Remember sitting at your commuter, logging on. You could hear your exterior modem use a telephone line to dial up the internet, it’s ringing, ringing, answers, weird sounds, wait, wait…success! You’re logged on. You type in the name of the site you’re interested in, enter and wait and wait and wait and finally you reach your internet destination. And you could just forget about things like downloading software, music, or a file attached to a colleague’s email, unless you had unlimited dial-up access and hours to wait for the download to complete.
Now, with the option of high speed Internet delivered to your home by a choice of different technologies, including over cable from providers like Comcast, waiting and wondering if you have time to download something, are all things of the past.
With cable internet, you are provided with unlimited choices of information, entertainment, downloadable or streaming music or videos, hundreds of internet tv and radio stations, from all over the world. The speed and capacity of the cable not only lets you switch from watching a World Cup game from Qatar in one minute, to downloading massive reports the next minute; except with cable, to don’t even have to worry about “switching tasks”, as the bandwidth (capacity) of cable internet allows you to perform many tasks simultaneously.
Cable is, at its most basic level of service, literally ten times faster than dial-up, with ever more speed and capacity levels available from some providers.
Cable internet uses the infrastructure of your local cable television provider, so in most cases, no new work has to be done at your home or office. You must acquire a cable modem, which in most cases can be rented or purchased from your cable provider, or in some areas, from independent retailers. The beauty of renting instead of owning is every time the cable company upgrades their technology or speed, if new hardware is required, generally they furnish it.
The cable modem is connected to the cable modem termination system, which is located at the cable provider’s office. The connection is done via coaxial cable. Coaxial cable is a multi-layered affair, with a copper core, surrounded by an insulator, then a layer of a copper shield, all of encased in a plastic shield. In some instances, glass fibers are replacing the copper core, as they are shown to have better transmission capacity and can carry more signals than copper.
• Cable internet has many advantages over other types of delivery:
• It requires no telephone line
• If you do have a phone, cable access frees up your phone line
• It is “always on” – no waiting to start-up the service, log on
• Much faster than other types of services
• Enables you to download and upload files quicker
• Supports complex, data heavy gaming for multiple users in real time
• Bills are not based on elapsed time
• Set monthly fee for service at level you choose.
• You can order on demand movies from multiple choices of huge libraries you can access via cable internet.
In addition to the advantages above, one popular new use for cable internet, is that it provides the capacity and speed to enable easy-to-use and set-up video telephone calls worldwide. In many cases, the software to enable making these calls is available free.
You may also have the choice to use newly developed internet telephone services, like VOIP (voice over internet protocol), which enable you to use the internet as your own personal telephone company, often free or at very low charges. Your computer becomes your “telephone” and you make calls with the built-in speakers and microphones in most late models of computers; or, if you’re nostalgic for traditional phones, there are a number of handsets sold today that plug right into an outlet on your computer to be able to use the internet telephone services.
The advantages of cable internet over dial up services are many, and present a world of exciting opportunities for you to explore the world wide web.