Business Broadband Jargon, Busted

Broadband technology is confusing. Finding and maintaining the right connection for your business can be even more of a minefield – and the jargon doesn’t help. To take away some of the mystery, we’ve taken some of our most commonly used terms and broken them down into a helpful glossary.

Contention ratio: Your contention ratio tells you the potential maximum user demand on your broadband connection. The more people using it at once, the slower it can become. A contention ratio of 50:1 means there are up to 50 people on one connection. This is why slower speeds are often experienced during peak usage times. Business broadband may be uncontended so companies get a faster and more reliable connection without peak time congestion.

Automatic Failover: This is a backup routing configuration which is usually set up from an organisation’s firewall (as long as the firewall model supports automatic failover). Two or more broadband circuits are utilised in this setup (usually wireless and wired circuits). The ports are continually checked for degraded or complete loss of connectivity, and will automatically switch to the secondary circuit if the primary becomes unavailable. The configuration will also resolve back to the primary once the primary circuit has been restored.

Fibre optic broadband: A method of transferring data which utilises pulses of light sent along plastic or glass cables.

ISP: That’s us! In other words, an Internet service provider.

IP: An IP address, or internet protocol address, is a number assigned to your computer or device when it goes online within the company’s own network, so that the network knows where to send data to. It works just like a postal address, except it sends web data rather than letters. An example of an IP address is

IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol. An email protocol. Many webmail providers support IMAP to allow users to download their email to client software. IMAP is recommended for users who access their email from multiple devices as it synchronises via the email server.

Latency: In simple terms, speed. Network latency is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another.

Static IP: An IP address (see above) is a number that identifies your device within your own network so that data can be transferred to it. When you receive a Host Ireland circuit, you will also be issued with a public static IP address which is essential for things like accessing your computer remotely, or hosting a server, and you’ll usually find them included in business broadband packages.

For advice on the right broadband package for your business, contact Host Ireland today on 01-821-9350.

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