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What are the Different Ways to Connect to the Internet?

An ADSL modem, one of the ways to connect to the Internet.
Internet connections that use DSL technology are much faster than dial-up modems.
Dial-up was one of the earlier ways computers could connect to the Internet using a phone line.
A wireless router can be used with a modem to access the Internet.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2014
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There are many different ways to connect to the Internet. One of the most common ways is via a dial-up connection. With a dial-up connection, the Internet user can connect to the Internet via his or telephone line and an Internet service provider. This method of connecting to the Internet is generally considered the cheapest, but it is also provides the user with the slowest overall connection speeds. However, it may suit the purposes of the occasional Internet user without a need for a fast or consistent connection.

Broadband connections offer another way to connect to the Internet. In this category are cable and DSL connections. With a cable connection, the user must subscribe to a cable-television/Internet service. These connections are typically very fast, offering speeds upwards of 70 times faster than dial-up connections. They also allow the user to stay connected to the Internet at all times; the user need only open a browser window to access the Internet, as there is no log-on process to complete.

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Like cable Internet service, DSL offers much faster speeds than those available with dial-up modems. However, there is a wide range of speeds available from different providers, generally going up to 3 Mbps (3000 Kbps). With DSL, normal telephone wires are used to combine usually separate voice and data lines, allowing users to connect to the Internet and talk on the phone via the same telephone line. Further, users needn’t hang up with callers to access the Internet, as phone calls and web surfing can occur at the same time.

Satellite Internet service is another form of high-speed Internet connection. It employs telecommunications satellites to allow users to connect to the Internet. Typically, such connections are most popular in areas in which cable and DSL connections are either unavailable or unreliable. However, satellite connections are usually slower than cable and DSL connections. Also, they often experience high network latency because of delays in data transmission, and this can lead to a rather lethargic performance, especially when it comes to gaming and downloading.

In addition to broadband and dial-up services, web users are now able to connect to the Internet wirelessly, accessing the web without wires or cables of any type. Wireless technology allows users to have mobile connections, accessing the web (with some limitations) where and when they need to. This can be accomplished via public Wi-Fi networks, cellular services, and Wimax — a somewhat newer type of wireless service. These technologies vary in terms of connectivity, reliability, and cost, but they all allow users to connect whether they are at home, school, work, or on the road.

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Discuss this Article

anon355287
Post 15

Does a laptop and say an android use a different method to log on to the internet? I'm talking the technical way, e.g., is there a completely different program in a computer from an android, etc., that is used to access the internet?

I hope this makes sense. The reason I'm asking is, for the past three weeks, our internet and everyone on our exchange has had very, very slow internet access and the question that is bugging me is why can I access the internet at an OK speed on my kindle but have to wait half an hour or more or doesn't happen at all to connect through my laptop? The problem has been checked, but can't find the flat. Again this is affecting everyone on our exchange. Please help.

anon192710
Post 8

Exactly the information I was looking for to complete a school project. Thanks!

anon132814
Post 7

it was very useful and brief. I think for five minutes' reading it surely has a lot of good information. thank you.

anon43198
Post 4

@ anon12446: It's not a contradiction. It's a comparison among high-speed Internet connection types.

anon33819
Post 3

I just bought a computer that only has an ethernet jack in the back and I have dial up. Since I have an external modem for this computer I was wondering if there was any way I can connect the modem to the computer using the ethernet cord but then connect the external modem to the phone jack. Let me know if you have any other suggestions for this situation using dial up internet access. Thank You!

sourappleblowpop
Post 2

most likely, the writer is comparing satellite internet service to dial up. while it is faster than dial up, it's slower than cable and dsl. i don't think you can make those claims and be contradictory.

anon12446
Post 1

I have a question about this site because first the writer implies that "Satellite Internet service is another form of high-speed Internet connection." to later contradict by saying "However, satellite connections are usually slower than cable and DSL connections"

Can you better explain?

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