Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How does my internet connection work?

Wow what a strange one I had today. I was called out to a clients house to trouble shoot a lost internet conection. The client tells me that something was dropped behind the desk and he lost connection. So one would think, a cable has become unplugged... so this is the first thing I look for. Quickly, I did not find a loose ethernet cable, there was no loose phonce cable, so my last idea was to look for a detached USB cable... no none of the above. The next thing I look for is a modem. Seeing that the client was using and seeing a dsl modem filter connected to a phone line leads me to believe that they did have a dsl modem... but where is it? The client insists that he has never had a little black or silver box (my laymans terms for a dsl modem). The next phone call is to a bell south technicain to determine what type of internet connection the client does has in the house. The tech on the other end of the phone is as lost as I am when I explain there is no modem - no where and the client insists there never has been.

Long story short the only way to access the internet is through a paid for service provider... then you have to have the hardware for dial up that is a simple phone line and a modem which used to come with all older computers - but is not seen as much today. With cable or dsl broad band internet one must own a box modem which typically comes from the service provider but can be purchased at any big box store.

To resolve this clients issue I am going to purchase a modem and put it into place - since the client insists he doesn't have one and never has.

I thought a little lesson on how the internet works might be called for here...
This information is the same for both cable and DSL modems for the most part. This information is brought to us by

What Is Broadband DSL?

Broadband DSL (digital subscriber line) allows the user to have access to high-speed Internet. This type of service is becoming very popular because it operates at double the speed of regular dial-up service. Broadband DSL connects through your phone line but does not affect your ability to use your telephone. Most users prefer this type of connection because you always have an Internet connection. This is more convenient and cuts the time that it would take to log onto the Internet.

How Do I Get Broadband DSL?

In order to connect to a broadband DSL connection, you will need a broadband modem. These are available at fairly reasonable rates. Most Internet service providers are offering low rates on DSL service and sometimes will even include the modem at no additional charge. You will also need a network card installed in your PC. This card is attached to your motherboard. The modem will connect to this card using a network cable. You may also purchase a USB modem that uses a USB connection and will not require a network card. The modem would connect to your PC through the USB port. Most users prefer using a network card, as it provides a better connection. A USB connection can become slow if you have other components that use USB connections, such as a printer.

What are types of broadband DSL?

There are different types of broadband DSL, ADSL (asymmetric DSL), SDSL (symmetric DSL) and ISDN DSL. ADSL is a more efficient type of connection. This connection gives that users high download speeds. If you use your computer for continuous downloading, this is type of DSL you should consider. SDSL connections provide an equal and consistent amount of download and upload speed. It can provide up to 15 mbps for downloading and uploading files. Because of its consistency, most businesses prefer this type of connection. ISDN connections are slower connections and provide the user with speeds of 128 kbps. This type of access is normally used by those who do not download or upload a large amount of files but want the benefit of having a high-speed connection versus a dial up.

A digital subscriber line (DSL) is primarily offered by phone companies and uses existing copper phone lines for the Internet service. Phone companies provide customers with a DSL modem that converts the DSL signal from the phone line and uses and Ethernet cable to connect to a customer's computer.

Another from of broadband Internet service is provided by cable companies. A cable company uses its existing cable lines to send an Internet signal. Customers need to use a cable modem that can convert the signal and send it to a customer's computer through an Ethernet cable.

An alternative to cable and DSL broadband Internet service is to use a satellite connection to connect to the Internet. A satellite connection is a good option for people that live in rural areas and cannot get cable or DSL service. A signal from a satellite is either sent to a modem or processed by a receiver and connected to a computer by an Ethernet cable.


The costs for high speed Internet can vary from company to company depending on what type of service is being used. Typically cable and phone companies will bundle Internet service with a particular package of services. Standalone Internet service is also provided by these companies starting at $35.99 depending on what a customer wants to pay.

Transfer Methods

Telephone and cable companies are using various methods to offer broadband Internet service to its customers. Typically these companies are using fiber optics because more data can be sent at much faster speeds than by satellite, cable or copper phone lines.

Remember no matter the problem Simply Seniors Computer Tutor is here to help with your computer needs. On the web at or you can call 321-431-3866

Happy Computering!


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