In today’s well-connected Internet age, all computing platforms are seamlessly connected to exchange information securely. However, in order to achieve optimal network talk among computers spread geographically, we might classify Internet connection types at the basic level into three categories
1. Broadcast / Multicast Connections, where a device is enabled to send messages to all devices belonging to a network and deliver copies of a single message to a list of recipients within the network.
2. Devices belonging to Multipoint Connections can send more direct messages to many devices at the same time.
3. Another type of connection, the P2P Connection, is a one-to-one connection between two devices for data exchange.
Internet Connection Types
Networks feature diversity in connection types. Some of the most basic systems in use today include
Broadband Internet Connection
Broadband is one of the most common network types, installed widely in homes by setting up a wireless router, schools, and offices for connecting to the Internet.
Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN) were first used for voice and data exchange, which was soon replaced by the Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable Internet. Today, fixed wireless broadband that uses microwave radio transmission is widely in operation. Other forms of networks include cellular networks and mobile broadband.
The only disadvantage of fixed broadband connection is related to its immobility and high setup costs. Also, the areas served by broadband providers might be limited to cities, making it difficult to extend reach to rural areas.
Further, broadband service providers must constantly battle with retaining low operational costs while improving their existing infrastructure and services due to the high competition they might face from mobile Internet providers.
Mobile Internet Networks
All of the categories of internet services that can be accessed through a wireless connection come under the wide umbrella of Mobile Internet. Mobile Internet providers use a wide variety of protocols related to the 3G, 4G or 5G standards. Even though mobile internet offers lower performance when compared to fixed broadband in certain scenarios, it is a more affordable and convenient alternative.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Virtual Private Networks are designed to offer a protected client-server communication network over the traditional public network. The use of tunneling enables this remote access solution for connecting to corporate networks securely from your home or public network.
When the VPN architecture is extended to ensure user privacy on an Internet network, the services are termed as Public VPN. One such implementation is the International VPN where users can traverse the Internet across geographic locations without having to worry about border restrictions.
VPNs connect through different standards including PPTP, l2TP or IPsec. In order to use a VPN, an initial client side setup along with connection configuration is required.
Local Area Network (LAN)
Network resources can be shared within an office or building by setting up a LAN (Local Area Network) – either wired or wireless, that can enable inter-device and internet connection for the available devices.
LANs have been in use as early as 2000 and operated through either Ethernet or FDDI and Token ring. Today, most LANs employ Ethernet and wireless networks or operate through Wi-Fi protocols . LAN networks present the most diversity in devices and connections, network interfaces and operating systems and might be difficult to manage.
Dedicated Connections or Direct Networks
When two devices connect through a dedicated connection, they fall into the category of a direct network. The concept is similar to peer-to-peer networking, however, P2P networks might involve numerous devices with many connections, while direct networks involve no connection sharing.
Direct networks are generally setup when devices are in proximity, and can be made available in a number of scenarios including mainframe to terminal connectivity, direct cable connection among PCs for file transfer, or phone to phone connections for data exchanges.
While both serial and parallel ports are used to make direct connections, the USB standard is preferable presently. Sometimes, Infrared or Bluetooth might also be used to make direct connections as low-cost communication mediums. It stood one among the Internet Connection Types.
Dial-Up or Analog Connection Networks
As a form of Internet access solution for homes and businesses in the 1990s, the dial-up network enables TCP/IP connectivity over your regular telephone line. In a dial-up connection, analog modems were used for connectivity, and for exchanging messages. Dial-up networks were used to accomplish most tasks including long-distance connectivity and online credit card transactions. However, with limited bandwidth (maximum 56 Kbps), and the use of restricted X.25 protocol, dial-up networks have been replaced by Broadband.
Internet connection types are constantly replaced by faster, more secure and affordable connection options, to serve users with ever increasing data transfer demands through encrypted channels. Only network providers who can balance the need to be fast, secure and affordable, all at the same time can ensure a growing customer base and greater market reach.