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Tip of the Day
Language: Web Development
Expertise: Beginner
Mar 11, 1999

Increasing Internet Speed

Question:
I own a 366MMX Pentium Intel II computer and the Internet still seems slow. Is there any way I can increase the speed of searches and downloading?

Answer:
The speed of your searches and downloading has very little to do with the computer processor or CPU clock speed. Instead, the best way to get faster speed on the Internet is to get a better (faster) connection to the Internet.

You can buy a 28.8 modem, for example, that can sometimes double its speed to 56K through compression. This speed is not usually actually achieved, however, and the computer you connect to must support the same compression algorithm for it to work at all.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is another option that can increase your connection speed. ISDN is available from many phone companies and achieves its speed through the fact that your signal does not have to go through the analog-to-digital-to-analog conversion that happens when using standard modems. You must procure an ISDN adapter and use it instead of a standard modem. The idea is that the signal is digital for the entire path, from your computer to the destination computer, and back again. Be aware, however, that some phone companies use analog lines in some places, rather than digital, forcing your signal through the slow conversion process you were hoping to avoid. This is beyond the control of most phone company customers and negates much of the benefit of ISDN.

Other connection options include cable modems, satellite connections and T1 or T3 lines. Cable modems and satellite connections are not in widespread use and T1/T3 lines are very expensive for the average user. T1/T3 lines are used primarily by organizations rather than private surfers.

The truth is that there is no single, best method...yet. There is a lot of potential for reliable, high-speed access to the Net coming within the next few years. Until then, most private, home surfers will have probably be using 28.8 modems.

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