La connessione Internet di casa può avvenire sfruttando tecnologie differenti. Il numero di utenti raggiunti dalla fibra ottica FTTH (Fiber to the home) è in costante crescita e tutti i principali operatori del mercato di telefonia fissa in Italia offrono questa tecnologia in abbinamento alle proprie offerte commerciali. Poter contare su di una connessione FTTH garantisce all’utente la possibilità di accedere ad Internet con una velocità elevatissima con la possibilità di raggiungere picchi in download ed upload nettamente superiori rispetto a tutte le altre tecnologie disponibili.
Le tecnologie internet casa
In generale, infatti, gli abbonamenti rete fissa sono disponibili con tre differenti tecnologie:
- Fibra FTTH (Fiber to the home): questa soluzione prevede che il collegamento con la fibra ottica avviene sino all’abitazione dell’utente; chi è raggiunto dalla fibra FTTH potrà navigare sino ad una velocità massima di 1000 Mega in download e sino a 100 Mega in upload registrando, quindi, la possibilità di sfruttare la migliore tecnologia disponibile per una connessione fissa senza limiti di tempo e volumi di traffico;
- Fibra mista FTTC (Fiber to the cabinet): quest’opzione può essere considerata come la soluzione "di ripiego" per chi non è ancora raggiunto dalla FTTH; con la fibra mista FTTC, infatti, il collegamento in fibra ottica si ferma all’armadio stradale e l’ultimo tratto della connessione viene realizzato in rame; questa tecnologia permette di ottenere una velocità massima di connessione pari a 200 Mega in download e 20 Mega in upload; la copertura della tecnologia FTTC è nettamente superiore rispetto a quella della FTTH e, di conseguenza, il numero di utenti potenzialmente raggiunti da questa tecnologia è molto più elevato;
- ADSL: chi non è ancora raggiunto dalla fibra ottica FTTH o dalla fibra mista FTTC dovrà "accontentarsi" di un accesso ad Internet tramite rete ADSL che garantisce, nel migliore dei casi, una velocità massima di 20 Mega in download e 1 Mega in upload; la copertura dell’ADSL è più elevata della FTTC e della FTTH.
Alternatives to fiber and ADSL
As an alternative to ADSL, it is possible to focus on wireless Internet technology (such as fiber mixed radio or satellite connections), which is an excellent solution for users reached by the ADSL network only and which often guarantees performance well below its nominal values.
Check of fiber optic coverage
To understand if your home can count on fiber optic coverage, the fastest way is represented by the verification of coverage, a procedure that can be performed, quickly, by connecting to the website of the operator with whom you aim to activate a new subscription.
To date, all major providers (TIM, Vodafone, Fastweb, Wind Tre etc) offer their customers the opportunity to activate a subscription with FTTH technology. This technology, however, is still subject to obvious limits in terms of coverage and, therefore, there are still few users who have the opportunity to take advantage of this new standard of navigation.
The first step to verify the coverage is represented by the choice of the offer to activate. By consulting the SosTariffe.it comparator for fiber optic rates, it will be possible to identify the offer that best suits one's needs and then connect directly to the site of the operator proposing the offer to start the coverage check.
By checking the coverage it will be possible to discover which technology (FTTH, FTTC or ADSL) is available at one's home address and, consequently, which type of Internet subscription it will be possible to activate to surf. The coverage check is the fastest and most effective way to verify the availability of fiber optics for your home.
Changing from ADSL to fiber optics
For those who have an ADSL subscription and are reached by fiber optics, as confirmed after the coverage check process, proceeding with the activation of a new offer able to ensure Internet access through a much better and more modern technology is, without doubt, the ideal choice. The fiber optic guarantees very high level performances and represents a remarkable upgrade both compared to the mixed fiber FTTC and, above all, compared to the traditional ADSL network, by now obsolete and not sufficient to make the most of the many services available online.
How to verify the technology present in our house
For those who have an Internet subscription for their house already active and do not know with what technology their connection is made, it is necessary to verify immediately which are the details of their active offer. Only in this way, in fact, it will be possible to make a precise analysis of the quality/price ratio of your network and to proceed, eventually, with the activation of a new subscription.
The fastest way to discover the connection technology provided by the active home Internet subscription, especially for the less practical users from the computer point of view, is represented by the possibility to contact the customer service of your operator. Each provider makes available precise contact channels, both via telephone and via the Internet (often a chat is available on the official website or assistance is provided via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter). Per alcuni operatori, inoltre, c’è anche la possibilità di recarsi in un negozio scegliendo tra i tanti punti vendita ed assistenza disponibili sul territorio.
Chiedendo informazioni al servizio clienti sarà possibile ottenere tutti i dettagli sul proprio abbonamento, in particolare per quanto riguarda la tecnologia con cui avviene la connessione e la velocità massima che Internet a casa può raggiungere. Si tratta di informazioni molto importanti che permettono di valutare la qualità dell’abbonamento attivato e della rete.
Dopo aver ottenuto queste informazioni, infatti, sarà fondamentale effettuare due confronti:
- Verificare i costi dell’abbonamento e confrontarli con i costi delle migliori offerte Internet casa disponibili sul mercato;
- Verificare la velocità reale della connessione a casa e confrontarla con i dati dichiarati dall’operatore per poter giudicare l’effettiva qualità della rete.
Quanto paghi ora?
Il primo confronto da fare è legato ad un’analisi dei costi. If your subscription provides for an Internet connection via fiber optics and a monthly cost of 40 euros, in fact, it could be very convenient to switch to another operator also in view of the fact that, currently, as confirmed by the online comparison through SosTariffe.it, on the market there are many home Internet offers at less than 30 euros per month that provide for the connection via fiber optics.
Before switching to another operator it is very important to verify the presence of extra costs, penalties or constraints on your subscription. In order to avoid having to reckon with an extra cost for the changeover, in fact, the user must ask the customer service of his operator for all the details regarding the costs of deactivation of his subscription. The current legislation provides for a maximum amount, equal to one month's subscription, for the costs of deactivation but many operators include "hidden costs" in the contract as the installments of the activation fee or the Wi-Fi modem that, often in a non-transparent way, are included in the subscription fee with the constraint for the customer to pay the remaining installments in case of withdrawal.
The second comparison to be made, in order to judge the quality of your subscription, is that between the values of the connection speed declared by the operator and the real values that the network reaches. To make this comparison it is necessary to perform a speed test. This is a free test that allows you to analyze all the parameters that characterize a connection and, therefore, to have all the necessary data to be able to judge your Internet subscription.
Check your connection speed with a speed test
To test your connection you can use a speed test, which is available completely free of charge and can be performed even by less computer savvy users. To start the test, in fact, you just need to connect to the portal and follow the quick procedure that allows you to perform the network analysis.
To proceed with the test you need to enter the municipality where the connection to be tested is located and the maximum speed value that the operator guarantees to its customer. At this point, after entering the required data, the user can start the speed test that will last a few seconds and will allow you to have a complete overview of the performance of your home Internet network.
In order to get accurate results it is advisable to make sure that the Internet connection to be tested is not being used by other users or other software (e.g. no files are being downloaded or high definition video is being streamed) and that the bandwidth is completely free to allow precise measurement of network parameters.
The speed test provides detailed information about download speed and upload speed, the most important parameters to consider when judging a connection. It should also be noted that through the speed test you can also find out values such as the connection's ping and jitter. These data measure the latency time and the variation of the latency time over time. For a fiber-optic connection these parameters are very low, being equal to a few milliseconds, while for ADSL connections they tend to increase, being equal to several tens of milliseconds.
Does the speed test return results in line with the data guaranteed by your operator?
To check if you really have fiber and if your home Internet connection reflects the values guaranteed by your operator, it is necessary to compare the results obtained from the speed test, in particular with regard to download speed and upload speed, with the data guaranteed by your operator. A very high difference between the real data and the data guaranteed by the provider is a sign that something is wrong in the network and that changing operator could be the best way to improve the Internet connection.
Let's assume that the operator states that the Internet connection you are testing has a maximum speed of 200 Mega download and 20 Mega upload. If the speed test will result in a maximum speed of 20 Mega download and 3 Mega upload, it is likely that the same provider has applied a limit to the speed of the network and that to get the most out of the connection it will be necessary to activate a special option (often characterized by a monthly cost of about 5 Euros).
In these cases, switching to another operator could be the ideal solution to maximize the speed of the Internet connection at home and, at the same time, minimize the cost of the subscription. As pointed out above, in fact, at present there are many home Internet offers that include the possibility to surf without limits via FTTH network, up to 1000 Mega, or via FTTC network, up to 200 Mega, at a cost equal to or less than 30 Euros per month.
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Margins to save money, going at the same time to maximize the performance of your home network, there are and should be exploited to the maximum in order to improve the quality / price ratio of your subscription. Giving up fiber optics and a connection that, potentially, can reach a maximum peak of 1000 Mega (if you are reached by FTTH fiber) is a pity because this technology is clearly superior to all other types of connection available for the fixed network.