Options for Internet Connections

Fast internet connections are a must for most small and home business owners. The faster the connection, the more quickly you can get your online work done. While some people are still okay with dial-up connections, most who have higher speed connections would never go back!

The main benefit of having a high-speed connection is that you will be able to do your work faster, and with much less frustration if you do much work online. Plus, you keep your phone line free for conducting business. Depending on the “deal”, there will probably be some initial installation costs, and you should ask provider if there is anything else you will need that they don’t provide or include in the basic package.

What are your options?

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is provided by phone companies. It offers pretty reliable and fast connections. Plus, it is more secure than cable, and you do not share bandwidth with other users. The speed is affected by distance—the farther you are from the nearest central office for your ISP, the slower your connection. You may not be able to get DSL if your local phone company has not upgraded to the copper wiring required for DSL.

Cable modem connections use the same cable that provides cable television. It is faster than DSL, and can use your existing cable TV lines. Cable shares bandwidth, meaning that the more people in your area who are online, the slower your internet connection will be. It is also less secure than DSL.

To decide between cable and DSL, ask users in your neighborhood. Some areas are located far away from the DSL office and thus get slower connections. And, in some areas, many people use cable connections, slowing those connections down. The only way you can find out is to ask around.

There are two other options if you cannot get DSL or cable in your area:

--Satellite connections are one way for people in remote areas to get high-speed connections. There are a few drawbacks—you have to have a clear view of the southern sky for the satellite, and there are some lags as data is transferred via the satellite. However, the biggest drawback here is probably price—it’s considerably more expensive.

--Faster Dial-up access is offered by some phone companies for those in areas without DSL or Cable, or if you just want cheaper access. It is about 5 times faster than normal dial-up, but not as fast as the broadband services.

For more information on broadband connections, this book is available from Amazon: Broadband Internet Connections: A User's Guide to DSL and Cable