Support Center: Ask The Tech Guy

ADSL vs. Cable

ADSL and cable Internet are two types of broadband connections that are typically what many smaller to medium-sized business consider when choosing an ISP. When deciding which might suit your business needs, you’ll want to consider availability, speed, and reliability.

For more tips on finding a suitable Internet connection for your business, check out our post about things to consider when choosing an ISP.

ADSL
CABLE

Availability

ADSL connections are available in mainly urban areas—wherever you can get a phone line, you can typically get ADSL. You need to be within 22,000 feet from the phone company’s central office (CO) in order to receive this type of service.1
Availability for cable Internet is pretty straight forward: if you’re in a rural area, you likely won’t be able to get cable Internet, but in most cases where cable television is available, so is cable Internet.

Speed

ADSL’s downloading speeds range from 5 Mbps up to 50 Mbps in some areas, with upload speeds up to 1.0 Mbps. Latency is a bit better with ADSL than it is with cable, depending on the location of your business.1
Cable can provide businesses with speeds all the way from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps down and and 1 to 5 Mbps up. Bandwidth is shared with other users in the area, so speeds can slow down during high-traffic, or peak times.1 

Reliability

An ADSL connection is what’s considered an “always-on” connection, meaning your device is always connected to the Internet as long as it’s on and the phone lines remain active and undamaged.1

It’s important to keep in mind that if your telephone line is accidentally cut by a service worker or is taken out of service due to extreme weather conditions, your Internet will go down. If your business demands internet that’s highly available you may consider an additional connection for your business for it would be ideal to have a backup option for Internet access. 2  Typical repair times are 24-48 hours depending upon the outage.

Cable Internet, like ADSL, provides an “always-on” connection: as long as your device is on and cable lines are active and in working order, you’re connected to the Internet.1

Having a backup service for Internet access would be a good idea for a cable connection as well as for ADSL. This is because cable lines, like telephone lines, can go down. Once that happens, your Internet connection will go down as well.1  Again, typical repair times are 24-48 hours depending upon the outage.

Cost

Monthly prices for ADSL services can range anywhere from $20 to $90, depending speed and length of contract. Since phone service is typically a requirement, you may endure additional charges for the phone line to be in working order.3 Be sure to ask if Stand Alone ADSL is available. Setup and installation fees may apply as well.
Cable connections are often bundled with phone and cable TV services, which allows you a good price for your cable Internet; the stand-alone option will cost more, most likely. Installation fees may also apply with this service, but overall, monthly fees can be anywhere between $60 and $300 per month.3 

References:
(1) Cable Internet vs. DSL: Is One Really Better for Business?
(2) DSL vs. Fiber-Optic: Which Internet Service is Better for Small Businesses?
(3) How to Choose an ISP for Your Small Business

 

ADSL vs. Fiber

ADSL and Fiber Internet connections are on two different playing fields. Each offer a myriad of advantages, but when you break it down and look at availability, speed, reliability and cost, you can really start to understand where each will or will not accommodate your business needs.

For more tips on finding a suitable Internet connection for your business, check out our post about things to consider when choosing an ISP.

ADSL
FIBER

Availability

ADSL connections are available in mainly urban areas—wherever you can get a phone line, you can typically get ADSL. You need to be within 22,000 feet from the phone company’s central office (CO) in order to receive this type of service because as you move farther away from the CO, the signal weakens and Internet speeds slow significantly.1
A fiber optic connection is available in limited areas–but that’s quickly changing due to the demand of faster speeds. Since fiber utilizes a completely different cable structure then ADSL, new cabling is required for service, therefore; it may be a while before it covers the same footprint as ADSL provides. Speed is not affected, however, by distance as is the case with ADSL.2

Speed

ADSL’s downloading speeds range from 5 Mbps and up to 50 Mbps in some areas, with upload speeds up to 1.0 Mbps. ADSL is an asymmetrical connection and can not offer the same upload and download speed.  Latency with ADSL usually ranges from 75 to 400 ms, depending on the location of your business.1
Speeds for a fiber optic connection are nothing short of impressive, ranging from 5 Mbps and 100 Gbps for downloads and uploads! Fiber is typically a symetrical connection so you’ll have the same upload and download speed. With an Internet connection like this, multiple users are able to download and upload, share files, and stream audio and video all at the same time with virtually no effect on performance.2 Latency is not typically an issue with fiber either.

Reliability

An ADSL connection is what’s considered an “always-on” connection, meaning your device is always connected to the Internet as long as it’s on and the phone lines remain active and undamaged.1

It’s important to keep in mind that if your telephone line is accidentally cut by a service worker or is taken out of service due to extreme weather conditions, your Internet will go down. If your business demands internet that’s highly available you may consider an additional connection for your business for it would be ideal to have a backup option for Internet access.2 Typical repair times are 24-48 hours depending upon the outage.

Of all of the Internet connections available, fiber is arguably the most reliable and the highest quality. Even in instances of power outages, it is far less likely than ADSL to be affected. In addition, fiber optic lines use glass as a conductor and therefore experience no interference from high-voltage electrical equipment or nearby power lines, unlike ADSL, which generates electricity.2  Typical repair times are 2-12 hours depending upon the outage.

Cost

Monthly prices for ADSL services can range anywhere from $20 to $90, depending on the speed you sign up for and the length of your contract, if there is one. Since phone service is necessary, you may endure additional charges for the phone line to be in working order, and installation fees may apply as well.3
The cost for fiber-optic is generally much higher than the cost of ADSL, ranging from $100 to $5,000+ a month. These prices can vary depending on your location, your desired speed and the terms of your service agreement. Installation fees and activation fees can occur but are typically waived with promotional offers or the signing of a 1-, 2-, or 3-year agreement.2

References:
(1) Cable Internet vs. DSL: Is One Really Better for Business?
(
2) DSL vs. Fiber-Optic: Which Internet Service is Better for Small Businesses?
(
3) How to Choose an ISP for Your Small Business

Cable vs. Fiber

Cable and Fiber Internet options are two of the most popular broadband choices available. Each have their pros and cons for industries large and small, so let’s compare them based on availability, speed, and reliability to know which will best suit your needs.

For more tips on finding a suitable Internet connection for your business, check out our post about things to consider when choosing an ISP.

CABLE
FIBER

Availability

Availability for cable Internet is one of its biggest advantages over fiber-optics. If you’re in an area where you can receive cable TV, you’ll have the option of getting cable Internet.1 
A fiber optic connection is available in limited areas–but that’s quickly changing due to the demand of faster speeds. Since fiber utilizes a completely different cable structure than Cable, new cabling is required for service; therefore, it may be a while before it covers the same footprint that Cable provides.2

Speed

Cable can provide businesses with speeds all the way from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps down and and 1 to 5 Mbps up, which is more than adequate for most small businesses.1 Bandwidth is shared with other users in the area, so speeds can slow down during peak, or work, hours. Cable generally has a latency of 100 milliseconds, whereas with fiber, latency is usually not an issue.3
Speeds for a fiber optic connection are nothing short of impressive, ranging from 5 Mbps and 100 Gbps for downloads and uploads! Fiber is typically a symetrical connection so you’ll have the same upload and download speed. With an Internet connection like this, multiple users are able to download and upload, share files, and stream audio and video all at the same time with virtually no effect on performance.2 Latency is not typically an issue with fiber either.

Reliability

Cable Internet provides an “always-on” connection: as long as your device is on and cable lines are active and in working order, you’re connected to the Internet.3 If you’re in an area that experiences a lot of cable TV outages or interruptions, you’ll also experience the same for your Internet, so if you rely heavily on your connection to conduct business, it would be ideal to have a backup connection in place.1 Typical repair times are 24-48 hours depending upon the outage.
Of all of the Internet connections available, fiber is arguably the most reliable and the highest quality. Even in instances of power outages, it is far less likely than Cable to be affected. In addition, fiber optic lines use glass as a conductor and therefore experience no interference from high-voltage electrical equipment or nearby power lines, unlike Cable, which generates electricity.2 Typical repair times are 2-12 hours depending upon the outage.

Cost

Cable connections are often bundled with phone and cable TV services, which allows you a good price for your cable Internet; the stand-alone option will cost more, most likely. Installation fees may also apply with this service, but overall, monthly fees can be anywhere between $60 and $300 per month.4
The cost for fiber-optic is generally much higher than the cost of Cable, ranging from $100 to $5,000+ a month. These prices can vary depending on your location, your desired speed and the terms of your service agreement. Installation fees and activation fees can occur but are typically waived with promotional offers or the signing of a 1-, 2-, or 3-year agreement.2

References:
(1) Cable vs. Fiber-Optic: Which Internet Service is Right for Your Business?
(
2) DSL vs. Fiber-Optic: Which Internet Service is Better for Small Businesses?
(
3) Cable Internet vs. DSL: Is One Really Better for Business?
(4) How to choose the best ISP for your small business

T1/DS3 vs. Fiber

T1/DS3 and fiber connections are used primarily by those businesses that are heavily reliant on the Internet to complete the daily operations of business. T1/DS3 connections are a common go-to for many businesses, but the popularity of fiber is ever increasing. To know which will best suit your business needs, we’ll examine the factors of availability, speed, and reliability, and the cost related to each type of connection.

For more tips on finding a suitable Internet connection for your business, check out our post about things to consider when choosing an ISP.

T1/DS3
FIBER

Availability

Availability for T1/DS3 connections are one of its biggest advantages over fiber-optics. T1/DS3 utilizes the existing copper infrastructure and can typically be installed anywhere.
A fiber optic connection is available in limited areas–but that’s quickly changing due to the demand of faster speeds. Since fiber utilizes a completely different cable structure than T1/DS3, new cabling is required for service; therefore, it may be a while before it covers the same footprint that  T1/DS3 provides.1

Speed

In the recent past, T1/DS3 connections were the standard for enterprise business. This technology is delivered over the existing copper infrastructure and can handle speeds from 1.5 Mbps to 45 Mbps. To deliver faster speed, for example, typically two T1 lines were bonded together to provide a speed of 3 Mbps. T1/DS3 are the most comparable to fiber as they both offer symmetrical speeds.  This allows multiple users to perform data-intensive tasks related to uploading and downloading at the exact same time.
Speeds for a fiber optic connection are nothing short of impressive, ranging from 5 Mbps and 100 Gbps for downloads and uploads! Fiber is typically a symmetrical connection so you’ll have the same upload and download speed. With an Internet connection like this, multiple users are able to download and upload, share files, and stream audio and video all at the same time with virtually no effect on performance.1 Latency is generally not an issue with fiber either.

Reliability

Of all of the Internet connections available, both T1/DS3 and Fiber are arguably the most reliable and of the highest quality. T1/DS3 uses the existing copper infrastructure which sometimes makes them easier to repair.  Typical repair times are 2-12 hours, depending upon the outage.
In instances of power outages, it is far less likely than T1/DS3 to be affected. Fiber optic lines use glass as a conductor and therefore experience no interference from high-voltage electrical equipment or nearby power lines, unlike T1/DS3, which can generate electricity.1 Typical repair times are 2-12 hours depending upon the outage.

Cost

Monthly prices for T1/DS3 services can range anywhere from $400 to $5000+ a month, depending on the speed you sign up for and the length of your contract. These prices can vary depending on your location, your desired speed and the terms of your service agreement. Phone service is not a requirement; however, you may need additional hardware to utilize the  connection. Installation fees and activation fees can occur but are typically waived with promotional offers or the signing of a 1-, 2-, or 3-year agreement.1
The cost for fiber-optic is generally much higher than the cost of a T1/DS3 connection, ranging from $100 to $5,000+ a month. These prices can vary depending on your location, your desired speed and the terms of your service agreement. Installation fees and activation fees can occur but are typically waived with promotional offers or the signing of a 1-, 2-, or 3-year agreement.1

References:
(1) DSL vs. Fiber-Optic: Which Internet Service is Better for Small Businesses?

Things to Consider When Choosing an ISP

It’s crucial to know a few things about your Internet needs before you commit to an ISP. One thing that can help you determine your Internet needs is to consider the service you currently have by observing its performance and limits. Here are some questions to jump-start the process:

How do you use the Internet?

Know your current situation—know your users, how many you’ve got, and also, be aware of how they rely on the Internet to accomplish their daily tasks. Monitor the current network traffic by making note of file transfers and how long they take, looking at how often these transfers take and recording any interruptions in service.

Another thing to consider is where your company is going: what will your future needs be? If you plan on hosting more webinars or if you’d like to seek cloud solutions for data storage, you’ll need something with enough bandwidth to handle these tasks, so keep that in mind while you’re shopping around.

How reliable is your connection?

Do you often find you lose your connection several times in a month? In a week? In a day?

Reliability is crucial—you need something you know you can count on to work when you need it to. Take note of each time you find your connection has gone down or slowed dramatically and consider that trend when looking into a new provider or service. Also, it’s highly recommended that you determine a backup Internet connection in the instance that your Internet goes down so you always have a way to access critical resources and information on your network.

What about cost and commitment?

Once you’ve pinned down the Internet connection best suited for your needs, make sure you factor in any potential installation and equipment costs, along with the length of your terms of service agreement, if there is one.

Wireless and Your Health.

mobile devices 2New technology always has its naysayers. With the rapidly growing amount of wireless technology available, many people fear what it could be doing to their health.

Mobile and wireless devices emit radiation – that’s a scientific fact. What we don’t know is how much radiation our bodies are receiving from this technology.

What the Experts Have to Say

On one hand, some scientists claim to have found evidence saying wireless devices are harmful, but on the other hand it’s harder to find evidence saying something isn’t harmful. You’d be trying to prove that something doesn’t exist, which is harder than proving that something does. The World Health Organization has concluded that there isn’t enough evidence to confirm these health fears.

What is the Difference Between a Modem and a Router?

Routers and modems look very similar, a little plastic box with blinking lights, so justifiably many people cannot tell them apart from each other. However, a router and a modem each serve their own purpose, and once you recognize the differences between the two they are fairly easy to understand.

If you are interested in learning more about our own internet services, you can contact Tranquility today. We will do our best to assist you with any questions or internet situations you may have.

How to Add an Image to Your Gmail Signature

Embedding an Image into Gmail Signature

Not long ago we showed you how to create a signature in your Gmail or Tnetmail accounts. What if you want to add a little pizazz to your signature with an image? The following steps and video show you how to do just that.

  1. First be sure that the image you want to insert can be found on a public website.
  2. If it cannot, follow the following steps to create a URL for your image:
    Read More

Confusing Internet Terms Explained

thinking_dude_with_questionmark (Custom)Words to Know

Internet dialogue gets used every day and can be quite confusing if you do not fully understand what it means. Below are some terms that the Tranquility team most commonly receives questions about and what they mean or  do.

What is that?

  • Browser – Common browsers include Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. These programs display websites and allow you to access and retrieve information from the Internet.
  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – Also known as your web address, web browsers use this formatted text string as a shortcut to locate websites in the World Wide Web.
  • Address Bar – Located in the upper portion of the browser, this is where you type the URL address for websites. The address bar also displays the website you are currently visiting.

    This is an example of an address bar.

    This is an example of an address bar.

  • Search Engine – This is the term for resources like Google, Bing, and Yahoo that scan the Internet using keywords entered into a search box. The search engine then finds and displays web pages that contain or are related to those keywords.
  • OS (Operating System) – Common examples of an OS are Windows 8 for PC and iOS7 for the iPhone. Basically, the OS is a software program responsible for allowing communication between the computer hardware and the software. A computer and the programs installed on it are essentially useless without an OS.

Still Confused?

No need to fret if you still do not understand or if you have other questions! Just give Tranquility a call today and they can help you with any concerns you may have.

 

A Guide to Data Protection for Small Businesses.

In a typical data outage, small businesses can lose 52% of productivity and 29% of revenue. This tells us data protection isn’t just for large corporations. Make sure that you have a data protection plan in place for your small business. Find out what data you need to protect, train your employees about internet safety and stay up to date with the latest data threats as technology evolves rapidly.

This infographic, which was released by the global computer security company Symantec, shows the 10 most common ways that small businesses put their data at risk. Click for a larger, interactive version of the infographic.

Check out some of our other blog posts for more information about data protection. Take a look at our graph showing you how to choose a secure password, or you can learn how to encrypt your email messages so you aren’t sending unprotected information over an insecure WiFi connection.

Tranquility also offers a small USB device that you can plug into your computer for a secure internet connection when you’re on the go. Read about it here, or call us at at 573-443-5803 for more information.