The Internet And Broadband 101: Basic Things You Need To Know

Nov 26, 2020
By Staff writer

Is the internet the same as the worldwide web? What’s the connection between internet and broadband? What really happens when I connect to the internet? The internet is a huge place, and it's so easy to get lost in it without knowing the basic terms.

If you're looking to catch up on internet terms, you came to the right place! Here are the basic things you need to know about the internet.

What is the internet?

The internet is an interconnected network of computers and other electronic devices from all around the world. It enables easy access to information, global communication, buy and sell products from e-commerce stores, and so much more! This definition is very vague when compared to the benefits it brings. 

It’s important to note, however, that your device — such as a computer, laptops mobile phones, and tablets — needs to connect to the internet to go online. In other words, the internet is simply a gateway so you can connect to the internet.

What is the web?

The worldwide web (WWW) — more commonly referred to as the web — consists of different websites you can access through the internet. Generally, a website contains a series of texts, images, videos, and other related resources. Private businesses, schools, media companies, among others utilise this to publish their content and advertisements.

To connect to the web, your device should have a web browser. This is a software that displays the media, text, and other types of content. Do note that a web browser is only the medium to connect to the internet; it’s not the internet itself.

How does the internet work?

The internet works by using the web browser in your device to connect to the internet. Just download a web browser of your choice, and you’re all good to go! This is the simplest definition of how the internet works, that’s why it sounds so easy. However, it’s actually more complicated than that. 

There are other factors like how physical cables like fibre optics, coppers, and telephone wires carry bandwidth. There are also technologies such as 3G, 4G, and 5G to get connected wirelessly. While this may sound complicated, it all happens within a fraction of a second!

What is broadband?

In its simplest form, broadband is known as high-speed internet. During its early years, it was delivered through telephone lines. This was a technological marvel at that time because it allows for easy communication with just a few simple clicks. Through continuous advancements, broadband is now possible through various wireless networks.

These technological advancements have also made the internet faster and more reliable! Nuisances — like hearing dialling noises when you try to make a call or losing connection when you use the telephone and internet at the same time — are eliminated. Broadband also went from Kbps to Gbps speeds.

Read: The Quick Beginner’s Guide to Broadband in New Zealand

What else can you do with the internet?

The sky’s the limit as to what you can do with the internet! There are plenty of useful activities, which are made possible thanks to the help of the internet. Take a look at the most common online activities that Kiwis use their internet for.

Finding online information

Anything from everyday products like kitchen appliances to specific information in science or maths — you can find any information you need and want online! By entering keywords in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, you can already find the information you need.

Sending email

Emails are the primary means of sending and receiving messages across the internet. It’s also your basic need to create anything online — from social media accounts, online and mobile banking, streaming accounts, and more. 

Social networking

Social networking websites are some of the most popular ways to connect with your friends and family. Aside from sending simple messages, you can also add people as your contacts, share your life happenings, post a status, and more! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, among others are some of the most popular social networking sites in NZ.

What are the different internet connection types in New Zealand?

Now that you know the basics of the internet, it’s essential to know the different internet connections you can use in NZ. Take a look at the most popular connection types offered by leading NZ providers.

ADSL broadband

ADSL broadband is the oldest and most traditional internet connection in New Zealand. It utilises established copper cables to deliver internet even to the most remote places in the country. While it’s not the fastest you can get at 10Mbps, it has the farthest reach among all connection types in the country.

VDSL broadband

While VDSL broadband still uses copper cables, it has more advanced technologies to deliver faster and more reliable internet. Its speed averages at 25-70Mbps, which is more than enough for most online activities of Kiwis. Great news is, more than 60% of New Zealand can easily connect using this internet network. 

Fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is the fastest and most reliable broadband offered by internet service providers in New Zealand. Its average speeds range from 100-200Mbps, with some even topping at 1-2Gbps! It uses high-tech fibre optic technology, which means it doesn’t lose as much bandwidth over great distances.

Read: What is Gigabit Internet? Do We Really Have It In NZ?

Get the best connection type in your area

It’s the standard to get fibre broadband as it’s the fastest and most reliable in the country. However, it’s not as widely available, especially in rural areas. Make sure to connect to the best internet connection in your address. Compare the best internet connection using glimp’s comparison tool.

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