There are multiple ways to get an Internet connection. Some use your phone line, some use your cable line, and some use neither. Dial-up is the longest-running service and uses your phone line. This post goes into detail about how dial-up Internet works and why it’s so outdated.
Let’s face it, the first iteration of a new technology will always be available to some degree, but it gets surpassed by bigger and better things. Vinyl records became CDs. Cellphones became smartphones. Typewriters became computers. Yes, you can go into a few stores here and there and find the old technology, but society moves on.
That’s what happened with dial-up. However, the reason dial-up is still popular is that it’s a great option for rural customers. People who live in the middle of nowhere can’t always get DSL or cable Internet. Dial-up is available anywhere. All you need is a phone line.
Dial-up connections and how they work
Dial-up is what people first used for an Internet connection. It connects your computer to your phone line, but doesn’t give you the luxury of using both services simultaneously. For instance, if you’re on the phone and someone else connects to the Internet, your call will drop. Similarly, if you’re on the Internet and your phone rings, you’ll be booted off. With dial-up, data and voice is transmitted over the same line. Therefore, it can’t handle both at once.
Once this gets too annoying, many dial-up subscribers opt for a second phone line so they can do both things at the same time. However, this costs them more money.
The other thing to keep in mind about dial-up is that it’s incredibly slow. It’s the slowest service out there, offering speeds at only 56K. If you’re a turtle, you’ll love dial-up.
Using wireless Internet with dial-up
Since dial-up is so slow, can it be used with a wireless router? The short answer is yes, but it’s tricky and it’ll still be very slow. You’ll need three things to get started:
- Wireless router compatible with dial-up connections
- Wireless access point
A wireless access point is something you use to relay a signal between wireless devices, like your router and your computer. To get set up, all you have to do is connect the modem to the router, then connect the access point to the router as well.
In short, dial-up is the most primitive service. Check back next week for an in-depth explanation of another connection type. In the meantime, you can learn more about wireless Internet at places like wireless Internet Cleveland or wireless Internet Redmond, for example.