Ultimate Internet Broadband Glossary
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Short for "second generation", 2G is the cellular technology that preceded 3G, 4G and 5G. 2G technology was the first that supported data communications such as mobile internet and MMS.
Short for "third generation", 3G is the cellular technology that came after 2G and preceded 4G and 5G.
Short for "fourth generation", 4G is the cellular technology that came after 3G and preceded 5G. It offers better performance than its predecessors, and at the time of writing, is the most common cellular technology used.
Short for "fifth generation", 5G is the next step in the evolution of cellular technology, but is not yet readily available. At the time of writing, the only companies in the world offering 5G for carriers are Huwai, ZTE, Samsung and Ericsson. It is designed to be faster and more efficient thant its predecessors, thereby making it a viable option for the Internet of Things (see below).
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, and it is a type of internet connection which uses copper phone lines to transmit data. ADSL has now been superseded by ADSL2+ - however for customers who cannot get ADSL2+, they may be able to access ADSL. ADSL uses the copper lines and can get speeds up to 8Mpbs.
ADSL2 / ADSL2+
ADSL2+ is another type of internet connection which uses copper phone lines to transmit data. ADSL2 superseded and ADSL, and ADSL2+ superseded ADSL2; however, all versions are currently still available. Like their predecessors, ADSL2 and ADSL2+ both use copper phone lines, which are already ubiquitous, which is handy if you’re moving to a property that is not yet equipped for the NBN (see below). However, eventually all ADSL technologies will be replaced by the NBN.
Bandwidth is the term used in relation to signal transmission, and can refer to any range of frequencies within a given band. Bandwidth may be characterised as data bandwidth, digital bandwidth, or network bandwidth.
A bit is a portmanteau of "binary digit". It is the basic unit of information used in computing and communications. Think of it as a digital molecule.
Bluetooth is the wireless technology used for transmitting data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances. It is typically used between phones, computers and other such electronic devices.
Broadband is the term used to refer to fast-speed internet connection that is faster than dial up, always on, and capable of sending and recieving large amounts of data.
A web browser is any software application used for looking at (or browsing) the internet. If you're reading this online, then you're very likely using a browser right now.
A bundle refers to a plan in which you rent a broadband connection and a landline through the one single provider. Internet Service Providers that offer bundle plans will often discount the price of their broadband plans when bought together with a phone line rental.
A byte is a unit of measurment pertaining to digital information. Traditionally, a byte was the number of bits (see above) used to encode a single character of text in a computer.
Cable broadband connects the internet to your home via the same coaxial cable as cable television (or as it was named in Australia, “pay TV”). You can often get the internet and the pay TV subscription in the same package, or you can opt just to have the cable broadband service.
Capping is a limit that's placed on your internet data. If you exceed it, you typically incur a fee. Unlimited Broadband plans (see below) do not have capping.
Contention ratio is a computer networking term that refers to the ratio of potential maximum users on the internet to the actual bandwidth available to them.
Data refers to information. In computing, it specifically refers to information communicated through your computers and over the internet. A single unit of data is a "datum".
Dial up refers to an older system of internet access in which the modem (see below) uses a telephone line to dial up the internet service provider.
A dongle is a small piece of hardware, often equipped with mobile broadband, that connects to the port of a device.
Download refers to the transference of data from the internet onto your device.
DPU stands for Distribution Point Unit, an access point for the FTTC NBN (see below).
DSL is a common acronym standing for Digital Subscriber Line, formerly Digital Subscriber Loop. It pertains to the technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines, and is largely associated with ADSL (see above) and Naked DSL (see below).
Email, sometimes hyphenated as e-mail, stands for electronic mail, and is a method of exchanging information between electronic devices.
FTTB is an acronym that stands for Fibre-to-the-Building, or sometimes, Fibre-to-the-Basement.
FTTC is an acronym that stands for Fibre-to-the-Curb, referring to the type of internet connection where the fibre connection is extended via a DPU (see above) that is typically situated in a curb or pit on a street close to your premises.
FTTN is an acronym that stands for Fibre-to-the-Node, referring to the type of internet connection where the fibre runs to node close to your premises, with a copper line running the internet from the node and into your home or office.
FTTP is an acronym that stands for Fibre-to-the-Premises, referring to the type of internet connection where the fibre is connected directly to your premises. It is sometimes refered to as Fibre-to-the-Home, or FTTH.
In digital information, a gigabit is a multiple of the bit unit. 1 gigabit equals 1,000,000,000 bits.
In digital information, a gigabyte is a multiple of the byte unit. 1 gigabyte equals one thousand million bytes.
In regards to Wi-Fi (see below), a hotspot refers to a physical location with access to internet connection.
ICANN is an acronym for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is a nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the mainenance and procedures of several internet databases, and their primary job is to ensure that all the networks remain stable and secure. If the internet were ever to completely crash, it is up to the 14 members of ICANN to restore it. There are 7 keys, as well as 7 back up keys, with each of these key assigned to an individual in thr group (hence the group's 14 people membership).These keys unlock safety deposit boxes hidden around different parts of the world, and in each of these boxes is a smart key card. Once all 7 smart cards are put together, they form the Master Key, which can access the ICAAN database which stores all the known information about the internet.
IOT is an acronym for the Internet of Things, and refers to the online interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects (such as fridges, shoes or people), enabling them to send and recieve data. It estimated that by 2020 there will be approximately 30 billion objects hooked up to the Internet of Things.
ISP is a common acronym for Internet Service Provider, refering to any telecommunications company that provides the customer access to the internet.
LOCK IN CONTRACT
Lock In Contracts are any contracts between an internet service provider and a customer, typically lasting between 12 and 24 months. Though a No Contract Plan (see below) can be more appealing, there are some benefits to Lock In Contracts if you're moving into a new property, as some properties have internet set-up fees ranging anywhere between $10 and $300. As such, many internet service providers will try to entice customers by waiving or significantly reducing that fee if they sign to a 12 or 24 month contract. Lock In Contracts also sometimes include a modem (see below) with the deal, whereas most No Contract deals do not.
Mbps is an acronym that stands for Megabits Per Second, and it's how we measure download and upload speeds. A megabit is equal to one million bits. Transmissions across computer networks and very commonly measured in Mbps, and it is how we measure broadband speed. The higher the Mbps, the quicker your internet will work.
MBps (with an upper-case B) is distinct from Mbps (with a lower-case b) in that it stands for Megabytes Per Second. It is used in reference to things such as file sizes.
Short for Multimedia Messaging Service, MMS is the system that enables mobile phones to send and recieve colour photos, sound clips, and text messages.
A modem is a piece of hardware that converts and transmits data between differnent computers and devices. The word is a portmanteau of modulator-demodulator. They Ccan cost anywhere between $50 and $400, but are sometimes included for free as an enticement for signing with a Lock In Contract (see above).
A Naked DSL, also known as a standalone or a dry loop, is an old ADSL2 internet connection where the activeness of a phone line has been stripped, hence the “naked” title. You don’t need to pay for phone line and rental and you aren’t required to have a home phone, so if you’re looking for Wi-Fi without a phone line, Naked DSL might be the option for you. However this depends on where you live. And even if you don’t have/want a landline phone, sometimes it can be cheaper to set up a plan with a phone, even if you end up leaving the phone socket unplugged.
NBN is an acronym for National Broadband Network. Owned by the Australian government, it's designed to give all Australians fast and reliable access to internet services. Though it is not yet fully completed, it will eventually replace all the old copper networks with fibre optic cables by the end of 2020. The process of getting connected to the NBN is dependent on your location and when the installation is taking place.
NO CONTRACT PLAN
No Contract Plans are plans that offer you monthly contracts, allowing you the freedom to change to a different contract at the end of that month without incurring a fee, as opposed to Lock In Contracts (see above). No Contract Plans are also known as Month-by-Month Plans, One-Month Plans, and No Lock-In Plans.
In computing, a a port refers to the interface between your computer and external devices. Traditionally around the side or back of a device, it's the area intended for USBs and charger chords.
In computing, a router is a networking device that recieves and fowards traffic between the computer and other devices.
In computing, streaming typically refers digital content (usually visual and/or audio material) being transmitted over a computer network as a steady, continuous stream.
TYPICAL EVENING SPEED
Typical Evening Speed refers to the time bracket between 7pm and 11pm where Australian internet traffic is at its busiest, and the tiers of internet speeds that are available within that time.
Unlimited Broadband refers to unlimited data plans that allow the customer to use as much internet data as they like without getting capped or incurring a fee. Within Australia, Unlimited Broadband plans have become exceedingly common.
Upload is the term used to describe the process of sending a file from your device into another network, such as the internet.
Wi-Fi is the networking software that allows separate devices to exchange information wirelessly over the internet through radio technology. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't stand for anything, and was simply coined as a catchy word that rhymed with "hi-fi".
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