Dial Up Internet – Pros & Cons

Dial Up Internet Service

Dial Up is the cheapest Internet access option, and may well serve your needs if you only need light to moderate Internet access. Dial up is also great if you travel because unlike most broadband plans you can use it practically anywhere. I use both a home based high-speed cable ISP and a low-cost dial-up Internet service for times when I’m away from home.

Advantages of Dial Up Internet

  • Inexpensive – Many Nationwide ISP unlimited dial-up Internet service plans are under $10 per month.
  • Mobile – You can use the dial-up Internet service anywhere there is an available telephone jack.
  • Easy – No special hardware to buy, configure or maintain.

Note: Even though most dial-up ISPs advertise Unlimited dial-up, the maximum Internet connection time is usually capped at 300 hours per month which works out to approximately 10 hours usage every day of the month. If you need more Internet connection time than this then you should seriously consider a Broadband DSL or High Speed Cable Internet Plan.

Disadvantages of Dial Up Internet

  • Slow – Unsuitable for streaming audio or multimedia video viewing.
  • Must Connect – You have to dial-up the ISPs service to access the Internet.
  • Disconnections – If your Internet connection is inactive for a period of time most ISPs will disconnect you.
  • Ties up Telephone – Your telephone line will be busy while connected without Modem On Hold.

Can I Use My Telephone While I’m Online?

If you only have one telephone line then you can’t dial out or receive incoming while you are connected to the Internet unless you have a V.92 modem with “Modem On Hold” software installed.

What Is Modem On Hold?

Modem-On-Hold is a new V.92 modem technology that allows you to make and receive phone calls while connected to the Internet. Most dial up ISPs support “Modem On Hold”. You will need call waiting service from your phone company and compatible Modem-On-Hold software. You should have received software such as “NetWaiting” or “MOH” with your v.92 modem, but if not, you will need to download it from your modem manufacturers web site.

What is Accelerated Dial Up?

Most Internet service providers offer a dial-up Internet accelerator. Basically the accelerated dial up service consists of advanced compression and caching software downloaded from your ISP and installed on your computer. This special software drastically reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent across the phone lines to your computers modem. Although you should see an immediate improvement in performance, the trade-off is that the graphic image quality is somewhat reduced. The accelerator software is usually configurable to allow you to customize the compression ratio and other settings.

How Do I Choose the Best Dial Up ISP?

I would personally choose an established Internet provider that has a proven track record and provides many U.S. Nationwide and Canadian V.92 local access numbers. To avoid long distance telephone charges, you should make sure that any prospective dial-up ISP provides local dial-up numbers for your area. Compare low cost dialup Internet providers and choose one that best fulfills your needs and is within your monthly budget.

The Pros and Cons of DSL and Cable Internet Services

If you are planning on switching to high-speed internet, you will have to choose between going with a cable or DSL connection. Although both have their pros and their cons, you may want to consider a few things because choosing either of the two.

Speed is more than likely the most important aspect of your internet experience. Cable hook up speeds are generally quite a bit faster than DSL hook up speeds. DSL typically offers speeds of up to approximately 10 Mbps, whereas cable services can provide their customers with speeds of up to 50 and 60 Mbps. Most of the cable services are looking to increase those speeds over the next coming years.

As far as interruption to your connection speeds goes, both cable and DSL cannot constantly guarantee perfect service. DSL is a distance-sensitive service that gets its connection through your home phone connection. This means that the farther away you are from this central location, the more likely it is for you to loose your connection. The amount of traffic that goes through your connection will also have an impact on your connection. If there is a lot of traffic at one time, the speed of your connection will certainly decrease.

Online security is also a very important factor that plays into your internet selection. With DSL, you have your own personal line, so they tend to be highly secure and safe. With cable, however, you will be sharing a connection with others in your area, so you run the risk of a less secure connection. As long as you take full advantage of computer security systems, however, you will more than likely be just fine.

Pros and Cons of Cable Internet

Being connected via a cable, the same as for cable television, has allowed many more residents of the United States to partake in the broadband bandwidth boom. This is largely due to the fact that there is already a plentiful network of coaxial cable spread across the continent, far more than fiber optic lines. You could say that cable got a head start with very little competition. Many telecom carriers are undoubtedly envious of the once entertainment revenue driven companies. Through the use of a cable modem, one can be hooked up to high speed Internet whereas other physical modems require phone land lines.

Pros of Cable Internet

1. Advantages of cable Internet starts at the extreme-speed of the connection. Speeds of up to 12 Mbps can be obtained within a household enabling faster streaming of video, smoother online gaming, and faster downloads.

2. Because no land line is required for cable, you are able to stay connected to the Internet continuously. There is no dialing required for the modem which is often touted as the greatest convenience in our fast paced society. Additionally, there are no phone bill costs associated with the Internet connection which have been an issue for customers having to call via Intralata long distance.

3. Other connections such as DSL are substantially slower and can often cost twice as much to reach the speeds that cable Internet can achieve. The costs for this Internet connection is able to be offered substantially at lower cost per Mbps adding value to the consumer end because of this.

4. Cable Internet connections are not just always on, but tend to remain more reliable than DSL or wireless Internet. Dropped connections are very rare and often only happen during important updates to the network, not during peak hours.

5. You can additionally bundle your Internet with other services to add value and convenience to your monthly communications expenses. This can include phone service, broadband (of course), and cable television entertainment packages.

Cons of Cable Internet

1. While you may have ordered the largest cable broadband bandwidth for your home, during peak hours you may find you don’t receive all the bandwidth you originally have ordered. This can also happen when too many are connected to your Internet connection in your home via your wireless router.

2. The cost per Megabit is a fair price, however there are not any slow cable Internet connections being sold. This leaves you open to paying more and having to buy possible more bandwidth that you need resulting in higher monthly costs.

3. Sometimes you are required to buy more than just the Internet service. Many cable companies have taken advantage of their place in the market and will insist you buy a cable television package in order to receive Internet services at all. This can alter the value when it comes to cost savings.

4. Installation costs can be somewhat hefty if you didn’t have a coaxial cable running through your premises originally. This can run into the high $100+ bracket.

5. Due to the Internet connection always be on, you will have to invest in a good anti-virus program to ensure your computer is kept safe. Not only that, but viruses can be uploaded to your computer much more efficiently with cable Internet, so keep that in mind.