Type of Internet Connection/Access Method

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There are several ways of connecting to access the Internet. These connections vary in techniques, speed, way of connections, use purpose, etc. These are –

(A) Dial Up Connection

  • Dial-up is rare now and hence less used.
  • It was consider as the first widely used method for internet access.
  • It is cheap and traditional connection.
  • It uses analog phone lines to connect to the internet like DSL but unlike DSL, only one type of communication can go through the line at a time.
  • Here, a dial-up modem converts digital signals from a computer into analog signals that go over the phone analog line by running a phone call to the ISP’s server.
  • A dial-up connection is a broadband connection that uses a modem to establish data connections using the public switched telephone network (PSTN) channel.
  • For a dial-up connection, a dial-up modem is required and the user must dial a telephone number to connect with Internet Service Provider (ISP) through a telephone line, through the PSTN.
  • In dial-up, we can’t use both the Internet and phone line service at the same time as in DSL.
  • Dial-up modems are slower than other connections.
  • Dial-up modems are unable to use certain types of high-speed connection services, such as cable and DSL.
  • Dial-up connection uses either of the PPP or SLIP protocols.

(B) Leased Line Connection

  • leased line is a type of high-speed internet access or connection between service provider and user. A leased-line is a telephone line that is dedicated to a particular business/branches.
  • A leased line is a renting system of internet access in which a dedicated cable from the telephone company/ISP is used to connect user’s offices or branches together, enabling users to transfer large volumes of data with the help of the internet.
  • Leased line connection have the same functionality as a dedicated line, but leased line have low cost with some added flexibility. Actually, instead of paying for a full, physical phone line, we only pay a monthly bill based on usage, which makes leased lines much cheaper than physical lines.
  • Normally a single channel leased line offers speeds of up to 10Mb/s, while a double channel leased line can provide up to 40Mb/s.

(C) ISDN Connection

  • ISDN stands for “Integrated Service Digital Network”.
  • ISDN is a form of digital telephone and data networking that was used initially in North America and Europe but it is introduced world wide for commercial use in 1988 and gradually replaced the use of modems for transfers of data from storage devices, PCs, and the Internet.
  • ISDN is used with digital subscriber line (DSL) technology to enable faster data transmission rates over ordinary phone lines.
  • The common data rates in ISDN were 64 and 128 kilobit per second.
  • ISDN transmits multimedia data in digital form.
  • ISDN works with analog telephone line, fax machine and DSL connections.
  • Comparatively costly.

(D) DSL Connection

(a) DSL(Digital Subscriber Line)

  • DSL was initially called digital subscriber loop.
  • It is a form of broadband connection.
  • DSL connects to the Internet via a ordinary copper wire telephone lines but does not require physically a landline phone at home.
  • It is always on and there is no need to dial a phone number to connect as in Dial Up connection.
  • Unlike dial-up, we can use both the Internet and phone line at the same time in DSL.
  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a group of technologies that transmit digital data across the wires of a local cellular network.
  • The faster forms of DSL typically available to big businesses are :
    • High data rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL); and
    • Very High data rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL).
(i) ADSL(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
    • The word DSL is typically used in telecoms marketing to refer to Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), the most typically deployed DSL technology.
    • Services given to residential customers mainly.
    • ADSL service typically gives faster speed in the downloading and less speed in the uploading.
    • ADSL allows faster downstream data transmission over the same line used to provide voice service, without disrupting regular telephone calls on that line.
(ii) SDSL(Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
    • Used typically by businesses for services such as video conferencing, which need significant bandwidth in both upstream and downstream.

    (E) Broad Band Connection

    • Broadband is a high-speed internet access which is faster than traditional dial-up access.
    • It has a wide bandwidth data transmission technique that transports several signals and traffic types.
    • Broadband connection is provided through either cable or telephone composition.
    • It does not require any telephone connection hence we can use both telephone line and internet connection simultaneously without affectiong others.
    • In broadband connection, more than one person can access the internet connection simultaneously.
    • In this connection, the medium used is coaxial cable, optical fiber cable, twisted pair cable or radio wave. 

    (F) Fiber Optic Connection

    • It is one of the fastest home internet options available today.
    • Fiber optic internet is a type of internet connection that uses fiber optic cables to transmit data with extremely high speeds and high-quality continuously.
    • The only disadvantage of fiber optic internet is comparatively costly and less availablity.

    (G) Cable Connection

    • Cable is a common internet access method for high-speed internet.
    • This is usually done dedicately using coaxial links as cable TV connection.
    • It uses coaxial cable which is capable of transferring data at much higher speed than common telephone line.
    • The cable method of internet access is used in fast data-transfer applications. This cable is called 100-base-T Ethernet cable.
    • The cables used to connect workstations together are 10BaseT and 100BaseT cables. The cables used to connect servers to concentrators, routers, and switches are 1000BaseT cables. 
    • Higher security risk than dialup or DSL connection.
    • Comparatively costly than dial up and DSL connection.

    (H) Wireless/WiFi Connection

    • WiFi stands for Wireless Fidelity. Vic Hayes is considered as Father of WiFi.
    • The normal range of a WIFi is about 90 meters (300 feet) from the transceiver.
    • Normally at least 7 or more end users can be sharing the same master transceiver & still each be able to get up to 1544 Kbps data.
    • Wireless or Wi-Fi internet connections connects to the internet without the need of telephone lines or wires.
    • This internet connection use radio frequency for connectivity and data transfer.
    • It is always-on connection and this connection can be accessed from anywhere within its range and the speed may vary from different locations.
    • Wireless is a link that is constantly available and can be accessed from almost anywhere within its range.
    • The internet speed usually varies, ranging from 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps.
    • Speed is affected in bad weather condition.
    • More flexible method for a user than others.

    (I) VSAT/Satellite Connection

    • VSAT stands for “Very Small Aperture Terminal.”
    • VSAT is a technology used in satellite communications systems to provide internet access, data transfer, and other telecommunications services. Thus, VSAT supports voice, video, and data services.
    • VSAT terminals consist of a small dish antenna (usually around 1.2 to 2.4 meters in diameter), a transceiver, and associated networking equipment.
    • It uses line-of-sight technology.
    • VSAT systems use geostationary satellites to establish a two-way communication link between the VSAT terminal and the satellite in space. This enables data transmission over long distances, making it particularly useful in remote or rural areas where terrestrial infrastructure is limited. Thus, this type of connection is mostly suitable for remote rural, seas, forests, deserts, or those areas where a broadband connection is not yet/functioning well.
    • VSAT technology can be cost-effective for providing connectivity to areas where laying traditional communication infrastructure (such as fiber optic cables) would be impractical or cost-prohibitive.
    • Satellite internet is a special type of Internet access in which a client connects with satellites circling high overhead using a unique dish.
    • There are two types of satellite internet connection: one-way connection(=perform only download work) or two-way connection(=perform both upload and download work).
    • Satellite internet companies generally provide 12 to 100 Mbps speed.
    • Satellite internet is a good choice for smaller families, govt. agencies, businesses, etc. to use the internet.
    • VSAT technology is used in various applications, including broadband internet access for remote locations, corporate networks, maritime(marine) and aviation communications, and disaster recovery.
    • VSAT systems are known for their reliability, even in remote and challenging environments. However, they can be susceptible to weather-related disruptions, such as heavy rain or extreme atmospheric conditions, which may affect signal quality.
    • More expensive comparatively due to the large setup cost.

    (J) Cellular Connection

    • It is an alternative way of internet access.
    • In this method, our mobile phone modem or hotspot connects with the closest cellular tower.
    • The speed directly depends on the distance from cellular tower.

    (K) Hotspot ConnectionL

    • Hotspots are spots/locations that provides Internet access over a wireless local area network (WLAN). This location is joined to an Internet service provider via a router.
    • A user or client connects with Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables electronic equipment to connect to a Network or exchange information wirelessly via radio waves, is used in hotspots.
    • Hotspots location may be phone-based or stand-alone, commercial or public-access.

    (L) WiMax

    • WiMax stands for “Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access”.
    • It is broadband wireless internet access connection.
    • It offers fast broadband connections over long distance up to 30 miles.
    • It is non-line-of-sight technique.
    • It shows multi-functionality.
    • Data quality is slightly poor.
    • Set up cost is high.


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