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Identifying Your Internet Connection Type

Understanding your internet connection type is crucial as it affects your online experience, including speeds, latency, and performance. This guide covers different connection types: fiber, DSL broadband, satellite, and mobile data.


DSL is a type of broadband internet that transmits data over existing copper telephone lines.


Key Identifiers:

  • Provided by your ISP or telephone company. 

  • Presence of a DSL modem. 

  • DSL connections utilize existing copper telephone lines to transmit data.


A cable internet subscription is a type of high-speed broadband internet service provided by cable TV companies.

Key Identifiers:

  • Requires a cable modem rented or purchased from the provider

  • The cable internet service is delivered through the same coaxial cable that carries TV channels into your home.


Satellite internet uses orbiting satellites to transmit data to and from a dish installed at your location. 

Key Identifiers:

  • Requires a satellite dish installed on your property, typically on the roof or exterior wall.

  • Provided by satellite internet service providers.


Fiber optic connections use thin glass or plastic strands to transmit data in the form of light signals. 

Key Identifiers:

  • Offers extremely high speeds and low latency.

  • ISP offering "fiber optic internet," "fiber broadband," or "fiber-to-the-home (FTTH)" services.

  • Fiber optic cables (often orange or yellow), fiber optic modem or terminal


Mobile data refers to internet access provided by cellular networks, such as 4G, LTE or 5G. When you use a SIM card-based Wi-Fi router, your internet connection type falls under the category of mobile data or cellular data.

Allows you to share your mobile device's cellular data connection with other devices via Wi-Fi in two ways:

Two ways:


  1. Built-in Mobile Hotspot - Many smartphones and tablets have a built-in mobile hotspot feature that creates a Wi-Fi network using the device's cellular data connection. 

  1. Dedicated Hotspot Device (Routers) - Some cellular providers offer dedicated mobile hotspot devices, which are essentially portable Wi-Fi routers that use a SIM card to connect to the cellular network.

Key Identifiers:

  • Requires a SIM card from a cellular network provider to establish a data connection.

  • Internet access is provided by cellular networks (4G, LTE, 5G).

  • Mobile hotspots and tethering allow you to access the internet on multiple devices while on the go, as long as you have cellular network coverage.


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