There is no faster, more efficient source of news in the modern day than the Internet, but, as you well know, not everyone is interested in telling the truth. In fact, it’s easier than ever for a prank or a hoax to go viral in the age of the Internet, and the more channels we have in which to communicate, the faster this nonsense can spread.
As the sheer volume of data transmitted over the web continues to grow by leaps and bounds, there has been a lot of speculation regarding whether or not the fiber optic cables which form the underlying foundation of the internet will eventually max out.
Well not to fear. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego recently published a report in the journal Science detailing how they were able to increase the maximum power under which fiber optic signals can be transmitted and accurately decoded. In turn, optic signals can now travel for longer distances without seeing a degradation in quality.
“This advance,” the UC San Diego News Center writes, “has the potential to increase the data transmission rates for the fiber optic cables that serve as the backbone of the internet, cable, wireless and landline networks.”
For as much as we complain about Internet speeds, it’s easy to forget just how good we have it compared to the early days of the web when many of us were forced to wait with baited breath for an AOL connection to go through.
Going back to the late 90s, broadband was nowhere to be found. Instead, most users relied on 28.8 kbps and 33 kbps speed modems. And if you really wanted some a more speedy browsing experience, you could always step up your game with a 56 kbps modem.
Today, in a world filled with cable modems and DSL, old school modems are nothing more than nostalgic memories, seemingly relics of an ancient era. But what would happen if you hooked up a modern computer to a 56 kbps modem and tried to browse the web for a week? How would the once-speedy modem cope with some of today’s more data intensive websites?
Earlier this week, Cord Cutters News released some exciting news about Internet speeds in the U.S. According to some recent download speed tests, the average U.S. Internet speed in March checked in at 33.9Mbps, a marked increase from just February when the average Internet speed was 22.3Mbps.
The FCC may rescue net neutrality by reclassifying ISPs as utilities, but that doesn’t mean all your Internet-related problems are going away. The Guardian points out that even though the FCC wants to make sure that Internet access won’t change so users will still be able to get the same Internet experience they get today, that doesn’t mean the Commission will also regulate prices. Since not all subscribers will spend the same amount of money on Internet and cable each month, the publication put up an interactive map showing the cost differences between different providers and regions. More →
Cable bills have been increasing at triple the rate of inflation and it’s a good bet that your wireless bill has shot up in recent years too thanks to the rise of mobile data plans. Rather Be Shopping, however, contends that lowering your bill for these services is surprisingly easy as long as you’re willing to play hardball with your service provider. More →
Yes, slow Internet is extremely annoying — unless you intentionally pull a prank on your kids to get them to do homework and chores — and 3G might seem like it’s awfully slow when you know there’s a 4G LTE connection within reach. But current data speeds are certainly much better than they were a few years ago, even though it can seem like wireless carriers and ISPs are taking their time with network enhancements — though sure, some are much better at it than others.
Before you freak out about your Internet speeds again though, you should check out the following graphic, put together by U.K. carrier Lycamobile, that shows you how Internet speed on your mobile evolved. More →
Internet addiction can indeed be a serious issue that is debilitating for some people, but one disturbed teen’s cure has clearly taken things too far. A 19-year-old boy from Nantong, China identified only as “Little Wang” couldn’t handle his Internet addiction anymore, so he decided to chop off his own hand in an effort to limit access to his computer and phone. More →
Most modern browsers come with special private modes meant to help users hide their surfing habits from coworkers or family and/or try to prevent sites from tracking their online activity. That doesn’t mean spy agencies or ISPs won’t be able to see what sites users access — that’s not what private browsing does, as Eric Schmidt has recently learned — but that, in theory, users might guard their privacy to some extent. However, as Business Insider reveals, private browsing isn’t exactly as private as you thought it was. More →
There are many people still lacking a decent Internet connection or any Internet connection whatsoever since in many places ISPs haven’t deployed strong broadband infrastructure. Instead of continuously asking for them to bring Internet to you, you could simply do what the people in the Italian village of Verrua Savoia did: take the matter into your own hands, and setup your own Internet service in your community. More →
How did the Internet come into existence in the first place? It’s something that most of us probably know a little bit about, but how many of us really know the full story? The same site that taught us about the six organizations that are secretly running the Internet has returned this week with a new infographic, tracing the history of the Internet from its humble beginning as a network of four computers to its proliferation as one of the most valuable tools in modern society. More →
One need only take a quick glance at Reddit on any given day to see how important the topic of Internet privacy is to people around the world. Hackers are lurking around every corner, and advertising companies like Google and Facebook look to collect as much personal data as possible so they can convince their clients that they target ads better than any other service.
More than any other time in the past, it’s now more important than ever that we know what steps must be taken in order to protect our privacy while browsing the Web. More →
It’s always heartbreaking to test your home WiFi speed. The results are likely only a fraction of what you signed up for, no matter how much you’re paying your service provider. Have you ever wondered why this is the case? Culling from a variety of articles on the subject, BuzzFeed has put together a list of reasons why your home Internet is always much slower you expect it to be. More →