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.
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.