Internet Connectivity Options

Connection to Internet can be done by dial-up, DSL, cable Internet, decide as per download speeds and wired or wireless.

Dial-Up – It was used extensively earlier. It used a modem which dials to ISP computer when connection is to be made. It used public switched telephone network(PSTN). It was slow and maximum speed of 56 Kbps.

DSL – Digital subscriber line (DSL) has digital data transmissions over phone lines but at high speeds. DSL modem or router connects to the phone line and to the PC’s network adapter to share internet. It has speeds of 384 Kbps and upwards. Phone and data transmission takes place simultaneously and it has two types

Asymmetrical DSL (ADSL): Download and upload speeds are different and used widely.

Symmetrical DSL (SDSL) Download and upload speeds are same but expensive

Cable Internet – It uses cable Internet and cable TV, offering higher speeds than DSL to an average of 5Mbps to 7Mbps. It is shared by customers so becomes slower.

Satellite – It uses a satellite dish to connect via line of sight to a satellite and used at remote places. Its speed is close to other broadband options but, suspect to electrical and natural interference and high latency.

ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network is digital technology for sending data, voice, and fax from one line. Companies use for video conferencing but it is expensive. It is of two types

BRI: Basic Rate ISDN: 128Kbps. Two equal B channels at 64Kbps each for data and one 16Kbps D channel for timing.

PRI: Primary Rate ISDN: 1.536Mbps, runs on a T-1 circuit; 23 equal 64Kbps B channels for data and one 64Kbps D channel for timing.

Cellular – It is more popular with widespread use of smart phones and using 3G and 4G.

3G (third-generation telecommunications) – It is on new mobile phones to send data at higher speeds on cellular networks. Data speeds are from 2Mbps to 14Mbps; and for moving devices about 1Mbps. But usually a minimum of 384Kbps is offered. Now laptops with  in-built 3G are also coming.

4G (short for fourth generation) – It is in development, and will give a faster and stable solution. Its speed will be 100Mbps to 1Gbps.

802.11 Wireless – It is wireless options for LAN. The 802.11x series of protocols tells the speeds, frequencies, and methods to transmit data over radio waves in small geographic areas using unlicensed spectrums. There are four different 802.11 derivatives 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. It needs wireless access point (AP) and wireless network adapters which should be compatible.

802.11 VersionMaximum Data RateFrequency
802.11a54Mbps5 GHz
802.11b11Mbps2.4GHz
802.11g54Mbps2.4GHz
802.11n300Mbps5 or 2.4GHz

Bluetooth – It is short-range wireless technology to synchronize network devices. It is in three classes. Class I has a range of 100 meters, Class II (the most common) has range of 10 meters, and Class III has short range of 1 meter. They are commonly used to connect mobiles with headset and form a personal area network. Devices can be paired to access internet from mobile phone on PC.

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