Byte Me Article 465 – Invisible Connections

– Invisible Connections

This Saturday we delve into the unseen and try to shed light on a topic that many have problems with – Wireless connections.  This topic readily confuses which is evidenced by the number of customer’s that walk through our door that are totally unsure as to how they receive their Internet connection.  Wireless connections have been around for decades in previously popular form of both AM & FM radio.

It is interesting that many of the constraints of these age-old mediums are still in place today.  AM radio gave great range at the expense of signal quality, FM radio gave great signal quality, at the expense of range.  The juggling act between these two desirable attributes is still strongly evident today as there is no perfect wireless signal type.  As you will see it is impossible to have a super strong wireless connection that also has great range.

If you do not have a copper or fibre optic cable running to your premises it is likely that your Internet service is arriving via some form of wireless.  So, what forms of wireless are available for Internet connections.  There are several starting with Satellite Internet.  Satellite Internet requires a permanent dish shaped antenna to be mounted on your roof and can be made to access the Internet from literally anywhere in the world.  

If you have a dish shaped antenna on your roof that is pointing skyward then likely you have a satellite Internet connection.  Current Satellite Internet connections must travel over a massive range – from earth to the Satellite and back so their speed and reliability is average at best.  However if you are miles from anywhere then you may not have any other choices.

Alternatively, if the only antennas are pointing toward the horizon then you will likely have NBN fixed wireless or wireless broadband.  Antennas for both connections can be of the dish, square panel or Yagi (old school TV type) shapes.  Both these Internet connection types talk to Telco towers on the nearest hill / mountain range.

NBN fixed wireless has a maximum range from a Telco tower of 14 kms, however many towers exhibit only half of this range.  Wireless Broadband covers a range of different Wireless Internet connections starting with the oldest 3G, more modern 4G, more recent again 4GX and the very latest communications child – 5G.  As the G number increased, so has Internet speed although this has largely been at the expense of range.

The latest 5G communication towers may offer incredible internet speeds however their current range is as little as 500 meters.  We see a lot of 4G & 4GX towers in rural areas which can offer useful ranges as far as 50 kms with the right antenna type and location.  All the wireless technologies discussed thus far will require some sort of modem and an Internet plan through an ISP (Internet Service Provider).

We are yet to cover Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections so stay tuned for next weeks article which will continue from this point.  Until then please note that due to the number of comments and questions that readers send in, we have changed the enquiry email address to [email protected] and Bruce is still contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

We have developed a brilliant self-help troubleshooting section on our website – so if you are having computer problems, but can still browse the web, please check it out.  Click here to go to Kerr Solutions IT Troubleshooting

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