Internet Service and its Nature
Attributes, what makes communication by computers work, looking at a brief insight of Dialup, DSL, Cable, Line of sight and direct ISP services. This will not cover wireless service providers, such as plugging in a cell phone to the computer.
What is D S L? DSL is an acronym for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is seen a faster more stable connection that is made available over telephone lines. Using the same traditional wired telephone connections DSL in turns uses the same line to send electric digital pulses to a switching mechanism known to most as a modem then to the device such as a router and or computer.
As a DSL subscriber, household or business would subscribe to this service form a local provider, the phone company in most cases. The provider then acts as the connection to the worldwide web. The provider is most commonly referred to as the ISP (Internet Service Provider).
How it Works
The subscriber makes a request form their computer it then travels through a traditional phone line to the ISP. From the service provider your request is then sent out over a Wide Area Network (WAN) to its destination gathers the request and sends it back to you in the opposite direction. The services are still an analog system that converts the voice signals into an electrical signal and transfer that back and forth. Typically traditional phones do not utilize the full amount of the signals (Bandwidth) that are available and as a result the maximum speeds that you can get using a dial-up connection are only about 128 Kbps. A DSL modem takes the analog signals and converts them into digital signals or bits. Therefore they can transfer higher bandwidth of data by using the modulation and demodulation processes.
DSL v’s Phone Dial up
Speed matters when working from a computer, frustrating enough is trying to work on a research project and the item you are searching for takes 15 minutes to show up. 128 Kbps is a high norm for dialup. With a DSL services a range of 3 Megs is normal. In comparison DSL is lighting fast.
Disadvantages are present in everything. In this case download speeds are fast however in the broadband world upload speeds are slow. This is a trait that all service providers have. One inherently disadvantages that DSL customers face is the distance between the customer and the ISP location. Because signals are sent over wire transmission strength is lost every so many feet. Thus explaining one example of the slower speeds, speed variation can happen in any services as well; this could be referred to as a flap. Every so many miles of transmission lines a node (repeater) is placed modulating the signal. Variants including amount of users are online, weather related and or non-working nodes can prove disappointment in customer service. Line technicians are sent in these cases to adjust and or replace non-working modulators, (repeater nodes).
DSL v’s Cable v’s Direct to Satellite v’s Line of Site
Cable Company that provides Television signals to the home can also provide over the same cable lines Internet services. Explained in the previous paragraphs, the cable company uses existing wires or in this case round braded coax cable, unlike the flat twisted copper wire that is used with phone and DSL.
Just like DSL nodes (repeaters) are used to modulate signal strength so when 100 devices are running at the same time on one neighborhood in theory the same constant signal strength as expected is being provided to the customer.
Cable companies and phone companies have discovered that along the same hard wire is a varying cornucopia of bandwidth that had been unused. Bandwidth is the rate a signal analog or digital can be sent over hardwire. This allowed both phone companies and cablevision companies to become an internet provider without replacing transmission lines.
The real trick is to ask or test the area that you are in as a potential customer for either service. For example; what speeds will the cable company provide verses the DSL service? As was stated earlier speed does matter. DSL may not be available in your area because of the outdated service equipment or a DSL repeater hasn’t been installed in the neighborhood. Then on the other hand Cable might not be available, so a direct link to a satellite dish may be the answer.
Line of site offers a limited advantage to the others mentioned. While depending on the topography of the area such as trees, tall buildings and hills and of course if it is offered in tour area line of site is an inexpensive fast alternative to DSL, Cable, Dialup, and Direct. The direct line of site is the fastest wireless service available in today’s market. The disadvantage is as with any provider is that not everyone can get these services as well. The compared rate of speed is similar to a T1 connection At about 1.544 Mbps so I am told. T1 lines are expensive and a typical T3 which is like 28 T1 lines compiled and is considered a dedicated line. This service is of course more than the average homeowner can afford with prices upwards over a thousand dollars a month.
Dialup is slow, however if an occasional visit to the web is needed its okay. It provides about 128 Kbps of varied services. DSL when provided can deliver 256 kbps up to 40MBitps. Cable providers have a variety of data packages that they can provide, typically 5 Megs to 100 Megabits of data transfer, yes that’s a lot faster than kilobits’. A one Gig line is not unheard of now days, some cable companies do provide this service under the business package for their customers however many would love to take advantage of a 1 Gig service a 10 to 50 Meg connection is a good alternative standard. Direct Satellite services are used mostly in rural areas where Cable and DSL are not provided. It has been proven to be slow and cumbersome in its history. With a combination of a phone service, dialup and a down link via satellite made for a workable solution to just having a dialup service. Requesting info was slow however retrieval of the information was fast. With a dish in present days it is capable of two way signal transmission within one dish unit and receiver. The drawback is trees buildings and the topography of where the services would be provided. Note always before one buys anything, it would be wise to look at these four alternatives before making a decision. Base your decision on what is available in your area cost and speed.
Just a note:
The US and its infrastructure are behind the European market in telecommunications area. Not for the lack of science, however for the infrastructure we do have has been established longer, and proves to be still working without the expense of making the market more modern compliant. Earlier in the present administration the nation seemed to want to cross some barriers of what worked so well for so many years suddenly the US had to change and update the Broadcasting signals from analog to digital. Although this stimulated the TV market sells for a short time. This ploy greatly benefited the overseas Flat screen and digital component makers while Americans continue to struggle to support themselves.
By Kenneth A Brewer Composed and Copy righted © 10/20/2011 revised 02/04/2012