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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
TechnologyConnection MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
Dial-upDial-up modem via standard phone lineAvailable anywhere; inexpensive; simple configuration; accessible from any location; dial-up modem included in all modern MacsVery 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
DSLDSL modem via standard phone lineBroadband connection speeds (both directions); always-on connection; reliable connection; consistent communication speedLimited availability; more expensive than a dial-up account
CableCable modem via fiber-optic cableBroadband connection speeds (both directions); always-on connection; reliable connectionLimited availability; more expensive than a dial-up account; connection speed can fluctuate depending on activity of local cable trunk
ISDNISDN modem via one or more standard phone linesSlow to fairly fast connection speed depending on number of lines usedExpensive; not as fast as other broadband connections; limited availability
SatelliteSatellite receiver via satellite dishFast download connection; widely available; always-on connectionExpensive; 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-1Direct cabling from ISPFastest connection; always-on connection; most reliable connectionVery expensive; requires complex and expensive installation and configuration.



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