Broadband, Internet, & Wi-Fi … Oh My!

Broadband, Internet, & Wi-Fi … Oh My!

Golden West provides its members with a broadband connection to the internet. The cooperative also offers and supports a router for convenient Wi-Fi access for the growing number of devices online today. But what does that all mean?

What is Broadband?

In telecommunications, broadband refers to a connection that’s capable of sending and receiving a lot of data from multiple signals at once. Simply put, broadband refers to high-speed internet access that is always on.

The Federal Communications Commission currently sets a speed threshold for broadband classification of download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps.

What is Internet?

The internet is a decentralized, worldwide network of billions of computers and other electronic devices that communicate with one another. Applications such as email and the world wide web, which respectively enable the distribution of messages and image-rich content and information, exist on the internet and communicate via the Internet Protocol language.

What is a Router?

A router is a networking appliance that directs traffic on the internet and generally serves as the on ramp to the web. The router communicates between the internet and the devices in your home that connect online. The router takes its hard-wired connection to the internet and shares its access over a local wireless network known as Wi-Fi.

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a wireless network that connects nearby devices with each other; it also generally allows these devices to access the internet. The router transmits internet data using Wi-Fi signals or radio waves between it and your wireless devices. Some say Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity; others claim an advertising agency developed the name. One thing is for sure: Wi-Fi and broadband are different things that work together to connect you to the internet via your router.

Understanding the world of technology and the internet can be confusing, especially with all the technical language. Golden West has compiled a glossary of terms that can be browsed online anytime at



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