Data services are all designed to do the same thing….. and that is to carry packets of data from one point to another, safely and securely. Each data service is designed to serve its own purpose, so for example, you might want to link two or more sites together to share systems and create a network. Or you might just want a service that allows you to connect to the outside world via the internet. Those that wish to create a network, won’t be reading this guide as it is a more advanced service and they already know the basics, so I shall explain the most common data requirement today…. Broadband or ADSL as it is sometimes referred to.
Contrary to popular belief, not all broadbands are equal; In fact, you couldn’t be father from the truth if you thought this. Unfortunately, many people confuse the cheaper or even sometimes free broadbands and compare them against some of the more expensive services and think “I get 20MB download at home, that’s all I need in the office”.
The most common ADSL is called ADSL Max which is generally available to most people in the UK. The maximum downstream (or download speed) is 8mb, but the reality is that the further away you are from the exchange, the slower the speed will become. ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, and in layman’s terms, it means that the data flows at differing rates whereby there is a faster downstream speed than the upload speed. Technological advances mean that ADSL2 has been possible and now ADSL2+ where speeds are available of up to 24MB downstream and up to 2.5MB upstream (on certain products). ADSL2 and ADSL2+ are only available in certain exchanges, so before buying that product, you will need to check to see if there are any providers in your serving exchange. A look on the SamKnows website can quickly point that out for you (www.samknows.com).
Synchronous Digital Subscriber line or SDSL is also an available product whereby the upstream and downstream has equal speed. Typically, this is available in half MB, one MB and two MB speeds. Since ADSL has become so common, the price of SDSL is expensive by comparison, but they are completely different services which are suitable for other services.
Less emphasis is being placed on contention ratios today, but it is still important to understand them. Consumer broadbands are generally configured with a contention ratio of 50:1. This means that there are potentially 49 other users that might compete for the same bandwidth as you, so when children come home from school and log onto their computers, or at lunchtimes when people browse, the service will start to slow down. Businesses generally can’t afford to sit and wait for a download, so generally business grade broadbands start at at least 20:1.
Broadband packages also come sometimes come with other added services, such as web space or e-mails or enhanced support, static IP addresses etc.
To discuss broadband, or any other data service, please contact a JabbaTalk advisor on 0844 880 4360.