Dial-Up v. Broadband
A computer can connect to the Internet in several ways. The most common ones are over a telephone line, TV cable, or computer networks installed at companies, schools and public places such as libraries. Other connection modes include satellite links and even cell phone connections, but the standard consumer options offered are a connection over your telephone line (dial-up) or a broadband connection.
A dial-up connection allows users to connect to the Internet via their telephone line using a standard 56k modem. The computer literally uses its modem to dial a telephone number provided by the Internet Service Provider and connects to the server’s modem and therefore the Internet. Dial-up has a transfer rate of 56 kilobits of data per second under ideal conditions. For example, a MP3 song may take several minutes to download using a dial-up connection.
BROADBAND (OR HIGH-SPEED INTERNET)
Broadband Internet is a service where you don’t have to dial a telephone number each time the computer makes a connection. In fact, a broadband connection can stay on all the time. Broadband generally uses a telephone line (DSL) or TV cable to link to an Internet Service Provider. Its data transfer capacity is also substantially greater than that of dial-up, allowing for ease of enjoyment of multimedia content, photos, music, videos and applications beyond reach for a dial-up connection. For example, a photo can be downloaded in a second. And the broadband connections don’t block the telephone line, which can be freely used while you’re on the Internet. Also, many cell phone carriers are now offering broadband service for PCs via a smartphone.
Top Questions to Ask When Choosing an Internet Service Provider
When you are deciding among internet providers, you will want to know about their special discounts, any fees associated with their service, what their internet speed is, and if you will be able to change your service during your contract.
Click here to learn why these questions are important to ask.
SOURCE: For more information about subscribing to the Internet, visit www.getconnectedtoday.com, a project of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF).
To find computer or Internet training near you, call 2-1-1 or visit www.211.org.