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.
- Selecting an Internet Service Provide (ISP)
- Connection Options
- Dialup - typical modem speed 56K (usually connects at between 40 and 50 K)
- DSL - 256K to 1 Meg (some even provide 4 Meg connection speeds) (many flavors)
- Cable Modem (via your cable TV provider)
- Satellite connection (via Direct TV)
- ISDN - 128K - not cost effective for home use, but a more reliable connection
- Frame Relay - 56K - not cost effective for home use, but a more reliable connection
- Ethernet to your home (i.e.
SwitchPoint (formerly Airswitch) in Utah - limited availability)
- Wireless connections (for cell phones and notebooks)
- Why move from a dialup modem to a DSL or cable connection?
- Time is of the essence
- Phone is tied up so much that you need a second line
- You have more than one computer to connect
- DSL provider options
- What types of access or services does or can the ISP provide?
- Email - how many addresses? - most used service
Outlook Express (bundled with Internet Explorer
Netscape Messenger (bundled with Netscape Communicator)
- World Wide Web - browsing, searching
www.microsoft.com (Version 5.5 or 6.0)
www.netscape.com (Version 4.78 or 6.2)
- FTP - sharing files, data, programs
- Newsgroups (locally archived)
- Telnet - 'shell' access
Windows 9x - HyperTerminal (Start/Programs/Accessories/HyperTerminal)
Hilgraeve - HyperTerminal PE
www.hilgraeve.com (Version 6.1)
- Web space for your own Internet pages (5 - 50Meg is typical)
- Mailing List Manager (start your own mailing list(s))
- Microsoft Front Page 98 Extension support (if you use Front Page)
- Choosing an ISP (personal account)
- Types of providers
- Extra service providers (AOL, Compuserve)
- National Service Providers (Earthlink, JPSNet) (a few are free)
- Regional/Local Service Providers (check local publications or seek recommendations)
- Setup fee
- Monthly fee
- Discounts for advance payment, for age
- Program Disk or CD
- Access numbers (Point of Presence - POP)
- Are numbers available in all the areas from which you'll want access?
- Is an 800 number available for other areas? (with or without extra fees)
- Check the local access number from your phone for busy signals during
busy times (weekday evenings).
- Local or Toll-free Telephone Technical Support
- What days and hours is technical support available?
24/7/365 is typical
- Modem (line) to User Ratio in your area (1:10 or better)
- How many modem lines (modem pool) are there in your dialing area?
- ISP's connection speed to the Web
- What is the type of connection (look for T3 or better)
- How many connections between this ISP and UUNET.
- Use 'TRACERT www.ispname.com' from a DOS window to determine
- How much memory is available for personal web space and email attachments?
- Most provide 10 to 20 Meg of personal web space - some provide 50 Meg
- Some provide additional space 2 to 5 Meg for email attachments.
- Choose your ISP wisely allowing for future expanded usage.
- It's a real bother to change your email address.
- If you've published information at the site, it's difficult to restablish
your web pages with a new address.
- Ask questions suggested by the above of a few ISPs.
- 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.
This page has been accessed times since 5 Jan 01.