Web

Cord-cutting Americans are ditching their wired broadband connections, too

Mobile Lifestyle Image
Unsplash
Lack of infrastructure is often mentioned as the reason why people in developing countries often choose mobile Internet over home wired connections. A new study may change that notion, though, as it shows Americans are increasingly choosing mobile Internet over wired Internet as well.

The news comes as part of a bigger study on American online behavior conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. While some of the results — such as that low-income families are relying primarily on their phones to get online — we already knew, what is new is that the use of mobile Internet is occurring across the board.

Even among those making $100,000 or more, 15 percent reported using their phones as their primary Internet connection in 2015, up nine percent from two years before. The same general increase was seen across every other demographic, with close to 3 in 10 Americans making under $25,000 now using their phones to go online at home.

It’s not exactly clear what might be behind this shift in preferences on Internet consumption. While income may play a part in the decision to choose one form over the other, Americans as a whole could just be deciding that it’s unnecessary to have both.

Just look at how far mobile Internet has come in the past few years. According to Akamai’s most recent State of the Internet report, mobile broadband speeds as of the end of 2015 averaged around 5 Mbps. That’s about the same as most standard wired broadband connections, making it viable for everyday use.

These changes could also mean big adjustments for Web companies that up until now focused on development for the desktop. With Americans turning to the mobile Web, developing full-featured and easy-to-navigate mobile websites will become more important than ever.

This could create a whole other type of digital divide, experts say. Income, race, and location used to split us into the haves and have-nots when it came to the Internet. Now with mobile Internet all the more popular, lack of sufficient access to services might be the problem, owing to poor mobile website design.

“This new divide is characterized not solely by whether an individual can use the Internet, but by the full range of capabilities available to the user, including whether that person can access sufficient service and a device that is suited to a particular task,” Office of Policy Analysis and Development chief economist Giulia McHenry writes.

Emerging Tech

Another giant leap: U.S. plans to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says that President Donald Trump is directing NASA to commit to sending American astronauts to the moon by 2024. Here's what we know about the mission so far.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Computing

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
News

Drunk shoppers spend $48B per year while intoxicated, mostly on Amazon

Drunk shoppers spend more than $400 per year, according to the results of a survey carried out by The Hustle. The drunk shopping industry is apparently worth $48 billion, and Amazon is turning out to be the biggest beneficiary.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.