Billions of people across the planet use the internet every single day. For some, it is just a tool to keep in touch with distant relations, and for others, it is an essential business instrument.
According to The Census Bureau, in 2018, 92% of American homes had a minimum of one type of computer, and 85% were subscribed to some form of broadband service. Since then, internet penetration has grown, and it is expected that over 328 million Americans will be online in 2027.
Yet, despite the popularity of broadband and the internet in general, there are many misconceptions and myths surrounding ISPs, connectivity, and other aspects of being online. Here is a brief outline of some of the common misbeliefs that many people hold.
Everyone has access to the internet now
In an ideal world, this would be true, and for those living in urbanized areas of the states, it is easy to see why this would be believed.
There are many remote areas and regions in the US where high-speed broadband doesn’t exist and some areas where there is no internet access at all. Rural ISPs such as Broadlinc are addressing this issue to bring internet access to communities with limited coverage.
Some other countries have truly limited access to the net. North Korea has zero internet penetration as access is banned for the population. Many African nations also have extremely low internet penetration, including Eritrea, with just 8.5% of the country having coverage.
Despite 92% of the US being able to go online, the Federal Communications Commission states that 19 million lack access to the net still.
All subscribers get the same download and upload speeds
Using the same ISP as a friend provides no assurance that you will receive the same internet speeds. A number of factors can have an effect here, including the use of ethernet vs. WiFi. Also, the distance from the hub you are connected to and how many other people are using your connection.
Many subscribers often complain that they are not getting the advertised download speeds, and location certainly plays a part here. The World Population Review published a map of the quickest and slowest internet speeds in the US. This revealed that Maryland has the best broadband while Alaska reportedly has the slowest.
Broadband is secure and safe to use
This is largely true if security steps are taken and some minor maintenance is carried out. Secure passwords for routers should be used and changed intermittently. Firmware for the router should also be kept up to date. VPNs and firewalls should also be used.
However, accessing the internet always carries some risk of your data being intercepted, so these security measures are necessary to secure your broadband.
And some forms of broadband are more secure than others. Fiber broadband is far more secure than satellite internet due to the manner that data is transmitted.
VPNs will speed up your broadband or slow it down
One of the best ways to protect your data is to encrypt it, and VPNs will do this for you. Using a paid VPN service will provide far better performance. They generally offer more server locations, and this will help with your internet speeds.
With a good VPN, there should be negligible differences in your download speeds. However, it is true that some VPNs perform poorly and may cause some lag.
Incidentally, there are many other myths about VPNs, including that they will keep you completely anonymous. Obviously, if you have subscribed to a VPN service, then they already have your personal details, so you’ve already lost complete anonymity.
A proxy server will stop your ISP from monitoring your activity
Another popular online security measure is to use a proxy. Mobile and residential proxies are growing in popularity and allow users to hide their IPs and access geo-restricted content.
This gives certain levels of freedom on the net and provides a certain amount of anonymity. Yet, while your ISP may not be able to see who you are, they can still monitor your internet activity, and they will know that you are using a proxy.
Knowing how to protect your information online is crucial today, and despite not being perfect, VPNs and proxies can help to make your broadband connection that little bit more secure.
The software can increase your broadband speeds
There are many mobile apps and programs for PCs that promise to speed up your internet connection. Cleaning up your PC could help with performance, but these apps are largely hokum.
If your broadband speed isn’t what you expect, then check your network configuration for any issues and contact your ISP with your concerns.
The internet is awash with misinformation, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there are myths about connectivity too. VPNs could indeed slow your internet speeds, but they don’t have to do with the right service. And if you aren’t getting the advertised broadband speeds, then look at moving to another provider.
Perhaps in the future, one thing will change, and everyone will have access to the net. Until then, some ISPs are trying to help rural communities gain internet access.