Still Have Dial-up? Some Things You Should Think About

Still Have Dial-up?
Some Things You should Think About

It recently came to my attention that there are still a significant percent of the population that use dial-up internet and don’t really understand the difference between it and the more common broadband/high-speed internet. Both provide access to the internet but other than that they are really nothing alike. Here’s the breakdown:

Dial-up Facts:
• Dial-up is run through the traditional land-line phone connection by dialing a number provided by the internet service provider using a modem or server. The information is sent back and forth over the same phone line your phone calls are made or received. This means you can’t use your phone or you have a separate line for your computer.
• Dial-up connections take time since the modem literally dials a number to establish the connection. The process can involve alternating phone numbers and a connection is not assured.
• Dial-up is a transient connection, a connection can be severed by the user, ISP or phone company. Limits are often set for the duration of connections and a connection then has to be reestablished.
• Dial-up typically has a maximum transfer speed of 40 to 50 Kbits/s, not very fast on today’s computer highways.
• You need a modem to use-up.
• By the mid-2000s computer manufacturers stopped including modems in standard

High-speed internet
• Broadband connections usually run between 7mbps and 1gbps (7mbps is equal to 7000kbits/sec 140 times faster than fastest dial-up speeds.)
• High-speed internet can come over a phone line but does not interfere with phone usage. It can also run on cable lines, wireless antennas or via satellite.
• You do not need a modem. Modems were replaced by LAN (local area network) ports and Wi-Fi cards.
• Modern computers come with LAN ports, wireless technology or both for use with high-speed internet connections.

Other Considerations
• Strictly speaking, dial-up is not more secure than broadband. However, it is so much slower than broadband/high-speed internet that hackers don’t usually want to mess with it.
• Dial-up is antiquated technology. Dial up modems have not been standard technology for over 10 years.
• You cannot plug a phone cable into a LAN port and expect to have it work with the new computers. For one thing it isn’t compatible and it’s probably too slow. If you have dial-up the bottom line is that with a new computer you will probably need to have your dial-up updated to a broadband, high-speed internet connection.

I remember dial-up as a slow and laborious waiting game like trying to drive a golf cart on the freeway. High-speed internet is like a Road Runner cartoon, you are there and back again in the blink of an eye. It works fast and I can get to where I need to be without the waiting game frustration. It is totally worth it in today’s high speed “get ‘er done” business world.

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