Internet Access

Internet access puts you in touch with all of the great resources that are available on the Internet.

Access is the method your computer uses to connect to the rest of the Internet - either a dial-up connection using a modem or a direct connection such as DSL, ISDN, cable modem, T1, etc.

What type of access is right for you?

Internet Access Types

Access Availability

Selection Criteria


Types of Access

Cable - Access over television cable lines. Faster than dialup access and does not tie up your phone line.

Cell Phone - Essentially the same as dial-up access from a regular phone but using a cell phone instead. The cell phone must be modem compatible and the modem used must be cell phone compatible. Cell phone connections are usually much slower and more expensive than regular telephone line modem connections, but speeds are improving. Some cell phone companies now offer special access accounts.

Dialup - Access by modem over a phone line. Usually slower than most other forms of access, but the only access not restricted by location. Top speed of 56 Kbps.

DSL - Piggybacks access onto an existing phone line. Limited by distance from the phone company's equipment source, but speeds can be as high as that of a T1 or 1.5 Mbps. Usually more expensive than dial up access but less expensive than ISDN.

ISDN - Requires a special phone line and modem. Speed is limited to 128 Kbps.

Radio - Access by special radio modem. Usually as slow as or slower than dialup access and only available in larger population centers. Radio access will provide access mobility within a limited area.

Satellite - Access via television satellite dish provides higher speed downloads from the Internet, but still requires a slower phone modem connection for the transmission of data to the Internet.

T1 - Special, high-speed telephone line data connections to the Internet. Usually more expensive and only necessary for the high traffic needs of a large company or an Internet Service Provider.

Access Availability

Local - Access available from only one location or a limited area. All forms of access can provide local access.

National - Access available from multiple locations across the country. Only dialup access provides access from more than one city.

International - Access available from multiple locations around the world. Only dial-up access provides access from more than one city and country.

Access Selection Criteria

The type of access you need depends on the following:

Do you need to access the Internet while traveling?

Yes For traveling only within the local metropolitan area a radio modem connection may work. For anything else a dialup account is pretty much your only option while traveling. You may also want another, faster form of access for your home base.

No all types of access will provide local access.

How often do you need to access the Internet?

One to three times per day any access type will work.
Many times per day direct connection type will be faster and probably more satisfactory.

What do you need to do once you are connected?

Exchange limited e-mail any access type will work.
Research the Web higher speeds will save time.
Transfer data faster access may be important.

How many users will share the connection?

Up to 3 users dial up access may be enough.
More than 3 users some form of direct connection is recommended.


Dialup Access
For cheap access dial-up is the way to go. These Internet service providers offer dial up access for use at home, in business, and while traveling.

High Speed Access
Use a broadband connection for faster, more convenient access from a single location such an office or home. Options include satellite, cable, DSL, T1, OC3, and more.

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