We will look at two main types of internet connections: always-on and dial-up.
The most common type of internet connection is the always-on type of connection, where the user has a direct connection to their Internet Service Provider (ISP). The Internet is always available – most businesses will have this type of connection. As well as businesses having a direct type of connection, most home users will also use the direct type of connection via technologies such as ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscribe Link), available across telephone lines. It is called Asymmetric because download speeds are much faster than upload speeds. More information on ADSL is available by clicking on this link.
There might still be an occasional requirement for the older type of dial-up access. Dial-up is where the internet connection is only set up when required, for instance to send and receive email. Some businesses may use dial-up in certain situations where only an infrequent connection is required, such as a restaurant when a diner pays by card, there is sometimes a delay while a connection to the card issuing bank is made. Dial-up connections are sometimes used when a user wishes to withdraw money from a cash machine situated in a shop. As well as being slow to set-up the connection, dial-up will usually have a much lower speed (or bandwidth) than an always on connection.
Next: Uses of the Internet