Types of Internet connection: an in-depth look

If I asked you what types of Internet connection exist, I’m sure your first answer would be “Wireless and wired.” It is correct, you are correct, but under that simple division we can find a great variety of connection subtypes to the Internet that play, for the most part, a very important role, although some are considered as “niche options”.

In this article we invite you to join us in discovering the types of Internet connection most popular and most used that exist today. Not only will you discover those subtypes to which we referred, but you will also have a little clearer what advantages and disadvantages each one offers, and what particularities they present.

Without further ado, let’s get down to business. I remind you that if you have any questions you can leave it in the comments.

types of internet connection

Internet connection types: wireless subtypes

Satellite connection

We are facing a type of Internet connection that we can consider as niche, and that in many cases is the last resort to bring the Internet to those areas where it is not possible to bring the Internet in a more conventional way. To connect to the Internet via satellite, a large amount of equipment is necessary (antenna, specific modem, noise reduction converter) and specific software is required. Used a lot at the military level, and also in ships and planes.

Wi-Fi standard

From a rare type of Internet connection we jump to another that is, in fact, the most used today. As many of our readers will know, this type of connection uses radio waves in the shape of a donut, it works at the frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and it is very versatile and easy to use and maintain. Three major standards currently prevail: Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5, which are already established, and Wi-Fi 6, which is beginning to be established.

Mobile data connections

I think it needs no introduction, since they have become essential due to the rise of smartphones and tablets. We can find several subtypes differentiated by the performance they offer and by the technological advances they incorporate. Thus, the oldest is the GSM connection, which was the first to offer mobile data, and the most current is 5G. It uses radio waves for its transmission, and in its first version it reached speeds of up to 10 Kbps, while 5G promises to reach the 20 Gbps.

WiMAX standard

We find a type of wireless Internet connection that stands out for using radio waves at the frequencies of 2.5 to 5.8 GHz and because it can have a coverage of up to 70 km. It is designed to reach areas of difficult access and complicated coverage, and it is also capable of offering an excellent level of performance, since in optimal conditions it reaches speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

LMDS System (Local Multipoint Distribution System)

There are no surprises, it is another type of Internet connection based on radio waves, but in this case they are high frequency (28 GHz-40 GHz). Its range is better, since it rounds a maximum of 35 kilometers, and they are established in a cellular way, that is, through a network of fixed antennas located in certain areas to cover specific sectors.

types of internet connection

Internet connection types: wired subtypes

Optical fiber

It is one of the most popular and highest rated Internet connection types that exist today, thanks to its excellent performance. Fiber optics allows us to offer a high-quality, high-speed Internet connection, although some providers use a mix of fiber optic and coaxial cable, the latter being inferior in performance and quality. A home fiber optic connection can achieve symmetric 1 Gbps speeds without problems. Not sure what internet connection speed you need? Well, take a look at this article.

ADSL connection

Without a doubt one of the most popular and widespread that exist today. This type of Internet connection is identified as “Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line”, and represents an evolution that unites the bases of the switched telephone network and the ISDN digital network. It uses the telephone line (the classic copper pair), which greatly facilitates and lowers its implementation, and allows it to reach quite good speeds, although it does not reach the level of fiber optics.

Switched Telephone Network

It is a standard that is obsolete and has fallen into disuse, but it was one of the basic pillars of the first stage of the takeoff of the InternetSo it deserves to be on this list because of that “pioneer” role it played at the time. As many of our readers will know, it used the telephone network to transmit analogically, it would allow a bandwidth of 56 Kbps and it could not work with voice and data simultaneously. You know, if they called on the phone and someone picked up the Internet connection would drop.

ISDN digital network

Like the previous one, it is in disuse, although it enjoyed a time of great popularity, and the truth is that it is still present at a professional level. In general it maintains the bases of the switched telephone network, but transmits in digital instead of analog. In an ISDN digital network, a modem is not used, but a specific network adapter, and a specific infrastructure is needed, with the cost that this implies.

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