Understanding the Different Types of Internet

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Are you confused about cable? Are you dumbfounded by DSL? Do you know the difference between satellite services and fiber optic services? If all the acronyms and intricacies of the Internet are utterly baffling to you, consider this your one-stop guide to figuring it all out. Here are the four main Internet “types.”


DSL Internet goes through your phone line. It’s a bit like dial-up used to be, but it’s advanced by leagues and bounds from the days of waiting around for someone to finish their call so you could browse the web. For example, with DSL, you can get online and talk on the phone at the same time. Not many people use landlines anymore, but if you do, DSL won’t interfere with it.


Cable Internet is a bit more complicated than DSL, but it’s still a good option for people who just need a connection for basic, non-strenuous web browsing. One major downside is that you don’t get a dedicated circuit with cable services, so you might experience some slowness or loading problems if many others in your area are also online.


Satellite Internet is relatively rare compared to everything else on this list, but if you live in a rural area, it can often be the only kind of Internet available to you. Satellite connections can be fickle, so it isn’t the best for uploading or downloading files. If you’re streaming, however, you can buffer videos just fine.

Fiber Optics

Fiber optic service (FiOS) is a special kind of Internet service that’s blindingly fast and great for heavy-duty web use. It isn’t available everywhere, and it’ll cost you more than other options in this guide, but if you want the absolute highest speeds possible, FiOS is the way to go. It’s also much safer than every other type of Internet since the cables are made of fiber and not copper. You won’t have to worry about fire hazards anymore!

These are the main types of Internet service and how they might benefit you. You have a multitude of options, so the choice is entirely in your hands. Just remember that there’s no right or wrong answer! If you’re satisfied with DSL, there’s no reason to upgrade just because of peer pressure; on the other hand, if you’ve been craving the fiber optic connection, there’s no reason not to give it a try today.