With the advent of computer technology and the ever-growing significance of both personal and professional Internet usage, it is now more important than ever to have a fast and reliable connection to the World Wide Web. Fortunately there are several different options available, giving consumers a choice of which Internet service provider they wish to use. However, not all options are available in all areas, especially rural communities. Price and overall connection speed are also important considerations, so it is essential to research ahead of time to determine which service would be the best choice in your local area.
The three main services are wireless, DSL and cable modem. Wireless service is the slowest and least reliable of the three, yet in some rural communities it may be the only choice available. Of the remaining options, DSL and cable modem, there are distinct differences in how they work.
A digital subscriber line (DSL) provides a data connection over the lines of a local telephone system. This is done by transmitting the data at a higher frequency than normal voice service, so it can be filtered easily. DSL provides a constant connection speed and can be used simultaneously with the telephone without losing its connection. It is also the most secure system because the connection is dedicated to a single user, yet it is generally slower than a cable modem. Distance from your ISP may also slow your speed, unlike cable.
Cable Internet access uses the local cable television system to provide Internet access. Though many cable TV subscribers bundle television and cable modem access into affordable packages, it is possible to get cable modem access without purchasing the television service. It is also possible to get telephone service through the same cable connection, making it a very cost-efficient system by eliminating the need for a phone line. However, the bandwidth is shared by multiple users on the same system, and your speed may be affected if there are many users online at the same time.