Never have there been faster choices available for home Internet connections. Cable companies began making inroads in the early 2000s by offering home broadband connections to their customers. Some businesses are now offering T1 connections, once the sole domain of Internet-heavy businesses, to the home consumer. But which one is the right one for you?
- Both cable and T1 connections are considered broadband. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines a broadband connection as anything achieving data rates of over 200K, or kilobytes per second. The top speed attainable on a dial-up connection is 56K.
- Cable connections are sold through the major cable companies. They have various packages available, usually priced by the connection speed. These range from an average home package, which usually runs at about 2MB/sec to a business package that can give you downloads of up to 50MB/sec.
- A T1 connection is a fixed internet connections
between your location and your Internet provider. It maintains a fixed data rate of 1.544Mbit/sec downloading and uploading.
- One of the major advantages of cable is that it is inexpensive and you can get a package that suits your connection needs. Sometimes, you can get a bargain by combining it with other cable packages from different providers. The connections are also fairly simple to set up and maintain.
- The major advantage of a T1 line is that it is your own connection. You don't share the line with anyone (more on that later). Also, since you're not part of a larger network of customers, you won't be subject to network outages while your company is upgrading some other part of their network.
- When you sign on to a cable network, that's exactly what you become---part of a network. You're essentially sharing that broadband connection with your immediate neighbors. If a lot of people get on the network at the same time, this will affect your connection speed. It's also easier for hackers to be able to peer into your traffic and see exactly what you're up to.
- A T1 line will cost you more than the typical broadband connection. They will also require more maintenance and upkeep.