Dial-up Internet connections are slow and prevent you from using your phone line for the telephone at the same time. For some, not having access to your phone line is unimportant. But for others, such as those who work from home, the ability to access the phone while online is necessary. Unless you install a second phone line into your home, choose an Internet connection option that does not interrupt phone service.
Many cable companies offer high-speed Internet access in addition to their television services. This access comes through the same lines as the cable television channels and does not interrupt your telephone service. The cable company typically provides you with the modem required to receive the signal as well as professional set-up. You do not need to log in or out of your cable Internet access. As long as your computer is on and the cable is connected, you are online. You are also free to receive phone calls at any time with no interruption to either service. Cable Internet is among the fastest of the broadband connections.
A cheaper high-speed Internet option is a digital subscriber line or DSL. This service is often offered by telephone companies. The service runs through the same lines as your telephone but the frequencies at which the signal travels is different; therefore, unlike dial-up Internet, the connection does not interrupt your phone service. With DSL, you must log in to your account to be connected. While you are connected, the telephone can be used. The modem used for DSL filters the phone calls out of the phone line and allows use of the phone and Internet at the same time.
Those who use a satellite provider for their television services can take advantage of satellite Internet in place of dial-up. Unlike cable or DSL connections, satellite Internet can be used anywhere as long as you have a clear view of the sky in the proper direction for your service. Satellite Internet can be interrupted more easily, similarly to satellite television, but interruptions are not frequent. Bandwidth may be limited, however. This type of Internet connection does not interfere with your phone line.
Some areas offer wireless Internet access for free. Some businesses offer it to their patrons, while some cities offer city-wide wireless connections that are available for everyone to use. If a wireless connection is available in your area, you can connect to the Internet using a wireless-enabled laptop at any time without interrupting your phone line. Depending on your distance from the source of the wireless connection, your speed will vary. If you live closer to the source, you will experience higher speeds than if you live further away. Your overall speed may also vary depending on how many other people are accessing the system at the same time. Privacy is another issue that can be a problem with this type of connection.
If dial-up is your only option, either because nothing else is available or you cannot afford the other options, adding the call-waiting option to your phone can limit the interruption to your phone line. While you will not be able to make outgoing calls while you are connected to the Internet, you will still be able to receive incoming calls. However, any incoming call will interrupt your Internet connection and place you offline.
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