Archive for the ‘F’ Category

Fibre Optic / Fiber Optic

November 28, 2007

Fibre optic cable is made of very thin strands or threads of glass or plastic that can carry large amounts of digital information for long distances, using light.  They can carry much more data at one time than traditional copper wires.

Fibre optic cable is used to carry signals for broadband, TV and voice.

Fibre optic cables are reliable as they don’t suffer from electromagnetic interference, but they are expensive to install.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

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Freeware

November 8, 2007

Freeware is free software that users can download from the web (or any other distribution medium) and use as often as they like without payment or subscription. However although it is free to use and distribute, most freeware is not copyright-free (ie, the original developer will retain the copyright on the software).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Flat rate

September 10, 2007

Broadband packages are charged for via a monthly flat rate (or fixed amount), regardless of usage, as long as you stay within your monthly download allowance.

Dial-up packages can be sold as either flat rate, or pay as you go.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

File Transfer Protocol – FTP

July 16, 2007

File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is a protocol for transferring files over the internet between remote computers. It predates the World Wide Web. One of the benefits of FTP is that the operating system or type of computer does not affect the transfer.

Some FTP actions are anonymous, ie the user does not have to log in or identify themselves to the FTP server and can still download/upload files from/to that server. They simply use the ID anonymous and sometimes their email address for a password. However these types of transfer are insecure.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Micro Filter / Splitter

June 17, 2007

A microfilter, or splitter, is a device which splits the BT phone line in two – and acts as a barrier so the phone line can carry high speed data from an ADSL broadband service, and slower voice calls, without the two different frequencies conflicting. Without the microfilter splitting the line this conflict would prevent a user making voice calls via their phone line at the same time as being online.

The microfilter is plugged into the phone socket – it in turn has two sockets, one for the computer or router and one for the phone (or fax).

Anyone with broadband over a BT line (basically, any ADSL broadband service delivered via a phone line – it doesn’t have to actually be a broadband service bought by you from BT) must have a microfilter on all sockets for the phone line that carries the broadband package.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Fair Use Policy

June 13, 2007

Sometimes known as an acceptible use policy, a fair use policy is often included in packages that offer unlimited download allowances.

Broadband providers will use a fair use policy to limit downloads for heavy downloaders (for example, at busy times) even if the users have signed up to an unlimited policy.

This is because broadband providers can find that a small proportion of their users are such heavy downloaders that even these small numbers of people can adversely affect broadband speeds for other users online at the same time (particularly at busy times between 6pm and 11pm).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Firewall

April 15, 2007

A firewall sits between your computer and the internet and prevents unauthorised access to your pc or network. It acts as a “gatekeeper”, preventing malicious programs and port scanners gaining access to your pc via ports (ports are holes that allow access to your computer).

Firewalls don’t automatically stop all traffic – you can choose what types of programs to allow access to from your pc. Your firewall may automatically block access to traffic you have decided to block, or you may see a pop-up a message to alert you to the attempted activity so you can decide whether to accept it or to block it.

A firewall can be a software application or piece of hardware (a router or wireless router – check yours comes with a firewall as not all do). Software is more often used for a single home pc. Businesses, or home users with networks, may need a hardware firewall. However most hardware firewalls only check incoming data.

Some operating systems come with a firewall. You can add to this with free or pay-for firewalls, anti spyware software and anti virus software (or a security suite with all these features included) to ensure you are fully protected.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Free Broadband

April 3, 2007

Free broadband was launched in the UK by telecoms provider TalkTalk (owned by independent mobile retailer The Carphone Warehouse) in 2006, and it is now offered by other providers including Sky. It has had the effect of commoditising broadband, and had a huge impact on the broadband market.

The broadband service is free when taken with another service or services, eg a phone line.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Super Fast Broadband

April 3, 2007

Superfast broadband usually refers to broadband with a theoretical top download speed above the standard ADSL Max 8 Mb.

It is ideal for some online interactive tasks and for downloading lots of very large files and applications. High speed packages tend to also include higher upload speeds.

Superfast broadband is delivered via cable or using broadband providers’ own equipment in BT exchanges (known as local loop unbundling), as their modern equipment allows faster speeds.

Providers of superfast broadband in the UK include Virgin Media (up to 10 Mb) , UK Online (up to 22 Mb), and Be (up to 24 Mb).

Up to 24 Mb broadband is delivered via ADSL2+.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer