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Cable and satellite services High-speed Internet 

 

High-speed Internet services

Whether you spend many hours browsing the Internet on daily basis, or use it less frequently, high-speed Internet connection appears to be irresistibly convenient. While it costs more, most people find its benefits worth added expense.

You can get high-speed Internet service in one of these four forms:

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Internet
Cable Internet
Satellite Internet, and
Fiber-optic Internet

They can differ greatly as to connection speeds offered, prices and availability, so let's take a closer look of each of them.

DSL high-speed Internet access is most affordable, although also the slowest. It is phone-line based and, depending on service provider, the set up cost is from none to $100. Monthly charge averages $15-$45. Its download speeds are usually from 5 to 35 mega-bites (Mbps) per second, and upload 1-10Mbps. For this service, you need existing phone line, but that may not be enough. Since DSL service requires newer copper wires, it is frequently unavailable in cities with older-type telephone wiring, and in rural areas.

Unlike DSL, cable high-speed Internet connection is based on your existing cable television service. In other words, your cable TV service provider is your only choice for this type of Internet connection. While somewhat more pricey than DSL, averaging $40-$80 a month plus possible one-time installation fee of up to $150, it is also considerably faster. Its download speeds are typically 20-100 Mbps, and upload from 5Kbps to 15Mbps.

If you can't get neither DSL nor Cable high-speed connection, you can consider high-speed satellite Internet. With up to 25Mbps (HughesNet) and up to 100Mbps (Viasat) download, it can be either on the slow, or on the fast side. Yet, at about $50-$100 a month, plus $150-$250 one-time installation fee, and $500-$600 equipment cost, it is the most expensive. While you don't need to have existing satellite TV service for it, you do need satellite dish and wiring. Satellite high-speed Internet is available to any location within continental US that have a clear window to the southern sky, where the satellites are located.

At download speeds of up to 2000Mbps (2Gbps) for residential, and much faster available for business use, fiber-optic Internet is uncontested speed champion. It is also more reliable and consistent, and the best part is that it costs is comparable to cable (generally somewhat higher). 

All four - DSL, cable, satellite high-speed Internet access and fiber-optic - are "always on" services. You don't get disconnected, and don't need to re-connect.

For frequent travelers, wireless high-speed Internet access may be of interest. It is slower than the other options, and available within a limited range - less than 1,000 feet - from the local wireless access node, installed at increasing number of airports, hotels, businesses, convention centers, etc.

A poor-man's high-speed Internet connection is available in the form of "Accelerated Dialup Internet Access". It will give you up to 5 times faster speeds than a standard dialup Internet service - which is still up to 10 times slower than DSL - if you are willing to sacrifice graphic/image quality. Also, it doesn't accelerate download speed. 

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