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Chapter 13. 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 13.1 and explained in more detail in the following subsections.

Table 13.1. Internet Connection Technologies
TechnologyConnection MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
Dial-upDial-up modem via standard phone lineAvailable anywhereVery slow.
InexpensiveConnection must be established each time services are needed.
Simple configuration
Accessible from any locationNot as reliable as other connection methods.
Dial-up modem included in all modern Macs 
Can be difficult to achieve maximum performance.
 Makes phone line unavailable.
DSLDSL modem via standard phone lineBroadband connection speeds (both directions)Limited availability.
   More expensive than a dial-up account.
  Always-on connection
  Reliable connection 
  Consistent communication speed 
CableCable modem via fiber-optic cableBroadband connection speeds (both directions)Limited availability.
More expensive than a dial-up account.
  Always-on connection 
   Connection speed can fluctuate depend-depending on activity of local cable trunk.
  Reliable connection
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 connectionExpensive.
Upload connection speed can be limited.
  Widely available
  Always-on connectionSome configurations require a dedicated upload account (such as over a dial-up connection).
   Requires more complex installation and setup than other methods.
T-1/FractionalDirect cabling from ISPFastest connectionVery expensive.
T-1 Always-on connectionRequires complex and expensive installation and configuration.
  Most reliable connection



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