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Hack Attacks: Why Me?

“They hacked me!” It’s not just what Steph Curry or Dwyane Wade might yell out during an NBA game. It’s also what you might see from someone you follow on social media. It happens to actors, the common man, even to college football stars right before the NFL draft. Some celebs take a lighthearted approach after the fact:

What’s the point of hacking a social media account? Aren’t there bitcoin to steal, hacker types? Why bust into someone’s Facebook or Twitter to spread spam or distribute drivel? Hackers might also delete contacts or add them in bulk. If you’re lucky, the unwanted posts and activity isn’t profane in nature. This is especially a relief if your mom is in your contacts list. One study says two in three American adults have had a social media account hacked.

Why they do it

1. To force shares

When social-media users see a contact has tagged them in a photo, curiosity kicks in. Is it from the company happy hour or afternoon at the ballpark? Fight in the all-night diner? It’s possible the share isn’t any of those. Rather, it's a site loaded with malware they’ll activate with a single click. It might end when you change your password. It might not if you activated a virus from a rogue app link. These malicious links install apps on your Facebook account to spam your account with – you guessed it – more malware.

How to prevent it

Don’t click on shares that don’t fit a contact you know. Is that your science professor hocking high-dollar sunglasses on Facebook? That’s not likely her - and not at all link you’ll want to click.

2. To mine data

The attack might not come on the account hacked. LinkedIn and MySpace accounts aren’t usually targets. A hacker can commandeer data, too. A user’s birthdate or mother’s maiden name can aid in compromising another account. Worse, the hacker might use data from these accounts to access bank accounts or cloud storage. They could also buy things on Amazon or bid on items on eBay. Their intent might be to steal, or just to embarrass the person they’ve hacked.

How to prevent it

Don’t use the same password on more than one account. It’s easy to recycle an easy-to-remember password. Remember, though, easy-to-remember also becomes easy-to-hack.

3. To force/delete follows

This might be the most stealth attack listed here. Hackers might sneak in to add follows for fake accounts that look like legit ones you follow. Are you down with clicking links from your favorite clothier? One that looks like it won’t likely raise your suspicion. A less malicious but inconvenient agenda might be to disconnect followers. It could be a personal vendetta, or just for kicks. That stinks, especially if a user’s taken a while to cultivate a following.

How to prevent it

Manage your contacts. There’s not much valor in piling up followers if it leaves you vulnerable to such an attack. Vet your contacts list. If you find some you don’t remember following, delete them, and change your password.



How to Get Cable Internet Where You Live

How to Get Cable Internet Where You Live

Cable TV providers offer Internet and home phone services on the same connection. They’re often bundled at a discount, compared to what you’d pay for individual services. Cable Internet speeds exceed those of dial-up, and often compare to DSL’s. Cable Internet coverage areas include urban and suburban communities. Cable Internet’s proliferation isn’t as vast in rural areas, which rely on dial-up and satellite Internet connections. Wherever you can get cable TV, you can get cable Internet. Copper-based coaxial cables carry data on a cable Internet connection. These networks, common in metropolitan areas, might service several customers on one line. Some cable Internet providers offer in-home Wi-Fi. A wireless router can broadcast an Internet signal all over the house. Users can connect wirelessly, on enabled devices, to the network. Households with several devices connecting at once might need a higher speed tier to support all activity. Cable Internet, like DSL, fiber optics and satellite, operates independent of phone-line frequencies. A cable Internet connection, unlike dial-up, stays on. Use of the network won’t interfere with phone use.

Bundling cable services

Cable Internet bundles include a combination of Internet, TV or home phone. Here’s a look at services offered in Cable Internet bundles. CABLE TV | It can include On Demand options that grant access to a library of programming. Subscribers can watch these programs on their schedule. DVR services allow subscribers to record and store programming for later viewing. CABLE VOICE SERVICES | Cable Internet providers offer a landline phone. Many offer convenient call features and unlimited domestic calling. They have options to add international plans, too. Certain providers offer 24-hour phone support with service. Carriers can offer an introductory price that could increase after a grace period ends. Introductory pricing could include taxes, fees, shipping and equipment. Subscribers might have to buy or lease a modem or router, according to terms of service.

Consider the alternatives

Holes in cable Internet availability exist. Living in a community that cable Internet provides service isn’t a guarantee you can get it. Contact a local cable Internet carrier for details exclusive to your address. Anyone asking “is cable Internet available in my area?” should check out other means of delivery as part of the process. Those include the following: DSL | Digital Subscriber Line Internet connects through the same lines as landline telephone service. PRO: It’s a dedicated line a subscriber doesn’t share with other customers CON: Distance between a subscriber and network operations office can affect speeds FIBER OPTIC | Fiber-optic networks deliver data as pulses of light through strands of flexible glass PRO: It’s faster than dialup, and can carry more reliable speeds than cable CON: It isn’t available everywhere yet SATELLITE | It connects through a satellite dish, a network operations center, and satellite PRO: It’s faster than dial-up, and available in remote areas where cable, DSL and fiber aren’t CON: Latency can make it difficult to stream media or game


Find the Best Deals on the High-Speed Internet


Internet Double-Play Offers: Bundling With Satellite TV

Satellite Internet customers can add TV for a Double Play bundle. Residents living in areas that have satellite TV services can usually qualify for Internet, too. All that’s required is a clear view of the southern sky. Satellite is a popular choice in rural areas. Cable, DSL, or fiber-optic Internet isn’t always available there. Some satellite TV packages include hundreds of channels in various packages. You can usually also get the following with your package: DVR | Hardware allows recording and storage programming for future viewing. Some DVRs come with the ability to pause and rewind live programming. HD CHANNELS | High definition channels have at least 720 lines of pixels on the screen. That results in a sharper image than standard definition television. INTEGRATED SERVICES | Satellite Internet and TV subscribers can often download apps to stream live or recorded TV on enabled devices. They can also edit DVR settings on the app. ON DEMAND ACCESS | Subscribers can access movie libraries, TV shows and more to watch when you want. Some subscriptions include On Demand for free; others charge per selection. PREMIUM CHANNELS | Popular movie and sports networks often cost extra. Some Satellite providers offer free access, or discounted rates for a promotional period. SPANISH LANGUAGE CHANNELS | There’s plenty of Spanish language programming for news, sports, movies and more. SPORTS NETWORKS | National mainstream channels to regional coverage that specializes in a college, university or conference. Major pro leagues also have networks with 24/7 coverage.

Can I have cable Internet and satellite TV?

Yes. A customer in an area cable Internet serves could opt for satellite TV from a different carrier. Installers use separate cables, rather than the same network. It’s best to run separate coaxial cables for each service, unless it's a prewired home.  Separate lines are easier to troubleshoot should you have issues with one or the other. Also, using a splitter on one line for two services could result in packet loss and slow download speeds. Those looking for Internet and TV can find cost-saving bundles online. Satellite TV carriers can partner with Internet providers to bundle both services for one price. It’s common to find a lower introductory price for the first year of the contract. After that, the rate can increase. Carriers might extend a price guarantee for one or two years that protects against a price hike. Can you have cable Internet and DIRECTV? Definitely. Satellite TV carriers often work with Internet providers to bundle services from both companies. As you search for Internet and satellite TV, consider these factors: PRICE | Plans with more channels and faster Internet speed come with higher prices. That’s just part of it. Cable andsatellite TV providers offer price guarantees or reduced pricing. SPEED | How many devices will access your Internet network? How much streaming, gaming and downloading do you expect? An Internet connection can integrate with TV service to stream to portable devices. That also requires more broadband.


3 Productivity Hacks that Will Actually Make Life Awesome

I’ve been all over the place lately. You probably feel it, too. Work commitments, kids’ schedules, social events, and more. When life flows without a hitch, it can still wear you down. A disruption in your plans can completely derail what you work so diligently to keep together. Since adding an hour to each day to catch your breath isn’t an option, it’s crucial to work with what we’re given, to become intentional with time and other resources. With a few life hacks, it’s possible to maximize what we’re given. These tips can apply to whatever consumes us. They're for busy parents, time-strapped executives and students pushing the course-load limits.

1. Try Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that creates online sticky notes to help you organize your to-do list. A Trello board contains lists of cards you create with all your to-do list details. Create a card with a link to a recipe you want to try, and include a checkbox list of ingredients to buy. Invite collaborators to any card, which you can label for easy identification. You can even add due dates to stay on track.

2. Multitasking? That’s so 2010

Multitasking has gone from virtue to vice. Ever find yourself slipping into multitasking without realizing it? Just count all the windows you’ve opened in your browser. How often is too often to check your phone in 20 minutes? Set aside time on your calendar – a book or online – for a specific task. Stay off social media for the duration. Resist the urge to check for texts. Give yourself time for uninterrupted work. Do it for family interactions and conversations with colleagues, without a screen between you. [Try RescueTime to track your habits]

3. Establish email rules

Try limiting responses to three sentences. If it needs more, it needs a phone call. Email represents my glaring time-management flaw. I have two-month-old email waiting in folders I established to streamline the process. (It's safe to say the process failed.) Gmail users can mute conversations. Future emails won’t show in your inbox; you can still access them in your all-mail archive. Download an app, such as CloudMagic, to lend a hand for email management. Newton, CloudMagic’s email program, connects to other productivity apps to keep you in line. Minutes stolen back here and hours won back there will impact productivity. Ask friends and colleagues what works for them, too. You’ll find that the combination of collected hacks might just be the formula that works for you.


Common Fiber FAQs

There’s a lot of talk circulating about the super-fast Internet speeds of a fiber-optic network. Especially for cable or dial-up Internet subscribers, fiber-optic speeds have piqued a lot of interest. Fiber optics delivers data on flexible glass fibers, in pulses of light. It sounds space age, and kind of is. “Speed” in fiber optics doesn’t refer to the speed of light. Data doesn’t move faster on a fiber-optic line than it would on copper wires used for cable Internet. The bandwidth, though, exceeds that of cable. Also, lower attenuation on fiber-optic networks allows them to move data longer distances without weakening the signal. A fiber-optic line can carry more channels for voice or video than cable can. Here are common questions that crop up when it comes to fiber.

Can fiber-optic cable be repaired?

Yes. Fiber-optic strands are high-quality glass. During installation, fiber-optic networks sometimes need splicing to cover more ground. These splices can be seamless, and won't degrade the network. Technicians can attach connectors to broken fiber-optic lines for repair, too.

Can fiber-optic cable freeze?

It’s not the cables that freeze, but water near them. When water near fiber-optic cables freezes, it can impact performance. Crystallized water causes micro-bends in the glass fibers, which can result in signal degradation. When the ice melts, the strands’ integrity and network speed usually return to normal.

Does fiber-optic need a modem?

No. Fiber Internet subscribers need an Optical Network Unit. It serves a similar function as a modem, for Fiber to The Home (FTTH.) The fiber-optic line connects to the ONU, and coaxial cables connect to your router. Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fiber to the Node (FTTN), don’t connect fiber to the customer. For those networks, fiber carries the signal for most of the distance. Coaxial cable connects a home from a cabinet or node off-site.

Is fiber-optic Internet wireless?

It can be. For FTTH, FTTC, or FTTN connections, a router disperses a wireless signal. Homes can act as hot spots, allowing wireless devices to share the bandwidth. Wireless Internet through fiber-optics can support more than one user. It can even support simultaneous data-heavy activity, such as gaming, streaming, and videoconferencing.

Is fiber optic cable expensive?

A complete overhaul of a copper network with fiber-optic cable can become expensive. Fiber networks tend to need less maintenance, and carriers can recoup costs over time. The gap in cost for copper repair and fiber installation is shrinking. Fiber is cost-effective. Fiber-optic lines aren’t susceptible to electromagnetic interference, as wire networks can be. Technicians don’t install fiber cable in conduit, a protective sheath, to guard against interference. That's one less cost.

How fast should fiber-optic Internet be?

That depends on the speed tier chosen from a provider. Copper-wire Internet can be distance-sensitive. Fiber Internet doesn’t degrade with distance from the provider’s access point. It's not subject to speed fluctuations the way networks whose customers share a connection are. Fiber-optic lines send data far faster than cable or DSL modem speeds.

What is fiber-optic TV?

The technology works the same as for fiber-optic Internet. Fiber-optic cables aren’t susceptible to interferences that can affect copper wires. That can make them more reliable. Fiber’s resistance to signal degradation also gives it an advantage.

Where was fiber optics invented?

Ancient Romans drew glass into fibers. This came way before telephones and the Internet, of course. French inventors Claude and Ignace Chappe built the first optical telegraph. Developed in the late 1700s, it used a series of lights on towers to send messages. Physicists contributed to fiber development in the 1800s. By the late 1800s, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Inventor William Wheeler developed light pipes to illuminate homes. His technology led to fiber-optics. Fiber-optics were also used for medical purposes and inclusion into television’s early years during the 1900s. In 1930, Heinrich Lamm sent an image through a fiber-optic bundle. By midcentury, cladding, lasers and light pulses had made their way into fiber-optic lexicon. In 1975, a British police department installed the first non-experimental fiber-optic link. Telephones on fiber-optic networks debuted in 1977, in Long Beach, Calif. By the 1990s, optic systems carried 100 times more data than cable. The Trans-Pacific Cable 5 Network runs under the Pacific Ocean. It connects Japan, Guam, Hawaii. Continental U.S. Global fiber networks followed. Today, fiber-optics delivers the highest technology for broadcast, medical, military telecommunications use, and more. It’s also the source for fast, consistent Internet speeds. Fiber networks support crystal-clear landline phones, and comprehensive TV packages, too.  



Who Has Fiber Internet? A Guide to Providers

Many of the fastest Internet plans come from fiber-optic networks. Fiber-optic Internet, especially Fiber to the Home (FTTH), delivers consistent broadband access. It’s a technology many providers have turned to for the bulk of their networks. Fiber provides better network reliability and speed potential than other Internet options. Fiber-optic Internet provided the first gigabit speeds for residential use. Hair-thin, flexible glass strands make up a fiber-optic network. Cables of these strands make up a delivery method that can provide speeds faster than that of cable or DSL. A fiber optic network means your Internet signal can cover more distance without signal degradation than cable or DSL. Fiber's efficiency allows for more distance covered than cable or DSL without signal degradation. At today’s speeds, most tasks, even the most data-rich, are instant with fiber. Future technology could create a need for another level of speed for support. Fiber networks have the capacity to eventually accommodate speeds of 1,000 times faster than what’s possible today. Data moves at higher frequencies than it does in copper systems, which gives fiber optics more data capacity. At basic plans, users can stream movies or music as others game online or videoconference. A resistance to electromagnetic interference gives fiber an edge over systems of metal cable.

Does Comcast have fiber-optic Internet?

Yes, but it’s not FTTH. Comcast advertises 2Gbps speeds on a network with fiber optics until the final mile. Then Comcast uses cable lines to deliver the final gigabit of Internet service To your home. Comcast, founded in 1963, upgraded its cable network to offer speeds of 1,000Mbps. Comcast’s business FTTN network covers 39 states and the District of Columbia. Comcast business fiber Internet covers large cities, concentrated on the east coast. It offers a non-fiber product called Metro Ethernet to some of its fiber markets. It's also available in a few second-tier-population cities. Customers must live within a third of a mile of the Comcast fiber network to get Gigabit Pro. Comcast's website spells out other conditions of service.2

Does Cox have fiber optics?

Yes, and as with Comcast, it’s FTTN – Fiber to the Node, not the home. It’s known as a hybrid fiber-coax network. It connects a customer’s cable modem to an optical node, which fiber-optic cables feed. This technology is known as Data Over Cable System Interface Specification, or DOCSIS. Several clients share the broadband signal from the node. Cox distributes bandwidth among the customers connected with a method called statistical multiplexing. The communications channel gets split into many data streams for more than one user to share.

Does Centurylink have fiber optic Internet?

Yes, it’s referred to as “fiber-enabled.” Centurylink says the network is capable of speeds of as much as 1Gbps. At that speed, it’s possible to stream more than one HD movie and conduct a videoconference at the same time. In-home Wi-Fi can connect more than one enabled device on the same network. Centurylink advertises symmetrical speeds. That means equal capacity for download and upload. Homes with more than one high-bandwidth user need a higher tier of Internet speed. Centurylink offers a business plan for 1Gbps Internet, too.




What Will I Get With Unlimited Internet Plans

A household’s connection to the Internet can become a round-the-clock proposition. From TV marathons to videoconferencing to streaming music, Internet connections rarely get turned off. With an array of devices able to connect, unlimited wireless Internet can be essential. Price-per-minute usage once dominated the home Internet landscape, with whopping bills to boot. Now, unlimited Internet plans represent the majority of ISP offerings. Some providers offer connection speeds as high as 1Gbps, yet won’t limit the time you spend online. Unlimited Wi-Fi plans have become common. ISPs offer incentives for customers shopping for new service or to switch providers. Among those: FIXED PRICING | No data limits or caps every month. Customers pay one monthly price for unlimited home Internet. HOME PAGES/EMAIL ADDRESSES | Arrange your home page with stocks and headlines you’re interested in. Add your horoscope and favorite team tracker to get everything on one homepage. ISPs provide a few email addresses too. SECURITY SUITE | Free or at a set cost, ISPs have software to safeguard against Internet fraud and identity theft. Some even cover wireless devices, like insurance.

Will I be able to find truly unlimited mobile broadband?

Unlimited high-speed Internet isn’t limited to the home. Some service providers offer plans that include mobile Internet. A mobile modem provides an Internet signal close to what the customers has at home. It’s rare to find a carrier with unlimited broadband Internet for mobile devices, though. Mobile phones’ capacity to access the Internet has increased. Carriers’ ability to provide unlimited data decreased as a result. Strain on 3G and 4G networks forced data caps on some mobile broadband plans. Once a subscriber reaches the preset data limit, they could face: OVERAGE FEES | Carriers could charge per unit of data above that specified in the service plan. THROTTLED SPEED | Providers could reduce mobile broadband speeds for the billing cycle. DISCONNECTION | A provider could interrupt service for the billing cycle - or longer - for data usage beyond the tier limit.

What can I expect from unlimited Internet providers?

For the home, the outlook remains clear. Few carriers will charge anything but a flat rate for access. Fast Internet isn’t tough to find. Carriers emphasize a lack of data caps you might expect with Internet access on mobile phones. Unlimited wireless Internet can become a matter of having enough speed, and a dependable      modem. Unlimited Internet plans vary from 1Mbps to 1Gbps. Internet speed represents just part of the picture, though. Performance of Internet speed at any level depends on various factors.
  • How many devices will access the network?
  • How much media-rich activity will become commonplace on the network – especially at the same time?
  • Is the connection on a dedicated line? Must you share with other subscribers in the area?
Before you order unlimited home Internet, research your options. Call to speak with a rep from some providers. With details of your Internet needs and device profile, they’ll be able to suggest a speed tier for you.  


Nation’s Capital Leads Way for U.S. Internet Speed

There isn’t much about Washington DC traffic that’s fast. Internet speed in DC, though? That’s apparently wide open, compared to what you can expect on the Capital Beltway. A recent study of Internet speed in the U.S. reveals the capital as the nation’s fastest, for the second straight quarter. For this study, cloud services provider Akamai treats DC as a state. The District of Columbia has now displaced Ohio as the fastest state, as reported for Q1 2016.

Akamai measures Internet connectivity and security over the course of the study. Data collected includes states with the most widespread access to speeds of at least 10Mbps. The study also examines max and average speeds in 10 countries. In Q1 2016, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Utah round out the top five for Internet speed. States with the slowest Internet include Mississippi, Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky and Ohio. The difference can be significant; Delaware’s average speed clocks in at three times as fast as Ohio’s. Fortunately, Internet speeds in America have been on the rise since Q4 in 2014, so Ohio and company could get a speed upgrade in the near future. Other tidbits from the findings:
  • Eastern seaboard states (and DC) comprise eight of the top ten states for speed. They include Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. Utah (#5) and Washington (#10) were the only western states in the top ten.
  • Southern states didn’t appear on the list until #25 Tennessee.

States with the most growth

By far, the District of Columbia saw the biggest bump in average speed from Q1 in 2015 to 2016, with a 48% increase. DC residents get an average of 24Mbps, nearly 3Mbps higher than second-place Delaware. Virginia, the ninth-fastest state, saw a negligible drop of 1.8% to 18Mbps in the same period. Speed increased year-over-year for all states and DC. That should surprise no one; Fiber and other gigabit Internet offerings are springing up all over the nation, from metro areas to small towns. Two notable initiatives:
  • NYC | In Q4 2015, New York City converted payphone stands to Wi-Fi hotspots in a private-public arrangement. The hotspots reached speeds of 300Mbps during beta testing.
  • Holland, Michigan | The town built its first fiber network twenty years ago. Today, it delivers free gigabit Internet in phase one of a pilot program to serve the whole town.

What else can we learn?

Internet speed is on the rise, domestically and globally. It’s not an increase in the fastest speeds available; it’s also the percentage of Internet customers who have the fastest available speeds. Internet penetration creates an environment in which the standard rises for acceptable Internet speed. Also, with speed spikes approaching gigabyte Internet, more homes and businesses operate in a reality in which broadband strength can support many devices – and many data-heavy activities – at once. Effect of increasing speeds and bandwidth
  • SMART HOMES/24-7 CONNECTED HOMES | Smart homes come equipped with agents of the Internet of Things, from app-controlled thermostats to smart TVs and smart appliances. A higher average broadband speed will lend itself to more forms of connectivity.
  • STREAMING SERVICES/ON DEMAND MOVIES | As average broadband speed increases, streaming service companies can offer more robust entertainment options, such as Netflix’s foray into Ultra-HD streaming.
  • ADVERTISING | Online advertisers can include more data-rich content in online ads when viewers have the speed and bandwidth to support it. Advertisers could introduce more video-driven ad content – without causing page loads to stall – if speed thresholds continue to rise. Advertisers can make ads more interactive, personalized and engaging – but only if doing so doesn’t make the page load take ages. When pages take a long time to load, people bail on them. Advertisers don’t get impressions or click-throughs.

How fast is fast?

Internet service providers measure speed in Mbps – megabits per second. One megabit equals one billion bits of data. Speed’s determined by the number of megabits your connection can transmit in one second. More Internet speed doesn’t always equate to faster page loads, though. Much depends on the remote server’s connection. Your home network speed won’t be able to speed up what the remote server is capable of; it’s on another host. Higher speed tiers don’t necessarily guarantee smoother streaming. However, more speed can deliver higher quality settings and enhanced streaming. How much speed do you need for common media-rich activities? STREAMING MUSIC: 1.5Mbps | It’s the lowest for music streaming services, such as Pandora or Spotify. You’ll need more for tunes with video … STREAMING MUSIC WITH VIDEO: 3Mbps | Why just listen to The Romantics’ Talking in Your Sleep when you can watch the video, too? This speed will support standard quality videos. Now, if you like your videos in HD … STREAMING MUSIC WITH HD VIDEO: 4-5Mbps | Going HD with Gary Numan’s Cars or anything by Adele? You’ll need greater broadband strength to avoid buffering delays. STREAMING A MOVIE: 5Mbps| Catch Bewitched (the movie or TV series) with only a modest speed upgrade. (Note: streaming is more efficient than downloading an entire movie.) GAMING ONLINE: 5-8Mbps | Ping rate is just as crucial as speed for gamers. Ping refers to the reaction time of your connection. It’s a critical factor in determining whether your mad skills are enough to win. Check ping rate on a connection through any of several online tests, such as this one. Why the need for speed, when media-rich activity doesn’t appear to need much of it? Homes with more than one user on multiple devices need more broadband strength to support it all. For a single user, there’s minimal strain on the connection. What if one user streams a movie while two more conduct a fantasy football draft in real time? And what if another person hops on Facebook? You need to find a high-speed Internet provider and the right speed tier to keep up.

How can I test my Internet speed?

As with sites to test ping rate, plenty of places exist to check in on Internet speed. (Google has one.) A test measures how much data can travel through your connection in a finite timeframe. It tests for both download and upload speed. It also measures latency, or time it takes to receive a response from the server. Latency's measured in milliseconds. Low latency is best for gaming, videoconferencing and other high-data activity. No matter which state you live in, Internet speed matters. How much you’ll need depends on how you use it.



Fastest Wireless Internet: What is available in my area?

When it comes to Internet, we all want the same thing: speed. When picking an Internet provider, it is important to understand what speeds and options are available in your area. How do I find the fastest Internet in my area? Depending on where you live, only certain types of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might be available. Satellite Internet works better in more rural areas, while larger cities are laying the groundwork for fiber Internet to become available. If you are asking yourself, “what is the fastest Internet in my area?” there are a few ways to find out. One useful tool is the Netflix ISP Speed Index. Since Netflix takes up a large portion of Internet bandwidth, they have a vested interest in having high speed providers around to keep their streaming strong. Which is why they publish an ISP speed Index for your viewing pleasure. You can also check on video quality and streaming speeds with a useful tool from Google here. What types of Internet options are available? Some of the fastest Internet providers have different options. What you should choose depends on your household needs and budget. Cable Cable Internet is available in most urban areas, but is dependent on location and if the coaxial cables used to carry Internet are available in your neighborhood. These cables connect to your modem to provide an Internet connection. Cable speeds usually run between 512Kbps to 20Mbps. DSL DSL is another type of broadband Internet connection. Instead of cable lines, DSL uses existing phone lines to connect subscribers to the Internet. DSL and cable speeds are usually similar and both are dependent on location, so you get faster Internet the closer you are to your phone company. Satellite Satellite Internet is most convenient for those living in rural areas since cable lines don’t always reach that far. Satellite Internet connects via a satellite dish attached to your home and signals are sent through satellites orbiting the earth. While satellite does provide fast speeds and more TV options than some cable companies, it is typically more expensive than cable and DSL. Looking for the fastest Internet speed? Fiber wins. While cable, DSL and satellite can offer high speeds, fiber is the clear winner in providing the fastest Internet in the U.S. But it is also the most expensive. Fiber lines are still being laid all across the U.S. and is not widely available yet. Fiber Internet uses optical cables to transmit data via light signals. Fiber Internet connections are much faster than a cable or DSL connection. When looking for the fastest Internet connection it is important to research what is in your area. Many ISPs also have different speed tiers depending on what plan you purchase