Have you ever talked about your internet connection and found yourself very confused about the high tech language used? We’re here to make understanding your internet easier. Below is a breakdown of commonly used internet terms and how they relate to your internet.



The FCC states that the term broadband refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. It is where a single cable carries a large amount of data from one location to another. Broadband is offered in four different forms, DSL, Fiber, Coax Cable, and Satellite.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by tens or even hundreds of Mbps. In addition, fiber-optic cables are not as susceptible to severe weather conditions as other types of traditional cables, which helps minimize outages. It also resists electrical interference effectively.



Digital devices and the internet speak different digital signals, so the first piece of equipment you need to connect to the internet is a modem. A modem is the translator between the digital signal of your device and the analog signal the internet uses. It converts digital data signals into radio signals and back from your device to the internet.

When using All West’s internet services our modem is what establishes and maintains a connection with internet service and your device.


The router takes the signal from the modem and distributes it to both wired devices and wireless (Wi-Fi) devices. The router also controls the area in which you can receive a wireless signal.


Internet Service Provider (ISP)

ISP is the industry term for the company that is able to provide you with access to the Internet, typically from a computer. If you hear someone talking about the Internet and they mention their "provider," they're usually talking about their ISP.

IP Address

The IP address refers to the unique string of numbers that identifies your devices. Your IP address tells your network where to send data to. It’s similar to a street address but instead of sending letters, it sends data. Every internet-connected device has two of them — a public IP address and a private IP address.


Mbps stands for "Megabits per second." This is the standard measure of "speed" or "bandwidth" on home internet connections. It measures how many bits (units of digital information) can be uploaded and downloaded each second.

Upload and Download

Download speed refers to how many Mbps it takes to download data from a server in the form of images, videos, text and more. Activities such as listening to music on Spotify, downloading large files or streaming tv on All West.tv all require you to download data.

Upload speed refers to how many Mbps you can send data from your internet connected device or server to another. Sending emails, posting photos or videos on social media and video calling a friend all require you to upload data.

Related Articles