Interesting Articles

Superfast Broadband

There is a new breed of superfast broadband approaching which will be welcome news to the majority of the British public that are currently stuck with a maximum top speed of 8Mbps.

It is undeniable that Broadband take-up in the UK has been huge; the majority of the public now access the Internet via a broadband connection rather than a conventional dial up modem. A few weeks back I talked about broadband packages which made Internet access either free or incredibly cheap meaning that even occasional Internet users would be financially better off with a broadband connection.

Although the prices have been tumbling, a ceiling limit on the speeds obtainable has been reached and this needs to be broken through; although 8Mbps is a comfortable speed which will suit the majority of users we are lagging well behind many other parts of the world. A limited number of users in built up areas in Japan for example are currently able to receive blisteringly fast 1000Mbps speeds.

At present, the UK broadband provider for choice when it comes to the speed of connection is Virgin Media who have been offering 20Mbps for years now and have just introduced 50Mbps across the UK. Clearly the speed difference between the Virgin offering and standard ADSL which comes through your conventional phone line is huge.

The difference in speed is due to the type of cable employed for carrying the signal. Virgin uses a relatively new and advanced fibre optic system – this explains why you do have to live in a Virgin cabled area (formally Telewest and NTL) to receive the service. Other broadband products transmitted through your conventional phone line rely on old copper cables; these were originally designed for carrying voice calls and as such there is a limit to the speed that data can be transmitted along them.

Although 50Mbps will be more than enough for the majority of Internet users, Virgin are currently trialling a 200Mbps broadband service in Kent. If the service were to be unveiled across the UK it would give Virgin Media customers one of the fastest broadband services in the world.

Unfortunately only 12.6 million homes are in a Virgin Media cabled area which is why many have to ADSL broadband though their conventional phone line. In order to increase the speeds available to these users BT is currently upgrading exchanges across the UK to ADSL 2+ which will offer up to 20Mbps. Although Torbay hasn’t yet been switched over the exchanges should be upgraded by summer of next year which will result in an approximate doubling of speed at, most likely, no extra cost.

After the ADSL 2+ rollout it would be fair to say that we would have pretty much reached the theoretical maximum speed that you can transfer data down a copper cable. In order to overcome this, BT has began rolling out its own fibre optic broadband across the country however current plans will seen only 40% of UK households covered by 2012 and it is unlikely that they will cover Torbay in this initial phase.

At present, your best bet for the fastest broadband in Torbay is to check if you are in a Virgin covered area (check availability at www.virginmedia.com). Alternatively, if you are not covered, sit back and wait for the ADSL 2+ rollout; unfortunately this will more than likely have to suffice until we have a nationwide rollout of fibre optic technology across the UK.

 
I gotta tell ya, when I first got my computer when it was brand new, it worked like a charm! Then as I got a little bit more familiar with it, friends and family suggested I try some online applications. One was this cute purple ape that would help you surf the net.. or so I thought.

Turns out that damn application, along with a few others I installed, what were supposed to help increase my productivity, ended up doing exactly the opposite!

Sound familiar to you? Well, if so, then your not alone. Millions of computer users around the world have their PC’s infected with adware, and don’t even know it. What’s adware you say? Well, its any application that records what you do (or do not do) and reports that data back to third party vendors.

Now I know this sounds like covert ops stuff, but its really big business. See, the truth of the matter is these advertisers make a lot of money off of knowing your computer habits. Things like, where you go, what you do, how long your there, where you clicked, etc. Its kind of scary when you think about it.
They come up with the applications that are usually disguised as innocent toolbars or programs that will show you the weather, etc. Once you install these things, they leach and lurk throughout your machine, slowing it down to no end.

They don’t care that you may have work to do, a report for school, or if your playing a game. Their job is to report back to their vendors what your doing, and how you do it. This way, these advertisers can come up with better targeted ads that will be used to get you to click on this link, or buy this product.

There is hope though, and it can return your computer back to you, the rightful owner. You can download to your PC some adware removal tools that will take out all of the know adware off your machine, and in the process, speed it up too.

It’s usually a quick download and install, and the applications are easy to use. Usually you let it scan your machine for a list of known offenders, and it does the rest, scouring your machine looking for them. When it does find any, it makes a list of what adware you have, what it does, and flags it for removal.

All you need to do then is say yes, and it takes them out fast. Then you just reboot your machine, and waalaa! Fast and fun computing just like your used to.

So there is light at the end of the tunnel for your PC. Now you know, so go get your PC scanned and cleaned today.

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