entirely.
This usually stems from the fact that fiber connections provide blistering data transfer speeds that are unseen among other forms of broadband. Now 4G and 5G on the other hand, are completely separate from broadband connections.
In essence, 4G and 5G are two of the latest forms of mobile data connections. As you may have guessed, these two connections are specifically used by mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and even flagship laptops.
These connections are established by linking to a mobile operator’s network of signal boosters through radio waves. So long as the signal strength is strong, users can expect speeds of 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) and 200 Mbps for 4G and 5G respectively.
Common Questions Regarding Internet Connections
Why is 5G faster than 4G?
Put simply, 5G is faster than its predecessors because it allows higher volumes of data to be transferred in a more precise manner. 5G networks are also capable of supporting more users which means there will be more data channels for people to make use of.
Which is faster: broadband or mobile data?
Using fiber and 5G as the respective representatives for broadband and mobile data, fiber is currently the faster of the two. This is due to the fact that fiber-optic connections are able to move signals faster than standard radio waves.
As time passes the capabilities of broadband connections are expected to develop even further. In the near future, fiber is expected to reach blisteringly fast speeds of up to 1 terabit per second (Tbps) which is equivalent to 1000 gigabits or 1,000,000 megabits
How fast are 5G connections in New Zealand?
In New Zealand, the fastest 5G network, Vodafone, clocked in at an impressive 270 Mbps download speed, and 118 Mbps upload speed. Following this was Spark at a respectable 157 Mbps.
At the moment, these two companies are the only providers of 5G networks. But, as coverage increases, more and more companies are expected to follow suit.
Which connection type is best, broadband or mobile data?
In general, the answer to this question depends on your specific needs. Broadband trumps mobile data connections when it comes to download/upload speed, network latency, and security.
On the other hand, mobile data connections are far easier to utilize on the go since there is no need for cables and physical network connections. The rise of 5G networks also allows for more data channels and in turn, a higher number of supported devices.
Taking these factors into account, we would say that broadband networks are best for those who tend to stay in one place. Alternatively, mobile networks would be better suited for users who are constantly on the move.
A common example of these pros and cons would be seen in POS systems. Retail stores with physical locations will almost always make use of broadband networks while food stalls and mobile vendors will often make use of mobile networks.
Can I make a mobile network more secure?
Though no network will ever be 100% secure, the use of antivirus software and a VPN can certainly make your mobile internet connection more secure. Much like broadband connections, the use of a VPN will allow you to encrypt your mobile data signature.
That wraps up our quick guide to internet connections. Feel free to look back on this guide if you are ever in need of a quick review on basic internet connection types.