This section deals with the different types of connections. Technically
referred to as Internet Protocol datagrams,
The most common type of connection used in the UK during the 1990s.
Depending on your modem, the best connection speed is 56K. A dial-up
connection uses a end users telephone line, which an attached modem
or router used to establish a link to an ISPs node. The advantage
of dial-up is it's simplicity, it requires no infrastructure except
an existing telephone network. For this reason it may always have
it uses in rural locations, for people who are traveling or in developing
nations. The disadvantages of dial-up are it's speed, it stops incoming
and outgoing phone calls, and it's speed is effected on line noise.
- Setting up a dialup connection on Windows XP
- click on the Start Menu
- then choose Control Panel and double
- click on the Network Connections icon
- from the left-hand side bar under Network Tasks choose Create
a new connection
- on the New Connection Wizard choose Connect to the Internet
- choose Set up my connection manually
- choose Connect using a dial-up modem
- in the Connection Name box type a name for the new connection,
such as AOL
- in the Phone number to dial box, enter isp number
- and enter password
- Setting up a dialup connection on Windows 95/98
- Click the Start button.
- Click Settings.
- Click on the Network icon.
- Click on Dial-up Connections.
- click on Make New Connection
- select your modem type and name
- enter isp phone number and password
services in the UK use the DSL technology, which is the most widely-available
type of broadband service. Landline, fibre optic and wireless broadband
signals are the current alternatives. As has been highlighted, broadband
is a generic term which can cover a range of technologies, but,
as a whole it's benefits can be stated as such,
- Always connected - no need to dial in everytime you want to
use the Internet.
- Almost 10 times faster than dial-up if you using a 512 Kbps
connection. Some broadband connection are 2000Kbps and increasing
rapidly to 50,000Kbps and beyond.
- No need for an extra phone line - with an dsl filter you'll
be able to use your telephone while online.
- A flat rate charge per week, month or year.
The access speed is effected by a users proximity to a telephone
exchange. In 2009, the average broadband speed is in the region
of 700 kbit/s, with a high of 50,000 kbit/s. Many ISPs have come
under negative press coverage for selling high speed access packages
to people who live in locations which could never achieve that speed.
An option for rural areas, or boats at sea, who are without access
to dsl or cable broadband. It obviously requires the installation
of a satellite dish. There are two versions of a satellite connection,
the cheaper options uses a dial-up connection to upload data demands
and downloads the data via the satellite. The more expensive option
use the satellite connection to upload and download data. The downside
to a satellite connection is it's high latency / slow response time
which makes satellite a poor substitution for web applications such
as online gaming. Weather can also effect the connection quality.
Integrated services digital network (ISDN), is an international
communications standard for sending voice, video, and data over
digital telephone lines or normal telephone wires. ISDN is a reliable
technology which is heavily used in the broadcast and general business
community. With an upload and download speed of 128 kbit/s, it's
not a viable alternative for home users with access to broadband.
But it's still a high speed alternative to those who only have a
- Wireless Internet Connections (Wi-Fi)
Wireless Internet is one the newest types of Internet connection.
Instead of using a telephone line or cable, it uses radio frequency
bands to connect to the Internet. Wireless Internet will provide
an always-on connection and can be accessed from anywhere, as long
as you are within the geographical coverage area (hotspot). These
tend to be in built up urban centres.
- T-1 Lines
T-1 are lines leased to businesses connecting to the Internet and
for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). They offer high usage levels,
with a line containing 24 individual channels, which supports 64Kbits
Commonly asked broadband questions,
- DSL Filters
- Cable Extensions
- If the adsl modem is too far away from the phone socket,
you may need to use an extension. The maximum reliable distance
from the main house socket would be 13 metres for broadband.
Plug the extension cable into the filter. Do not plug the
extension directly into the phone socket, always go through
the filter. Then plug the extension cable directly into the
Connection problems with broadband,
- Find a line fault with BT
One problem that can effect your broadband connection is
a noisy or crackly line. The BT test number 17070 can be
used to check the line works. It will do a ring back or
quiet line test (allows you to listen for noise).
If the have found that the line is faulty, then you can
contact BT faults on 151 or 154 for business.
- A network cable is unplugged
If you are getting disconnected from broadband and getting
the error "A network cable is unplugged", it usually
means a problem with the BT Voyager 100 usb adsl modem.
The solution is,
To turn off your pc and then disconnect you adsl modem
from your pc and the phone socket. Then reboot your machine
and hopefully your connection will be fine. Otherwise contact
- Host lookup failure
- This message is displayed when an error message occurs if
the remote PC is not found when you attempt to connect. This
is usually because a firewall program such as Zone Alarm or
Blackice is blocking the AOL Software. In order to fix this
problem, check the firewall blocking list.
- User authentication failed
- This message / error is displayed when your isp member details
have become damaged or corrupt on the isp server, which allows
you to gain access to the isp server. To fix this problem,
you may need to reinstall your connection software or alter
the connection information such as phone numbers, username
My connection is slow. What can I do?
The further you're away from a telephone exchange, then the slower
your connection speed will be. Nevermind what your ISP promises,
where you live will dictate your speed possibility. If you can discover
the maximum speed your address can access, then you may save yourself
some money by signing up for a lower speed package. Your speed during
peak times (evenings) will also be effected by how many of your
neighbours are online and what they are doing (BBC's iplayer is
a major bandwidth hog). So, as you can tell, some things are out
of your hands when it comes to increasing your connection speed.
Now onto some things which may improve your chances of a speed
If you haven't got the option of broadband, then the only option
is to move house (though a little extreme). If enough people in
your local area do demand broadband access (I think it's around
300) then BT should install the necessary infrastructure.
Most phone companies are not especially interested in dialup computer
connectivity issues these days. If you only have access to dialup
then maybe you need to swap companies. The future of Internet connection
is cable/broadband, so dialup will become an irrelevance as services
on the web become more bandwidth intensive. Broadband overtook dial-up
in May 2005, and now makes up over 80% of net connections in the
When it comes to hardware, a quality router using an ethernet port
may be worth considering in comparison to a cable modem. A fault
with your dsl filter or cables is another factor which may effect
your speed. There are also software utilities online which can tweak
your hardware for maximum performance.
Finally, if you are a heavy user of bandwidth, then your speed
may have been limited by your ISP. If you think that is the case,
then moving providers is your only option. ISP's will rarely own
up to limiting your connection speed.