True, if you have the will or the inclination to do something, there are ways and means to achieve it, but there are several Ifs and BUTs too along the way. For instance, if you intend to access the Internet, there are several ways of doing that.. But as I said, they all have advantages and disadvantages that may or may not suit your purpose. However let us take a look at all the ways and then make the decision.
Route # 1: Dial-up connection – With dial-up connection, you can connect to the internet via your telephone line with the help of your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Though it is the slowest and cheapest form of connectivity, dial-up is often the only option available for users where Broadband installations are not customary on account of low population density and high infrastructure cost.
Pros and cons of Dial-up Internet Connection – First of all, Dial-up connection to the Internet does not require infrastructure, save and except a reasonably good telephone network and a modem to facilitate the connectivity. Nevertheless, it suits users that need to access Internet occasionally and at the same time do it cost effectively, as most ISPs charge nominally for such connections. Some even provide it free of cost.
However, dial-up access is sometimes considered unreliable since the ISP or the phone company may terminate the connection whenever they wish to do so. ISPs also often set a limit on connection durations to allow sharing of resources, and will disconnect the user, thus requiring reconnection and the costs and delays associated with it. Nevertheless, technically inclined users often find a way to disable the auto-disconnect protocol and so remain connected for more number of days.
Route #2: DSL connection – With DSL that stands for Digital Subscriber Line, you get high speed bandwidth connection from a phone wall jack on your existing telephone network. Since DSL functions within frequencies that the telephone does not, you may simultaneously use the internet as also make phone calls. However, there are two major forms of DSL technology, such as:
- Symmetrical DSL that offer equal bandwidth for upload and download speeds
- Asymmetrical DSL or ADSL which is the most common form of DSL connection. Since users typically download more data than they upload, ADSL suits them most as it has more downstream bandwidth than upstream.
Pros and cons of ADSL Connection
Pros – Since it is built on existing telephone line, its availability is aplenty. Also, the availability is more cost effective than satellite or broadband connection, yet remains quite effective. Happily enough, with this type of connectivity, each subscriber enjoys a dedicated circuit, as he or she would have enjoyed with telephone service. What’s more, a number of subscribers online seldom put heavier demands on ADSL lines.
Finally, it provides a reliable and affordable connection and is always On.
Cons- ADSL service may not be available everywhere. Also, it works better when nearer to the ISP’s central office. Moreover, ADSL speed varies, depending on the time of the day.
Route # 3: Cable Internet – Being the most popular and convenient Internet access options, Cable Internet utilizes a coaxial cable in place of the telephone line to connect your computer with the Internet. Varying on the service plan you have chosen and the ISP you are depending on, it ranges from 768 kbps to 15 mbps, which as you can see is much faster than dial-up or ADSL. However, it also has its pros and cons that are outlined below.
Pros- Since it does not require a telephone line, you always have ready connection, while you can remain connected to the Internet to the Internet all the time. Also, the relatively faster speed (as compared to dial-up, ADSL, etc) allows you to transfer data comprising music, photographs and videos at high speeds. It helps provide better online gaming as it supports data-heavy online activities. Moreover, it is not susceptible to dropouts.
Cons – Speed varies, depending on the number of users in your region that are connected to the Internet at the same time. This is more evident during peak hours. First time connection charges can be pretty high; more so if you insist on a professional technician do the job for you. What’s more important – it is not available in all areas.
Route # 4: Satellite Internet – Satellite Internet is basically a wireless connection that entails 3 satellite dishes – One at the ISP’s hub, one in space and attached to your premises. Apart from the satellite dish, you also need a modem as well as cables joining the dish and the modem. When things are all connected, the ISP will transmit the internet signal to the dish in space which subsequently relays back to you. Whenever you make any request such as send an email, it travels to the dish in space and then to the ISP’s hub. The whole thing is then sent back through space to your dish and finally to your computer. Satellite Internet proves most suitable for users living in areas where no other access options are available.
Pros – Even though satellite internet is faster than dial-up or ADSL, don’t think it is as fast as a rocket. In fact, what you may reasonably expect will be 10x to 35x faster than dial-up. However, since it can effectively tackle high bandwidth usage, the speed hardly gets affected during ‘peak hours’ or at any other time of the day or night. Needles to say, satellite internet doesn’t need a telephone line for communication.
Cons – Satellite internet is affected by weather conditions. During storm, high wind or such conditions, the reception quality will fall. Also, it has poor latency and ping rate. Besides, minor obstructions are likely to affect your signal, proving a hazard if you are located in woods resplendent with lofty trees or dense forest. It is relatively expensive too, both in terms of installation and running.
>> Route 5: Wireless Internet- Also called Wi-Fi, it does not need a telephone line or a cable. In fact it uses radio frequency, is always On and can be accessed from anywhere. Speeds of course vary, ranging between 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps.
Pros and cons – Here at last we have touched a topic that has all the pros and none of the cons. However, the most effective plus point for wireless Internet access is that you are free from sitting at your desk, using a computer that is wired into your modem or router. Wireless Internet takes you to a magical land where you can use the laptop or any other Wi-Fi device anywhere you may like, regardless of whether it is in your home or out in the open.