Archive for the ‘N’ Category

Next generation access – NGA

September 28, 2007

Next generation access (NGA) broadband networks take broadband to the next level – offering much faster download speeds via increased fibre optic cabling, cable network upgrades or even copper wire upgrades.

The drawback is that for the UK to benefit from NGA broadband networks, telecoms companies will have to make massive investments in their networks, over several years. However without such developments, the UK will increasing lag behind its neighbours when it comes to broadband and online developments.

Some other countries have already made huge strides in developing NGA broadband networks, particularly using fibre optic. Some can now offer broadband speeds of 100Mb or more.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

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Network Interface Card – NIC

August 9, 2007

A network interface card, known as a NIC, plugs in to your computer and connects it to your local area network (LAN). It will have a port for a cable, or an antenna if your LAN is set up wirelessly.

Usually a NIC will be specific to the particular protocol or transmission technology being used (eg Ethernet) although some work with several networks.

A NIC is also known as a network adapter.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Narrowband

June 11, 2007

Narrowband is another term for dial-up internet access.

It uses a modem to connect with the internet via a phone line – it is slower than broadband and can be expensive. Unlike broadband, which is “always on”, dial up is often charged by the minute, so you may have to limit how long you are online for – although some dial up services do now allow you to pay a fixed amount per month with no extra call charges.

It is much slower than broadband, usually coming in at 57.6kb (the slowest broadband packages start at 512kb). The main drawback for dial up, particularly for a family, is that it monopolises the phone line which cannot then be used for anything else.

Some areas in the UK – which may not even be particularly remote – cannot receive broadband and are still on dial-up. Dial-up speeds can often be improved significantly with an internet accelerator, which reduces the size of each webpage before it downloads to your pc.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Wireless Network

May 9, 2007

Do you want broadband around the home without wires? A wireless network will allow you to do this.

A fixed broadband connection works fine if you only have one pc connected to the internet, or you know you only ever want to go online in one place. But if you have a laptop as well as a pc, or you’d like to surf the web in front of the TV or in the garden, or if you simply want to reduce that tangle of wires around your pc equipment – you may need a wireless network.

A wireless network uses radio waves to transmit your requests from any of your computers to the internet. Each pc will need a wireless adapter (although many pcs now have this functionality built in) – however the network only needs one wireless router as you can link several wireless devices to it. These could be a pc, laptop, or PDA.

When you request a webpage via a wireless network, the wireless adapter translates your request into a radio signal which is then transmitted to a wireless router. The router then sends the request to the internet.

If you have a wireless network you should ensure it is secure – your wireless network does not know where the boundaries of your property are and an unsecured wireless network can offer a way into your pc.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Next Generation Broadband

April 16, 2007

Next generation broadband refers to sustained, high speed broadband capable of coping with high-bandwidth services such as voice over IP (VoIP), IPTV (tv over the internet), peer-to-peer applications, file sharing, etc.

Currently very fast broadband packages are available in the UK, up to 24 meg. However many people signing up for such services won’t receive the advertised speeds. Therefore two key aspects of next generation broadband are that the high download and upload speeds are sustained; and that they are easily accessible to UK broadband users.

The industry / government forum the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) has recently raised concerns that the financial investment needed to develop existing and new broadband delivery infrastructures could hold back the UK economically if they are not addressed – as sustained high speed broadband access is already the norm in several competitor countries.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer