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Crucial Facts to Consider about Home phone and Internet Packages

The first thing you need to know and understand about home phone and internet packages are the different types available in the market today. When you say “broadband” this pertains to the general description of internet connections which include satellite, cable, fiber optic service and DSL. Now these are for people who have a great need for speed and who wants to be constantly connected. The dial-up is still around and people up to this day pay for them(believe it or not). You don’t want to go with dial up unless there are no other options available. Otherwise, you may want to take advantage of these various broadband connections:

The Cable Broadband

This type of broadband comes from your cable TV provider. It uses coaxial cable TV wires and has download speeds of about 3Mbps to 100Mbps.

You are at an advantage no matter how far you are from your provider, unlike a DSL. It’s also much faster than satellite or DSL and much accessible than your fiber optic broadband. Now, the bad news is that, more often than not, you share your bandwidth with other subscribers in your neighborhood, so that the more people are watching television at the same time, the slower your internet connection will become. Now, that can really be a bummer for Netflix users.

The DSL Connection

Otherwise known as the Digital Subscriber Line, it operates using regular telephone lines in order to deliver download speeds of about 25 megabits/sec. Under DSL you have two types namely the Asymmetric DSL (ADSL) and the Symmetric DSL (SDSL). The ADSL is less expensive than SDSL. It also has faster download than upload speeds. On the other hand, SDSL gives you the same upload and download speeds that is a main considerations for those who need large back up files to the cloud or VPN users.

The good thing about DSL is it’s much cheaper compared with the other broadband options and you have several providers to choose from, something you don’t get with a single fiber optic or cable provider. They also have very consistent and dedicated speeds from their line. The downside however is that it is distant dependent. If you’re miles away from the central office, you will definitely get slower connections. And DSL is relatively slower compared with other broadband types, though they’re definitely much faster than dial ups.

The FiOS

Otherwise known as fiber optic service, this is the latest among all internet connectivity types. It operates using light. They offer high fiber optic speeds of up to 300 Mbps down and 65 Mbps up.

What you will like about this is that it provides you with the highest speeds available against traditional connections like cable and DSL who are still using copper wire. Good as their high speed capability sounds, they are still available in very limited areas.

The Satellite

As the term suggests, it gives you internet feeds through the satellite dishes installed in the homes of the subscribers. Regardless of your location, it can give you speeds of up to 15Mbps down and 3Mbps up. What subscribers love about this is that it can reach areas that cable, DSL and fiber cannot. For a lot of people in the rural areas, this is their best broadband option. The downside? It’s more expensive than the other broadbands, and considerably slower as well.

Other than types of connections, you must also consider bundling factors. There are lots of home phone and internet packages out there that will give you great value for your money. Here are some suggestions on how you can better compare the best ISPs to suit your budget needs.

Speeds when Downloading and Uploading

Some people don’t care how much they are paying for their internet connection as long as they can be provided with the highest speeds available. So make sure you do a direct comparison. Choose plans that are almost identical when it comes to their upload and download speeds. There are many speed test sites you can choose from to help you make a decision. All you have to do is find your location and scroll down its’ ranking on its ISPs by speed index. 

The Availability

All their great features will boil down to nothing if they are not available in your area. So first you must do some careful research on what company do this kind of service in your area. There are many websites out there who let you do this by entering your zip code. You can also look up break downs of different broadband options in DSL reports. They do this by categorization like cheapest broadband, cable providers, residential DSLs cost, ISPs who ranks on top of the list, etc. They also give you the latest peoples’ ratings when it comes to reliability, and cost-effectivity.

So start searching using these sites to make good comparisons as to which ISPs will give you the highest speeds at the lowest price. Then you may want to check out their individual websites to get the nitty gritty details about their packages to further understand the benefits, trade-offs, etc. if you choose to sign up with them.

Check out the Contract and the Price

Compare against a modem you have to rent out or something you will buy for yourself. Some companies will really charge you a fee for installation while other companies willingly do it for free. Some give great discounts when you get bundles of home phone and internet packages. Be careful though, because some only do this for a couple of months and don’t forget to check out the expiration date of the said contract. Others are willing to pay higher so they can avoid contracts that are multi-year. So do some careful thinking first so you can compare wisely.

Their Terms of Service

All providers, no matter how good their offers sound, have certain limitations that you must be aware of. An example of these are data caps which limits you to the monthly data you can consume or maybe you will be prohibited to do certain actions like running a file or web server.

Special and other Value- Added Features

Be careful when looking into these so called “special features”. It seems you’re getting a lot because they’re throwing in a lot of perks and freebies, when actually you’re really paying for them, big time. Some of these are even features you don’t really need, they are simply that- extras.

Internet Reliability

Again, all their other great features will all be for nothing if you cannot get a good connection when you have to. So for starters, you can actually go around asking your neighbors for some feedback. Or test their speeds without having to leave your seat by using the Net index from Speedtest.net.

Great Customer Service

Now, every now and then, sometimes often you encounter problems and you need somebody to confer with to help you troubleshoot connection problems. So see if they really provide good customer support when you need them the most or they’re just interested in making you sign up then leave you hanging in the air afterwards.

So make sure to do your homework first to get the best home phone and internet packages out there. Happy hunting.

About the Author

Yvonne Hart is a tech blogger from Australia. Her knowledge about consumer technology is backed up by 8 years working as a marketing professional in an I.T. distribution company. She now works as a consultant for compare broadband.

Cloud Services

Cloud services are now very famous among individuals and businesses. This has made it easy for users to access their files from anywhere in the world. A user with limited income may not buy a hard drive or any other laptop accessories but can get free storage online to keep data safe. With many options for the users, it is difficult to choose the best among many.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon is the leading cloud service in the world. It has the most users as compared to other cloud services. It gives users 5GB free storage, which allows users to upload and download any file. After the launch of cloud service by Amazon, they added a music streaming tab to allow users to listen to their favourite music. But later it was separated from cloud services. Users can now upload as well as listen to music on all their devices. The Amazon cloud drive is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Amazon offers web based and as well as in desktop applications. The desktop application is compatible with all the operating systems but users can only upload files through this. For premium storage, 50 cents per gigabyte is charged and users can buy up to 1000 GB of space. Amazon services are cheap but not cheaper than others and desktop application compatibility and usage is another issue for the users.

  • Box

The box is not actually a storage service and is more suitable for business as it provides workflow solutions. If a business wants to share files, they simply grant access to a few users allowing them to view or download the files. Business productivity programs can be uploaded and integrated with the box where it becomes available to the users. Users can also edit the files if allowed. Box features business related applications and online workspaces. Box gives 5 GB of free storage and it is compatible with Windows, Android and Mac operating systems. To use this service, users must use the box sync application. For premium storage users need to pay $9.99 for 25 GB space per month but for businesses it offers 1000 GB for only $15 per month. For businesses, Box is a most suitable solid service.

  • Drop Box

Drop box was the most popular cloud service when introduced. And it was the first to have a large number of users. Cloud services were not used much before this. Drop box can run without a browser and it's compatible with almost all the operating systems including Linux. Due to its compatibility with all the devices, users have no difficulty in managing their files from anywhere. But the drawback is the limited space as it gives only 2 GB free storage. For the premium services it charges $99.90 per year for 100 GB. This is expensive as compared to other services.

In today's world, users don’t need to buy a cheap notebook or accessories like external or internal hard drives or flash drives. Rather they can use cloud services for the storage.

Author bio:

The author works for cheap notebook, laptop bags and laptop accessories store and writes about alternatives for data storage.

Better SEO through Google Analytics

There are many different methods of accomplishing effective SEO. One could easily fill hundreds of blog posts with techniques, tips and tricks for increasing your website’s ranking. Though the field can be diverse and sometimes intimidating, there is one thing that all of these methods always have in common: They are only as effective as the information that guides them.

As we all know, SEO’s generally target Google versus smaller players such as Bing or Yahoo. . Google’s vast market stranglehold means they are the first target on any SEO’s list. Fortunately, because of this they have provided a massive amount of tools to aid in the process of obtaining increased rankings, so long as those gains are legitimate. No tool is more powerful for this process than their very own software, Google Analytics.

It simply not in Google’s interests to allow artificially inflated rankings. Google wants you to be at the top of search engine result pages as much as you do, so long as you are providing actual content that is relevant to the search query. In order to facilitate this, Google Analytics gives you a massive amount of information related website traffic, queries, keywords, goals, content, and a massive host of other metrics. The amount of information available can sometimes be daunting, but with time and experience Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool.

One part of Search Engine Optimization is ensuring that your website ranks highly in search results, but converting the traffic into ROI requires an understanding your target demographic. Google Analytics reports can be used to determine what search queries are actually producing meaningful results, instead of driving confused searchers who didn’t actually have any interest in your content or products. While thousands of visitors might look impressive, if the bounce rate is enormous or there is a poor Goal Conversion Rate, it’s simply wasted bandwidth. Top Google analytics metrics include:

  • Traffic Sources

  • Audience Behavior

  • Content Overview

Traffic source reports can help you understand where time is best invested in future marketing efforts. Does Facebook drive a lot of traffic? It’s time to clean up that page and start updating it as frequently as possible. Seeing a lot of direct traffic, but very few referrals? A worthwhile strategy may be seeking out backlinking opportunities such as guest blogging or submission to relevant web directories. A Google Analytics traffic source report identify targets for Search Engine Optimization, forming a future strategy.

Audience behavior may be the first indication of a problem. It should be seen as a warning light, letting you know when current methods are working or if something is broken. For example, an exceptionally high bounce rate can indicate that the website is ranking for broad terms that are confusing searchers. Low amounts of new traffic, or returning visitors can also indicate problems. Seeing the breakdown of this can help you decide what needs to be done to improve whichever is more important to your website.

Lastly, the content overview report is like having a personal assistant, monitoring 24-7 with vital information about what’s good and what’s not good about your website.  The report will let you know what pages are getting a lot of visits and it will show which pages users are spending the longest time on.  These metrics measure user experience in an easily digestible report. The fastest way to improve this experience is to get your hands dirty in Google Analytics. While consumers vote with their wallets, Internet users vote with their time. The more time a visitor is willing to invest on a page, the better indication it is of highly relevant content.

This Guest Post Was Written by Vance Woodward at SearcherMagnet; an Adwords Certified Partner specializing in Google Analytics, SEO and PPC.

Choosing The Best External Hard Drive For Your Needs

Although your average computer or laptop comes with at least 250 gigabytes (GB) of storage space, you might soon find that it proves to be less than you imagined. With the download and sharing of movies and series, you might require space in the ranges of terabytes (TB), rather than gigabytes. If you find yourself continually having to delete old files to make space for new ones, perhaps the time has come to invest in an external hard drive (HDD). With a whole spectrum of options on the market, from feather light USB flash drives that double as key chains to the bulkier desktop models, it can get confusing when deciding on an external HDD for yourself. The most important key to making the decision is to keep in mind what exactly you are planning to use the external HDD for.

Storage capacity

The main deciding factor will be your reason for acquiring an external HDD. If you want to easily transfer small files or documents between your home computer and work, then a USB flash drive will be more than sufficient. But, if you are looking for a device on which to store your family photos or home movies, then you will need a bigger external HDD. Keep in mind that documents and music take up less space than photographs and videos. A 3TB external hard drive can store approximately 960,000 photographs, 50,000 hours of music or 3,000 hours of video. You usually get better value for money the bigger your drive is – they become cheaper per megabyte as they get bigger. Also keep in mind that, even if you don’t have 3,000 hours of movies yet, you never know what will happen in the future. If in doubt – get the external HDD that can store more.

Type of computer

In the old Mac vs. PC debate, the external HDD also factors in. The Mac OS X platform uses a HFS+ file system, where a Windows operating systems works with NTFS file systems. Many externals are Mac- or PC-specific, and if you should buy a PC-specific drive for use on your Mac, you will need to reformat the drive before you can use it. The Mac OS X operating system can read files on the NTFS systems but cannot write them, however software is available for Macs that allow you to use a PC-specific drive on either system. You can download NTFS-3G for free to do this.

Interface

The type of connection that your external HDD has to the computer will also determine the speed at which transfers can take place. At the moment, USB 2.0 is the most widely used interface but it is quickly being taken over by the much faster USB 3.0 ports. Where a USB 2.0 port has transfer rates at a top speed of 480 MB per second, the USB 3.0 connection allows a ten times faster maximum transfer rate at a whopping 5 GB per second. An even more tempting option is the Thunderbolt ports – a common point of connection for the latest Macs, but becoming more common on laptops and desktop computers as well. In a review done by pcworld.com they say that Thunderbolt ports can do transfers op up to 10 Gbps – “speedy enough to transfer a full-length high-definition movie in less than 30 seconds”. The price for this speedy efficiency is still high though, as a 500GB Thunderbolt interface HDD costs roughly the same as a 2TB USB 3.0 interface disk.

Portability

The way that the external HDD connects to the computer is also determined largely by what kind of external you buy. For the heavier desktop versions, it is likely that a secondary power source will be needed, either through a second USB port or a connection to a power outlet. If you are buying a desktop version, make sure it has a built-in fan, as that will extend the life. Desktop versions are less likely to become damaged (as they are hardly ever moved around) and price wise they have a higher capacity for the same amount, but you lose functionality if you need something on-the-go. To protect your data with a portable external HDD, you can look into encryption software, which will prevent your data from being stolen (or in case the disk gets lost) and make sure you have a solid case which can absorb shock and prevent damage if the disk should fall in transit.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices and you need to make a final decision, always keep in mind that technology is evolving at breakneck speeds. Rather get something with a newer interface, faster speeds or more capacity than the one that might be outdated in a year or two. You won’t regret it.

About the Author

 is a digital horder with more (legally obtained) movies, music, and TV shows than she can reasonably expect to watch in her lifestime, and still the collecting goes on. Her world might not fall apart if something should happen to one of her external drives, but it's still a comfort to know that there are specialist companies, like Datadetect.com.au, which can restore lost data and keep her addiction to Mad Men fed.

Ambient Backscatter And Battery-Free Communication

There is energy in the air all around us at all times. This isn't a pseudo-mystical statement either; the sheer amount of power from radio and television waves in the air is a massive, untapped resource. At least it was, until Washington University hit on a way to use it that's referred to as ambient backscatter.

What is Ambient Backscatter, and How Does it Work?

The idea of ambient backscatter is that it should be possible to use existing transmission waves to power battery-less devices in such a way that they can still perform simple tasks. The theory was that these devices could communicate with one another, act as sensors, and even send simple text messages. There would be no requirement of additional power, and it would make use of an environmental factor that's already filling the area. In fact these devices would work anywhere there's a number of wavelengths filling the air, whether they're for cell phones, Internet, television, or some other application entirely.

The devices are designed so that, rather than using an on-board source of power, they can draw power from the electromagnetic waves in the area. Scientists tested the range from as far as a few feet, to six and a half miles using these devices that rode the radio waves to get their messages sent. Further testing is still in the works, but the initial tests show some serious potential.

What are the Potential Benefits of Ambient Backscatter?

This unusual development has caught hold of the scientific imagination, and the potential for these devices is nearly limitless. For instance, they could be put on a bridge to monitor the integrity of the concrete. When a hairline fracture occurs, the sensor beams a message back on the already existing wavelengths. This requires no changing out, no battery upkeep, no power source; it's just a constant, never-sleeping guardian that keeps watch. The same sensors could be used to watch for fires, for security networks, and a dozen other applications. Simply install, and leave it unless something breaks the sensor so completely that it isn't physically intact anymore.

These devices could, in theory, also be worked into existing electronics that do use batteries so that even when the charge is completely drained some basic forms of communication are still possible. This would also allow for things like text messages to be composed and sent without actually putting a drain on the battery, making phones last longer on a single charge simply by virtue of using less power than they might otherwise do.

A Green Future 

There's no use in letting anything go to waste; not even ambient cell phone energy. So if it's possible to send a text, or to monitor a secure location, without spending one iota of power, then who wouldn't take advantage of that? In fact, given the potential these devices offer, it's possible that miniaturized devices will become even more popular. Miniature computers that work free of battery packs, or only on tiny watch batteries, might become the next generation of technology when existing wavelengths can provide the brunt of the heavy lifting needed.

This guest post was provided by Eduardo Dieguez, professional blogger for www.i-Adapters.com. An avid computer enthusiast, Eduardo spends countless hours tinkering with electronics both new and old.