There are a lot of internet service providers out there, offering a wide range of packages. When confronted with all the options – ADSL, fiber, capped, uncapped, shaped, unshaped – it’s hard to know what to go with. To figure out what will work for your usage, speed requirements, and budget, here are a few guidelines.
Light – Light home use includes basic internet use – email, infrequent browsing, and light social media use. This will mainly be people whose primary internet access is outside the home, or who simply don’t have much interest in online activities. It will mean minimal uploads and downloads and little or no video.
In this case, ADSL is an affordable, convenient option. It’s widely available, budget friendly and speeds are more than adequate for the purposes mentioned. As long as usage is low, costs can also be kept low by opting for a capped line – 10 GB or less. A lower speed will also mean lower price, ADSL usually ranges from 1 to 20 Megabits per second. For light users who don’t stream video or download, speed isn’t a big issue, although image content may take time to load.
Heavy – Heavy home use could mean single or multiple users who download content, stream video on sites like YouTube or Netflix and browse daily or almost daily. If speed is a must, fiber is a great option. Most home internet providers offer speeds up to 100Mbps, which allows multiple users to stream or download simultaneously with little or no interruption. It also means a great online gaming experience and quick, easy downloads. The downside of fiber is that it’s not available everywhere.
ADSL on the other hand, is available almost anywhere. A good ADSL line, ideally 20Mbps, will still allow you to stream or download, though multiple users will mean slower speeds. Your speed will also be impacted by the distance to your nearest telephone exchange – as ADSL runs on standard phone lines – and by the number of other ADSL users in your area.
Small Businesses – Small businesses or startups with only a handful of employees will get by ok on a high-speed ADSL line, as long as internet use is kept strictly work-related. It’s also a more budget-friendly option for startups. However – with fiber, you may be able to get a better deal on a VOIP phone system, and eliminate the hassle of buying and installing a PBX.
Big Companies – Larger companies will have multiple employees connected at any given time, so faster is better, in which case fiber is the logical choice. Conference calls will be good quality, with no lag or connection issues. Uncapped internet is usually cheaper with fiber, and less likely than ADSL to be shaped when you exceed a certain amount
Whether for home or office use, if your internet use is heavy, and you need fast, uninterrupted internet on a daily basis, fiber is preferable, though it’s not available everywhere. For lighter users, where speed isn’t such an issue, ADSL is a budget-friendly option.