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Types of Internet Connections
Some Common Types of Internet Connections
Internet connections types were the most dynamically changing and improving technologies of the past few years and are still soaring. The first connection type widely available was the 56k dialup. To download A CD worth of data would have taken 24 hours at continuous max speed. I now use DSL which is about the middleground today and it takes me 48 minutes, on average! Thats about 33 times faster. So what are the options available on the market today?
Dialup ConnectionThis is the slowest connection type. It is a lot worse than DSL and other options and only recommended to people who have no other option. You need a 56k modem but don't expect 56kb/s speeds, that's just a clever marketing plot. Realistic speeds are 2-3 Kb/s. If you only need to use the net for short text messages and some information now and then you could choose this option but I would strongly discourage you.
ISDN is now quite obsolete, but you can order it from some service providers. It needs it's own modem type and doubles the standard 56k speed, it can reach 6-7 kb/s if you're lucky.
If you see ADSL, XDSL, HDSL, etc you are essentially talking about the same thing. DSL is a huge-huge leap forward, depending on the type you have you can reach speeds in excess of 290 Kb/s. A special modem is needed for this connection and the provider has to come and install both the line and the modem. The good news is they usually give you the modem for free, although it does stay in their possession legally. Costs also jump a bit from ISDN, but DSL is still not that costly. In many countries the competition is so big that companies may increase you bandwidth anytime. When I signed up my connection speed maxed out at 220kb/s now it is 280kb/s and rates haven't been changed.
Cable is becoming very high speed, recently there has been a switch from 5 to 10Mb/s. Again, do not be fooled as this is megabits not megabytes. Despite this, 10 Megabits translates to about 1.25 Megabytes/s which is still blazing fast. This would download you a CD in 8 minutes! You could download the whole Encyclopedia Britannica books in three quarters of an hour! The downside is that cable is not that widely available, especially in rural ares.
Satelite is the only high speed option available to those living in extremely rural areas. It is available just about anywhere on the planet but does have some downsides. The equipement needed is costly, it tends to be over the $500 mark and if you experience bery bad weather the signal will be worse or just gone. Speeds can almost reach DSL speeds so no worries there, but only consider this if you are out of DSL access.