Internet Connection Options

by Gerhard Ruf

© copyright 2001
updated 11 November 2001



    There are a number of ways to get connected to the Internet and take full advantage of the options that your Internet Service Provider (or ISP) makes available. Like any consumer, you want to get the best deal for your money. During this time together we want to learn how to choose the type of service you want and how to take advantage of your ISPs offerings.

  1. Selecting an Internet Service Provide (ISP)
  2. Connection Options
  3. Why move from a dialup modem to a DSL or cable connection?
  4. DSL provider options
  5. What types of access or services does or can the ISP provide?
  6. Choosing an ISP (personal account)
    1. Types of providers
      1. Extra service providers (AOL, Compuserve)
      2. National Service Providers (Earthlink, JPSNet) (a few are free)
      3. Regional/Local Service Providers (check local publications or seek recommendations)

    2. Fees
      1. Setup fee
      2. Monthly fee
      3. Discounts for advance payment, for age
      4. Program Disk or CD

    3. Access numbers (Point of Presence - POP)
      1. Are numbers available in all the areas from which you'll want access?
      2. Is an 800 number available for other areas? (with or without extra fees)
      3. Check the local access number from your phone for busy signals during busy times (weekday evenings).

    4. Local or Toll-free Telephone Technical Support
      1. What days and hours is technical support available?
            24/7/365 is typical

    5. Modem (line) to User Ratio in your area (1:10 or better)
      1. How many modem lines (modem pool) are there in your dialing area?

    6. ISP's connection speed to the Web
      1. What is the type of connection (look for T3 or better)
      2. How many connections between this ISP and UUNET.
        - Use 'TRACERT' from a DOS window to determine

    7. How much memory is available for personal web space and email attachments?
      1. Most provide 10 to 20 Meg of personal web space - some provide 50 Meg
      2. Some provide additional space 2 to 5 Meg for email attachments.

  7. Choose your ISP wisely allowing for future expanded usage.
    1. It's a real bother to change your email address.
    2. If you've published information at the site, it's difficult to restablish your web pages with a new address.


  1. Ask questions suggested by the above of a few ISPs.
  2. Ask your ISP for assistance in using a feature you are not yet using
    or look into getting an account with a ISP in your area.

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