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Different types Of Internet Access Platforms contains a wealth of information of the different types of Internet commercially available. Check out the below Internet access information, and also be sure to visit our DSL FAQ section if you have any more questions after that!

Connecting to the Internet via your network takes a look at the various Internet access technologies available for accessing the Web via network connections. Every technology or Internet access service has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right Internet access will require some careful consideration.

Cable Internet Access

Cable Internet Access is renowned for its high speed Internet connectivity via networks. Seeing as it is always on, it is one of the fastest and most convenient ways of accessing the web. It is generally subscribed to by home-based users, rather than by businesses. One of the key advantages of Cable Internet over Dial-up Internet access is that it is a significantly faster - and never offline. The one drawback of a cable connection is that you cannot use this technology to connect a computer network to the Internet. As such, it is not a workable Internet access solution for anything but small home-based businesses.

Other drawbacks include the wiring, data traffic congestion and delay. The more people are using the service, the slower it gets! Shared connectivity on cable also comes with security issues, as other people using it can possibly access your files. Another issue is that cable Internet cannot support any kind of email or web server technologies.

Dial-up Modem Internet Access

For residential Internet users, a 56kb Dial-up Modem is a very good place to start for accessing the Internet - especially if you're looking to start a home-based business on a somewhat limited budget! As the name indicates, Dial-up Internet access is not online on a 24/7 basis. You will require a modem and a phone line to connect to the Internet, and your phone line jack should be fairly close to your computer.

One of the major disadvantages of Dial-up Internet is that it occupies the phone line, so you won't be able to get any phone calls while you're checking your email or surfing the Net - with obvious drawbacks. If your line of business requires you to use the phone and the Internet at the same time, you should consider other types of Internet access.

In terms of group usage, modem access is also not the most cost-effective solution, as you'll need multiple phone lines and modems to connect a group of users. Windows NT Server, NetWare, and Windows 95/98 cannot be used to achieve modem sharing, so additional modem-sharing software will be required for these platforms. An alternative solution is to use one computer as a communications server. Even if you were to solve these issues, you'd still not have high speed, cost-effective Internet access for groups of Internet users, so Dial-up access may not be a viable option.

PRI ISDN Internet Access Features

PRI is short for Primary Rate Integrated Services Digital Network, or PRI ISDN for short, and can be used to access the Internet and connect your user network to the World Wide Web. Although it is a Dial-up Service, it does not require the usage of a modem to access the Web - and it's quite a bit faster than a Dial-up modem! PRI ISDN features one 64Kbps D Channel and 23 B Channels, which means that up to 1.5Mbps. Another great feature is that the PRI ISDN line can be split into multiple channels, so several users can access the Web and speak on the phone at the same time. Individual users can enjoy bandwidth speeds of up to 64Kbs.

DSL Access

DSL Access provides value for money - especially in terms of the Internet access needs of small and medium sized business enterprises. Featuring ease of installation, high speed access and great value for money, it is fast becoming one of the preferred Internet access technologies. As an "always on" type of access, DSL Internet also allows you to browse the Internet over normal phone lines - at speeds of up to 8Mbps (downloads) and 1Mbps (uploads). This type of uneven bandwidth access for downloads and uploads is referred to as
Asymmetrical DSL.

DSL Internet Access Setup Requirements

In terms of setup, you will need to invest in a DSL modem, a frequency splitter and an Ethernet card. A splitter is a frequency filter that enables simultaneous phone and Internet usage by separating high frequencies on which data is transferred upstream and getting data downstream from the low frequency ranges used for voice signal transmission. Both sets of frequencies are transmitted at the same time.

T-1 leased Internet Access

T-1 is a leased type of Internet access service. Featuring network connecting potential for large networks (20 or more users), this is an ideal Internet access technology for big business enterprises. T-1 Internet can be up to ten times faster than ISDN and can transfer data at speeds of up to 1.5Mbps. It is capable of connecting a Private Branch Exchange, or PBX, to the phone company's central office. T-1 is often also used to connect remote LANs.

And as an added bonus, up to 23 users can use the service at the same time and still experience downloading speeds of up to 64Kbps.

Fractional T-1 Internet Access

If T-1 Internet access meets your business requirements for Internet, yet you don't have more than 20 staff members who need to be online, then you can lease only a portion of a T-1 line. This has the advantage of keeping your overheads down, yet still give you fast, reliable Internet access and enable you to connect your business network to the Web.

T-3 High Speed Internet Access

T-3 is a powerful Internet access solution currently being used by thousands of medium to large organizations to access the web and connect networks to it. A T-3 Internet access line can transfer data at speeds of up to a staggering 44Mbps! This speed is the rough equivalent of approximately 28 T-1 lines, making it more than adequate for the Internet needs of large corporations. As many as 670 users can use this service at the same time, yet still enjoy data transfer speeds of up to 64Kbps. This is powerful enough to drive national call centers, or for businesses that have consistently high in-bound call volumes. It goes without saying that this type of Internet access is an "always on" service.

T-3 Internet access

T-3 Internet accessis used to connect a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to the telephone company's central offices, and can also be used to connect large remote LANs.

Fractional T-3 Internet Access

If your business or organization needs the large-scale access and exceptional performance of T-3 Internet, but you don't require the full line, you do have the option of leasing a portion of it. With Fractional T-3 you can still get access to this premium service and connect your network, without paying for Internet infrastructure you don't need.

Frame Relay Internet Access

Frame Relay is another Internet technology for connecting large organizations or operations to the Net. It is ideal for connecting LANs, and also for connecting LANs to WANs. Frame Relay Internet typically features data transfer rates of between 56Kbps and 45Mbps, giving you serious flexibility and options in terms of tailoring a technology package to match your organization's Internet needs. Predictably, this is an "always on" Internet service.

If your organization's Internet usages fluxes significantly, or if you have data spikes during certain periods, Frame Relay Internet may be a very good solution. This Internet technology enables you to maximize your connectivity at peak times by "bursting" up to a higher bandwidth speed as and when required. Burst-driven data consumption is still a lot more cost-effective than using the total bandwidth of a heavyweight Internet infrastructure on a 24/7 basis.

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Confused about all the new terminology?

Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) - One of the seven local telephone companies formed upon the divestiture of AT&T in 1984. The seven are: NYNEX, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Southwestern Bell, U S WEST, Ameritech, and Pacific Telesis.

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