Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dial-up Internet Versus Dsl Internet -- A No-brainer When The Facts Are Known

Introducing The Twisted Pair

What's the difference between dial-up Internet service and DSL Internet service? While both systems use the telephone to access the Internet, that is where the similarities end. The differences include: utilization of capacity, speed and cost. Please continue reading as we explore in greater depth the differences between Dial-Up and DSL Internet.
To get a handle on the differences, it is important first to understand a little bit more about how the telephone system works. It all begins with a pair of copper wires or as is often called in the industry "twisted pairs", since the pair of wires are twisted around each other.

Each telephone connection requires one "twisted pair". The twisted pair handles all voice going out and coming into a handset. The twisted pair can also handle data, so long as the line is good and does not have any static or interference.

A standard dial-up Internet Service Provider (ISP) can provide their customers an access point to the Internet, but they have to rely on their customer's telephone service provider as the corridor to get the signal from the customer's computer to the ISP's modem (bridge to the Internet).

Most people who have ever used dial-up Internet have come to the conclusion that they can use their telephone for Voice as a telephone OR Data as a computer/fax line, but one cannot do both at the same time. A dial-up ISP can give their customers access to the Internet, but they do not have the equipment or capability to extend the use of the telephone line beyond this one kind of connection.

As a result, consumers who use dial-up Internet services have one line for the Internet connection, and if they are serious about keeping a line open for those who may wish to call them, they also have a second phone number installed to capture those incoming calls.

Introducing DSL Internet Services

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. This means that digital packets of information are sent over one single channel and the voice information is sent over another channel, both of which "share" a single pair of wires. With DSL Internet services, one can actually use the telephone while using the Internet!

The key difference here is that the DSL Internet companies utilize a different kind of modem to connect their users to the Internet. You may have heard that DSL is not available in all areas, and this is true. The service relies on clear and strong signals from the client's computer to the local phone company's main access point to the Internet.

Once inside a client's home or office, the telephone system is still using the standard twisted pairs to carry the voice and data signals. But, the line that is intended to carry data signals has a filter on the line to reduce static noise in the line. Then, the line is connected to a DSL modem that intuitively knows how to distinguish the voice and data signals from each other.

DSL modems actually employ a trick to get the job done and it is very effective. A standard copper twisted pair of wires can carry up to 100 megabytes of data per second, but in order to be able to access the full potential of the twisted pair, one must have the correct hardware attached to the phone line.

A twisted pair is also able to carry signals of multiple frequencies at the same time. This is the trick of DSL Internet services. DSL services actually send voice through one frequency and data through another frequency (or channel). It is through this manipulation of frequencies that DSL Internet services are able to send two kinds of content over the same single twisted pair, thereby "sharing" one phone line between two tasks.

Put The Petal To The Metal

Dial-Up Internet Service Providers have hit a technological ceiling, preventing them from giving their users access to high-speed Internet access.

Dial-Up ISP's are limited by their technology. They are using the telephone lines to push an analog signal from their client's computer to their computer to gain access to the Internet. Analog's final frontier is the 56-kilobyte per second connection.

DSL Internet connections begin at 768-kilobyte per second (21 times faster than dial-up) and climb from there based on the consumer's willingness to pay for more speed and bandwidth.

56-kbps versus 768-kbps could mean the difference of downloading a music file or video in two minutes as opposed to forty-two minutes or longer. In some cases, files that take 24 hours to download on dial-up can be downloaded in just over an hour on DSL (think NetFlix movie downloads).

In Conclusion

For the average person on dial-up, they will generally have two phone lines, plus the $10-$20 per month subscription fee to their local ISP. DSL providers can provide DSL Internet for as little as $14.99 per month, plus the cost of one phone line.

When one considers the speed factor, DSL is a no-brainer. But when one also looks at cost, one has to ask themselves why they have been throwing money away all of these years on dial-up ISP's.

By: Woody Biddle

Article Directory:

No comments: