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Part I: Today’s Technology > Getting High-Speed Connections: Broadband Internet

Chapter 1. Getting High-Speed Connections: Broadband Internet

A vital part of being able to use some of today’s hottest technologies and gadgets is a broadband connection to the Internet. Although getting connected is a somewhat mundane topic, we start here because it’s a basic requirement for us to get the most out of the more sexy gadgets that I profile in the upcoming pages. Having a broadband Internet connection will enable you to communicate and collaborate more easily with friends and business associates, and send and receive emails, photographs, music, videos, and other new forms of information with ease.

We also begin here because many of us are still tied to slower dialup-connections and may be looking to evaluate the best options for broadband service. Three of the most popular forms of broadband connection are cable modem, integrated services digital network (ISDN), and digital subscriber line (DSL). With any of these, you get the benefit of a faster connection plus always-on connectivity to the Internet. The benefit of this always-on connectivity is that there’s no waiting for dialups to get connected; you simply open your browser and begin accessing the Internet. In terms of access speed, a broadband connection is generally defined as one that runs at over 200 kbps (kilobits per second) in both directions for uploading and downloading. This is a significant improvement over standard dialup connections which go up to only 56 kbps.


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