Bandwidth is something no one can get enough of. We've attempted to summarize below the most important characteristics of the major technologies currently offered. For the latest information about these or other solutions you may be curious about, go to whatis.com
ADSL(Asymetrical Digital Subscriber Line): offers 1.5 -8.0 Mbps download speeds, and a slower 640 kbps in both directions. It provides dedicated connection over existing phone lines while simultaneously accommodating standard voice service. For industry progress in defining a unified standard, see the ADSL Forum's FAQ. And here's a speed comparison chart.
Regional phone companies have begun offering expanded ADSL service at drastically lowered rates: (1/12/99)
For a dedicated Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) price point, see slip.net's ADSL pricing.
Cable modems offer up to 30Mbps download over cable TV lines, depending on the local provider's connection speed to the Internet. (If the IP is connected over a T-1 line, then cable data download rate for subscribers may be around 1.5 Mpbs, similar to what ADSL provides.) The technology's fundamental limitation is the availability to two-way cable transmission, which companies are working hard to overcome. It's advantage lies in a potential for very high transfer rates.
To see cable modem service is offered in your area, check @Home
Analog modems, the ones most of us use, max out with 56Kmodels. A single standard, V.90, is set for approval in September, 1998, replacing two competing protocols. Note that Internet Providers and their clients must use the same protocol in order for these modems to deliver top performance, that is, between 50Kbps-115Kbps.
Check with your IP to find out what protocol they are currently using. Owners of X2 and K56Flex modems can download v.90 upgrade patches from their modem vendor.
ISDN delivers 128kbps. This technology is cumbersome to install, and will eventually be displaced by faster ADSL and cable alternatives.
Created 8/25/98. Last Updated 1/12/99
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