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Chapter 10. Connecting Your Mac to the I... > Choosing Your Internet Connection Te...

Choosing Your Internet Connection Technology

There are six general technologies you can use to connect your Mac to the Internet. These technologies are summarized in Table 10.1 and explained in more detail in the following subsections.

Table 10.1. Internet Connection Technologies
Technology Connection Method Advantages Disadvantages
Dial-up Dial-up modem via standard phone line Available anywhere Inexpensive Simple configuration

Accessible from any location

Dial-up modem included in all modern Macs
Very slow

Connection must be established each time services are needed

Not as reliable as other connection methods

Can be difficult to achieve maximum performance

Makes phone line unavailable
DSL DSL modem via standard phone line Broadband connection speeds (both directions)

Always-on connection

Reliable connection

Consistent communication speed
Limited availability More expensive than a dial-up account
Cable Cable modem via fiber-optic cable Broadband connection speeds (both directions)

Always-on connection

Reliable connection
Limited availability

More expensive than a dial-up account

Connection speed can fluctuate depending on activity of local cable trunk
ISDN ISDN modem via one or more standard phone lines Slow to fairly fast connection speed depending on number of lines used Expensive

Not as fast as other broadband connections

Limited availability
Satellite Satellite receiver via satellite dish Fast download connection

Widely available

Always-on connection
Expensive

Upload connection speed can be limited

Some configurations require a dedicated upload account (such as over a dial-up connection)

Requires more complex installation and setup than other methods
T-1/ Fractional T-1 Direct cabling from ISP Fastest connection

Always-on connection

Most reliable connection
Very expensive Requires complex and expensive installation and configuration



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