Internet Connectivity

Before you can get to 'computing' you've got to get connected. Learn about things like modem speed, broadband connections, T1 lines and satellite internet.

How do you access the Internet other than dial-up if you live too far from a phone company office for DSL and there is no cable TV on your street? Satellite Internet access may be worth considering.

It can be truly frustrating -- one minute you're zipping along just fine, the next, you can't get one page to load. What's causing the backup? Cable modems are part of a loop that begins at the cable company's central office, goes through a certain neighborhood or area, and comes back to the central office.

Fiber-optic lines have revolutionized long-distance phone calls, cable TV and the Internet. It's a really cool technology that enables the long-distance transmission of data in light signals, and is probably used in more ways than you think.

How far will the Internet go? The next phase of the Internet will take us to far reaches of our solar system and lay the groundwork for a communications system for manned missions to Mars and planets beyond.

Learn how a cable modem works and see how dozens of television channels plus any Web site out there can flow over a single coaxial cable into your home.

When you connect to the Internet, you might connect through a regular modem, a local-area network connection, a cable modem or a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection. DSL is a very high-speed connection that uses the same wires as a regular telephone line.

What's so special about a T1 line? It means the phone company has brought a fiber optic line into your office that can carry data at a rate of 1.544 megabits per second!

Much of the world still uses a standard modem to connect to the Internet. In this article, we'll start with the original 300-baud modems and progress all the way through to the ADSL configurations.